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

  1. Walter Oobleck

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

    You bet! Enjoyable! They don't mess around. I really like his Mucker series. The Mucker! That cover is great. And sure, he's tweaks the willing suspension of disbelief, but this is fiction! Story! Coincidence, big big. :)
    blunthead, Neesy and kingricefan like this.
  2. Mr. Cranky

    Mr. Cranky B.O. Man

    Hello Kurben, Where are you from in Sweden? My father was born in Hallstahammar, Vestmanland.
    kingricefan, blunthead and Neesy like this.
  3. Kurben

    Kurben The Fool on the Hill

    I havent even been there. Know where it is though. I live in a suburb to Stockholm. Close to a big lake. A lot of old graves close by thats been here for over 3000 years. Impressive piles of stones, must have taken months to do. Makes you feel that you're only a small piece of this places history.
    kingricefan, blunthead and Neesy like this.
  4. prufrock21

    prufrock21 Well-Known Member

    Mr. King is a classic in my estimation right now.
  5. Wasp27

    Wasp27 Well-Known Member

    This right here- I think he has been "accepted" or embraced by the critics for some time now. I started a thread kind of similar to this, I too wonder if he is seen as more than just a "horror" writer by
    both critics and the general public. And honestly, his body of work is so prolific that seemingly everybody has at least one work they not only know of but enjoy.
    To speak to this, it's no wonder that the most popular films based on his work are Shawshank, green mile and stand by me- they're classics. So I think he has crossed that line of being considered the campy horror writer in the early years and has been embraced as one of the greatest living fiction writers of the 20th century. I feel like the release of 11/22/63 kind of said "it's Stephen, b1tch!!" To the critics. Lol

    Oh yeah and someone mentioned the blurbs from joyland...
    "...stephen king, like mark twain, is an American genius."
    "To my mind, stephen king is one of the most underestimated novelists of our time."
  6. blunthead

    blunthead Well-Known Member

    This idea suggests a possible scenario for me that in general things the arts will not have continued as they have up to now; that societal evolution, especially when considering technological advances, includes changes which will effect how our present day will be viewed. I also believe that the nature of the arts themselves are changing such that, for instance, what the definition itself of the word "classic" will be is impossible to predict.

    That said, and imho, without a doubt Stephen King will be eternally thought of in a literary category almost by himself. When books will be written about horror authors and/or authors of our time more words times tens will be devoted to sK than to any other author of his genre, as well as some other genres. In this sense, sK will be compared to Dickens and Twain, not to mention Lovecraft and Shirley Jackson.

    Some authors' eternal fame is due to the profound success of one story (Frankenstein, Dracula). Due to his seeming unending successes this will not be sK's fate, while specific of his works will be mentioned, studied, and end up most popular.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
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  7. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    I'm sure he will. I think he will be read centuries from now on. I'm not sure which books will last the longest or remain the most popular - It, The Stand or Misery seem more likely than, say, Needful Things or Tommyknockers.

    The thing about him is that just the writing itself is so good. I'm sometimes thinking: ok, WHAT sets him apart from other writers, WHAT makes him so special. I have to admit it's not always the ideas/plots (although a lot of ideas and plots ARE very good); in the end it's the writing itself - there is something special about it which other writers don't (always) have: a way of making characters and situations come fully alive, as vivid as a movie (even more immersive sometimes). Even with the ones where I'm disappointed with the way a story plays out in the end, that feeling of immersion was always there.
    I think it's that quality that people will still respond to centuries from now.

    Plus, there is often a central idea to his books everyone immediately responds to: an outsider girl with special powers, a haunted isolated hotel, a rabid dog, a deadly car, a burial ground that brings people back to life, a scary clown-monster, a crazed fan.
    Even if he builds these rather simple basic ideas into long stories, the basic synopsis directly connects to people. A lot of other books seem to have a more complicated (or maybe less direct or more veiled) synopsis to begin with, making people less inclined to pick them up.
  8. Lina

    Lina Committed member

    In Russia Stephen King has a reputation of a horror writer, like in many places, I guess... Somehow people think that he writes very scary scary books, and that is all. But here we all know that it is not really true... Well, I guess you understand what I want to say. Here many people do not know that he writes not only scary stories, they are suprised when I tell them he wrote The Green Mile, for example.
  9. Neesy

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

    Not to "Fangirl" too hard here but your one statement above stood out for me: (I highlighted it in bold and italics).
    Sorry for sounding like a cliché but: Right on! You said it!
  10. Wasp27

