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"Rage" by Stephen King, and my opinion on banned books

Updated on March 20, 2013
Rage, original book cover
Rage, original book cover


Charlie Decker is a young boy who one day shoots his two teachers, and takes his entire class hostage in the midmorning of a New England high school.

This book takes you through not just Charlie's feelings and experiences, and what made him “rage” but also the experiences of his classmates and the rage they all have inside. What is rage? And how did rage get him this far, to the edge of the cliff where there is no way back?

I did NOT expect to like this book at all. This book was not banned, but it was put off the shelves YEARS ago, and taken out of print, after it was judged that the book had been a inspiration to four different real life school-shootings.

I read some different articles about all of this before actually reading the book, and I expected this book to be haunting and provocative considering the fact that it caused so much controversy in the US.
In general, I am not a fan of the censor of books, and I think USA has a bad tendency towards banning everything that is just a tiny bit controversial.

Maybe it is because I was broad up in a country that is proud to say that everyone has “the freedom of speech”, no matter what they may say. Here we don’t censor books, movies or music. No “biip” sounds to censor inappropriate words in rap songs, and if you want to paint and publish a picture of the Islamic prophet with a bomb in his turban, you are very much allowed to (then you can always discuss whether or not this is okay, afterwards).

When you start banning books that is not even horrible bad and extreme books, books that should not be thought to “plant bad thoughts” inside people’s heads, I think you are going to far.
I will for the life of me never understand why anyone felt the need to ban books and cause controversy over books such as “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, “1984” by George Orwell or “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson, which is all great great books. When you get to that point of censorship, I think you are going to far.

Why is it that we ban books?
Is it that we do not want the population of our country to think for ourselves?
Or do we believe that the censorship of books will keep all this “bad things” away from people? If they don’t read about it, they’ll never know?

“Rage” by Stephen King is a very well written book, and I really appreciated the length of this book. Stephen King wrote this when still in high school, which I find to be extremely scary and well done

Even the ending of this book was great, in my opinion, because this book could so easily have gone wrong by a bad ending, but it didn't, and I like how Charlie Decker is viewed as what he is. He is a human, and I think it is highly positive that the books portrait him as so, instead of just portraying him as a crazy psychotic murderer. What he, and other school shooters, do is of course never okay and very very horrible, but I like to read the background of these people instead of just reading about how horrible the act was.

In my opinion, you should ban guns not books, because I don't believe in the use of gun, at least not when it is not under serious enforcements.

And if you get the chance to read this gem of a book, I would definitely recommend you do so.


What is your opinion on banning books?

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    • Jeff Berndt profile image

      Jeff Berndt 4 years ago from Southeast Michigan

      I have to take issue with you.

      Not on anything you had to say about "Rage," because I haven't read it. Nor about anything you have to say about banning books, because I'm in full agreement. It's never okay to ban books. I think books should be clearly labeled and shelved according to content, so that if you want to avoid steam romance novels, or books with vulgar words in them, or science fiction novels, you can (or if you want to find them, you can--it works both ways!).

      I disagree with your assertion that we should ban guns. It's a separate but related issue, but I don't believe that a ban on guns is a good idea any more than a ban on unpopular ideas is a good idea. Background checks, proper record-keeping, and aggressive prosecution of people who sell guns to criminals and/or minors would serve us much better.