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Author Topic: Stephen King  (Read 9127 times)

Offline Shamrock

Stephen King
« on: March 22, 2011, 05:57:31 AM »
I've been contemplating creating a Stephen King thread for awhile, I know not everyone is a fan of his work but I love him.
So to those who have read his work and liked it, or hated it. What did you read and think about his work?

Personally for me he's a very hit and miss author. Some of his books are great and some are just awful, for example The Dark Tower series for me the series could have ended with Wizard and Glass and I would have been quite happy. Especially the final ending in The Dark Tower was a complete let down but after the amount of work that went into and is still going into the series I suppose he was entitled to an easy way out.

An interesting fact though, he was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1976 for 'Salem's Lot. I finished it last night, and well I can't really decide if vampires are fantasy or not, but that's another topic all together.
Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Stephen King
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 06:00:45 AM »
Stand and It were great, but both had very weak endings.  Stand in particular had a dreadful ending. 

Pet Semetry was very good and very creepy with a superb ending. 

The Tommyknockers was one of the worst books I ever had the misfortune to read. 

Also I find it slightly annoying the way that in each novel he puts one character who resembles himself.  A writer, usually with asthma and a stutter.  Seems a bit self indulgent to me.   
The Real Powers That Be

Offline Shamrock

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 06:08:10 AM »
The Tommyknockers was one of the worst books I ever had the misfortune to read. 

Also I find it slightly annoying the way that in each novel he puts one character who resembles himself.  A writer, usually with asthma and a stutter.  Seems a bit self indulgent to me.   
I know it isn't fantasy but read Misery and you'll see why he became so famous. That book is amazing, the first novel of his I ever read.
Thanks for the warning about The Tommyknockers, it was on my to-read pile but has now been swiftly kicked off. I also find it annoying that all main characters are authors with massive chips on their shoulders. Urgh, I think that's why I enjoyed Dark Tower so much is that it is so completely different from his other work. Although I don't think he could have been more self-indulgent than by making himself a character in the series.
Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind

Offline The Mad Hatter

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 06:13:03 AM »

Um, well, Stephen King's writing is uneven for a reason. He was addicted to illegal drugs for a long time, and he now says that he doesn't even remember writing a lot of his books. He talks about this in his book 'On Writing' which I'd recommend to readers as well as writers.

Wayne aka The Mad Hatter

Offline Shamrock

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 06:18:21 AM »
I didn't know that! Wow, you learn something new everyday  :) Besides that though with the volume he's written, it's just a case of quantity rather than quality sometimes, even with his newer books.
Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Stephen King
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 06:26:07 AM »
Quote
Marge: So, Mr King, what tale of horror and the macabre are you working on now?
Stephen King: Actually, I'm taking a break from horror for the time being.
Marge: Oh, that's too bad.
Stephen King: At the moment I'm working on a biography of Benjamin Franklin. He was a fascinating man who discovered electricity, and used it to torture children and green mountain men. And that key he tied to a kite - it opened the gates to HELL.
Marge: Well, when you go back to horror will you let me know?
Stephen King: Will do.
[writes down a note: CALL MARGE RE: HORROR]
[/i]
The Real Powers That Be

Offline HotdogMcGoo

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 10:25:41 AM »
I used to really like Stephen King when I was younger.  But if you read enough of his books (I've read a whole lot) you start to see a trend in the storylines where they all play out pretty much the same way.  Some of his earlier works don't fit into this trend, but now I feel as though he writes what  I've taken to calling "pop horror".  Quick, simple stuff just to sell a bunch and make the $$$.

I also really think he was a better writer earlier in his career (perhaps the drugs had a lot to do with this, I didn't know about that either).  The first 4 books of the Dark Towers are better than the last three in my opinion, with the fourth being one of my absolute favorite books.  I actually really liked his ending to the series.  What else could he have done?  You're not going to please everyone and I like the way it left off.

Desperation seems to have been a lot more popular but I actually liked the Regulators better.  It's a strange, interesting novel.  It's also written as Richard Bachman, a surname King used (has used more than once?  I don't know).

Offline pornokitsch

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 02:17:18 PM »
I'm a big King fan, but acknowledge he's had some ups and downs.

