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(The Millions)   Everything I know about America I learned from Stephen King   (themillions.com) divider line 102
    More: Interesting, VHS tapes, New Balance, Reading Rainbow, color theory, Athenians, American dollars, skis, Salem's Lot  
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4116 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 21 Aug 2013 at 8:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



102 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-08-21 08:47:04 PM  
Whew!


Your blog is wordy.
 
2013-08-21 09:09:38 PM  
A lot fewer words could have said the same thing.  Different words entirely would have made it match the headline.
 
2013-08-21 09:20:39 PM  
Ladyfingers they taste like ladyfingers
 
2013-08-21 09:27:56 PM  
Seems he wanted to be a novelist like Stephen King and instead he became a blogger with too many words.  So sad.
 
2013-08-21 09:30:09 PM  
Gosh, I was hoping for a list.
 
2013-08-21 09:34:30 PM  
Stephen King = Dan Brown + boo! scared ya
 
2013-08-21 09:44:39 PM  
I actually enjoy academic analysis of pop culture and I simply couldn't finish this woman's essay.
 
2013-08-21 09:47:50 PM  
Ugh, i can just imagine someone from this generation crying because writers today don't write with the passion King did back in the GOOD OLD DAYS of the 80s.
 
2013-08-21 09:56:36 PM  
As a lifelong King reader, I hate to say his Fornits abandoned him sometime in the early 90's. He presented a very interesting narrative style in Dolores Claiborne, but the well has been pretty dry since. Two of his most abysmal works since have been Cell (of which King is desperately trying to sell a screenplay) and Under The Dome, which was somehow turned into a TV series. As in, multiple seasons being greened. For anyone who's actually read the terribly contrived story, and its terribly contrived ending, this makes zero sense. Either you find out who made the dome, or you don't care and stop watching, like rational people who realize King is a egotistic idiot who can no longer write an ending even if his life were at stake.
 
2013-08-21 09:57:53 PM  

stuhayes2010: Whew!

Your blog is wordy.

Sucks. Really, really hard.

God, that was pathetic. Lydia Whateveryournameis, for the love of all things holy, PLEASE find another way to make a living.
 
2013-08-21 10:02:47 PM  
the last king book I enjoyed was the tommyknockers. that was a long time ago, man

did I grow up and out of juvenilia or did king just turn to shiat once he gave up coke?
 
2013-08-21 10:06:49 PM  
Tee Ell Semicolon Dee Arr.
 
2013-08-21 10:10:23 PM  
Wow, what a horrible, pathetic mess, did we really need to read about her entire life?

King was great at capturing Americana during certain decades, and some of his stuff is brilliant.  But not everything a person can write is golden.

Nothing worse than an expat hipster.   And she so deserves the name Lydia.

cmes.berkeley.edu
 
2013-08-21 10:20:46 PM  
I quit his fiction after Gerald's Game.  Either I'd changed or he'd changed, but remember coming away from it with the first definite impression that he was written out and just going through the motions at the behest of publishers.  A bit sad really, but natural.  On Writing was enjoyable though.  They should team him up with Frank Miller to script the next goddamn Batman movie in rural Maine with vampires.

/Lydia respect to your vocab but that was a bit of a slog
 
2013-08-21 10:23:22 PM  

frestcrallen: I quit his fiction after Gerald's Game.  Either I'd changed or he'd changed, but remember coming away from it with the first definite impression that he was written out and just going through the motions at the behest of publishers.  A bit sad really, but natural.  On Writing was enjoyable though.  They should team him up with Frank Miller to script the next goddamn Batman movie in rural Maine with vampires.

/Lydia respect to your vocab but that was a bit of a slog


Geralds Game was like a harlequin romance mixed with an italian horror flick.  Awful.
 
2013-08-21 10:28:05 PM  

Omahawg: the last king book I enjoyed was the tommyknockers.


Really? There was about 200 pages of good story wrap in about 500 pages of crap. It's the one book of his I refuse to reread.

