Friday, July 4, 2014

AMERICAN LANDSCAPE -- Stephen King Style



For years Stephen King has served us up stories about ourselves. Probably what makes him so popular is that he doesn't write about Count Dracula in a far off land, he brings it all to America. I'm pressed to think of stories that even involve other countries!

The America in Stephen King's fiction is a unique place. Here's a glance at the America of Stephen King's creation:
  • Christine is a kind of American Grafitti -- cars, girls and Rock and Roll.

  • IT is a trip back to the 1950's. (For, uh, those who were alive in the 50's.) Seems like The Body falls into the same category.

  • The Dead Zone shows the nasty side of American politics.

  • The Tommyknockers is a 1940's style Scifi.

  • In the Stand King boldly destroyed America, and then made his characters our new founding fathers as they established the Free Zone.

  • Both Rita Hayworth and The Green Mile explore something of the American prison system.
  • Under The Dome shows us America  in miniature.  
  • If you haven't seen it -- there is something strangely All American about Silver Bullet, based on Cycle of the Werewolf.
No wonder George Beahm could write a biography called: "Stephen King, America's Best Loved Boogey Man." Americans love King because he writes about places we feel we know. We don't have to go to a haunted castle, the house next door might be something terrible. He brings the horror home to America. There might be monsters headed to the grocery store. What if your cell phone rang and zombies took over? It's what we know, given a slight twist, that makes things scary!

2 comments:

  1. I think it's more that King's descriptions of American behavior in both big cities and small towns is actually able to make Americans take notice of their country, rather than distract them from it by making it "familiar".

    For instance, I'll swear he does a good job of presenting how past history reverberates to the present.

    Also, a friend of King's once said that through his writings, places like the humdrum streets of Durham, Maine, were imbued with a kind of life that many residents may not have noticed before.

    ChrisC

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    1. Speaking of American scenery,

      The web page for the upcoming, Revival is now running on King's official site.

      http://stephenking.com/promo/revival/

      It features some nice, eerie concept art that, I gotta say, looks way better than the choice they're going with.

      ChrisC

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