Stephen King - literature or not?

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Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  ISN on Tue May 24, 2011 12:07 am

I had one of those awful foot-in-mouth moments on the drive home with Clinton (I don't fancy him anymore)

I said Stephen King is supposed to be crap

and that I started reading 'On Writing' but thought it was crap......

he said it's one of his favourite books.....

and how could I judge Stephen King when I hadn't read him

I asked him to tell me what about Stephen King made him good literature or literary

and he went on about characterisation etc

but didn't really say anything that convinced me that he writes literature.....or good literature

he said he was the same about the Twilight author - he thinks she's crap even though he hasn't read her books.....

I'm pretty sure Stephen King is crap......

I read his wiki page.....

what does anyone else think?

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Nah Ville Sky Chick on Tue May 24, 2011 12:18 am

Well, I wouldn't call it literature. He's probably a bit like Geoffrey Archer, a good storyteller. Although, I don't like either of them. pig

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  ISN on Tue May 24, 2011 12:27 am

that's what I said - like the guy who wrote those legal books or Tom Clancy or Dan Brown

I won't be reading him anytime soon because I don't like horror.....but what I read of On Writing convinced me he's crap.......

Clinton ain't that smart......

(not that I am)

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  eddie on Tue May 24, 2011 12:28 am

^

Agree with Nash, really.

Effective enough genre writer.

Wouldn't knock him, but wouldn't make any great claims for him either.

Now James Herbert, that's another matter...

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Doc Watson on Tue May 24, 2011 12:41 am

He tells a very good story which is probably his best skill. He feels that he has not been given the respect he feels he should have by the establishment , which may explain what he regards as his major work the Dark Tower series. I have stuggled to get to book 4 of that series. Even though it sold veery well when I was involved in the book trade.
I was given "On Writing " as a reading copy and thought it was a good attempt to explain how he wrote . I know not everyone agrees with that.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  ISN on Tue May 24, 2011 2:24 am

I asked Clinton what was so good about 'On Writing'

he said that King had advised people to read and write as much as they could......like 4-6 hours a day.....

he said that the book was a bit autobiographical and the rest was 'on writing'.......

I thought it was a pathetic book......and didn't finish it......

I asked Clinton if King had given any advice on the technical side of writing......

he said something about not using too many adjectives.....

Clinton didn't know what I meant by 'good prose'......

he said that King is not poetical in any way.....heheheh.....really? Shocked

I asked him to compare Dostoyevsky and Kafka - books by both that he had enjoyed recently - to King......

and he said that would be silly (not a direct quote)

I really couldn't get any description from Clinton to show me King's literary merits.....

I'm not really sure whether that's King's fault or Clinton's.......but I'm pretty sure King has no literary merits......even though Clinton attempted to show them.......and failed

that said, I took from the discussion a reinforcement of the idea that you ought to write.....as much as you can......as per King's advice.....

I am writing (haphazardly to start with) about 1,000 words a night since I entered that writing competition......although the first week didn't get off to a great start........I wrote a thousand tonight.....

I'm pretty sure if I keep at it.....hehehe.....something will take shape.......


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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Dick Fitzwell on Tue May 24, 2011 5:14 am

I've actually heard he's pretty good. I haven't read anything by him but I want to read The Stand or maybe the Dark Tower series.

I'm friends with a kid on facebook that has read everything he's ever written, apparently.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  tigerlily on Tue May 24, 2011 5:40 am

The Stand is one of my all time favorite books.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Doc Watson on Tue May 24, 2011 11:13 am

tigerlily wrote:The Stand is one of my all time favorite books.
I enjoyed that book very much.
A lot of his books have the same theme , the battle between good and evil.
While I like him and he is a good relaxing , beach or aeroplane read .
I do not think his works can be rgarded as literature.
A good well written story does notmerely become literature because of that.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  tigerlily on Tue May 24, 2011 9:31 pm

Doc Watson wrote:
tigerlily wrote:The Stand is one of my all time favorite books.
I enjoyed that book very much.

