Sunday, 21 September 2008

Happy Birthday Stephen King

I have a bookcase stood against the wall and a quick glance shows it holds approximately 200 books. Beside it is another bookcase, slightly smaller, which holds approximately 150. Both are chocked full of well thumbed paperbacks and in the case of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, held together by sellotape.
Not driven by any overwhelming desire to alphabetise or order them whatsoever, literary giants such as Dickens and Steinbeck approvingly rub shoulders with Dahl and Orwell until the list of the finest scribes hits King, Stephen and in many peoples minds, the idea of me mixing King with the great and good of the literary world is worthy of my head being removed and placed upon a stake at Traitors Gate as an example to others who keep The Shining beside To Kill A Mockingbird.
I will concede that Mr King's books have become bloated but strip away the fluff that he seems intent on cramming into every book since The Green Mile, and you are generally left with a more than decent story.
More known for his horror stories, King has been responsible for some outstanding works such as Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me and the aforementioned Green Mile. He has written some stinkers (Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and Dreamcatcher were particularly noteworthy in this regard) but they are few and far between but if a good old fashioned well written story is your want and you are willing to dismiss the sneers of literary snobs, then Stephen King should be on your bookcase.
Throw out the Edgar Allan Poe stuff to make room, he can't hold a candle to King.

3 comments:

Noah "Nog" M. said...

Does he even still write them or does he do that franchise stuff that other big writers do where their names are just tacked on the covers of works they "approve"?

Anyways, he's definitely got some art.

Cheezy said...

He definitely still writes his own stuff all by himself, but I agree that the name 'Stephen King' is all over other people's books... in the form of approving quotations.

Although I think King is one of the many artistes about whom you could say 'he's not as good as he used to be', I still have a lot of time for him, for being a cool guy as well as having great storytelling talent.

I've got enough room on my shelf for both him and for Poe :)

Anonymous said...

He is an icon - I still prefer Poe though ;-) He is very good for getting teens interested in reading - especially boys.