Stephen King: love him or hate him?

@KATRINKA (1660)
United States
March 27, 2007 2:34pm CST
Years ago, I attended a writing workshop at a prestigious Liberal Arts college. A group of us were discussing our favorite authors. One whispered that he liked Stephen King and then warned us about saying his name aloud, since the instructors and a lot of the workshop attendees did not consider King a "real writer." What do you think? Do you like Stephen King or not?
7 people like this
22 responses
@twilight021 (2060)
• United States
27 Mar 07
Aww...I think that's unfair. I think Stephen King is a great writer. He writes stories that people like to read. They are engaging and interesting. I get that horror/fantasy isn't everyones thing, but I don't think it's fair to judge his wrting ability on that....but everyone is entitle to their opinion :-) I think my favorites are The Stand, and The Dark Tower series. My boyfriend is a Dark Tower nut, so he got me into reading those. The Stand was the first book I read that really freaked me out. I re-read it not that long ago, and really enjoyed it.
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
28 Mar 07
How many books are in the Dark Tower series? I think I have only 5. I know there are more.
1 person likes this
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I like how King cross-pollinates his characters and locales in his stories. It's like being in on a private joke (or whatever) whenever I come across a reference. I've been doing it with my own stories as well.
1 person likes this
@4cuteboys (4103)
• United States
20 May 07
I like Stephen King. I haven't read anything from him in years though. When I was a teen it was all I would read! I don't see why they wouldn't like him. They might not like the topics of his books, but that isnt a reason to badmouth him. I liked his early works, Christine, Pet Semetary, Cujo, Tommyknockers, The Stand. My dad has Cell, I should give it a shot when I stay at his house over the summer.
1 person likes this
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
21 May 07
Let me know what you think of Cell when you read it. Have you read Hearts in Atlantis? I was going through some of my old articles to post on my new website, and in one of them, I deconstructed the plot. He was genius in writing converging points of view.
@Erilyn (3020)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I love King's work. I have read everything he has every written. I am ashamed to admit this but when he was in his accident, my first thought, I was worried that he would never finish the Dark Tower Series. The first novel I ever read was when I was 8 and it was a King book. I have been a fan ever since.
• Canada
28 Mar 07
I adore Stephen King, so obviously, I think he's a "real writer". I love how he has such an ordinary, conversational style that can take the most ordinary things, and the most ordinary people, and then rip aside the mask and show the dark and twisted and very frightening face underneath. To do that, and make it believable, is a gift, and I've spent many hours scared out of my little mind by Stephen King! I'm not sure how the instructors/workshop attendees could say he's not a "real writer" - and I'm sure their opinion really bothers him when he's cashing his royalty cheques! :)
1 person likes this
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
14 Apr 07
I also enjoy his writing voice. It has an accessible, conversational style, and sometimes his word choices make me giggle.
@Trinka26 (171)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I have to agree that the instructors were jealous. Or possibly they just didn't like King's style. But for whatever reason, they shouldn't try to put him down! He is an excellent writer and storyteller, and I refuse to whisper it!! LOL I did read Insomnia, and I liked it, but my daughter, who is a big Stephen King fan, didn't like it, and went on to read Leesy. She named her new Boston Terrier puppy after that one!!
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
28 Mar 07
Cute! Glad I'm not the only one who names her pets after fictional characters. I've named two of my cats Gatsby and Daisy after the main characters in Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 07
King is a literay GOD! The instructors are just jealous, I've read many authors and they all pale next to King.
1 person likes this
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
27 Mar 07
What are your favorites by King? {whispering} I think he is a fantastic storyteller. His novel, IT, scared me. I couldn't read it after dark. If a writer can do that, then he's doing something right. I also loved "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" and "The Body." I felt both movies made from those were successful. I think his stories translate well into films. I did try to read Insomnia, but I couldn't get into it. The same with the movie. Are there any stories by King you didn't like?
1 person likes this
28 Mar 07
In the beginning I like Stephen King. I loved the way he wrote. A great page turner every time. I really enjoyed his work. I have read a couple of his recent books and I was a bit disappointed. His style seems to have changed. It didn't have the same sitting on the edge of your seat till you turned the page. Until recently I found him well written, a master in his field. Lately, I think he has lost the plot.
1 person likes this
@steerpyke (396)
28 Mar 07
in todays world popular authors are seen as low brow whether they are or not. King in my opinion, is a class act, its just a pity that many of his films (the horror ones mainly) fall short.
1 person likes this
@muscare (3069)
• Australia
28 Mar 07
How the hell could anybody say that Stephen King isn't a real writer? He's absolutely brilliant, the Master of his genre. One of my bookcases is three quarters full of his books, the only reason its not full is because I'm waiting for him to write more! I was really worried when he had that accident, because at that stage he hadn't finished his Dark Tower series. I like many others have been following the tale for decades!
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
18 May 07
I have liked Stephen King since I was a teenager or ever since I started watching horror movies and reading horror books he is one of my favorites.