Did you happen to see the TV mini series made from the book? I imagine it is out on dvd now. It is quite long, like 8 hours, and ran for a week years ago. I had already read it when i finally saw it (on videotape) and they did a good job of sticking to the book since they had more than an hour or two to get everything in.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Doc Watson on Wed May 25, 2011 12:00 am

tigerlily wrote:
Doc Watson wrote:
tigerlily wrote:The Stand is one of my all time favorite books.
I enjoyed that book very much.

Did you happen to see the TV mini series made from the book? I imagine it is out on dvd now. It is quite long, like 8 hours, and ran for a week years ago. I had already read it when i finally saw it (on videotape) and they did a good job of sticking to the book since they had more than an hour or two to get everything in.
yes , it was a long time ago , but I liked that too. I read the book again after that.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Dick Fitzwell on Wed May 25, 2011 2:06 am

Lord Peter Wimsey wrote:I asked Clinton what was so good about 'On Writing'

he said that King had advised people to read and write as much as they could......like 4-6 hours a day.....

he said that the book was a bit autobiographical and the rest was 'on writing'.......

I thought it was a pathetic book......and didn't finish it......

I asked Clinton if King had given any advice on the technical side of writing......

he said something about not using too many adjectives.....

Clinton didn't know what I meant by 'good prose'......

he said that King is not poetical in any way.....heheheh.....really? Shocked

I asked him to compare Dostoyevsky and Kafka - books by both that he had enjoyed recently - to King......

and he said that would be silly (not a direct quote)

I really couldn't get any description from Clinton to show me King's literary merits.....

I'm not really sure whether that's King's fault or Clinton's.......but I'm pretty sure King has no literary merits......even though Clinton attempted to show them.......and failed

that said, I took from the discussion a reinforcement of the idea that you ought to write.....as much as you can......as per King's advice.....

I am writing (haphazardly to start with) about 1,000 words a night since I entered that writing competition......although the first week didn't get off to a great start........I wrote a thousand tonight.....

I'm pretty sure if I keep at it.....hehehe.....something will take shape.......

So, Clinton (whoever the fuck that is) couldn't give any reasons why "On Writing" was good, but you haven't given any for why it's bad. So let's hear it. Let's hear some real reasons why Stephen King is crap, not something based on his wikipedia article.

Doc Watson wrote:
tigerlily wrote:The Stand is one of my all time favorite books.
I enjoyed that book very much.
A lot of his books have the same theme , the battle between good and evil.
While I like him and he is a good relaxing , beach or aeroplane read .
I do not think his works can be rgarded as literature.
A good well written story does notmerely become literature because of that.

Then what does it become? Literature is just art where the written (or printed, or electronic) word is the medium. It's not some high title that needs to be attained, any more than "music" is. Shitty music is still music, nobody would ever try to say otherwise. Why is that different here? What else would you even call it if it's not literature? There isn't any other word... literature is the word.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Dick Fitzwell on Wed May 25, 2011 4:00 am

Yeah, but I would never say that a photograph wasn't photography.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Doc Watson on Wed May 25, 2011 9:35 am

Paladin wrote:
Lord Peter Wimsey wrote:I asked Clinton what was so good about 'On Writing'

he said that King had advised people to read and write as much as they could......like 4-6 hours a day.....

he said that the book was a bit autobiographical and the rest was 'on writing'.......

I thought it was a pathetic book......and didn't finish it......

I asked Clinton if King had given any advice on the technical side of writing......

he said something about not using too many adjectives.....

Clinton didn't know what I meant by 'good prose'......

he said that King is not poetical in any way.....heheheh.....really? Shocked

I asked him to compare Dostoyevsky and Kafka - books by both that he had enjoyed recently - to King......

and he said that would be silly (not a direct quote)

I really couldn't get any description from Clinton to show me King's literary merits.....

I'm not really sure whether that's King's fault or Clinton's.......but I'm pretty sure King has no literary merits......even though Clinton attempted to show them.......and failed

that said, I took from the discussion a reinforcement of the idea that you ought to write.....as much as you can......as per King's advice.....

