Welcome to Writerly Wednesdays 8 and today I have chosen to talk about a writer who has written some of the most fantastic horror out there: Mr Stephen King.
Love of Hate?
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However, what I really wanted to talk about is his writing. Now, as a reader, I actually have a bit of a love/hate relationship with King's work. When I love it, I can read it over and over again, but sometimes I just don't get on with a particular book.
I've never quite been able to explain King's style. It has a remoteness about the narration, being very bleak and straightforward and yet it dargs me in every time and throws all the punches. When it hooks me into a story I can't put the book down, but in other novels it has left me cold and I don't want to keep reading. Therefore the only conclusion I can come to is that, when it comes to Stephen King, it is all in the story for me and the way it is put together.
Let's look at two examples:
- Salem's Lot
I suppose the fact it's all about vampires probably helps, but I don't think that is the only reason I love it.
The mini-series with David Soul came out on TV over here in the UK in the early 80s and I saw that before I read the book. It scared the ever-living hell out of me :). I also enjoy the remake staring Rob Lowe, but that's getting off the point.
This is a story which is very bleak. It's about the death of a town thanks to vampires and it always grips me from beginning to end. There are all sorts of details, that with a less skilled writer might make me want to put the book down because I just wanted plot, but not with King. I soak it in like a sponge every time.
The characters aren't exactly the epitome of human evolution or kindness, but that makes them all the more interesting.
The plot is brilliant and intricate, with just enough twists to grab the imagination. This is a great book.
Once again I saw the mini-series first and I love it. I watch it over and over again. Pennywise is so damn scary.
However, then I tried to read the book.
I've never managed to finish it. This is one that I found too bleak. It was too horrible for me and too heavy. I didn't find anything to latch onto in the book in the way I did the TV adaptation. I'm not sure if it's entirely the structure or that fact that the book goes places the TV series did not dare, or what, but I just can't read it. I've tried twice now and still not managed it.
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So there you have it, two examples of Stephen King that produce entirely different reactions in me as a reader, yet written by the same author. I'm really not sure why I love some of his books and don't like others, all I do know is that there is never anything guaranteed when it comes to me reading Mr King.
Just before I pop off I do have to mention my other favourite King story, only this one isn't a novel, it was written purely for the screen and it is brilliant:
This story is pure brilliance.
It's creepy, it will make you jump and it's coldly horrifying for so many reasons other than the scares. It's full of superb characters and had a great cast. If you are a fan of Bones, Emily Deschanel is blonde and psychic in this one.
What I also love about Stephen King is how he, like Stan Less, cameos in the films that use his stories. :)
Are you a Stephen King fan? What is you favourite story of his? If not, who is your favourite horror author?
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