Stephen King turns 70

“If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it.”

Considering I’ve read almost nothing of the writings of Stephen King, and and have watched relatively few of the films based on his work, I nevertheless enjoy his observations about the world.

The first movie I ever saw based on a book of his was The Shining (1980), which I pretty much hated. And it’s because of what happens early on, when the Jack Nicholson character looks crazy pretty much as soon as he’s gotten the keys to the hotel. So the wave of blood in the hall isn’t even scary, it’s comical.

Stand by Me (1986), based on his novella The Body, I loved; a great coming-of-age story. Misery (1990) I Liked a lot, surprisingly given the sudden violence. The Green Mile (1999) I had some problems with, but enjoyed well enough.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994), based on the short story Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, is one of my favorite films, and that’s true for a lot of people. The fact it was a commercial dud before finding its audience somehow makes the movie more satisfying.

That’s it, out of over 200 writing credits. I saw a little of the remake of The Shining (1997), but not enough to count.

I’ve read various comic book adaptations of the work of Stephen King. None was rendered better than Creepshow by the late Berni Wrightson.

The ONLY book of his I ever read cover to cover was 11-22-63, and I read it in less than a month. I know this because I took the then-newish, 800+ page tome out on a 14-day checkout, and I renewed it only once. But I was not interested enough to watch the 2016 miniseries.

Still, I’m interested in what he thinks on a variety of topics. If I were to read another of his books, it would probably be On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Here are some nifty quotes from the book. Possibly my favorite: “If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it.”

He also has some things to say about politics which I must admit dovetail with my worldview.

Happy birthday to the King of Horror.

Money or mitigating mistakes?

Would I have to relive parts of my twenties? OH, God, please, NO.

bluepillOne finds these on Facebook all the time. Would you rather have this large sum of money, or do something that would be perceived as more noble?

I look at these options, and the choice was surprisingly easy; I’d take the cash. This does not come from either greed or shallowness. Rather it is from the recognition that the mistakes I made – and to quote Sinatra, “I’ve made a few” Continue reading “Money or mitigating mistakes?”

Stardancer and other science-fiction/fantasy books

Maybe I DO like “that kind of book.”

stardancerSome months ago, I read, and enjoyed Stardancer (The Song of Forgotten Stars Book 1), the first book by Jaquandor, a/k/a Kelly Sedinger, quite a lot, actually. And it won’t be his last book, judging by his Forgotten Stars website. In fact, the second book in this series is coming out this week.

Read SamuraiFrog’s review and the Amazon customer reviews. One line of a five-star review: “What will hold most readers Continue reading “Stardancer and other science-fiction/fantasy books”

Book Review: 11/22/63, a novel by Stephen King

My great frustration with reading this book is that I had a great deal of difficulty putting it down!

I had never read a Stephen King novel, but due to boredom, I ended up taking out from the library 11/22/63, an 800+ page tome. OK, it wasn’t JUST boredom, but also a near-obsession I have long had with the tragic events of that day, crystallized in my mind; my own long-running curiosity about the various conspiracy theories surrounding John F. Kennedy’s assassination; and what would happen if, somehow, the President had survived the attack. (I’m sure I’ll write more about that next year.)

When I checked out the book – allowed for only 14 days, instead of the usual 28, because it’s a recent purchase – the library clerk, who had read it, assured me that it wasn’t one of those King horror books.

Well, no and yes. This is a pretty straightforward narrative about a man and a portal to a very specific time and place in 1958. What I always disliked somewhat in some going-back-in-time stories is Continue reading “Book Review: 11/22/63, a novel by Stephen King”

The thing about Stephen King is…

FantaCo sold a lot of horror film items in the mail order, as well as comic books.

I’ve seen at least five movies based on the works of author Stephen King: The Shining (1980), which I did not like; Stand by Me (1986), which I was very fond of; Misery (1991), which was quite good; The Shawshank Redemption (1994), which I LOVED; and The Green Mile (1999), which had its moments. Also saw at least parts of some miniseries.

I’ve read various comic book adaptations of his work. I devoured his articles in Entertainment Weekly magazine. But until the fourth quarter of 2012, I had NEVER read a Stephen King book, not one. Continue reading “The thing about Stephen King is…”