I am writing (haphazardly to start with) about 1,000 words a night since I entered that writing competition......although the first week didn't get off to a great start........I wrote a thousand tonight.....

I'm pretty sure if I keep at it.....hehehe.....something will take shape.......

So, Clinton (whoever the fuck that is) couldn't give any reasons why "On Writing" was good, but you haven't given any for why it's bad. So let's hear it. Let's hear some real reasons why Stephen King is crap, not something based on his wikipedia article.

Doc Watson wrote:
tigerlily wrote:The Stand is one of my all time favorite books.
I enjoyed that book very much.
A lot of his books have the same theme , the battle between good and evil.
While I like him and he is a good relaxing , beach or aeroplane read .
I do not think his works can be rgarded as literature.
A good well written story does notmerely become literature because of that.

Then what does it become? Literature is just art where the written (or printed, or electronic) word is the medium. It's not some high title that needs to be attained, any more than "music" is. Shitty music is still music, nobody would ever try to say otherwise. Why is that different here? What else would you even call it if it's not literature? There isn't any other word... literature is the word.
Ok not great literature then Very Happy

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Gigi on Wed May 25, 2011 12:49 pm

I read a lot ...well several books by S. King when I was in my twenties. (Am 56 now.) Enjoyed them for what they were..."pulp fiction"...kind of junk food for the mind. I think I learn something from almost everything I read. I admire people who can write. I think it takes a certain ammount of skill or talent to write almost anything. Even short newspaper articles...not everyone can do that.If you read msg boards, you will find that many people can barely string two sentences together Embarassed maybe I'm one of them. I think it all depends on what you're in the mood for. My best friend won't read anything that she considers "pulp fiction." My standards are not as high. I'm just now trying to catch up on some of the "literature" that I probably should have read by now. So many books...so little time. Then there's the vast wasteland of the internet albino Not to mention crap tv....what's a well intentioned...lazy person to do.
I would just like to make the point that even most "crap" writers, are far more talented than most of the rest of us.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  eddie on Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:34 pm

Stephen King returns to the Dark Tower

Hodder & Stoughton is set to publish King's new novel in the Dark Tower series, The Wind Through the Keyhole, next spring

Alison Flood guardian.co.uk, Thursday 16 June 2011 15.09 BST


Dark Tower of strength ... Stephen King's new novel, The Wind Through the Keyhole, will be published next spring. Photograph: Stewart Cook/Rex Features

Horror author Stephen King is set to return to the world of his bestselling fantasy series, the Dark Tower books, in a new novel out next year.

Just acquired by UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton, The Wind Through the Keyhole is set between the fourth and fifth books in the Dark Tower series, and addresses the "hole in the narrative progression", as King himself put it, between "what happened to Roland, Jake, Eddie, Susannah, and Oy [when] they leave the Emerald City (the end of Wizard and Glass) and the time we pick them up again, on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis (the beginning of Wolves of the Calla)".

Hodder will publish the novel, which King said was shorter than the 700-plus paged final books in the series, but "quite a bit longer" than the 300- paged first volume, next spring. His UK editor, Philippa Pride, said it would be a "wonderful reunion" for current fans of the series, while "for readers who have yet to embark, it is a delightful way into the series as the novel stands perfectly alone – a story within a story – and features both the older Roland and the younger".

King revealed that he started thinking – "and dreaming" – about Mid-World, where the books are set, while he was "worrying over the copyedited manuscript" of his next book 11/22/63, which involves time travel and JFK.

"There was a storm, I decided. One of sudden and vicious intensity. The kind to which billy-bumblers like Oy are particularly susceptible. Little by little, a story began to take shape," he said. "I saw a line of riders, one of them Roland's old mate, Jamie DeCurry, emerging from clouds of alkali dust thrown by a high wind. I saw a severed head on a fencepost. I saw a swamp full of dangers and terrors. I saw just enough to want to see the rest. Long story short, I went back to visit an-tet with my friends for a while. The result is a novel called The Wind Through the Keyhole ... Call this one DT-4.5. It's not going to change anybody's life, but God, I had fun."

