Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

I remember years ago I had read one of King's earlier works, (might have been Cujo but I'm not sure), and I found him to just be extremely wordy and not in a good way. I found that he was going on and on about details that were not revelant to the story itsef and after talking to some other people about it, they laughed and thought the same thing. I admit to not being the world's most avid reader nowadays, but I found myself responding way better to Dean Koontz's work when I was reading regularly than I ever think I could with King's.

I still think highly of King however...so much so that I was taking a public speaking class in college almost 10 years ago. Each of us in the class had to think of a person we would introduce at some kind of function and I proudly chose Stephen King and introducecd him as the "Master of the Macabre, " which I truly think he is...I just think, and it is just my opinion, that he has been improved upon by other writers such as Koontz.

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

I'm about 40 pages away from finishing Salem's Lot. It's the first time I've read it, and man he had it right from the beggining! (I know Carrie came first, and that's great too) It's just so badass! Great read, I just felt like sharing tongue

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

^ There's one I haven't read.  (putting it in mental queue) - thanks, ZB

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

Sorry I have just stumbled across this article and had to revive it smile

I've read a lot of Stephen King's books and some are fantastic. One that does spring to my mind more than most is Carrie which was an absorbing read however he does have imo this tendency to condense some of his stories way too much. Case in point, IT, I read this 4 times and each time was a stuggle to get into the story because of the amount of information he tries to incorporate. Some stories he does manage to tone the volume of depth down and keep the story interesting but different but it can go wrong.

Actually thinking of it I think this is the reason directors have such a hard time trying to recreate movies from his material. There's the top layer, the main plot line and some many intricate ones beneath the main layer and it all needs to be thought processed properly to go into the basis of a movie, I can on some level understand why the movies come out wrong.

Back to the point in question though, the condensing, the dense subtext and the amount of detail and information in his books can make reading it, for me personally, more a chore than enjoyment. Like I said not every book is that bad, some are very good. I think Carrie did well because it was pretty much straight to the point with the other plot within between Carrie and her mother and it all blended well.

I admit lately his edge in horror novels has suffered in my opinion. Given that the calibre of authors has risen dramatically it is harder to push into the market and have an impact. But for impact King still has much of an edge and he will always be a legend, sometimes it's just the fine points let him down.

That's my two cents, lol. Please don't kick too hard smile

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

His short stories definitely always had more of an edge to them than his novels ("The Bogeyman" is a fantastic piece of fiction in general, and horror fiction specifically).  I think he has moved more towards dark fantasy than horror, but Duma Key really struck a good balance between his new style and the more visceral frights he used to deliver.  Lots of lingering horror and being freaked out after putting the book down for the night.

So, I think he still has it in him, it is just that he's not going for the same effect that he used to.

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

The first three horror books i read were Christine & Salem's Lot, i chose them cause i had seen the movies but liked the books better. I then bought Pet Sematary which i loved. My sister had all his books so i started on her collection but felt his later stuff just were not horror anymore so moved onto Richard Laymon & Shaun Hutson to get that fix. I did not know about his substance abuse but definitely think that when people clean up they can lose their edge such as Dave Mustaine of metal band Megadeth, when he an alcoholic & drug addict his music was on fire, having said that we can't forget that Stephen King probably wrote some of his best stuff before he had any of those problems.

Last edited by ZOMBIE SLASHER (2009-06-09 06:33:56)

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

Thanks Constantce for this topic very interesting.Somebody introduced the music(beatles) concept and as im currently learning bass it struck a chord.Sorry about the pun.As my teacher said when i remarked that i heard a particular rift before he said there are only so many chords.Maybe in a way this applies to King as is he struggling to find new chords?Great writer the Edgar Allen Poe of our times.Do urself a fav and read The Dark Tower series brillant.liked Cell it was his first zombie book i think.Could go one for hours about his best but liked his short stories  and novelars better- the mangler,the raft, the bogeyman,the langoliers,the long walk and the running man the story and not that shit movie with Arnie.The last two under Bachman.Anyway thanks again for this interesting topic.
Ps like ur pic

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

To keep it short and sweet:  think the guy lost it in recent years.

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

joe91074 wrote:

I remember years ago I had read one of King's earlier works, (might have been Cujo but I'm not sure), and I found him to just be extremely wordy and not in a good way. I found that he was going on and on about details that were not revelant to the story itsef and after talking to some other people about it, they laughed and thought the same thing. I admit to not being the world's most avid reader nowadays, but I found myself responding way better to Dean Koontz's work when I was reading regularly than I ever think I could with King's.

I still think highly of King however...so much so that I was taking a public speaking class in college almost 10 years ago. Each of us in the class had to think of a person we would introduce at some kind of function and I proudly chose Stephen King and introducecd him as the "Master of the Macabre, " which I truly think he is...I just think, and it is just my opinion, that he has been improved upon by other writers such as Koontz.

Yes yes yes, that's how I feel. Try reading Brian Keene, he is awesome (and to the point) lol

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

Kings older works are his best; The Shining, Salem's Lot, Pet Semetary (which still scares the crap out of me) and the Gunslinger show him in top form. Does he still have the edge? I do not know - maybe he does not want to write horror anymore and has moved on. I cannot imagine my life without the Dark Tower series though.

