Stephen King

GNC

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I thought Cell was more King's take on the zombie world of George A. Romero, so in that vein it was something new for him, if not, as previously mentioned, for James Herbert. A lot of people hated the ending, but I didn't mind a bit of mystery there. Much better than Desperation, I thought.

There is an element of Needful Things in Under the Dome, but I liked the newer one better as, OK, it still has the sense of glee when everything goes to pot, but that happens much sooner in Dome, so it was a faster read for me. If anything I thought Dome was more like The Tommyknockers.

He's written books that have felt below par to me (e.g. Insomnia, The Regulators), but I don't feel he's ever let me down. Plus it was his 63rd birthday this week, so it's great he's still going and still successful even now.
 

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I really liked Insomnia, to me it had all the elements that attracted me to him in the first place, but then I liked Rose Madder as well, and he acknowledges that as his least successful book. Another good one was his collaboration with Peter Straub 'The Black House', haven't got through the Talisman yet though.
 

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oldrover said:
I really liked Insomnia, to me it had all the elements that attracted me to him in the first place, but then I liked Rose Madder as well, and he acknowledges that as his least successful book. Another good one was his collaboration with Peter Straub 'The Black House', haven't got through the Talisman yet though.
Insomnia seems to predict the World Trade Center disaster, so there's that weirdness in its favour (?). Rose Madder is a strange one, it's building up to a dramatic conclusion and then, here, wait, where's the rest of the story?

The main thing that bugged me about Black House was that it not only tied up with the whole Dark Tower thing when I would have preferred a standalone story with Jack, but that it did the same to The Talisman, which I had really good memories of as a distinct entity away from the other King books. That said, there was some quality stuff in it (the creepy senile villain was an excellent character).
 

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I've tried to read Insomnia twice but found it too boring to finish. Should be called 'A Cure For Insomnia'. :lol:
 

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I finally read The Bachman Books, the collection of the first four novels King wrote under his Richard Bachman pseudonym. The book had been sitting on my shelf for years, but I thought I'd give his older stuff a go.

The first one, Rage, is now deliberately out of print because King thought it was responsible for a few classroom sieges down the years, and it is an angry book, but I doubt it would set anyone off to do anything they weren't capable of without reading it anyway.

The second, The Long Walk, is a tale of an endurance test with an ambiguous ending which I could have done with being clearer after all that, but it was a page turner. Frank Darabont wants to film this.

The third, Roadwork, is sort of the middle-aged version of Rage with a grown up loser trying drastic means to stop his house getting demolished. Not bad, and not the usual King material, but not something I would have read if he hadn't written it.

The fourth is the most famous, The Running Man, which some say influenced the September the 11th 2001 attacks. Very different to the film, it would be nice if it had a faithful movie version, but that won't happen now.

Anyway, nice to get that out of my system. There's still one Bachman I haven't read, too, that Blaze thing from a couple of years ago. Anyone here given that a go?
 

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After reading a lot of King in my teens I could never really engage with him as an adult, but I will say that the Bachman stuff was one of the few times i came back to him and was glad of it.

The Long Walk i thought was one of his more powerful stories, even if the end is a bit odd, maybe something about the way the plot is so simple and pretty relentless at the same time.

The two 'going postal' type stories didn;t grab me so much, and i'm sure i recall (it really has been a while) the Roadwork one spending a lot of time setting up what looks like an uber killing spree only for it to fizzle out - doesn;t the dude get loads of big guns and make bombs and stuff and then decide just to shoot himself in the end?
 

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I liked his book of short stories, 'Everything's Eventual'. recall taking that on a holiday a few summers back and blasting through it. Probably the last fiction book I read I think.
 

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BlackRiverFalls said:
The two 'going postal' type stories didn;t grab me so much, and i'm sure i recall (it really has been a while) the Roadwork one spending a lot of time setting up what looks like an uber killing spree only for it to fizzle out - doesn;t the dude get loads of big guns and make bombs and stuff and then decide just to shoot himself in the end?
[Spoilers for Roadwork]
Sort of, he does hole up in his house with his guns and bombs, and fires off a few rounds to create an incident, but the only person he kills is himself when he blows up the house. Earlier he makes home made bombs and blows up the machinery making the new road.
 

