Is Stephen King still worth reading?

Is Stephen King still worth reading?

Billy Summers will arrive in bookstores on October 26th. It will be a success, praised by the most avid fans. Who are now so addicted to the cult of the King that they acclaim every odd story as a masterpiece

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash The new book by Stephen King will be out on October 26 and it will be a bestseller. This is the 63rd of the author who, counting also short stories (about 200) and non-fiction, has sold more than 350 million copies. King was a landmark of the pop culture of the second half of the twentieth century and perhaps also of the current one. He is not exempt from humility in judging his work: in an excess of severity he has defined himself as the literary equivalent of McDonald's and has crushed some books that he has left behind. Self-criticism, at least that exercised in public, is a rare quality in an author, and this must be acknowledged. Today, however, with a touch of malice, we ask ourselves if all this success has deserved it, or rather, if you find confirmation on the page.

About one thing King is infallible: the starting idea. Misery: a writer, after a car accident, is saved by what turns out to be his biggest and most dangerous fan; The Shining: a family moves to an off-season hotel where they will come into contact with dark forces; Carrie: a teenager bullied and oppressed by maternal religious prejudices, lets her paranormal powers explode at the school dance; The man on the run: in a dystopian future, the population follows ferocious TV programs in which the lives of competitors are at risk (and here, let's specify: we are 25 years ahead of the Hunger Games). All the novels of the King of Horror have a picth (that is, the quick presentation of their novel idea) that would knock out any publisher and encourage them to download them from Amazon or to buy them at the bookstore.

The problem is that very often if to summarize them King's novels ignite our imagination, in recent years, to read them they lower the flame. I hear you knights of the king lift up: “you who criticize are the usual radical chic intellectual who disdains the simple prose of bestsellers! " Error. I like the prose of the bestsellers, the same that we find today in authors like Joe R Lansdale, so to speak, and the point is just that: King wrote some novels - perhaps more than a few - in a frankly horrible way. If you take his early works, they show a tense and effective prose that has been missing since the second half of the nineties. It must be said that King has always had a tendency to digressions and to be verbose even in his best works like It, and I challenge even his most loyal fans to say otherwise, but in the second half of his production the verbosity of writing has been accompanied by confusing or closed textures not quite well.

Let's take Rose Madder (1995), the story of a woman abused by her husband who comes across a painting that she will discover to be a kind of portal. The novel starts well (all of King's novels start well!) But then gets confused and the two parts, abused woman and magical painting, do not integrate properly. Result: boredom. In 2001 the Dreamcatcher was released. It is by the author's own admission, a bad novel, written under the influence of the drugs he had to take after the serious accident in 1999. The following year Buick 8 comes out, a novel about a car that leads to another. reality, nothing remotely comparable to Christine - The Infernal Machine published in 1983. In 2006, he published one of his worst novels, in my opinion, and perhaps one of the few where the pitch looked bad, Cell. A signal called a "pulse" is transmitted by cell phones around the world and transforms those who receive it into zombies. The plot looks like a parody of the scifi genre, something written by a new Fredrich Brown, the author of Martians Go Home! or from Kurt Vonegut, but King takes himself seriously. The result is pathetic.

I pass over The story of Lisey, Blaze and Duma Key that I have not read and I reach 2009 with the release of The Dome. Once again the pitch is perfect: one morning, a transparent cylinder covers a small town, Chester's Mill, isolating it from the rest of the world. The book is over a thousand pages. Abandonment before reaching the middle. The story is lost in a myriad of characters that the reader cannot give a damn about. What is meant to be an American provincial ensemble story becomes I don't even know what (ah, the inspired TV series almost manages to be worse). As King will say, the novel had been born twenty years earlier, but he had abandoned it after about seventy pages. Sin. The next one brings the author back to the glories of the past, 11/22/63, although in my opinion we are far from the tension of the Eighties and the story undergoes a progressive decline in the course of development. Two years later he already yawns with Doctor Sleep. It would like to be the sequel to The Shining and an insight into the character of Danny, the child with extra-sensory powers. We can say that the events add nothing to either the story or the character encountered in the masterpiece brought to the cinema by Stanley Kubrick.

Lost in the distant past, of mists and cemeteries with musky crosses novels such as The Nights of Salem, The Dead Zone, The Shadow of the Scorpion and Gerald's Game (perhaps the latter the watershed among the best King and what came next), today we have The Outsider, Gwendy's Button Box, The Institute, and Later. Next up is Billy Summers: the story of a murderer who takes one last job and pretends to be a first-time writer to do it.

I already know: I'll buy it. Because the plot, intrigues me, promises good ...

Books - 21 hours ago

The 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature goes to Abdulrazak Gurnah

What we discovered in the Eternals final trailer

David Cronenberg's films have had a son, and it's Titane


Cinema Books TV series globalData.fldTopic = "Cinema, Books, TV series "

This opera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Powered by Blogger.