Stephen King is one of the most fascinating authors around, notably for the unreal number of adaptations of his works. But did you know he self-banned one particular work after its connection to multiple school shootings was revealed?
In 1977 King, writing under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, published Rage, a story about a troubled high school student involved in a school shooting. 11 years later, a copy of that title was found in the personal belongings of Jeffrey Lyne Cox, a high school student who held one class hostage at gunpoint after allegedly being inspired by King’s story.
Source: Abe Books
Rage would go on to reportedly inspire a number of similar school shootings between 1988 and 1998, so many in fact that the sheer number convinced King to pull the plug. In 1998, shortly after another shooting connected to Rage, King reportedly approached his publishers and asked them to stop publishing the book and allow it to fall out of print. They agreed.
Today, a small number of copies exist, but they don’t come cheap.
On Amazon, copies of Rage are sold by third-party sellers charging anywhere between $500 and $750 for a mass-market used paperback. Yep, you read that right. If you wish to be fancy and buy a standard paperback, a copy will cost you upwards of $1000.
While the staggering price might seem unreasonable or make you ask yourself why anyone would be willing to pay so much for a book, it makes sense when you consider supply and demand. Let’s be honest, I’m sure there are King fanatics out there who would definitely pay that much in order to complete their collection of King works.
As for Stephen King, while he may not be profiting from the sales of Rage any longer, his decision to pull the plug appeared to be an easy one.
In an essay titled “Guns”, Stephen King wrote:
“I pulled it because in my judgment it might be hurting people, and that made it the responsible thing to do,” he wrote. “Assault weapons will remain readily available to crazy people until the powerful pro-gun forces in this country decide to do a similar turnaround. They must accept responsibility, recognizing that responsibility is not the same as culpability.”
Amen to that.
Feature image via The Geeked Gods.