Before and after drinking.....

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BleakMid

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2013
97
110
London
I am 100 pages into Salem's Lot (and loving every page of it), and was struck by the quite prominent references to drinking, bars, beer, hangovers, etc.

It got me wondering which novel was King's last as a drinker, and which was his first as a sober writer.

Was there a noticeable shift in his writing once he quit the booze?

Thanks!
 

Moderator

Ms. Mod
Administrator
Jul 10, 2006
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Thanks, Ms. Mod
You also asked about the changes in his writing. He'll be one of the first to admit that he thinks the drinking/drugs had a negative effect on his writing but that IMO isn't the only reason it has changed over the years. It has also changed to reflect his own outlook as he has aged and dealt with personal events in his life, as it probably would with most writers.
 

BleakMid

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2013
97
110
London
You also asked about the changes in his writing. He'll be one of the first to admit that he thinks the drinking/drugs had a negative effect on his writing but that IMO isn't the only reason it has changed over the years. It has also changed to reflect his own outlook as he has aged and dealt with personal events in his life, as it probably would with most writers.
Yes, I remember reading a quote from Dylan Thomas's wife. The interviewer asked her if she thought her husband would have produced such amazing poetry if he hadn't been an alcoholic, suggesting it was somehow a necessary part of his talent. She said that if he hadn't drank he would have produced even more and it would have been even better. There's a lot of romancing of the 'alcoholic writer'.

That said, SK produced excellent work both on and off the sauce!

I, personally, have found King a big inspiration in addressing my own relationship to the drink.
 

Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
45,003
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Just north of Duma Key
You also asked about the changes in his writing. He'll be one of the first to admit that he thinks the drinking/drugs had a negative effect on his writing but that IMO isn't the only reason it has changed over the years. It has also changed to reflect his own outlook as he has aged and dealt with personal events in his life, as it probably would with most writers.
Agree--As one travels down the path of aging, maturing, perception of life changes. This can be true for the reader as well as the author. SK books I've read in youth, have taken on new meaning in maturity. His recent books have a greater "depth" to them.
 

Tilly

Well-Known Member
Sep 23, 2017
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I feel like King maybe became more daring after he sobered up. I wonder if books like Gerald’s Game and Dolores Claiborne would have been as they are had he still been an alcoholic during their creation.
I think you could be right. Another writer, who was much older than King, wrote a prologue to something King wrote a long time ago and he said basically. ...King is the real deal. Right now he's writing about scary stuff, but he will write about all sorts of things before he's done. I can see being sober could have helped him explore new stories like the ones you mentioned. They are in my favs.
 
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