Thursday, July 14, 2011
Stephen King, and why I love him
I really like this quote from Stephen King, because it sums up pretty nicely how I feel about the dreaded "doorstop thriller":
"So many of the 400-pagers are disposable... When I see books by some of the suspense writers that are popular now, I think: "These are basically books for people who don't want to read at all." It just kind of passes through the system. It's like some kind of fast-food treat that takes the express right from your mouth to your bowels, without ever stopping to nourish any part of you."
There are exceptions, of course, but I think for the most part that's spot on.
But King himself writes monstrously long books, doesn't he? Ah, a quandary.
The things I DON'T like about Stephen King: His books are, indeed, waaaay too long, usually. And he writes too goddamn many of them. I can't keep up. In fact, I'm a good DECADE behind.
The things I LOVE about Stephen King: nobody, and I mean NOBODY, writes better or more believable characters. That's King's gift to the world, and that's why he'll be remembered 100, 200 years from now.
Also, the man is a brilliant short story writer. As behind as I am on his novels, I never miss a short story collection from him. If you don't believe me, read Everything's Eventual and see for yourself. It's a collection by a man at the top of his form.
Stephen King's enthusiasm for writing and for reading (he's still a big ole' fanboy himself) are infectious. Long live the King.