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
19 May 07
Have you read CELL? I recently tried to read it. Gave it 50 pages and gave up. What about you?
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
19 May 07
I have to admit. I read the cell but it wasn't as good as a lot of the books I have read for that one. I read more Dean koontz then Stephen King. It seems like I get more into Dean Koontz books then Stephen king. I mean I didn't ever care for the way The Cell ended.
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
21 May 07
Since I'm not going to finish the book, can you tell me how it ended?
• United States
20 May 07
As a teen I read some of IT, I get distracted easily and never finished it. I read Desperation when it came out and I liked it. For a long time whenever I'd go into a book store I would look for The Gunslinger and I never found it so I'd buy something else and forget about it by the time I got home and never order it online. Then one day I was in a local store and surprisingly in their little book section they had it. I'm currently on book four of the Dark Tower series and when I finish this up I plan on reading The Stand and possibly The Eyes of The Dragon after that. So yes, I am a fan.
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
21 May 07
I've never read the Dark Tower series, but I do have 4 of the books. I may eventually get to it.
@peaceful (3286)
• United States
29 Mar 07
I liked his work when I was younger... Today it seems kind of quaint and formulaic when you take a good long look at it... Still good, but it's like a familiar drive down a well-known road... Christine and Needful Things made awful books but great movies and IT and The Stand were the reverse... I think that there is a pitfall in getting your work made into movies in that it starts to leave "holes" sort of, in your novel scripting, this is all my opinion of course, because ,"nothing succeeds like success" and his formula has spawned some of todays excellent horror films...
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
30 Mar 07
And considering all the money King makes, maybe he doesn't care about how good the films are. I don't know how much input he has in the film productions. Anne Tyler (I think it was she) said that she considered her novels and the film versions as two separate entitities, rather than the film being "based on..." If it were me, I'm not sure how I would feel. I'd want the film version to be a good representative of my story, and for those who haven't read the book first, I'd want them to feel compelled to buy it.
• Canada
28 Mar 07
Stephen King ... not a "real writer" ... are you kidding me ?!? That man is the best author out there. His books are amazing, intense, and suspenseful. He is a literary genius, and as far as I'm concerned none compares to him.
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
28 Mar 07
Let me guess...you're a fan? :giggle: I love your icon!
28 Mar 07
I think Stephen King is a greatly under-rated writer. I have to say that I wasn't initially a fan, and got in to his writing through his short stories, which I still prefer to his novels. Having said that, 'The Stand', 'The Shining' and 'Salem's Lot' are my favourites of his novels. Amongst his short stories and novellas there are some absolute gems. It often comes as a surprise to people, for example, that he's had three of his non-horror novellas adapted in to films, and they're all in the same book called 'Different Seasons'. The films made from this book are 'The Shawshank Redemption', 'Stand By Me' and 'Apt Pupil'. The first two are excellent films, the last one a little disappointing - but not a bad output from ONE collection of 4 novellas! Amongst his short stories there are some beauties. A Sherlock Holmes 'homage', a Cthulu Mythos tale, some heart-breaking stories about family life. I recommend his book 'On Writing' to anyone who wants to get going on their writing, and have to say that he has greatly influenced my own writing.
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I haven't read either of the latter two titles you mentioned. Have you read THE DIARY OF ELLEN RIMBAUER, MY LIFE AT ROSE RED? I think it was initially marketed as a nonfiction book. I kept saying as I read, this can't be true. This couldn't have happened. Yet I wanted to believe that it was true. There were even "sources" cited. Then later I found out it was fictional, and Stephen King helped write it. I was angry with being duped, but then I thought, what great marketing! I never got to watch Rose Red when it was on television.
@ArsonCuff (3121)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I do not personally enjoy his full length books, they become long-winded and muddled with useless moments. His short stories are more bearable. However, I really did enjoy and like his non-fiction book about the actual craft of writing. He seems to break his won rules that he teaches about, but his book is quite good. So I am not a fan, but he must be doing something right to have been s popular.
@hoghoney (3749)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I love Stephen King he is a very good author I have read many of his books but I do love his movies better. My favorite movies are IT and Pet Semateiry, not sure how to spell that one.
• United States
28 Mar 07
I like Stephen King. I think he writes great books. I would read one of his books any day. He has a way of keeping you interested through the whole book. I've read books by other authors where I'm bored by the middle of the book but King's books aren't like that.
@junior07 (975)
• India
28 Mar 07
i don't know anything about Stephen King,but want to know,can you tell me????
@crazynurse (7510)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I have enjoyed reading Stephen King (and Bachman) books since my teen years! Now I don't profess to know anything about writing, so I cannot judge him as a writer would judge him, but I know that his books are awesome! My particular favorite book is 'Misery.' Of course it was about a nurse...go figure! Ha!
@raeleighb (386)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I love Stephen King. He is a great writer and so many of his books (if not all) have been turned into movies.