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

I'm a King fan for sure. I've only read five of his older books (Pet Semetary, The Shining, The Dark Half, Different Seasons, The Green Mile) and two novellas from Skeleton Crew (The Mist, The Monkey). But right now I'm about half way through one of his newer books, Duma Key, and it's really good so far, me thinks.

Although I haven't read any other newer novels of his, so I can't say if he's lost his edge or not. But judging by this thread alone, I'm going to guess that he probably has.

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

If you like his old stuff check out Salems Lot.

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

Actually his books turn out well, unfortunately movies based on his books do not, at least the newer ones, i think its more of the production company and not King.

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

I'm obviously late to the game, however I must add my 2 cents on this particular topic. Mr. King is prolific, however his earlier work is clearly so superior to his later work that it must be something right? Maybe, maybe not. When I mean his earlier work, I mean The Shining, Dead Zone, Cujo, Christine, Tommyknockers, Pet Sematary (yes I skipped Carrie, did not like it..sorry) also his short stories collections Night Shift and Skeleton Crew. First, I'd like to say he set the bar really really high. Like Quentin Tarantino trying to duplicate the success of Pulp Fiction, King will never again reach The Shining level of scary. King started to lose my devout readership when he left pure horror and went into his realtionship phase with Lisey's Story and others, (though at this writing, the only King books that I have not read is his Dark Tower series), I slogged through From a Buick 8 and others and was glad to finish.
Many things change a writer, I think it was a combination of getting older, near death experience and some substance abuse issues. But Koontz does not do it for me, either does Barker, though I think they are both talented writers, they do not grab me like King. I will say this however, Full Dark  No Stars is some of King's best work in novellas since Four Past Midnight...highly recommended reading. I'm currently reading Horns by his son....very promising so far.

Last edited by Treuj (2011-08-25 01:08:34)

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

Funny thing is, two days ago I found a massive torrent with all of King's published work to date and downloaded it, figuring now I can spend some time catching up on the stuff I've missed over the last ten, fifteen years...

...then today I opened the torrent to pick something to read, said to myself "Eh, who has the time?" and then deleted the whole damn thing. lol

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

^^
You could fit all of Lovecraft's work into one of King's mega-novels. lol
I haven't read anything this 'The Dark Tower,' so I can't comment on anything since then.  King's early stuff was his best, and then a bit uneven.
I like Koontz, Matheson & Lumley as much or more than King, Barker, Bloch & Straub a little less so.

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

I love king's work, I think he's still a master of his craft even to this date, I know he has changed after he had his accident that put him in the hospital, it kind of freaked him out seeing the accident was alot similar to the accident he was creating in his new novel at the time I guess...that would freak out anyone, kind of creepy that it happened like that, but I still think he rocks at what he does!

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

LoudLon wrote:

Funny thing is, two days ago I found a massive torrent with all of King's published work to date and downloaded it, figuring now I can spend some time catching up on the stuff I've missed over the last ten, fifteen years...

...then today I opened the torrent to pick something to read, said to myself "Eh, who has the time?" and then deleted the whole damn thing. lol

wow how weird, i did almost exactly that this past weekend. wanted to watch the uncut salems lot and didnt have my dvd on me so i got it off a torrent, then looking around i saw all these books ive been wanting to catch up on and grabbed them too...but after the books were done i browsed through them and said "mehh" and just deleted them. lol.



azathoth wrote:

^^
You could fit all of Lovecraft's work into one of King's mega-novels. lol
I haven't read anything this 'The Dark Tower,' so I can't comment on anything since then.  King's early stuff was his best, and then a bit uneven.
I like Koontz, Matheson & Lumley as much or more than King, Barker, Bloch & Straub a little less so.

yeah but Lovecrafts stuff is way better. and of course to me Matheson is his modern day successor creating new classic horror. never really got into the others but i liked a few Koontz books over the years.


i think king has definitely lost the horror edge and become less interesting to me overall. but he had a good run and his classics will always be available.

i dont know if anyone mentioned him but the 2 Brian Keene books ive read were pretty damn good.

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

^^^
I'm a Lovecraft man.  I got Lon to read a couple of his stories so far.  smile

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

I will read anything King puts out, but yea, I can see how his stuff isn't as good as it used to be. The last new thing I read was Cell, and that was a few years ago now.

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

I think he has given us all of his best... sadly I feel he lost the vison after the accident. His books that he wrote after that --well.. some were good, some dull, none like those of his prime.  Stephen King has a bad habit of running out of steam at the end of some his stores >couch< IT >cough<  and now it seems he has run out of steam for his writing career. and please dont get me wrong-- Im a huge fan and have lots of love for the King of Horror I just calls 'em like see'em.

he should mentor some young writers.. perhaps even co-write a book with another good author like he did with Straub.  Or choose a collection of short stories from other horror authors

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

I think he should move in to directing - look how absolutely fantastic
Maximum Overdrive turned out  lol

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

or acting.. dont you just love his awesome cameos ? lol

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

The Lonesome Death of Jody Verrel will always be his best acting role!

Re: Stephen King - Does he still have his edge?

Regarding King's newer stuff, I'm reading his latest novel, 11/22/63. I'm about half way through, and it's great. big_smile