King's agent, Chuck Verill, said the book was "fabulous, and should be wholly satisfying to both Dark Tower cognoscenti and newcomers who are bound to be drawn in".

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Doc Watson on Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:57 pm

Maybe it is just me , but I have found this series very difficult to read . I have got to arounf book 4 a couple of times then sort of stopped.
It has been a huge seller as a series , but it is a Stephen King series I have struggled with.
I am going on a holiday soomn . I may try and start again !

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  eddie on Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:43 pm

11.22.63 by Stephen King - review

Going back in time proves a step forward for a master storyteller

Mark Lawson
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 2 November 2011 09.00 GMT


JFK and Jackie Kennedy arrive at Love Field in Dallas, November 1963. Photograph: AP

People are commonly said to remember their location when told of President John F Kennedy's assassination, but many must also wish the place they had been on 22 November 1963 was Dallas, where they might somehow have diverted the motorcade or prevented Lee Harvey Oswald from entering the Texas School Book Depository. The possibility of such an intervention must number, along with its darker twin of going back and killing Hitler, among the principal fantasies of time travel, and is explored in the 54th work of fiction by Stephen King.


11.22.63
by Stephen King

In 11.22.63, Jake Epping, a schoolteacher in Maine (a childhood reference point as recurrent in King's fiction as New Jersey in Philip Roth's), is summoned by the owner of Al's Diner, a local eaterie that has become popular but also suspect as a result of being able to sell, in 2011, burgers at near-1950s prices. The restaurateur, now mortally ill, has found a portal in his pantry that leads to a particular day in 1958, where the time-traveller can begin a stay lasting months or even potentially years, always returning two minutes later. Cancer has interrupted Al during a five-year mission to prevent the event that he believes to have misdirected American history: JFK's death. With the moral arm-lock of a dying man, Al passes on the task to Jake.

Time machines that travel backwards invite a writer towards period detail and nostalgia, and it is striking that King's device defaults to a year in which he would have been an 11-year-old schoolboy in Maine. Jake, who adopts the cover identity of real estate salesman George Amberson when he goes back, luxuriates in the unadulterated root beers and chocolate pies of an era before fast food.

"I wanted to see the USA in my Chevrolet," he sentimentally declares on the brink of one trip. "America was calling me." And, though the "temporal bedouin" from 2011 sometimes struggles with the lingo (what he calls a "motel" is a "Motor Court" there), the flashback America is largely a better one. Back in these days, baseball is played "as it was meant to be played" and Jake/George finds the prices astonishingly low except, interestingly, oranges and long-distance phone calls, both exotic luxuries at the time. Less heart-warmingly, a cancerous miasma of cigarette smoke clouds every 1958 scene and racism is standard.

The only sustained criticism of King, apart from the howls of some incurable literary snobs, has been his books' alternative use as weight-lifter's training aids and there are moments, early in this 700-page work, when we may wonder if the mission couldn't have begun in, say, 1962. But King has an advanced understanding of narrative structure and it's soon clear that his protagonist needs first to undertake a trial mission to establish the rules of intrusion. Running under the book is the question of whether we would have the moral right to dam the river of time, a dilemma explored through a fictional Hitler-like president in King's The Dead Zone (1979).

A novel about thwarting Lee Harvey Oswald is crucially different from one about killing Hitler because many readers will question whether the hero is going after the right man. Jake/George regularly frets that, even if he changes the shape of Oswald's day on 11.22.63, he may discover that the conspiracy theorists were right and JFK is taken out by another gunman from the grassy knoll or elsewhere.

This nagging doubt about the security of the history being altered is beautifully used by King, who also cleverly exploits a major fascination of time-travel or counter-history stories: the historical adjustments that result from meddling. While the latter parts of the novel deserve heavy protection against plot-spoiling, it can be said that the racist Governor George Wallace, Paul McCartney and Hillary Clinton are among those whose Wikipedia entries are intriguingly re-edited.

In a thoughtful afterword – in which King suggests that he partly intends the novel as a warning against "the consequences of political extremism" in contemporary America – the writer reveals that he first tried to write this book in 1972 but felt too close to the raw pain of the assassination. So this book makes, with the monumental Under the Dome (2009), the second recent case in which King has gone back in time to complete a project that previously eluded him.