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McAvennie_ said:
I liked his book of short stories, 'Everything's Eventual'. recall taking that on a holiday a few summers back and blasting through it. Probably the last fiction book I read I think.
I have a copy of that one but haven't read it yet. Might get around to it next year, though the last short story collection of King's I read was Nightmares and Dreamscapes, which was just OK in the main.
 

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Full story:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/ ... -big-94805

Stephen King's grand opus The Stand is finally getting the big-screen treatment.

Warner Bros. and CBS Films are teaming to adapt the novel, which in many ways set the bar for a generation of post-apocalyptic stories and influenced works ranging from TV's Lost to music group Anthrax.

Mosaic and Roy Lee are producing.

The companies will co-develop and co-produce the feature film, with CBS having the option to participate in co-financing. Warners will handle worldwide marketing and distribution.

The studios and producers will sit down with writers and directors in the coming weeks in an attempt to find the right take on the material. One thing to be determined is whether to attempt the adaptation in one or multiple movies. King will be involved in some capacity.

CBS has held the rights for many years but recently realized the best way to undertake the project was with a partner. Warners beat out Fox and Sony in a tight bidding war for the gig, getting its hands on one of the biggest-selling books of all time...
Please make it better than that godawful 90s miniseries. Although whether the movie will be six hours long to fit in the 1000+ pages might be moot.
 

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Stephen King has just announced his latest novel! Hooray! It's snappily called 11-22-63. Here's the press release from:
http://www.stephenking.com/promo/11-22-63/announcement/

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas,
President Kennedy died, and the world changed.

If you had the chance to change history, would you?
Would the consequences be worth it?

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
Here, wait a minute, that doesn't sound very good at all. Wasn't this a Quantum Leap episode? In fact it sounds like something by a schoolboy from about forty years ago. A thousand pages of that? Oh well, I'll read it anyway. Out November 8th this year.
 

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escargot1 said:
Could also be Goodnight Sweetheart. :lol:
Let's start lobbying for Nicholas Lyndhurst to star in the inevitable 11-22-63 movie. We can make this happen!
 

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I finished one of Steve's older (but still recent) books tonight: Duma Key. I had heard it was great up until a rubbish ending, but that's not what I found when I read it.

My only complaint was that apart from the killing off a nice character bit out of Bag of Bones three quarters of the way through (won't say who) the finale was quite close to the one in It. The whole journey to the heart of supernatural darkness thing, not because they all had sex at the end (which they didn't, thank goodness). But aside from that, good stuff, a solid 7/10.
 

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Stephen King has just announced his latest novel! Hooray! It's snappily called 11-22-63
Doesn't sound that dissimilar to the 'Dead Zone' to me. I enjoyed Duma Key as I remember it's the last of his books, as opposed to 'Under the dome' which was deliberate, that I haven't put down and then wondered six months later why I've forgotten to pick it up again. 'Lisey's story' being a recent example.
 

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I haven't read Lisey's Story yet, mainly because it got a lot of grumblings about King going all pretentious and literary which didn't suit him. I'll get around to it one day.
 

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Stephen King truly ranks as one of the most important horror writers of the 20th century in terms of nortoriety and popularity, enjoying an extraordinary meteoric rise, raising respectability and mainstream profitability. Horror lit up til than had be relegated dime-store trash, hokum and schlock with infrequent exceptions to the rule. Before King it was short story prose where the horror genre excelled. Unfortunately with popularity comes exploitation, the 80s witnessed a deluge of King wannabes. Sure, Laymon's rippers can be loads of fun but a general lack of substance for readers to roll their tongues on afterwards. No closing curtains just slasher mayhem and panache. Though the best imitators could serve up atmospheric and tension-filled late night nailbiters but usually the story and characters suffered from thoughtless cliches. I even count the enormously popular Koontz amongst the guilty with his tiresome redundant "strangers in peril adventure" tales. However, King never stood alone, certainly isn't the be all, end all of horror lit by any means.

