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Stephen King and the Odd Off-Day

 
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DavyAbram
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:23 pm    Post subject: Stephen King and the Odd Off-Day Reply with quote

I wouldn’t describe myself as a Stephen King fan, but I’ve read quite a few of his novels and short stories over the years, and, while he’s inconsistent, he can tell a pretty good yarn. However…

I picked up a collection of short stories called Nightmares and Dreamscapes in a charity bookshop a week ago, and, to tell you the truth, it’s pretty feeble stuff. Crouch End in particular manages to combine Lovecraftian Cthulhu drivel with a bunch of Londoners straight out of Mary Poppins.

Most of the other stories are third-rate clunkers, too. Just goes to show that everybody has the odd off-day, and sometimes a whole anthologies-worth of off-days.

Keep at it, creative dudes!
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RobCurtis



Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 133
Location: North Essex, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:51 am    Post subject: Re: Stephen King and the Odd Off-Day Reply with quote

DavyAbram wrote:
Most of the other stories are third-rate clunkers, too. Just goes to show that everybody has the odd off-day, and sometimes a whole anthologies-worth of off-days.

SK also admits in his On Writing book that a few of his novels were written whilst under the influence of varying types of substance, and are less than spectacular.

I do wonder whether single-author anthologies are full of the stuff that couldn't get published anywhere else Confused
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Missy
Minisaga Mistress & Flashmeister


Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 2497
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:09 am    Post subject: Re: Stephen King and the Odd Off-Day Reply with quote

DavyAbram wrote:

SK also admits in his On Writing book that a few of his novels were written whilst under the influence of varying types of substance, and are less than spectacular.


I find my best writing comes when I am under the influence of varying types of substance. Mainly red wine or vodka.
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delph_ambi
Whittaker Fiction Winner 2009


Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 7284
Location: images of elsewhere

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find red wine most efficacious too. Maybe King's off days were when he wasn't under the influence of anything more than a cup of coffee?

Plenty of good authors write total tripe at times. I've just been attempting for the umpteenth time to read a particularly drivelish offering from Fay Weldon. Usually love her stuff, but this one's simply dire. I've consigned it to the 'recycling back to the charity shop whence it came' bin.

Instead, I picked up a JB Priestley - a novel called 'Bright Day' that nobody else seems to have read. I've no idea why not. The prose is positively edible. Beautifully written.
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DavyAbram
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The prose is positively edible. Beautifully written.


It's marvellous to find a piece of writing like that. I remember reading Cider With Rosie for the first time (I was still at school, so it must have been at least three hundred years ago) and the taste and sound of it are with me still. Steinbeck's Cannery Row books have it too - unselfconsciously beautiful.

Amazing what people can do to us with a few squiggles on a page!


Very Happy
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Tapes



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 428
Location: Formby

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came to 'proper' literature a bit late having filled my pretty little head with the likes of Robert E Howard, Moorcock, James Herbert and Stephen King ( and by the way I agree. He can produce humungous clunkers. He used to say that early in his career he got so famous that publishers would have bought his laundry list-I'm afraid they have done that with a few of his later works) and I remember being awestruck (awestricken?) by the power and simplicity of 'Of Mice and men', To Kill a Mockingbird and countless others I'd dismissed as too clever for me.
As you say, squiggles on a page but what squiggles!
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DavyAbram
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently Jaws author Robert Benchley said that it took him fifteen years to realise that he couldn't write, but by that time he couldn't give up because he was too famous...

Like you I came to literature through a pretty lightweight route, although in my case it was by getting hooked on sci-fi when i was still at primary school. I did A-level English, and hated almost everything I had to "do".

One of the things that I think is interesting is how random it is. Who knows why I like George Eliot but am bored rigid by Jane Austen, or why I simply don't "get" Virginia Woolf, but there it is. Why did I hate Dickens for years and then find I was beginning to enjoy him? (Although I have to say that, as a character, Oliver Twist is a complete drip.)

I did a year of literary theory as part of an English degree course (which I never finished) and found over-analysis of texts to be the one thing that destroyed enjoyment, so I prefer not to question it too much.
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Kooga



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 250
Location: Basel

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Stephen King and the Odd Off-Day Reply with quote

Missy wrote:
I find my best writing comes when I am under the influence of varying types of substance. Mainly red wine or vodka.


Try Mescal.
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