From the pure fantasy aspect, The Eyes of the Dragon is actually a really good, character-driven low fantasy novel...

Offline Lyz

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 04:19:26 PM »
I'm a big King fan, but acknowledge he's had some ups and downs.

From the pure fantasy aspect, The Eyes of the Dragon is actually a really good, character-driven low fantasy novel...

The Eyes of the Dragon is, hands down, one of my all-time favorite novels. I remember the first time I read it (I think I was like... 12?), I wrote Mr. King a letter and told him I was super mad about the ending. I hate stories that end with the, "And that's another story, for another time" line.

I've read a few of his other books; I really enjoyed Rose Madder and Gerald's Game, but neither of those are even close to fantasy.

I love his son's writing, as well. I've only read two of his books (Heart Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts, but they were both really good.
Elizabeth Mace Giosia. Call me Lyz. 29. Leo. Fantasy Faction Staff Member, Reviews. Owner of Giosia Photography and Stoneheart Cosplay

Need a review for your novel? Email me at emgiosia@gmail.com!

Offline ashleyjbarnard

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 05:16:32 PM »

I know it isn't fantasy but read Misery and you'll see why he became so famous. That book is amazing, the first novel of his I ever read.
[/quote]

Have you agree with you on Misery. I just re-read it about six months ago, and was blown away by how good the writing is. I really haven't liked much of King after "It" (which I also loved). The Shining and Carrie I also love. Loved the first half of the Stand, but then started to lose interest as soon as his villian came into focus. He couldn't hold the tension after that. Don't throw tomatoes at me, but I never could read past the first few pages of the Dark Tower series. There was no finesse to the writing style.

Tommyknockers was indeed odd, but I thought he did a great job with the male lead whose name I can't remember...I keep thinking of him ranting about nuclear plants everytime I read about Japan.

I love On Writing. I've used his query letter model and had excellent luck with it.
Ashley J. Barnard

Offline ashleyjbarnard

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 05:19:26 PM »
[[/quote]

I love his son's writing, as well. I've only read two of his books (Heart Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts, but they were both really good.
[/quote]

I loved 20th Century Ghosts, one of my favorites. But I didn't enjoy Heart Shaped Box or Horns. And Shia LeBoeuf in Horns???
Ashley J. Barnard

Offline Shamrock

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 06:49:03 PM »
I only discovered Joe Hill last year, and read Heart-shaped Box this year. I really enjoyed it though. Thanks for some of your mentions though I love Stephen King so your recommendations will go onto my to-read list. :)
Don't throw tomatoes at me, but I never could read past the first few pages of the Dark Tower series. There was no finesse to the writing style.
Don't worry The Gunslinger sat on my shelf for a long time before I picked it up. It's an amazing and addictive series.
Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind

Offline Sanna

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 10:21:00 PM »
I managed to spill soup all over On Writing, before anyone had had a chance to read it. Still, it's got an interesting yellow colour to it now...

I always enjoy reading the first three quarters of a Stephen King book, but have a feeling of impending doom when it gets to the endings. My experience has been that they tend to be dreadful. I switch opinions regularly on whether I want to put myself through another book or not.
I liked the Sky adaptation of Carrie a few years back.
Blog --> Short stories based in Tefr RPG. See the Work to be critiqued section for samples.

Offline pornokitsch

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2011, 09:36:26 AM »
I totally agree with the majority above - his endings are always a game of dreadful roulette. I'm trying to think of the ones that weren't horribly let down by supernatural fluffery at the end.... The Dead Zone, Eyes of the Dragon, The Long Walk, The Shining (?), Salem's Lot, Rage... uh... The Running Man?, Under the Dome...

Ones that were absolutely let down by terrible endings: Insomnia, The Stand, Firestarter, Needful Things (WORST ENDING EVER)...

His short stories are almost always worth the effort though. And I do really respect and enjoy his work... I just wish I didn't have a feeling of dread every time I approached the conclusion. (Dread unrelated to the story)

Offline HotdogMcGoo

Re: Stephen King
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2011, 12:28:51 PM »
Speaking of his short stories The Mist (that's the name of the movie at least, I can't remember if that was also exactly what the short story was called) was very cool.

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