I’m a fan of Stephen King and I think he’s usually an excellent writer. My favorite books by him are It and The Green Mile
I love “The Stand”
The Stand and The Green Mile.
The Stand and 'Salem’s Lot. The Stand in particular for when some of the heroic characters even knowing they are about to be martyred realised how ridiculous ultimately Randall Flagg is and by implication that which he represents. The other work I cite for the way it deals with issues of faith and in particular Father Callahan who re-appears redeemed many years later after losing his faith in the work. Also the book ends with one character received into the Church.
The Stand and the Gunslinger series.
(Full disclosure: I am miles from having read all of his writings.)
I could never get into the gunslinger series. I read the first book and well kinda stopped reading them.
I liked Needful Things.
The first book was sort of like a “proof of concept” novel. They did get better from there. Especially when he started writing himself into the story.
I will try to read the rest of the series if I get the time to give it a fair chance.
It`s so full of blasphemies, i got sick of saying The Divine Praises! Are all of his books like that?
“It”, itself (as in It, the monster, itself; rather than “It”, the novel, itself) was a disappointment. :shrug: Puns intended.
Stephen himself is, as far as I know, non-religious. His portrayals of religion, like Tom Clancy’s portrayals of Protestants/Baptists, are, shall we say, skewed. And his language is…er-r-r…salty, to say the least. You sort of have to take this into account when setting out to read his works.
Not always slanted against religion though, witness Father Callahan who first appears in '‘Salem’s Lot’ and loses his faith due to the vampire and his mocking in the novel and dissappears out of the plot as a result. However he DOES come back in the ‘Dark Tower’ series redeemed and finds his faith again and his sacrifice proves crucial. Also even in ‘Salem’s Lot’ one of the main characters is received into the Catholic Church at the end. Also his views on faith are certainly not orthodox by the standards of Catholicism but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any or use his characters to express such views. Although one would need to be careful of confusing his character’s views with his own these two extracts from the Stand are interesting:-
Show me a man or a woman alone and I’ll show you a saint. Give me two and they’ll fall in love. Give me three and they’ll invent the charming thing we call ‘society’. Give me four and they’ll build a pyramid. Give me five and they’ll make one an outcast. Give me six and they’ll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they’ll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.
You couldn’t get hold of the things you’d done and turn them right again. Such a power might be given to the gods, but it was not given to women and men, and that was probably a good thing. Had it been otherwise, people would probably die of old age still trying to rewrite their teens.
Perhaps “skewed” wasn’t the best choice of words. What I meant to say was that he (like Clancy) gets some things wrong, perhaps from lack of knowledge.
As to his personal lack of “religiosity,” I was going on impressions that I gleaned from his memoir On Writing. He certainly has no qualms about using offensive language, both in expressing himself, and in the mouths/minds of his characters. That bothers me less than it might someone else.
I like Stephen King’s films, haven’t really read his fiction. Thought I did read most of 'Salem’s Lot and loved it. I own MIsery, The Shining, and* The Stan*d, but haven’t read them. I’m considering reading them. Which would one of you fans suggest I start?
I’ve read his On Writing: A Novel on the Craft and found it wonderful. In fact, my AP English Language teacher even mentioned it and would say, “Hey, even Stephen King says…” and would give us a tip on writing King says in his book that we could use in our writing. My favorite that I still remember is “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
In On Writing, King mentions the cursing found in his books. He said it’s all about the character. He said he wouldn’t have an old church-going woman curse, but if it’s an uneducated male character, that character will curse. To King it’s all about being true to the character.
I started reading Danse Macabre however, most of the references are older films I haven’t seen, so I’m taking a short break before starting it again, but I really like it.
I like his non-fiction more than his fiction.
He is a horror writer, I think that when you consider the things he writes, the cursing is no big deal.
Now that I think about it, whenever something crazy or bad happens to us, at least to me, I curse. Just a reflex. Now imagine that but in the situations placed in King’s novels. I could understand it.
I’d suggest ‘The Shining’ or ‘The Stand’ for reading first. For me it would be ‘The Stand’ but that’s purely a personal preference. Yes I can totally understand he has to write characters in tune with the backgrounds he gives them, there is no good introducing several blue collar characters as he does in ‘The Stand’ and having them never curse, while some blue collar individuals don’t the characters he introduces would be far more likely to do so and if he presented them in certain ways they would seem out of character, unless he introduced particular backgrounds or motivations to explain that.
Well, I’ve been a fan of Stephen King for a long time, and I have to say I find his short stories better than his longer fare (The Stand, Cell, and 'Salem’s Lot excepted). I think my favorite short story would have to be The Mist or The Sun Dog. I do wish he’d use the crazy fundamentalism character less though…
I like the Stand and “It” the best. If you ever read “It”, I promise you will never look at a clown the same way again! The earliest books I think are his best. Salem’s Lot is also a good read.
I don’t have the patience for a 1,000 page novel. I want to read his shorter works and work my way up to It and The Stand
I just learned this now, Stephen King wears a Miraculous Medal.
(he shows it at the 10:50 mark, he starts talking about religion in 10:44)
I have a kind of scary Stephen King story.
Many years ago there was a TV mini-series made on the book “It”.
Without giving too much information, the book was based on a friendship of a group of kids who played together in a gravel pit, forest area.
Well, that’s exactly what I did as a kid. There were always four or five of us, riding bikes, building forts, etc. Boys and girls together, just having good fun. We’re all still friends, forty years later…
Anyway, they filmed that miniseries in the exact places were we used to hang out as 10-11 and 12 year olds. When the movie came out on tv, I got a phone call from one of them, and I watched it and got the severe willies… Because when I read the book, those were the exact places I had in my mind… Could hardly watch the movie without being seriously squeamish.