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Stephen King

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Showing 1-25 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 3, 2009 6:52:18 PM PDT
My friend and I always argue over whether or not Stephen King is a real author or not. I'm a big fan of him, Chuck Palahniuk, Charles Bukowski, and I just finished reading How to Kill an 8th Grade Teacher by Wolf Redboy which was f'ing AMAZING.
But then he said just because these are contemporary authors, that they are not as good as the classical ones. I thought that this was freaking arrogant - just because something is popular doesn't mean it isn't as good.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 1:04:51 PM PDT
J. Hofmann says:
Of course he's a real author. IS he a good author? He has his strengths and weaknesses. My basic problem with King is that his basic story layout is always the same: 1) an artistic/creative type is having problems with his wife/child/mother/self; 2) this coincides with the rise of some evil thing/vampire/ghost/zombie invasion/etc.; 3) a mentally challenged/senile/oddball/smart child/ person is introduced; 4) a cadre of like-minded souls forms - there's usually some old defeated/alcholic/divorced/tired guy who is an image of the main character in the future, there's someone there for comic relief; there will be some young overly-talented young guy or girl. The cadre will travel to defeat the evil while the "mentally challenged" person will say cryptic things (which all eventually prove true) to help them.. There will be lots of bad dialogue and repartee. The evil thing will attack from several directions (usually doing something awful to the main character's loved ones) until there's an ultimate standoff in which it looks like all is lost but then the main character puts it all together; the young guy finds some unique way to attack the thing and the old guy sacrifices himself for everyone else.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2009 9:11:23 AM PST
ROFL. Damn, that was a great layout! And I LOVE Stephen King. :)

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 12:06:18 PM PST
S. Tiouti says:
Read the Dark Tower series if you want to know if he's a "real" or "serious" author. The Talisman as well and The Black House with Straub. Stephen King does have some shortcomings with plot and writing and some books do seem slick but overall the story lines and fights between good and evil are compelling reads. Your analysis "1) an artistic/creative type is having problems with his wife/child/mother/self; 2) this coincides with the rise of some evil thing/vampire/ghost/zombie invasion/etc.; 3) a mentally challenged/senile/oddball/smart child/ person is introduced; 4) a cadre of like-minded souls forms" might be the basis of some of his works but not all, especially not the Tower series.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2009 6:01:43 PM PST
J. Hofmann says:
True - Dark Tower is a fantasy series, though, and the other books were co-authored by someone else. There is another archetype of King novels and that's the small town under siege in which the central question is asked - who are the real monsters - the humans or the "other" thing plaguing them. Yeah, looking forward to reading his new one.

As for your comment regarding the "fights between good and evil", I don't always like my "evil" so starkly drawn. I'm reading another book right now in which the principal villian is a total sociopath but is very lucky and so all his sociopathic decisions end up improving the common good and elevate him to kinghood and everyone around him thinks he's a god walking among us. His inner voice is funny since he constantly thinks the worst of everyone around him yet keeps on making the "good" decisions (I'm talking of Captain Pirate Kennit in the Robin Hobb Liveship series - perhaps one of the funniest villains I have read in a long, long while).

As a kid, I loved The Stand and have reread it once as an adult and it kind of held up - it was a sort of an epic version of my "analysis" (as you called it above).

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 6:20:37 PM PST
Stephen King is a wonderful writer who scares the bejesus out of me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2010 5:40:13 AM PST
Donna Cravey says:
S. Tiouti...ITA about The Dark Tower. Next to LOTR, it's my favorite series, and it is very different from much of SK's other work. King is my favorite author.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 1:13:02 PM PST
Margo W. says:
Stephen King is indeed a real author - I've had the privilege of meeting him. Would you believe he's also in a band with Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry? That's real too! I've loved his books for years, although many of his more recent novels have become cumbersome and make for tired reading. I prefer the older works which really scared me! I agree with Frodolass - the Dark Tower series rocks! It's also fun to take a break and read his childrens books...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2010 7:43:23 AM PST
Brooke Mayo says:
What a wonderful series!

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 1:30:26 PM PST
As to King's older vs newer books, I recently read Dumas Key and I loved it. It was written more like one of his older style novels, and his ability to make his characters "real" and locations colorful, held up beautifully. I don't read as much as I'd like to, and I have a couple older ones I haven't read yet, but I downloaded The Dome onto my Kindle, and I excited to start that.
Stephen King will always be my favorite "escape" reading.

