Why is his later work often more sexual in tone?

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Neesy

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But it couldn't disturb her, because she was just too young to really understand it. The images just seemed odd to her, they had no real effect on her. Why would they think it would disturb her?
I know it certainly would disturb me - whatever - let's just agree to disagree (wasn't she 11 years old?) - going on about this is like beating a dead horse
 

Gerald

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I know it certainly would disturb me - whatever - let's just agree to disagree (wasn't she 11 years old?) - going on about this is like beating a dead horse

I've read the sequence back. It's in chapter 13, Cloud Gap, at the end of section 2. It doesn't seem to truly disturb her, but it does give her an initial shock - just not enough to break her concentration (which is to pretend she's on the train to Cloud Gap). She's not sure if they're aware she can see it and if she's meant to.
It just is a weird plot point to me; an idea not really worked out clearly. And again, my problem is it just sexualizes things, it doesn't make things scary or suspenseful.

I think Abra was born in 2001, but not sure if the story is taking place in the same year the novel's published (2013), but she would be 12 at most I suppose.
 

Gerald

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His books are so long and contain so much information that it is often difficult to find simple facts, like a character's age (if it is given at all). I think in this case it is also said somewhere when the main part of the story takes place (of course it's also about the years leading up to it), but good luck finding that!
I read quite thorough, so I often have some idea where about something is written, but it's still hard finding the exact place.
 

Gerald

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Other examples are in some of the short stories. For example in Under the Weather the main character has to do an advertising campaign for a Viagra-like pill. And in Mile 81 Pete Simmons is thinking about the differences between certain pornographic magazines.
Again, not that there wasn't sex in his earlier work as well, there always was. It just tends to feel more explicit and 'cheap' in his later work. Often a bit in bad taste -not that I'm offended by it. I just feel it drags some of the stories down a bit.

Although in general I like his stories in Bazaar of Bad Dreams much more than those in Everything's Eventual or Just After Sunset. So either they are better, or I'm more used now to how different they are from his earlier work in Night Shift or Skeleton Crew.
Even though he never was purely horror - there always were sci-fi and crime stories as well - those earliest collections overall had more horror-themed stories, where his later stories often are about something unusual, or out of the ordinary, but a lot of them don't aim to outright scare you. Actually they often seem to be either darkly dramatic or funny, but not so much scary.
 
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Neesy

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I'm not even talking about specific sex scenes, although there seems more of that too. But it seems that so much of his later writing is about sex: references to sex, comparisons to sex. Sometimes it takes almost ridiculous proportions. For example, in Doctor Sleep the True Knot are watching porn movies to throw Abra off-balance with the images - the idea is quite absurd.
And this from a writer about whom his colleagues once joked that he hadn't discovered sex yet.

Is it for commercial reasons? Does he just have a bigger interest in it now?

Often it adds little for me. I know Gerald's Game is about sex, but there it actually constitutes the very plot. But a lot of times it feels to me that he includes it for very little specific purpose. Not that I'm offended by it at all, but other writers (Barker for example) often use sex in a more original way - it gets added less just for the sake of it.
Maybe if SK had done it from the very beginning I wouldn't notice it so much, but it seems to have increased so much over time.
I reply to the thread title:

Just because he can I guess

At Stephen King's age he's lucky he still even thinks about it (I guess) :a11: - What the heck - he is only 73 {you would have to ask Tabitha and I doubt she is talking!}
 

Gerald

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When I read this I wonder if it maybe was always there:


I just remember it less from his earlier books, things like a whole discussion about Viagra. And certainly when his colleague writers joked 'Stephen hasn't discovered sex yet' - maybe he wanted to proof them wrong.
But like the above quoted commenter I feel it adds little.

Someone else in that discussion says: " There’s always weird little sexual details that hold no relevance to the rest of the story." So definitely others have noticed it too.
 
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Gerald

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I thought the board would be closed today.

But, anyway, maybe those 'weird sexual moments' stand out, because he doesn't do it all the time. It's in his stories now and then, so it's not like with Clive Barker where it's a standard ingredient. So every time he puts it in, it feels a little odd.
But I can't shake the feeling that he's been more strongly sexual in his writing in later years. I assume Gerald's Game was his first overly sexual themed novel, so it was clearly a subject he felt comfortable with and wanted to use it more often.

The feeling remains for me, that like that other person said, it doesn't add a lot to the story often, or sometimes the use of it I find confusing, like the True Knot watching porn movies to disturb Abra - that's just such an odd concept to me. And clearly it was left out of the movie too. I'm not sure if Flanagan wanted to use it or not (I feel in his adaptation he took out many elements, but also put a few new ones in), but it would probably never pass censorship.
 

Gerald

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It's funny. Spanish cult director Jess Franco had this title, and it's from the same year as The Shining novel:

 

wolfphoenix

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When I read this I wonder if it maybe was always there:


I just remember it less from his earlier books, things like a whole discussion about Viagra. And certainly when his colleague writers joked 'Stephen hasn't discovered sex yet' - maybe he wanted to proof them wrong.
But like the above quoted commenter I feel it adds little.

Someone else in that discussion says: " There’s always weird little sexual details that hold no relevance to the rest of the story." So definitely others have noticed it too.
I just don't see it. You're talking about a key part of the story.....how the Chap came into being. And how Roland was a part of it all. It's an intense occurrence, any way you look at it. To cut that scene out, would lead to cutting out the Chap, because he was the product of a rape.
Or am I missing or forgetting something?
 

wolfphoenix

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But it couldn't disturb her, because she was just too young to really understand it. The images just seemed odd to her, they had no real effect on her. Why would they think it would disturb her?
Most 12 year olds would understand what was going on and be very disturbed by it. If Abra wasn't, then maybe a mental defense mechanism kicked in. A good one because she had the shine.
 

Gerald

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Salem's Lot has a love story too: Ben and Susan Norton.
I just don't see it. You're talking about a key part of the story.....how the Chap came into being. And how Roland was a part of it all. It's an intense occurrence, any way you look at it. To cut that scene out, would lead to cutting out the Chap, because he was the product of a rape.
Or am I missing or forgetting something?

Well, that was the opinion of that person in that discussion. I can't recall the sex scenes in his work felt gratuitous to me at that point. It's more in later work like Doctor Sleep or the short stories I mentioned.
I'm just using this as an example that there always was sex in his work, and I'm not the only one who feels the use of it is sometimes odd and crude feeling. It's not like I absolutely agree with this person's opinion. It's just a general example.

But when you read this discussion, an early book like Salem's Lot has only one minor sex scene. His early work can be read by young adults, something like Doctor Sleep not, I think.

 
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wolfphoenix

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Most 12 year olds would understand what was going on and be very disturbed by it. If Abra wasn't, then maybe a mental defense mechanism kicked in. A good one because she had the shine.
......and that took place at the hotel? That place was known for the ghosts doing weird sexual things, remember the guy dressed up in the dog suit?
And btw.....whiskey spelled backwards doesn't spell murder.
 
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Gerald

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Most 12 year olds would understand what was going on and be very disturbed by it. If Abra wasn't, then maybe a mental defense mechanism kicked in. A good one because she had the shine.

But if a 12 year old would understand what's going on in a porn film, why would they be disturbed by it? They would think 'oh, it's just a film with people having sex'. what's disturbing about that?
 
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