Stephen King Novel Pulled From Shelves And Will Never Be Printed Again

Stephen King pulled his book 'Rage' from shelves and it will never be printed again.
Credit: Alamy

A Stephen King book has been pulled from shelves and it’s unlikely it will ever be printed again.

King, 76, is one of the world’s most famous authors and he’s behind some of the biggest horror stories of all time, including ‘The Shining’ and ‘IT’ – which have been turned into films.

One of his novels has become one of the most sought-after books of all time, but it’s not due to it being immensely popular and adored.

It’s because it’s difficult to get a hold of since being pulled off shelves.

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The sensitive subject the novel tackles has been addressed by King in a 2013 essay titled ‘Guns’.

“I suppose if it had been written today, and some high school English teacher had seen it, he would have rushed the manuscript to the guidance counsellor and I would have found myself in therapy posthaste,” King penned.

“But 1965 was a different world, one where you didn’t have to take off your shoes before boarding a plane and there were no metal detectors at the entrances to high schools.”

Stephen King
Stephen King says pulling the book was ‘the responsible thing to do’. Credit: Alamy

King reportedly began asking publishers to remove the book from shelves after his novel was tied to four real-life school shootings.

“I pulled it because in my judgment it might be hurting people, and that made it the responsible thing to do,” King wrote in his 2013 essay.

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In April 1988, a California student held his high school humanities class hostage before backing out – where he reportedly told the police that he got the idea from the novel, as per the Los Angeles Times.

Then in September 1989, a Kentucky 17-year-old held his classmates hostage for nine hours in an alleged attempt to act out the book, according to The New York Times.

A 14-year-old boy in Washington state, in February 1996, shot and killed his algebra teacher and two classmates and he was allegedly inspired by King’s story.

And then in December 1997, a 14-year-old from Kentucky opened fire on a prayer group at his school – killing three people – and he is believed to have had a copy of King’s novel in his locker, as per The Atlantic.

'Rage' by Stephen King.
The Stephen King novel ‘Rage’ is one of the most sought-after books of all time. Credit:

‘Rage’ was one of King’s first novels which he wrote while in high school in 1965 – it wasn’t published until 1977 under his alias Richard Bachman, as per Insider.

He would release it in 1985 as part of a collection of short novels called ‘The Bachman Books’.

The collection of four novels was soon reduced to three novels, with ‘Rage’ being permanently removed.

‘Rage’ follows a troubled high school student who brings a gun to school, kills faculty members, and holds his algebra class hostage.

In’s list of the 100 most sought-after out-of-print books of 2013, ‘Rage’ is ranked at number two – with Madonna‘s ‘S**’ topping the charts.

Used copies of ‘Rage’ can be found online – but it will cost you a fortune as prices range from $700 to over $2,000.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.