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Discussion in 'General Discussion & Questions' started by Kurben, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. Kurben

    Kurben The Fool on the Hill

    Hi. I have a little question about SK,s rep as a writer. Have the way the critics look at him changed? From a seen from afar, lifetime achievement award and so on, he seem to be much more accepted now than how he was seen in the beginning. Is that correct? I'm living in Sweden and just know about his swedish rep and here he is still the horror writer and nothing else and there is a certain suspicion in the critics reviews of his work. But I have a feeling that at home he is more accepted know and perhaps in other parts of Europe too. I just don't know which is why i start this thread. What are yor impressions?
  2. Walter Oobleck

    Walter Oobleck keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going

    Happened to page through the first three pages of Joyland, the paperback copy lying on the floor next to the couch where I read. There's three pages of blurbs from an assortment of newspapers, magazines...all gushing about Stephen King...one from the NYT-BR...a piece of that blurb, "his real genius is for the everyday." I think he was accepted at the beginning, no? I don't recall reading of rejection after rejection as I have for many other writers. I read a story from Elmore Leonard recently, a story that was written after he'd been established, and he had to wait ten years before it was published. Seems like that'd be a kind of rejection, the ten-year wait.

    I think what you are asking is he accepted by the whatever, the A-Team of critics, whom-so-ever they are. One name comes to the tip of my mind and stays there in the shadows...James Someone...Woods maybe. I'd be surprised if he reviewed King. I wonder how much King is read in high school or college? That might be a clue. Read one review of Lisey's Story...in Salon I think it was...the critic, a female as I recall though not her name...took him to task for the magic in the story, the magical realism, Booya Moon and the Long Boy. Said he couldn't leave that out of his story though he tried. Empty devils. Heh! King's use the Shakespeare's The Tempest in that story, I suspect, says what I believe King thinks about that angle. If you haven't read The Tempest, you should.

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ...as his work matured and branched out-his reputation solidified...except for the asshats that refuse to take their literary blinders off...
  4. Neesy

    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side

    I thought he had a stack of rejection slips at the beginning. He said he put them on a nail on the wall and once the stack got big enough, he had to get a bigger nail! (But this was a long, long time ago) before Carrie.
  5. Sundrop

    Sundrop Sunny the Great & Wonderful

    I never really pay attention to the critics or their reviews......I know what I like and that's all I need to know
  6. kingzeppelin

    kingzeppelin Member who probably should be COMMITTED!

    I think you are right that the "critics" opinion of SK's work has changed.
    In my opinion the critics used to rather look down and despise SK's work. Seeming to not treat his writing as "serious" literature. Perhaps his legions of "constant readers" clamouring for more helped them to realise their error, and the value of his talent.
    Here's a quote that sums it up nicely....
    Those who can, write; those who can’t, write reviews. Writing reviews is the surest shortcut to a sensation of power for those who lack the dedication necessary to create something of actual worth.
    In passing judgment on others’ work, the reviewer experiences a fleeting high of self-importance cheaper than any other.
  7. Riot87

    Riot87 Love him forever

  8. fljoe0

    fljoe0 Cantre Member

    There is nothing that will bring the critics out of the woodwork more than popularity.

    I enjoy reading reviews but I despise the ones where you can tell the critic had made up his mind that he wasn't going to like the book to start with. I love to hear what others think of what I like but I do not like to hear from the ones that had their minds made up ahead of time. It's the same with music reviews. I really hate when someone who hates hard rock reviews an AC/DC album.

    The thing to keep in mind when you read reviews is that the review is only one person's opinion and nothing more.
  9. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    That's my impression too. I've made this comparison before, but that won't stop me. It's like Steven Spielberg. In the eyes of some, Messrs. King and Spielberg are too successful to be real artists.

    The fact remains that both of them have done many stellar things, both of them have done things that aren't quite so great, but the reason for their popularity is due to the mastery of their craft.

    And like true masters, they're so accomplished at it that they can turn a phrase or a scene by reflex that would take others untold creative energies to match. So they get dismissed by some because it just seems too easy when, in fact, it's the devotion to their art and decades of studied application that have gotten them to this point.
  10. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    It all depends on who you listen to, I guess.

    Even when he got the National Book Award he said: "There are some people who think it's an extraordinarily bad idea. There have been some people who have spoken out who think it's an extraordinarily good idea."

    Stephen King, Recipient of the National Book Foundation's Medal for DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTION TO AMERICAN LETTERS AWARD, 2003, National Book Foundation, Presenter of National Book Awards

    So I think you'll always have this split down the middle, which is okay, because in the end everybody can make up his own mind. It seems that a lot of the times in the reviews I've read he's more praised as an extraordinary STORYTELLER than a great LITERARY writer. I think it depends strongly on which book: some are more literary than others.
  11. blunthead

    blunthead Well-Known Member

    Curiously, I read the underlined as an revelation of critics' hypocrisy; that they will often decide to change their minds and reconsider an artist's worth in order primarily not to go down in history as having been ridiculously mistaken. For instance, I feel the chagrin of Van Gogh's dead and gone critics. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" some critics seem to finally say.

