Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Stephen King

Stephen King

Sheila notes that today is Stephen King's birthday.

I read my first Stephen King book, The Shining, in the eighth grade. My friend Teddy had brought a copy from home to do a book report on, but our English teacher had said it was too advanced a book for Teddy to read. This is neither here nor there, but even if Ms. Schultz had been right, I think that was the wrong thing to say to a kid....

Anyway, Teddy said I could borrow the book if I wanted. I started reading it during last period Science class, and continued on the car ride home, and sat in the recliner downstairs and finished the thing around 11 that night.

It was one of those great times where you finish the book, and are astounded at the passage of time, not having realized just how long you sat there and read the book.

I took it back to Teddy the next day, saying that it was really, really cool. He didn't believe that I'd read the whole thing in one night.

Over the next year, I read near a dozen of King books, most of them found at yard sales or second hand stores.

The Stand I got in ninth grade. A couple weeks later, I got sick with the flu. It was probably as sick as I've gotten in my life. Out of school for a week, it knocked me on my ass so bad. Read The Stand that week. Still a favorite.

It was just after that that I picked up The Gunslinger, the first book in the Dark Tower series at the Sweetwater Flea Market. I probably paid 50 cents, maybe 75 for it. I've never been big on series, but I stayed with that one until he finished it up last year.

(I say that, but I've read the Harry Potter books, all Baum's Oz books, LOTR, the Chronicles of Narnia; but who's counting?)

On Writing is probably the strongest, and easily the most accessible, books on the writing process I've read. And I've read a few of them.

His best stuff is his short fiction, in my opinion. Short fiction's all about the story, and that's what his strength is. He's a lot of things, but he's a storyteller first and foremost. It's highly undervalued, in my book, in writing circles.

Favorite stories? The Mist, which you haven't read until you've read in the middle of the night, alone in the back room of a grocery store. The Jaunt is very good. The Body and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption are also fun...both got made into killer movies. The Sun Dog is good, but maybe because I read it around the same time I had a fascination with cameras. I've always liked Dolan's Cadillac, from Nightmares and Dreamscapes, but then, I like revenge stories quite a bit.


Just a few thoughts. Happy Birthday to Stephen King.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home