As to his newer works, From a Buick 8 is a pretty good old school King book. Lisey's Story is a fairly sweet book, not his best, but I like it. Duma Key, I thought, was one of his better works. I LOVE Full Dark, No Stars. Even Under the Dome was great, until the last, oh...50 or so pages.
 
2013-08-21 10:34:49 PM  
I was a huge King fan and read everything he shat out for years-n-years but after the back-to-back-to-back trifarkya of "Gerald's Game", "Dolores Claiborne", and "Rose Madder" I threw in the towel.  I'll just reread "The Stand", kthxbye.
 
2013-08-21 10:37:07 PM  

Omahawg: the last king book I enjoyed was the tommyknockers. that was a long time ago, man

did I grow up and out of juvenilia or did king just turn to shiat once he gave up coke?


Bang! But give On Writing (non-fiction) a shot as well as Full Dark, No Stars (4 novellas). The best he's done since he got clean IMO
 
2013-08-21 10:39:36 PM  
I liked the Dark Tower series except for the part where King wrote himself into the story....there....I said it.
 
2013-08-21 10:42:53 PM  
I liked Stephen King before he started getting paid by the word

/and boy, did he get wordy
//and paid
///never piss off a '57 Fury
 
2013-08-21 10:48:18 PM  

Fano: Ladyfingers they taste like ladyfingers

"Longer than you think, Dad! Longer than you think!"

/Then you claw out your eyes.
 
2013-08-21 10:49:19 PM  

A Terrible Human: Fano: Ladyfingers they taste like ladyfingers

"Longer than you think, Dad! Longer than you think!"
/Then you claw out your eyes.


He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.
 
2013-08-21 11:06:59 PM  
I want to bury that woman's cat and give it back to her.
 
2013-08-21 11:10:12 PM  

Funbags: As a lifelong King reader, I hate to say his Fornits abandoned him sometime in the early 90's. He presented a very interesting narrative style in Dolores Claiborne, but the well has been pretty dry since. Two of his most abysmal works since have been Cell (of which King is desperately trying to sell a screenplay) and Under The Dome, which was somehow turned into a TV series. As in, multiple seasons being greened. For anyone who's actually read the terribly contrived story, and its terribly contrived ending, this makes zero sense. Either you find out who made the dome, or you don't care and stop watching, like rational people who realize King is a egotistic idiot who can no longer write an ending even if his life were at stake.


Someone obviously hasn't read his last two novels.  Both home runs.
 
2013-08-21 11:13:27 PM  
It's so weird to see others echo my own experience. I was a big Stephen King fan right up untilDolores Claiborne finally tested my patience and I gave him up. I've only read two or three novels and his short story collections since then. I think he started to go off the rails with It, and The Tommyknockers something was clearly off. (He says that's the time he started giving up drugs.)  The Dark Half was the first King book I read that I felt didn't have anything at all redeeming about it. I struggled my way through 2/3rds of Hearts In Atlantis before I couldn't take any more. On Writing was okay, but it's not even close to Danse Macabe goodness.

I'll give Joyland a try because I've heard good things from people I trust, but man his previous pulp one The Colorado Kid was hideously bad, so my expectations are low.

That said, I will probably shell out the money for Shining II: Electric Boogaloo next month. It's hard to keep low expectations for that one.
 
2013-08-21 11:25:33 PM  

thatguyoverthere70: It's so weird to see others echo my own experience. I was a big Stephen King fan right up untilDolores Claiborne finally tested my patience and I gave him up. I've only read two or three novels and his short story collections since then. I think he started to go off the rails with It, and The Tommyknockers something was clearly off. (He says that's the time he started giving up drugs.)  The Dark Half was the first King book I read that I felt didn't have anything at all redeeming about it. I struggled my way through 2/3rds of Hearts In Atlantis before I couldn't take any more. On Writing was okay, but it's not even close to Danse Macabe goodness.

I'll give Joyland a try because I've heard good things from people I trust, but man his previous pulp one The Colorado Kid was hideously bad, so my expectations are low.

That said, I will probably shell out the money for Shining II: Electric Boogaloo next month. It's hard to keep low expectations for that one.