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 9:20:02 AM PST
LOL loved your analysis J.Hofmann. Priceless!
i've been a 'constant reader' of King for more years than i care to admit, and he's obviously a favorite. EXCEPT for the Dark Tower series. started it 3 or 4 times, could never get halfway into the first book. weird. (me, not the books).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2010 9:12:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 20, 2010 9:13:34 PM PST
I would love to argue a "constant reader" of King. But frighteningly accurate. and for the one discussing the Dark Tower Series? Think still fits (and mind you, that is my favorite series of all time).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2010 3:54:07 PM PST
M. C. Devine says:
Fabulous! Thank you. That was refreshing.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2010 7:59:35 AM PDT
You know, I've read basically everything King has written-- *except* the Dark Tower series, which I could not stand. And of all the other works, the ones I liked the least were the more fantasy-oriented things he wrote with Straub. It's just a matter of tastes I guess.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2010 5:51:00 PM PDT
J. Galia says:
Start with the second book.....I had the same problem with the first book.....the second book is where the story really hits it's stride and hooks you. You will not regret it.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2010 12:23:06 AM PDT
Elizabeth says:
and amy tan I believe.

Posted on Sep 27, 2010 4:55:56 PM PDT
Kris says:
I love Stephen King when I am in the mood. He scares the crap out me.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2010 10:35:23 PM PDT
I think Mr. King is in good company. No doubt William Shakespeare was a "popular" writer in his day. While he wrote plays rather than novels he was still writing things that the general public enjoyed. And the "Classics" of literature were also written by popular writers if you think about it. How else do you explain that a book that may be several hundred years old is still in print and being read? While not everything that is popular when it's written lasts it's also true that everything that does last is popular with the reading public. If a book and/or author isn't popular neither will last. The author will stop writing books or the publishers will stop printing their books. Why try to publish something that no one will want to read?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2010 10:52:42 AM PDT
noisician says:
wow, i think i've only read one full length King novel, and that really describes it!

Posted on Oct 11, 2010 8:25:56 AM PDT
I joined the stephen king book club and currently own everything his ever published in hard back except the dark tower series it was never printed in hard back. Now I want to down load everything i can of his to my kindle. I will never be without one of his books no matter where i go.

Posted on Oct 13, 2010 8:39:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 13, 2010 8:46:14 AM PDT
Christina, I agree. Not only are stephen King's books enjoyable but I regard them as well-written. (He's written an excellent book on writing which is truly helpful for those of us trying to improve our craft. ) I do wish he would write short stories. I understand, however, that publishers are not especially keen on publishing collections of short stories. Hope he writes some short stories, though. I'd be thrilled to read them!!
Anyway, Christina--I hope you continue to read whatever you enjoy. Whether or not anyone else says the works you like are 'good' or not. I suggest critics of Stephen King try writing. It's not as easy as King makes it appear to be!
Dorothy--still in Oz!

Posted on Dec 2, 2010 8:13:07 PM PST
S. K. Foster says:
Not only is he a real person but he also acts in movies made from his books.

Posted on Dec 2, 2010 8:24:56 PM PST
LTC says:
I met him at an autograph session, in Los Angeles, for Firestarter. Was getting it as a gift for a friend but took a couple of his older books along. One was a first edition of Salem's Lot, which delighted him as apparently the cover was designed by his wife and he noted it had a double cover. I'd never noticed. Funny thing about him is how cherubic he looks and how darkly he writes. Very nice guy in person. Oh yeah, I gave the autographed Salem's Lot to a very good friend. He's real too. lol

Posted on Dec 26, 2010 3:49:08 PM PST
R. G. Confer says:
I am a reader of Stephen King from long ago (Salem's Lot, Carrie, The Shining, The Stand, It, etc.). I quit reading him right after the nonfiction book he did. What's some of the newer King stuff that is terrifying (like his old stuff was)? I would like to read some more of him but he's become so varied in his topics/style that I never know which ones to read. I am reading Dean Koontz "Intensity" right now and it's definitely got me on the edge of my seat. Loving the intensity of it all :) .

Posted on Jan 21, 2011 9:02:29 AM PST
Eirene says:
King is the King!
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Discussion in:  Kindle Freebie forum
Participants:  25
Total posts:  27
Initial post:  Jul 3, 2009
Latest post:  Mar 29, 2011

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