Thursday, February 05, 2009

King Disses Meyer

Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. ... The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good. ... Somebody who’s a terrific writer who’s been very, very successful is Jodi Picoult. You’ve got Dean Koontz, who can write like hell. And then sometimes he’s just awful. It varies. James Patterson is a terrible writer but he’s very very successful. People are attracted by the stories, by the pace and in the case of Stephenie Meyer, it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books. It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it's not particularly threatening because they’re not overtly sexual. A lot of the physical side of it is conveyed in things like the vampire will touch her forearm or run a hand over skin, and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that’s a shorthand for all the feelings that they’re not ready to deal with yet.
Stephen King on other writers in an interview for USA Weekend. [Via]

What do you think - those who've read Meyer and/or some of the others on the list?

Postscript :

For another interesting take on Meyer's book, read Why I Hate Twilight on the Vulpes Libis blog :
The girls reading this stuff are as young as eight or nine years old, I know, I’ve seen them buy it and I’ve seen their parents buying it for them… and their parents have never read the book themselves. At that young age girls have not yet formed opinions or attitudes and they’re ripe for influence. ... I won’t go into the fact that the author is a Mormon and has admitted that she has used her real-life attitudes in her writing ... but I will stress that there are some questionable motivations and opinions in this book which could be influencing a generation.

11 comments:

Lydia Teh said...

I agree with King on Picoult and Patterson. Picoult's books are well paced and written. I have one word for Patterson : gimmicky but he's a great marketer. I might have read one of Koontz's novels but didn't manage to finish it and can't remember the title. Haven't read Meyer.

Lydia Teh said...

Sorry, that's six words, five is an afterthought.

Gette said...

Patterson is great for people with short attention spans. You get maybe 2 pages a chapter and there's always some kind of hook to pull you to the next chapter. This worked for me a few years ago, but these days I find his short chapters irritating.

nutty said...

ditto what Gette said.
I tried reading Meyer's 'Twilight' since I'm a sucker for hype... biggest waste of time, ever. even reading the synopsis on the back was a waste of time.

Eliza said...

Am glad he agrees that JK Rowling can write - I think her plotting is excellent! As for James Patterson, I don't recall reading him. Jodi Picoult is a wonderful writer of human emotions and drama..I've enjoyed two of her books, and wouldn't mind more. Dean Koontz was pretty good to me, years back. I haven't read him for years (your influence, Sharon!). And Stephanie Meyer - I haven't read her and doubt I will, given my age - but I think it's wonderful for any writer if Hollywood picks up their story and makes it into a movie.
And King is right in one aspect - sometimes the story, pacing, "thrill" counts for more than the narrative quality. Sometimes.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Meyer's books read like fan fiction and, as pple have pointed out before, Bella Swan is described to look just like Meyer and so she's like an extended extended exercise in Mary Sue-ism.

In my opinion, there's nothing special about Meyer's writing, but lots of ordinary writers sell well (Rowling included *ducking*). What I do worry about is the sort of message she's relaying to young girls by creating a character like Bella; the racial and social stereotyping embedded in the story; and don't even get me started on the paedophile aspects of book no.4!! - Daphne

bibliobibuli said...

anon - see, you're doing it again. being rude and not thinking of the feelings of others and yes i've deleted you.

daphne - tell more about the stereotyping. am interested but can't be bothered to read the books!

mary sue-ism is so interesting i think i should blog about it

Anonymous said...

James Patterson's 'writing' is like a collection of bullet-points compiled by a committee...

- PPDD

Damyanti said...

This has been creating quite a buzz on the internet, and even I ended up doing a post on who decides what is a good book...

I have read Picoult and think she is a capable writer without being too deep. I was a Potter fan, but not a Rowling fan. I have read excerpts of Meyer, and I don't think I'm going to buy any of her work.

Jenn said...

I'm still on Disc One of New Moon (wait for Twilight is ridiculous at the library) so yes, I just 'read' the part where he grazes his hand over her skin and sears her (or something to that effect). Reminds me a little of a Sweet Valley High serial. Remember those?