Having read over 40 of King's books including two of his outstanding nonfictions, Danse Macabre and On Writing, has convinced me his greatest output was published between 1974 through 1986 (IT). This period includes 3 of his finest short story collections and his best Bachman books. In fact, only 3 titles published in this period qualify as personal disappointments ... Roadwork, Firestarter, and Christine.

But the last two decades witnessed a shift in King's writing, specifically his storytelling, from straight horror with well drawn realistic characters and thoughtful heartwrenching even core themes ... to ... manipulative and absurd dark fantasies featuring regurgitated characters and cinematic virtuoso. Where "realities" has joined the cast of characters in of itself. Where the whole universal fabric are unraveled and rewound. With reality so far removed from these stories, the reader becomes too removed from the story's reality. Now, I don't require fiction neatly packaged and tied down but not under the presumption or expectation of a healthy dose of realism or reality which is a common characteristic in a vintage King novel.

My favorite King novel is The Shining, which I religiously revisit sometimes as frequently as once a year.

Here is a curt summary I wrote:

"Terror and tragedy weigh-in on this character driven horror story possessing ambience and shades of ambivalence with mesmerizing quality. A young gifted boy learns his parents, father sober fleeing demons of alcoholism and faithful mother victims of a rocky past, seeking fresh beginnings have sealed the family's fate to a sinister cycle winter caretaking at the Overlook Hotel."

My Stephen King likes: ambience, character investment, overall story construction.
My Stephen King dislikes: verbose, overuse of stock characters, weak climaxes.

Top 10 Favorite King Novels (non-Dark Tower)

1. The Shining
2. The Green Mile
3. IT
4. Salem's Lot
5. Cujo
6. Pet Sematary
7. The Stand (DT tie-in)
8. The Long Walk
9. Misery
10. Gerald's Game

Favorite collections

1. Skeleton Crew
2. Nightmares & Dreamscapes
3. Night Shift
4. Different Seasons

Thank you!
 

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gncxx said:
Full story:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/ ... -big-94805

Stephen King's grand opus The Stand is finally getting the big-screen treatment.

Warner Bros. and CBS Films are teaming to adapt the novel, which in many ways set the bar for a generation of post-apocalyptic stories and influenced works ranging from TV's Lost to music group Anthrax.

Mosaic and Roy Lee are producing.

The companies will co-develop and co-produce the feature film, with CBS having the option to participate in co-financing. Warners will handle worldwide marketing and distribution.

The studios and producers will sit down with writers and directors in the coming weeks in an attempt to find the right take on the material. One thing to be determined is whether to attempt the adaptation in one or multiple movies. King will be involved in some capacity.

CBS has held the rights for many years but recently realized the best way to undertake the project was with a partner. Warners beat out Fox and Sony in a tight bidding war for the gig, getting its hands on one of the biggest-selling books of all time...
Please make it better than that godawful 90s miniseries. Although whether the movie will be six hours long to fit in the 1000+ pages might be moot.
This could be interesting!

I generally don't like King movie adaptations with exception of some of his short stories -- The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, Children Of the Corn, etc. From the novel it's Misery. I am one that can't stand Kubrick's The Shining, overlong and reduced the psychological impact of the novel into cheesy parlour scares and music stings.

Oh, and Creepshow stands as one of the best horror anthologies ever beside Black Sabbath (1964) and Tales From The Crypt (1972).
 

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No, thank you! It could be that the reason you felt a downward turn in his quality control after It was that he had pretty much said all that he needed to say by then, and not every writer is going to find some new angle or theme at that stage in their career, probably most don't.

