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The End of the Whole Mess

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"The End of the Whole Mess" is a short story written by Stephen King. It was first published in the October 1986 issue of Omni, and later included in his 1993 collection Nightmares and Dreamscapes as well as the 2008 collection Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse.


Howard Fornoy's personal journal recounts the life of his genius younger brother, Robert. Bobby, a child prodigy whose adult interests led him to study a variety of scientific disciplines, discovered a chemical that reduced the aggressive tendencies of humans and other organisms. While conducting sociological research in Texas, Bobby used crime statistics to create a sort of topographic map which displayed a geographical pattern of violent crime. Examining the map, Robert noted diminishing levels of crime centered around the town of La Plata.


The audiobook version of this story, in the Nightmares and Dreamscapes collection, is read by Matthew Broderick.


The story was adapted into the fourth episode of Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King, airing on 19 July 2006. The episode starred Ron Livingston as Howard and Henry Thomas as Bobby.

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