Dolores Claiborne wasn't bad,  but boy, Rose Madder and Gerald's Game, his odd eclipse trilogy of women, was not good as a whole.
 
2013-08-21 11:37:38 PM  
Here is everything you ever need to learn about American from King's novels:

STAY THE fark OUT OF MAINE.
 
2013-08-21 11:40:50 PM  

Fano: Dolores Claiborne wasn't bad, but boy, Rose Madder and Gerald's Game, his odd eclipse trilogy of women, was not good as a whole.


Dolores Claiborne,the movie,wasinspirational for my mom,sister and me when I was growing up. If only we would've had a hole in the yard big enough....
 
2013-08-21 11:53:30 PM  

henryhill: Stephen King = Dan Brown + boo! scared ya


I wouldn't make that comparison. Stephen King is at least functional as a writer. Dan Brown is sincerely and objectively awful.
 
2013-08-22 12:01:56 AM  

Ishkur: henryhill: Stephen King = Dan Brown + boo! scared ya

I wouldn't make that comparison. Stephen King is at least functional as a writer. Dan Brown is sincerely and objectively awful.


I quite enjoyed Angels & Demons, and Da Vinci Code was at the very least a quick enough read that the semi sized plot holes were gone before you noticed them.

Lost Symbol was pretty bad and...whatever the one with the Arctic Circle was isn't very good either.
 
2013-08-22 12:02:03 AM  
You mean, a great story that ends too abruptly and so disappointing that you feel and resent the time wasted? Hmmm, may be right....
 
2013-08-22 12:24:26 AM  
I want the director of walking dead to remake The Stand. Full unedited version please.
 
2013-08-22 12:29:23 AM  

PizzaJedi81: I quite enjoyed Angels & Demons, and Da Vinci Code was at the very least a quick enough read that the semi sized plot holes were gone before you noticed them.


I can't tell who's a more terrible writer -- Dan Brown or Stephanie Meyer.

It's seriously bad writing. Clunky imagery, lazy symbolism, terrible exposition. Neat ideas, but executed badly. Lucky marketing. But it seems that this is what people like in literature these days because we're all so engorged with Facebook, Twitter, and other amateur-written drivel for hours every day that it has acclimatized our senses toward bad writing.

reminds me of this article from Salon

The truth is the most popular books are the worst written because people are terrible, lazy readers. They don't want interesting prose and clever writing, they want lame metaphors and cliches because it helps them speedread through it faster. In other words, didactic imagery is a distant second to a great story with a premise/twist. This has always been the case with pulp novels, which is why clumsy crap like Dan Brown (Davinci Trilogy), Stiig Larson (the girl who stubbed her toe), and Meyer and Rowling go super platinum because they have interesting ideas but, and everyone admits this, mediocre writing.

No one has the time anymore to really savor the poetic sophistication of a James Joyce that will challenge them for five months. They want an easy reader in middle school prose that they can plow through on the couch on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The pace of modern times provides so many wanton distractions with television, music, internet, video games, etc.. that no one really wants to genuinely take their time reading something of substance. They're just killing time devouring the literary equivalent of fast food, chugging whole anthologies like morning coffee. There's no enrichment in pulp writing or reading. It's just soap opera fluff. New, cheap, disposable, feather-lite mulch.

So if you want to make it as a writer: Don't try so hard. Come up with a fun premise, and then hammer it out with simple, straightforward language, Hemmingway style. The rest is marketing.
 
2013-08-22 12:38:17 AM  

A Terrible Human: Fano: Dolores Claiborne wasn't bad, but boy, Rose Madder and Gerald's Game, his odd eclipse trilogy of women, was not good as a whole.

Dolores Claiborne,the movie,wasinspirational for my mom,sister and me when I was growing up. If only we would've had a hole in the yard big enough....


I hear what you are saying.

Sometimes you need to be a high steppin' biatch, And accidents can be a person's best friend.
 
2013-08-22 12:39:37 AM  
I quite enjoyed Joyland. It's actually the first King novel I've been able to love in a long while.
 
2013-08-22 12:39:45 AM  
Aint that some happy crappy.
 