    While other critics' heads harden to stone with their hearts, fame be damned. I like critics who can recognize genius and then talk about it, because they educate me about an artist, whether or not I find the artist interesting yet. In sK's case I discovered him before hearing about him via anyone except an old friend who's report I gradually remembered while reading The Raft. It was very strange, finding myself reminiscing about a certain part of the story while reading it for the first time, wondering who's familiar, enthusiastic voice I was hearing in my head.
  12. fljoe0

    fljoe0 Cantre Member

    There are the revisionist critics too. You know the ones that viciously trashed something and then years later praise it. If you are old enough and read Rolling Stones magazine, you will remember how much the writers in the magazine hated Led Zeppelin (just one example of many). Fast forward to now and some of those same writers praise the albums like they never said those nasty things in the 70s. But through the wonder of the Rolling Stone archives, you can still read those hatchet jobs. ;-D (and some of them are so vicious, it's hard to believe)
  13. Angelo Bottigliero

    Angelo Bottigliero Well-Known Member

    I was reading a story in a magazine not too long ago about a pressconference at (I think) King's visit to Germany, there was a Dutch reporter there and from his story I could tell that, one: He wasn't a fan and thought King was overrated, and two, he hadn't read the book his article was about, Dr. Sleep. What kind of dumbass reporter is that? If you're going to interview an author at LEASt read the goddamned book you're talking about.
  14. Kurben

    Kurben The Fool on the Hill

    Thank you all for the opinions!! I agree with who ever it was who said that i don't need a critic to decide if i like it or not. Nevertheless i find them interesting. Sometimes you get the impression that they have read a completely different book. And of course it is easier to beat a new writer than one who already has made a name. then they tend to tread a bit more carefully when they dislike a novel. I have noticed, at least here, that when it is actual writers who are writing the review the understanding and appreciation of his work tend to be better but when it is a 'professional' critic who often either don't consider him worthy to review or highlights the review with a title like " More of the same" or something to indicate that have you read one then you have read them all. OK, if there are any swedish critics out there i apologize, it's not quite that bad but almost. Only wanted to highlight my point a little. But again, to all of you out there, thanks.
  15. prufrock21

    prufrock21 Well-Known Member

    I believe his reputation is solid. What I wonder is whether, in the long run, he will be considered a classic of the genre, as Dracula and Frankenstein are considered classics.
  16. doowopgirl

    doowopgirl very avid fan

    I'm pretty much the same. I'm interested in what I'm interested in and don't give a toss about critics. My opinion is just as valid as theirs, they just get paid for it.
  17. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    Well, just my being here says that I am a fan of King's work. So, I might be biased. He's written some great novels and he's also written some that I felt just weren't up to par. That said, I feel that he is our generations Dickens. I've said it before on here and stand by it. A hundred years from now, when someone wants to know what life was like in a small town in the USA, they can read 'Salem's Lot and have a glimpse. Will all of King's books be read a hundred years from now? Probably not, but The Stand and The Shining and the Tower books will still be around, trust me.
  18. Walter Oobleck

    Walter Oobleck keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going

    Over at Goodreads, one can read a pile of reviews from readers, readers of every shade shape and form and the reviews run the gamut from good to bad to ugly and all stops in between. Why are "critics" held to any higher regard than the casual reader? Many of the reviews are chicken-sh!t, readers being cute or believing they are and many are honest. I find it curious and would like to know how Goodreads lists reviews--those listed on the first page. I believe there is a bias present there--for some writers stories--as you look at the numbers, how many 1-star through 5-star reviews there are for a certain story, and then look at how that relates to page one. Say the average rating is 3.5 or 4.0, but on page one for some writers you have ten 2-star ratings. What gives? Same thing for search engines. Bias there, as well, especially come the election cycle. Friggin' politics. We never leave the playground. Then you have some "reviewing" a story before it is available and I'm not talking an ARC although those exist as well...I'm talking the diehard fan putting out a 5-star review before they have a copy in their hands, skewing the average, but this is allowed. In the recent past, Goodreads started eliminating some of the chicken-sh!t reviews...seems some readers were torqued-off because a writer had the audacity to ask them if they'd like to review their story...one of the hazards of the self-publishing industry. So you had all these Goodread members revising their pics, a black rectangle over their mouth. I've enjoyed stories from Edgar Rice Burroughs and those reviews are a hoot...you got the standard "this is misogynist" or "this is racist" blah blah blah...and then you read the story and find enough evidence to the contrary. I read one story from a self-publishing writer and he "borrowed" a metaphor from King...something about dogs wrestling under a blanket. Maybe he did it subconsciously...I know I did something like that this once...had a character named "Lester Flatt"...thought it was a good name, but it also the name of a...folk singer type...Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. I love the meta-criticism, too...you believe a story is less-than-stellar and say as much and you've got some young cow-poke who feels justified by taking you down a notch.
    blunthead, Kurben, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  19. Kurben

    Kurben The Fool on the Hill

    I'm with you on Borroughs. I enjoyed him to. His Mars- Books John Carter (horrible movie though) and of course the Tarzan books. I don't think they are very good but they are very enjoyable. Have some of them at home and read them still. Just because they are enjoyable. Is there such a word?
  20. Kurben

    Kurben The Fool on the Hill

    Personally i think he will be more. Both Stoker and Shelley was one-hit wonders. I think King will have several books that will be considered classics in the future.
    Gerald, blunthead, prufrock21 and 3 others like this.

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