The Complete Stephen King – The Bachman Books
. In the late 1970s-early 1980s, King published a handful of short novels using the pseudonym Richard Bachman. The idea behind this was largely an experiment to measure for himself whether or not he could replicate his own success again, and allay at least part of the notion within his mind that popularity might all be just an accident of fate.
King had no intention of revealing he was the man behind the Bachman pen but he was exposed after a Washington D.C. bookstore clerk named Steve Brown, noticed similarities between the two’s works and later located publisher’s records. As soon as this became public knowledge King’s publishers released a statement saying Bachman’s had died—supposedly from “cancer of the pseudonym.
The Long Walk (1979)
The Running Man (1982)
The Regulators (1996)
Several of the Bachman books were works that King wrote before Carrie but failed to place with a publisher. In his introduction to the paperback edition of Blaze King called them trunk novels – meaning works that had been tossed in the bottom of a trunk.
The biography for Bachman on the official Stephen King website reads: Born in New York, Richard Bachman’s early years are a mystery. As a young man, Bachman served a four year stint in the Coast Guard, which he then followed with ten years in the merchant marine. Bachman finally settled down in rural central New Hampshire, where he ran a medium – sized dairy farm. He did his writing at night (he suffered from chronic insomnia) after the cows came home.
Bachman and his wife, Claudia Inez Bachman, had one child, a boy, who died in an unfortunate, Stephen King – ish type accident at the age of six. He apparently fell through a well and drowned. In 1982, a brain tumor was discovered near the base of Bachman’s brain; tricky surgery removed it. Bachman however, didn’t long long after that, dying suddenly in late 1985 of cancer of the pseudonym, a rare form of schizonomia.
At the time of his death, Bachman had published five novels: Rage in 1977, The Long Walk in 1979, Roadwork in 1981, The Running Man in 1982 and Thinner in 1984. The first four novels were published as paperbacks, but as Bachman had been gaining quite a constant readership, his last novel, Thinner, was published in hardcover and was well received by the critics.
Bachman fans, who mourned the death of the author, received a bit of good news recently. In 1994, while preparing to move to a new house, the widow Bachman discovered a cardboard carton filled with manuscripts in the cellar. The carton contained a number of novels and stories, in varying degrees of completion. The most finished was a typescript of a novel entitled, The Regulators. The widow took the manuscript to Bachman’s former editor, Charles Verrill, who found it compared well with Bachman’s earlier works. After only a few minor changes, and with the approval of the author’s widow (now Claudia Eschelman), The Regulators was published posthumorously in September of 1996 by Dutton. As of this time, no other information has been forthcoming as to the possibility of the remaining unpublished carton works being published