2013-08-22 12:40:00 AM  

Ishkur: poetic sophistication of a James Joyce


That's the point at which I was lost. Nobody likes reading Joyce, INCLUDING James Joyce.

For the record, my favorite writers are Terry Pratchett and Jim Butcher, with George RR Martin a close third.

Also, the Da Vinci Code books are now a QUADrilogy.
 
2013-08-22 12:42:18 AM  
There are too many words on that page for me to read. Can someone just point out the part of her article where she recalls the childhood memory of the time she killed an ancient unnamed monster and was gangbanged by her fellow underage friends.
 
2013-08-22 01:06:24 AM  
"Sometimes human places, create inhuman monsters."

- Stephen King
 
2013-08-22 01:08:59 AM  
I learned that retards can be Ouija Boads, always protect your eyes because they can be easily punctured and are at risk of melting at all times, and all black people have at least one magical power.
 
2013-08-22 01:15:45 AM  

give me doughnuts: Here is everything you ever need to learn about American from King's novels:

STAY THE fark OUT OF MAINE.


...except that now that he's moved to Florida, his books are set in places like the Keys and Pennsylvania.
 
2013-08-22 01:21:53 AM  

PizzaJedi81: Ishkur: poetic sophistication of a James Joyce

That's the point at which I was lost. Nobody likes reading Joyce, INCLUDING James Joyce.

For the record, my favorite writers are Terry Pratchett and Jim Butcher, with George RR Martin a close third.

Also, the Da Vinci Code books are now a QUADrilogy.


Zoom forward a bit from Joyce, Joyce is an extreme example.  He's just saying that huge, meditative, digressive novels that were in bestseller lists 30 or 40 years ago can't be supported by audiences today.  It's not because people are less thoughtful, it's because they're more impatient.  History's accelerating, and that's reflected in fiction as much as anywhere else.
 
2013-08-22 01:30:12 AM  
I never did understand why the luxury hotel Overlook's $20 faulty steam valve was never replaced when everyone knew it could, and did; blow the place to bits.
 
2013-08-22 01:37:26 AM  

frestcrallen: PizzaJedi81: Ishkur: poetic sophistication of a James Joyce

That's the point at which I was lost. Nobody likes reading Joyce, INCLUDING James Joyce.

For the record, my favorite writers are Terry Pratchett and Jim Butcher, with George RR Martin a close third.

Also, the Da Vinci Code books are now a QUADrilogy.

Zoom forward a bit from Joyce, Joyce is an extreme example.  He's just saying that huge, meditative, digressive novels that were in bestseller lists 30 or 40 years ago can't be supported by audiences today.  It's not because people are less thoughtful, it's because they're more impatient.  History's accelerating, and that's reflected in fiction as much as anywhere else.


I'm gonna play my bs card.

Butcher's Dresden Files is, at this point, 14 books, with a very intricate plot. You have to remember things from book one all the way into the newest book. (Seriously, there's a point in Cold Days that harkens all the way back to Storm Front.)

To go back in time some, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books were, and still are, very popular, despite their density and arcane language.

To move forward slightly, Dune was, and remains, a pretty good book, even with its weird, made up words and dense political message.
 
2013-08-22 03:12:07 AM  
I'm actually kind of surprised that the "author" of that article took time off from playing with herself while looking in a mirror to type it.
 
2013-08-22 03:14:10 AM  
www.cliktrips.com
 
2013-08-22 05:48:25 AM  

Smackledorfer: I want the director of walking dead to remake The Stand. Full unedited version please.


Only if they Get Laura San Guacamole to reprise her role.

/rawr
 
2013-08-22 06:11:56 AM  
I read Full Dark, No Stars on vacation a couple of years back. I thought it was decent.
 
2013-08-22 07:34:00 AM  

Ryker's Peninsula: I'm actually kind of surprised that the "author" of that article took time off from playing with herself while looking in a mirror to type it.


Compulsive masturbation, both mental and physical, is an occupational hazard among the faux literary set.
 
2013-08-22 07:38:22 AM  
Jack Kerouac.
 
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