The Dark Half
1989, 1990, Hodder & Stoughton, London
A writer is forced to admit his use of a pen name to write violent and profitable novels. He takes the opportunity to publicly 'kill off' his pseudonym in order to fully pursue his own, less popular but less violent, writings. But the pseudonym does not stay dead.
This book starts off as wryly amusing, and then very quickly turns violent and horrible. A couple of passages made me feel almost physically ill, and the last section had to be read all at once as it was terrifyingly suspenseful. The other great passage is the opening scene in which an eyeball is excised from the brain of an 11 year old boy - King can paint with words.