Stephen King is the author responsible for such dream-haunting creations as a memorably pissed off telekinetic prom queen, a denim-clad dimension-hopping deity, a temperamental train engine with a poor sense of humor, a murderous St. Bernard, and a burial ground that takes recently deceased loved ones and spits them back to Earth as feral butchers.
But his most terrifying invention may be something much closer to home — a coarse, unstable demagogue who enters the political arena seemingly out of nowhere, rides a wave of populism to an unlikely White House victory, and raging with messianic self-regard incites a nuclear apocalypse.
This is Gregory Ammas Stillson, the antagonist of King’s 1979 novel The Dead Zone, and he’s as frightening as anything cooked up by the prolific novelist’s imagination. This year in particular, Stillson seems an eerily prescient portent of our current political climate.
“I’ve seen the comparisons drawn between Trump and Stillson on Twitter — always makes me smile,” King said in an email.