The King & I

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Oh, the years lost in junior high study hall (or detention) reading The Stand, Skeleton Crew, The Bachman Books, Carrie…the list goes on. While the jocks flirted with the cheerleaders, my nose stayed buried in the book when I wasn’t drawing. I guess some things don’t change.

Everyone knows Stephen King because either they have read his books, seen movies based on the books, had people argue the great King vs Koontz debate, read his articles in Entertainment Weekly or perhaps used some of his tomes for doorstops. I am currently using 11/22/63 for bicep curls and it works magnificently. I’ve  heard from folks that its also a great read though I am sad to say I have not gotten to it yet. It did get me wondering about many things Stephen King — and I will only cover a few here.

Moving on…

Just the other day, I noticed a new Dark Tower book, The Wind Through the Keyhole yet I’d heard awhile back that King was done with the series. The Dark Tower series has been rolling out in graphic novel format as well and has been in talks for a movie for quite a long time. I also was surprised to see that Eyes of the Dragon is in development. The Talisman has long been in talks for a TV miniseries or Hollywood movie and has been adapted into an ongoing graphic novel series, too.

I love King, for the most part … but might come off snobby as I break his work up into periods. Like many others, I like his early raw works the best but his writing did become more refined and he did branch out whether his fans liked it or not. In the 1,000,000 books, stories, and scripts he has cranked out there have arguably been many that seemed rather mailed in, just the same. I know he usually has several pots on the stove. If you do the math while reading his closing salutations to the faithful reader in many of his novels, you might catch that he has three novels going at the same time and short stories to boot. He is prolific like Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison to name a few and I guess some off story collections (From a Buick 8?) or mediocre 1000 page books (Under the Dome?) are bound to happen. Who am I to judge? HOW DARE I? I am not the terrifying Kathy Bates character from Misery, I surely pray. I’m not his editor but perhaps some should have been kept in his attic boxes while others, such as Carrie, were rightfully saved from the trash bin by his discerning wife and fellow author Tabitha.

I was blown away by this humongous list of all things Stephen King in television and movies. Yowza!  84 titles and counting! I didn’t even know that they made a 2010 TV series entitled Haven based on his novel The Colorado Kid. Has anybody out there seen it?

Of course, I am proud to say that SJCPL as usual has the majority of the major films and series such as The Mist, Haven, The Stand, Stand By Me, Carrie, The Shawshank Redemption, 1408, The Dead Zone (Cronenberg + Walken = Win), The Green Mile, Bag of Bones, Dreamcatcher, Misery (“you dirty dirty bird!”), and my favorite of faves The Shining (Nicholson/Kubrick version, not the later TV mini-series starring that dude from Wings). And, I’m pretty sure we have all the books as some pretty new paperbacks with redesigned covers have rolled in the last few months, courtesy of those busy graphic artists at Simon & Schuster.

See links to the catalog below:

* for those die-hard fans, here is The Dark Tower Official Website and Stephen King’s Official Website.

** Also, if you like Stephen King you might try his son Joe Hill’s books, which have also come highly recommended  –  Heart-Shaped Box, Horns, and Locke & Key (graphic novel series).

*** If you don’t like Stephen King, be sure to ask  ♥ Hank ♥ in the magazine department at Main for his favorite romance novels. For a cup of coffee he might be encouraged to do a dramatic reading.

 

5 Comments

  1. OK Jeremy. Payback is coming! So far, no one has asked for a dramatic reading. I’m not sure whether that is comment on your blog, my acting or the price of coffee.

  2. Like most authors King’s adaptations to TV and film generally seem lacking in one way or another. I agree that King’s later work pales in comparison with seminal tomes like The Shining and The Dead Zone. The Dark Tower series is in production limbo at present and I’m not sure if even Ron Howard has the pull to get it green lit. We’ll see (or more likely – we won’t).

  3. @Clint – Yeah…the whole Ron Howard project bit fell off the radar and isn’t even showing up much in news feeds, as I thought it was still being considered by some bigwig. I think it will turn up in some way but I am conditioned not to trust the quality of most adaptations at this point. They have mined so much out the King catalog – and it does lend itself to many great adaptations, but 90% seem to land in the hands of those barely competent to make the story happen (The Langoliers, Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher, Silver Bullet, and so forth).

    And on a side note, I get a chuckle on many of the books King recommends. He signs off on so many awful books (especially in the 80s and 90s) that it is hard to trust the great books he recommends that fly under the radar. He seems rather sincere but these one-shot books were rather terrible with only the occasional gem. I’d like to think he was trying to give other authors a boost but many shouldn’t have gotten that boost and he has left many, many fans wondering when they follow his blurbs and read those books.

    • I don’t know anything about the story it was based on, but Dreamcatcher is one of the most absurdly terrible/awesome movies I’ve ever seen.

  4. @Kevin – I agree based on where the monster thingies -uh- hibernate. I thought the memory warehouse the main character hid in was cool until I forgot that King ripped it off from Thomas Harris’ Hannibal who employed his memory palace (influenced by the nonfiction Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci). You gotta love the cotton swabs they glued on Morgan Freeman for those strangely unnatural bushy eyebrows. And naming Freeman’s character Curtiz –giving him characteristics from Brando’s Apocalypse Now character Kurtz (seen more readily in King’s novel vs screenplay) a character already expertly once removed from the previous fiction book Heart of Darkness. Lazy. The whole blasted book was lazy. He had so many elements from other books of his own that were pretty much copy/paste.

    Wow. I feel strongly about this and have thought way too much about it.

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