Interesting to see you rate Gerald's Game so highly, I thought it had been forgotten. I think there have been a few gems from the 1990s onwards, I really liked The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Cell (even the ending!) and Under the Dome among others. King is about the only writer I'll still buy regardless of what I've heard about the book, and have been since I was a teenager. Never clicked with Pet Sematary, mind you.
 

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King said recently he'd like a heavy metal soundtrack and no Molly Ringwald for The Stand remake. Plus the first he heard about this new version was when he read about it on the internet! Nice of them to let him know.
 

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gncxx said:
No, thank you! It could be that the reason you felt a downward turn in his quality control after It was that he had pretty much said all that he needed to say by then, and not every writer is going to find some new angle or theme at that stage in their career, probably most don't.

Interesting to see you rate Gerald's Game so highly, I thought it had been forgotten. I think there have been a few gems from the 1990s onwards, I really liked The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Cell (even the ending!) and Under the Dome among others. King is about the only writer I'll still buy regardless of what I've heard about the book, and have been since I was a teenager. Never clicked with Pet Sematary, mind you.
Yeah, King readers are divided on Gerald's Game but I liked it because I felt King went into territory he had really never gone before. And I enjoyed and appreciated that. It can be a tough read though.

I loved Pet Sematary, the whole core theme of that book is about familial loss and how people deal with. Very serious theme all of us can relate to only under King's masterful horror strokes. This book was inspired by a series of events in the King household, when their daughter Naomi lost her cat "Smucky" experiencing death for the first time and when the Kings almost lost their son Owen in incident very similar to that portrayed both in the book and film. One of the book's creepiest moments is when Louis digs up the body of Gage and brings it to the Pet Sematary, all the while King is treating us to Louis' inner desperate delirium. This title will always remain in my top ten.
 

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What was that short story with the mirror where people look in it and see something odd, then run out of the room never to be seen again?

That was one that I always found immensely disturbing, for for a simple premise.
 

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BlackRiverFalls said:
What was that short story with the mirror where people look in it and see something odd, then run out of the room never to be seen again?

That was one that I always found immensely disturbing, for for a simple premise.
The Reaper's Image from the Skeleton Crew collection.
 

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Latest on the remake of The Stand is that Ben Affleck is writing the script and directing. Well, he does have an Oscar for writing. No idea if they're going for the trilogy method of adapting it, as was the original plan, but they might not chance it (eh, Philip Pullman fans?) and pack it all into one great big megamovie like The Green Mile.
 

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http://www.movies.ie/movie_news/1179944 ... n_Kings_IT

Heat Vision is reporting that Warner Bros. has tapped Cary Fukunaga (‘Jane Eyre,’ ‘Sin Nombre’) to direct a new adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel ‘It.’Fukunaga will co-write the screenplay with Chase Palmer with the plan to adapt the best-selling book into two films.

Published in 1986 ‘It’ follows a group of kids called “The Losers Club” that encounter an evil demon who preys on children in the form of a sadistic clown called Pennywise. When the creature resurfaces thirty years later, “The Losers Club” must reunite to battle the demon, even though they have no memory of the first battle.

The book was previously adapted back in 1990 as a two-part TV movie starring John Ritter, Seth Green, Harry Anderson, Jonathan Brandis, Annette O’Toole, Richard Thomas and most importantly of all, Tim Curry in the role of Pennywise.
Two films?! I must admit I thought the miniseries was terrible apart from Tim Curry, so a er, duology (what's the double of a trilogy?) rated R might be the way to go. Though if they end it the way the book ends, I'll be very surprised. Great book, but that bit was always, um, odd.
 

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Finished the paperback of 11.22.63 and though it turned into a nostalgia effort with teeth pretty quickly, I did enjoy it. Liked the way King wrote an ending which struck a balance between lone gunman and conspiracy, without saying too much. A shame the girlfriend character came in for so much abuse, got a bit ridiculous in the second half, but yeah, King's still got it. Nice Richie and Bev from It cameo too.
 

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I've just started Lisey's Story. I hardly ever read fiction so when I do it has to come with a guarantee. ;)

What's this I read? It's crap? :(
 
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