Stephen King is no doubt of America’s most prolific authors of all time. His works can be found in just about every bookstore in America. However, there is one Stephen King book that you will never find on the shelf of a bookstore.
The book ‘Rage’, originally published under his pen name, Richard Bachman, was written in 1966 while he was still in high school. The book was released in 1977 and in 1998 was taken out of print.
In the book, a young man named Charlie Decker is called into the principal’s office of his high school after assaulting a teacher. He goes on an expletive-filled rant for reasons he doesn’t understand, prompting his expulsion. Decker then goes to his locker to retrieve a semi-automatic pistol, burns the remaining contents and kills two other faculty members before taking his algebra class hostage.
What end up happening is a standoff in which the students who had begun as hostages become accomplices as they begin to identify more with their captor than with those trying to end the conflict.
King decided to let the book fall out of production in 1998 after too many reall-life tragedies were taking place at the hands of those were influenced by the book.
‘Rage’ has become one of the hardest King novels to get your hands on.
Today, curious readers can still get their hands on a copy, but they have to be willing to pay between $500 – $700 on Amazon to do so.
The following incidences were all found to have a connection to the book, thus the reason behind King taking the book from shelves.
1. Dec. 1, 1997 – Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky. 14-year-old gunman (Michael Carneal ) opens fire on a prayer circle at school, killing three and wounding two, one never able to walk again. A copy of ‘Rage’ was found in the gunman’s locker.
2. In 1996, 14-year-old Barry Dale Loukaitis killed his algebra teacher and two students before being disarmed by a faculty member he tried to take hostage at Frontier Middle School in Moses Lake, Wash. He allegedly claimed that he was inspired by “Rage” and modeled his life after Charlie Decker.
3. In 1989, 17-year-old Dustin Pierce took a classroom of 11 students hostage at gunpoint in Jackson County High School in McKee, Kentucky while reportedly trying to recreate the plot of “Rage.” After a nine-hour standoff, he surrendered to police.
4. In 1987, Jeffrey Lyne Cox held 60 classmates at gunpoint at San Gabriel High School in California before being disarmed by some of the students. He was known to have read “Rage” multiple times The Los Angeles Times reported.