With some senior writers, the dusting out of bottom drawers indicates creative stasis. But King, whose writing life represents among other things a model of canny career management, has waited until the right time for these novels. In these books, the reader feels the benefit of 40 years of narrative craftsmanship and reflection on his nation's history. Going backwards proves to be another step forward for the most remarkable storyteller in modern American literature.

Mark Lawson's Enough Is Enough is published by Picador.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  eddie on Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:48 pm

Stephen King to donate $70,000 to heat Maine homes

Horror writer Stephen King steps in to help neighbours hit by federal energy assistance cuts

Alison Flood
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 10 November 2011 11.25 GMT


Stephen King is looking to help the residents of Bangor, Maine this winter Photograph: James Leynse/ James Leynse/Corbis

Horror novelist Stephen King is donating up to $70,000 to help keep residents of Maine warm this winter.

The author, who lives in the Maine town of Bangor for part of each year, announced plans to work with the local radio stations he owns to raise up to $140,000 for fuel assistance for low-income residents, following cuts to the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

"We'll match up to $70,000 of the amount raised," King told local paper the Bangor Daily News. "This economy is terrible and Tabitha and I both worry so much about Bangor because it truly is a working-class town and we are always looking for ways to help, and right now this is a great need."

According to the Bangor Daily News, funds for Maine's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program are set to fall to $23m this winter from $56m last year. Help from the government is decreasing as people's need is increasing, said King, "and on top of it the price of fuel continues to rise. The cost goes up, the need goes up and the assistance goes down. That's the bottom line. That's what is happening."

"We are chipping in, but we know that it is increasingly difficult for some people to chip in. Can we raise the whole amount? I don't know, but we'll do what we can," said King. "We don't forget how cold it is in Maine in the winter."

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  eddie on Wed May 02, 2012 4:08 am

Stephen King: I'm rich, tax me

In an expletive-filled condemnation of America's tax system, the bestselling novelist, who donates $4m a year to charity, says wealthy Americans have a 'moral imperative' to pay higher taxes

Alison Flood

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 1 May 2012 12.41 BST


'Baby rich' … Stephen King. Photograph: Stewart Cook / Rex Features

Bestselling novelist Stephen King, who gives away $4m (£2.5m) a year in charitable donations, has issued an expletive-filled call to America to increase the rate of tax paid by the country's rich.

King himself currently pays taxes of around 28% on his income, and at a recent rally in Florida wondered publicly why he was not paying a higher rate of 50%. You're unhappy about it? "Cut a check and shut up," was the response from his listeners, the author writes in a piece for The Daily Beast entitled Tax Me, for F@%&'s Sake! "If you want to pay more, pay more, they said. Tired of hearing about it, they said. Tough shit for you guys, because I'm not tired of talking about it. I've known rich people, and why not, since I'm one of them? The majority would rather douse their dicks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing 'Disco Inferno' than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar."

Some of America's rich do donate part of their tax savings, King acknowledged; he himself gives $4m "to libraries, local fire departments that need updated lifesaving equipment (Jaws of Life tools are always a popular request), schools, and a scattering of organisations that underwrite the arts". But, calling himself only "'baby rich' compared with some of these guys, who float serenely over the lives of the struggling middle class like blimps made of thousand-dollar bills", the novelist says this "doesn't go far enough [because] charity from the rich can't fix global warming or lower the price of gasoline by one single red penny".

America's national responsibilities, such as education and health care, cannot be taken on by the "charitable one per centers", writes King. "That annoying responsibility stuff comes from three words that are anathema to the Tea Partiers: United American citizenry," he says. "And hey, why don't we get real about this? Most rich folks paying 28% do not give out another 28% of their income to charity. Most rich folks like to keep their dough."

