Tuesday, November 14, 2006

That Monster The Writer

Stephen King has written about zombies, vampires and the end of the world. He has imagined a killer car, a killer dog, a killer clown and killer cellphones. But when he really wants to put a scare into you, he brings on his most fearsome monster of all, that quivering mass of ego and insecurity known as ... the writer.
Very nice article about King's latest novel Lisey's Story ("about marriage, mourning and living a life of the imagination") in the New York Times, and you can also read the first chapter here.

And if you're too lazy to read it yourself, at the Times Online you can hear the man himself reading the first chapter and listen to a podcast interview. Several articles here pay tribute to the force of nature that's Stephen King.

As for the latest novel, John Sutherland writes in his appraisal of King's craft that Lisey's Story:
... looks as if it’s going to join that set of novels in which King allegorises the woes of his craft. In The Dark Half, a writer is stalked by his pseudonym. In Misery, a writer is imprisoned and made to write crap by his No 1 Fan. In Bag of Bones, a writer hits a block so solid that only a Faustian pact with the Devil can help. And Lisey’s Story — what woes of authorship will be dealt with there? I already have my first day delivery order in with Amazon.
I want to read it too.

9 comments:

Eliza said...

I already have it on my Amazon Most Wanted list. I was a stephen king fan back when I was youger and had more stomach for horror. King's Salem's Lot is the creepiest vampire novel still, in my opinion. Can't wait to read your review of Lisey's story (and oh yes - for me to read the story too!).

Alex Tang said...

Hi Sharon,

After reading Stephen King's excellent On Writing which is a rojak of autobiography, pedagogy of the craft of writing, commentaries on other writers, I can understand why he does all these things to writers in his novels. This promises to be another interesting read.

A question: Do we live on in our writing after we are dead? Like really being here? Eeerie.

bibliobibuli said...

that sounds like a good premise for a story, alex

there is a lovely poem i posted earlier on the subject

eliza - have still to read 'misery' waiting on my bookshelf ...

Krishna said...

So Sharon, shall we do a Stephen King for our book club next year? No awards fighting for shelf space at his home, but as one of the most successful and prolific writers working today,think he's worth a peek and maybe discussion no?

bibliobibuli said...

i would like that krishna. do suggest it and i'll second you.

counterrestrial said...

Misery really gets into the writer’s psyche. There’s a lot of interior monologue on the nature of the creative process that could very well serve as companion pieces for On Writing… A lot of the book is your standard Stephen King triller but in between some pretty gruesome scenes Paul Sheldon muses on things like the affinity readers have for made up characters, writing being synonymous with addiction, and psychosis…

It also has an interesting book-within-a-book, a story you get to follow and note the parallels with Paul “playing Sherazade” to Annie in the main story (which parallels King’s struggle with drug addiction in real life.) Everything in it is all very playful constructed and self-referential… even the typeface. It stands out as one of King’s smartest novels, IMO, the closest he’s ever come to writing satire.

Xeus said...

I love Stephen King. He's one of the writers I study. He's been getting a little verbose in his later books, but nothing beats the slow intensity build up of the Shining or Pet Sematary. And his non-horror books are first class as well.

Sharon, I know you are chairing this Saturday's Writer's Circle Session in MPH. I won't be in the country. Would you please announce to the writers there that I'm collecting stories for Dark City 2? For more info, they can come to my blogsite.

Thanking you in advance. Hugs.

Siege said...

Hi, Shar!

Thanks for posting the links. I'm a big Stephen King fan myself. :D

bibliobibuli said...

counterterrestrial (!) - i loved the film of 'misery' and recently bought the hardback in a warehouse sale. looking forward to reading it

xeus, siege - glad i've made the fans happy!