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James Franco Narrating First Ever Audiobook of Stephen King’s ‘The Dead Zone’

Released in 1979, Stephen King’s novel The Dead Zone is perhaps more relevant today than it ever was. As many, including King himself, have pointed out in the past several months, the tale about a man who emerges from a coma and discovers newfound abilities bears startling similarities to things happening in the United States right now, making it a must-read decades after its initial publication. And we’ve got a feeling that’s why the novel is now getting an audiobook; oddly enough, the book has to date never been released as an audiobook.

Entertainment Weekly reports today that Simon & Schuster Audio will publish the first-ever The Dead Zone audiobook on April 25. Who’s the narrator? James Franco!

Stephen King praised Franco, who starred in King adaptation “11.22.63”:

James is a terrific actor. I knew that he would perfectly capture the vibe and voice of The Dead Zone.

Via Franco himself:

[King is] one of the most pleasurable authors to read or listen to. He just guides you along so well. Even though we’re from different generations all his influences and things he references and subjects he’s interested in seem to be all the things I’m interested in.

In The Dead ZoneJohnny Smith awakens from a five-year coma after his car accident and discovers that he can see people’s futures and pasts when he touches them. Many consider his talent a gift; Johnny feels cursed. His fiancé married another man during his coma and people clamor for him to solve their problems.

When Johnny has a disturbing vision after he shakes the hand of an ambitious and amoral politician, he must decide if he should take drastic action to change the future. The Dead Zone is a “faultlessly paced…continuously engrossing” (Los Angeles Times) novel of second sight.



  • Carlton Fisher

    Am I the only one whose skin crawls when he listens to James Franco? He just seems like such an egotistical little douchebag. And what kind of compliment is being a “pleasurable author”? Not that James Franco knows anything about writing. The only reason he’s published books is because he’s a famous actor.

  • GinsuVictim

    First ever, eh? I listened to that book a decade ago.

  • Terry Powell

    I’d actually prefer a bluray of the movie.

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