    Wasp27 Well-Known Member

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  11. blunthead

    blunthead Well-Known Member

    I love informing people that he wrote the book The Shawshank Redemption movie is based on.
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  12. kingricefan

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

    Yes, most of them get that same look that the people get on Antiques Roadshow when they find out that what they brought in to be examined is worth mega bucks! "What? What? No way!"
    Lina, Dana Jean and king family fan like this.
  13. Mr. Cranky

    Mr. Cranky B.O. Man

    Stephen King has written heaps of good stuff; everybody knows that. His legacy is assured. His legacy is too continue to write good stuff, he has nothing to prove and the only way he can continue to write good stuff is to eat three whole meals a day with three fruit and veg.
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  14. Mr. Cranky

    Mr. Cranky B.O. Man

    I think it was either Mick Jagger or Keith Richards who said something about creativity and anger. I'm a firm believer that anger and creativity go together. It gives people drive. Some of the best writing of the best writers was done in their later years. But, hey, I grew up with King and in my opinion-and I've read some Pulitzer's that I've had to chuck away after 30 pages-he's up there with the best.
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  15. Walter Oobleck

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

    yeah, some things just torque the ole lug-nuts. I think it begins in the playground, that first day of school.
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  16. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    Some people make this distinction that 'genre' writers can't be literary writers, or that genre fiction can't be literary fiction. But how can that hold up with writers like Poe? Isn't Poe considered one of the greatest and most important literary writers ever in America? Still you can't deny that he clearly works in the fantastical genre.
    So, I never get how you could use the fact that King works in the horror and (dark) fantasy genre as an argument that he's not a literary writer.

    Of course he himself has made that statement comparing his writing to McDonald's, so he's giving the critics who don't like him what they want basically. He's saying there his work is just fast food, entertainment, nothing more. That may APPEAR to be the case with his books judging from the cover-synopsis, but everyone who's read him knows there is far more than just gore and sensationalism.

    In fact, I think he's both. His works are both (popular) entertainment AND have literary merit (as I said, some more so than others). I think for a lot of critics those two can't really go together.
  17. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    The time to edit my last post expired, but I wanted to add that one of the characteristics of literary fiction is that it deals with complex and layered characters and that it is mostly introspective.
    The definition of genre fiction is that it is more concerned with plot.

    King's work has both. There clearly is a plot to solve, a monster to be destroyed or conquered, a dire situation to overcome, but it also has realistic, complex characters in abundance. His work is in nature quite introspective with a lot of focus on what goes in the character's minds and not all that is strictly plot-concerned; that is very much what literary fiction is.

    If you look at Gerald's Game. The plot/genre part is how is the main character gonna escape from being handcuffed to the bed. The literary part is her dealing with a bad experience in her youth.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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  18. HMW

    HMW Well-Known Member

    Hej Kurben!

    Oddly enough I have the opposite feeling, that he is now being taken seriously and not dismissed as ”just” being a horror novelist. I base this on a couple of recent reviews I have read in major Swedish broadsheets:
    Doctor Sleep

    There are others, but I can't find them online right now.

    But honestly I don't think it matters any more. Stephen King will be read and remembered for as long as people read books.
  19. Kurben

    Kurben The Fool on the Hill

    Of course it doesn't matter. I've read several reviews about DR. Sleep and they were... different. I remember one positive, one very negative and one somewhere in between. It was different with his timetravel book. They did like that more but, at least, in the reviews i read they were a bit surprised. Has king written this? I had'nt read that recension of Sleep before but it was interesting. Thanks for the link. Obviously i think he belong up there but i tend to think it is a little bit of a generation thing, here at least. These critics look at king in another way than many other critics i've read. but if it is beginning to turn nobody is happier than me. For, as you say, King will of course be read long after but you and I are gone. That is my belief anyway.
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  20. Walter Oobleck

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

    Maybe if King had bitten off Mailer's ear back in the day...he'd have that Vincent Van Goh-Mike Tyson, moody heavyweight vibe going for him. Mailer's reputation might have taken an 8-count but he'd have come back swinging. But what does King do? He goes to Sox games. That's so non-literary. With a book, no less. Or maybe if he'd gone around bare-chested down in Key West, get a bar named after him. Or married and divorced four or ten times. I think some of the big names did that. What's he do? Probably had their ups and downs like any marriage, but King and his wife have a family...and none of his kids have been on the cover of the tabloids, not to my knowledge anyway.
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