But despite this the rich, he believes, are "hallowed" in America. "Don't ask me why; I don't get it either, since most rich people are as boring as old, dead dog shit," writes King. "I guess some of this mad right-wing love comes from the idea that in America, anyone can become a Rich Guy if he just works hard and saves his pennies. Mitt Romney has said, in effect, 'I'm rich and I don't apologise for it.' Nobody wants you to, Mitt. What some of us want – those who aren't blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money – is for you to acknowledge that you couldn't have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it's not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It's un-fucking-American is what it is."

King says it is a "practical necessity and a moral imperative" that "those who have received much must be obligated to pay ... in the same proportion", or the "first real ripples of discontent" seen in the Occupy protests "will just be the beginning".

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  eddie on Sun May 27, 2012 3:01 pm

Rereading Stephen King: week one – Carrie

James Smythe has read everything Stephen King has ever written – and now he's revisiting each novel in chronological order. First: a young girl with some dangerous powers

James Smythe

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 24 May 2012 13.02 BST


Statement of intent ... Sissy Spacek as Carrie in the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King's first published novel. Photograph: Snap/Rex Features

Carrie is Stephen King's first novel. A large part of its fame comes from the fact that it was actually the fourth novel he wrote and submitted to publishers – a story that people love to tell when discussing the roads to publication of big-name authors. "Did you know King wrote three books before he was accepted?" goes the common confidence-boosting phrase. And, nearly as famously, he actually threw his only draft of it away at one point, until his wife convinced him to rescue it from the rubbish. The rest is, as they nearly say, a 70ish-strong publication history. (The first three books King wrote, incidentally, were Rage, The Long Walk and Blaze, all of which found publication in later years, and all of which will be covered soon enough.)


Carrie
by Stephen King

Carrie ended up being quite a zeitgeisty novel: published in the same rough timeframe as Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, and when cinemas were showing Don't Look Now and The Wicker Man. The public were beginning to fall in love with the weirder, more human side of the paranormal – moving away from ghosts and hauntings, which used to preoccupy horror fiction.

The book itself is the story of Carrie White, a high-school student with latent – and then, as the novel progresses, developing – telekinetic powers. It's brutal in places, affecting in others (Carrie's relationship with her almost hysterically religious mother being a particularly damaged one), and gory in even more. By the end of the novel, there's a pretty impressive body count, and it's a body count you don't necessarily see coming given the general tone of the novel. Or, bluntly, given the character of Carrie herself.

Structurally it's a really weird one, with a standard Kingian third-person narrative voice interspersed with extracts from other media: newspaper reports, autobiographies of characters, transcripts of police interviews, that sort of thing. It's not a structure that entirely works, as the extracts are still slightly too close to King's standard narrative voice, and are often the worst (read: slowest) parts of the novel. While still reeling from the excitement of some of the third-person sections – particularly the classic prom scene – being dragged somewhere else entirely and presented with an often less-interesting viewpoint isn't always ideal. (In particular, there's a series of extracts from Susan Snell's fake biography; none are very interesting. Apart from anything else, they don't read like biography: they read like monologues.)

But, it's a really good story. Carrie herself is a fascinating character: an archetype (the damaged girl with powers beyond her sphere) to which King would return later in his career, and the book drags the reader along at a fair-old whack. King himself has described the novel as being "a cookie baked by a first grader – tasty enough, but kind of lumpy and burned on the bottom". And that's a pretty fair assessment, I'd say. As a debut novel, it's a fairly good piece of juvenilia. As a statement of intent – that intent being to write stories that deal with the weird, twisted and human in equal measure – it's exceptional.

Kingisms

In every review, I'm going to look at the tropes and common stylistic touches that appear in King's novels. Carrie's obviously interesting as it was the first, and it throws up a few ideas he would repeat throughout his career. The big one in Carrie is the internal monologue. King has a habit

(habit? habits are formed, this is something innate)

of indenting brackets or dropping the italicised thoughts of his characters into his third-person narratives. (See what I did there?) It's an easy way to bypass "She thought", and actually pretty elegant. In Carrie, it's a stylistic device that's still new to him, and whereas he now uses it sparingly, here, it's everywhere. By the end of the novel, some pages are almost more internal monologue than not.

Carrie is also a relative tone-setter of a novel: the narrative is distinctly King's, covering themes he would revisit again, and to greater effect; and some of the dialogue – particularly in Carrie's conversations with her mother – is delivered in voices he would also return to in later novels (Misery, the Dark Tower series, Dolores Claiborne).

Flagg-raising

One last thing. King has a character who has officially appeared in nine novels: Randall Flagg (aka Walter O'Dim, the Dark Man, the Man in Black, the Walkin' Dude). He's not a nice chap, and I'll take a much closer look at him in later novels – starting, if memory serves, with 1978's The Stand. But there are plenty of arguments to be made for his appearance in other King texts, and Carrie is no different.

Carrie's mother, in her religious fervour, frequently refers to – either directly, or through Carrie's prior indoctrination – "the black man … his cloven feet striking red sparks from the cement". Now, while it's meant to be the devil in this instance – or, rather, a more direct suggestion of the devil than Randall Flagg's usual appearances – that particular being is never mentioned by name. And "the black man" is awfully close to the Man in Black and the Dark Man, I'd say …

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Guest on Sun May 27, 2012 3:24 pm

I think the economy of words and the impact of those well-chosen words King uses in "The Shawshank redemption" is at least equal to hemingway at his best. Hemingway is considered 'literature' so...

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:46 pm

King didn't like Kubrick's SHINING because King meant SHINING to be a metaphor for how alcoholism diminishes one's capacity to be decent family man.  Kubrick used SHINING as an exploration of typography, Cagney-style acting, wide-angle lenses, Scatman Crothers lighting strategies, and plush, furry animal-suit fetishes.  So King decided to make the REAL SHINING movie and naturally, in the Nicholson role he cast Stephen Weber from the popular NBC-TV sitcom 'Wings' by yuk-veterans Casey, Lee, and Angell.  This marked the deepest King involvement on a motion picture, televisual or otherwise, since MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, wherein EMILIO ESTEVEZ must do battle with sentient 18-wheeler trucks and satanic automatic teller machines which is all set to an original hard rok score by AC/DC that made it to 4 on Australian charts, 33 on USA charts, and 11 on UK charts.

On season 3 of ABC-TV's LOST, we learn of the idyllic village of the seemingly sinister The Others and episode 1 opens with a book club meeting of The Others.  Actually, the episode begins with Juliette burning herself while baking muffins for the book club.  Julliette selects menstruation-thriller novel CARRIE to be read by the book club, and one of the guests says that King is a shit author.  Bemused Juliette replies that Carrie is her favorite book of all time.


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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:39 pm

That's one way to look at it.

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

Post  Yakima Canutt on Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:03 am

Remember that King tale about the apocalyptic prison game show featuring a rabid corn-fueled clairvoyant Plymouth Fury empowered by the Indian burial ground that kidnaps orphans and delivers them to pyromaniac bible enthusiasts who force clowns to write fiction about dogs losing weight with gypsies?

The Rock Bottom Remainders is a rock and roll band consisting of published writers, most of them both amateur musicians and popular English-language book, magazine, and newspaper authors. The band took its self-mocking name from the publishing term 'remaindered book' ... a work of which the unsold remainder of the publisher's stock of copies is sold at a reduced price.

The band members include Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Maya Angelou, Cynthia Heimel, Sam Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Joel Selvin, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Fulghum, Matt Groening, Tad Bartimus, Greg Iles, as well as professional musicians Josh Kelly on drums, and Erasmo Paulo on saxophone. "Published author" Al 'Super' Kooper also was a member for some time.

The Remainders was founded by now dead Kathi Kamen Goldmark in 1992. Kathi was then a musician whose day job was in book publicity. Through this, she met many prolific authors. So a band was formed. The Remainders' first performance was in 1992 at the American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim, California. A review of the concert, appearing in The Washington Post, claimed it was "the most heavily promoted musical debut since The Monkees."

"Your band's not too bad. It's not too good either. Don't let it get any better, otherwise you'll just be another lousy band." -Bruce 'Bossy Earnestness' Springsteen

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Re: Stephen King - literature or not?

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