SyFy Picks Up Stephen King Project


sliceofscyfy.com has this posting:
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"SyFy has given the green light for a new series “Haven.” The project is based on the best-selling novel “The Colorado Kid” by prolific writer Stephen King. The series has been picked up for 13 episodes SyFy vice president Mark Stern announced today."
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Stern is quoted thusly: “’Haven’ is the quintessential Stephen King town, full of complex, yet identifiable, characters and compelling supernatural situations. Sam and Jim wrote a great pilot, and we can’t wait to see Scott, Lloyd, and Shawn join them in bringing this town to life as a series. We also couldn’t be more excited to partner with our international Syfy channels and be in business with E1 who will definitely deliver the high-quality production value we expect."
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And the plot summery: "The series will take place in the heart of Maine in a town called Haven where people with supernatural abilities have migrated for generations because it mutes their powers, allowing them to lead normal lives. At least, until recently. When hot-shot FBI agent Audrey Parker is called to Haven to solve the murder of a local ex-con, she catches the killer but uncovers a much deeper mystery about this town. Each week, as the town-peoples’ dormant powers begin to express themselves, Audrey will try to keep these supernatural forces at bay while unraveling the many mysteries of Haven – including one surrounding her own surprising past in this extraordinary place."
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Sounds like fun.
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Constant Reader Christmas Shopping


Donald M. Grant has this notice posted:
The man in black fled across the desert
"Special Announcement: Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. has published a book containing THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA and the revised edition of THE GUNSLINGER (which was published by Viking).We are now taking orders for THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA. We began shipping in January, 2009."
and the gunslinger followed
Grant is probably the best of the Stephen King publishers -- in my opinion. Issue prices are not crazy high, and the price does go up quickly once they are sold out. Just try gettinga copy of From A Buick 8. That is particularly true of the Deluxe edition.
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Artist Edition $95.00
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Deluxe Edition $300.00
(Grant says that buyers have to already have purchased the S/L Dark Tower books to be able to immediately purchase a deluxe edition. Otheriwse, it's a lottery system.)
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https://secure.grantbooks.com/z-sk-dt-1-lsoe.html
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You can also get a Dark Tower 7 Artist Edition and the Talisman/Blackhouse gift set for $165.00. I think the price is right on with this, since I bought both these items separately and paid about that. (90 for Dark Tower 7 Artist Edition and about 75 for the Talisman/Blackhouse gift set.)
https://secure.grantbooks.com/z-sk-dt-7.html

King Of The Beach



wbur.org is putting together a list of the 100 best beach books. They have this note on their site:

"Many of you told us you just can't wait until July 29 — when we unveil the results of the 100 Best Beach Books vote — to start reading. So here's the complete list of around 200 finalists, nominated by you and the NPR Books Board. Happy reading!"

4 Nominations:

Of their 200 finalist, Stephen King's name pops up four times. That's a lot in a world full of books.

Dolores Claiborne.
Pet Semetary
The Shining
The Stand

Now, what is a "beach book"?  Duma Key, of course!  wubr says, "While all the books on the list should be enthralling enough to inoculate vacation-goers against the vagaries of missed flights and bad weather, many "great books" aren't great "beach books." Tone, setting and sheer length play their parts. On the other hand, status as a classic isn't an automatic disqualifier; both The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice were popular nominees."

Okay, I'm still not sure what a beach book is. War and Peace is on the list, and I certainly don't picture that as a beach book!


So Are These Beach Books?  Well, if you're gong to read The Stand at the beach, I hope you have a long vacation or a beach house. But all of these are great! I would actually think Pet Semetary, a personal favorite, would make wonderful beach reading.

Are these beach books? I dunno! Dolores Claiborne is a wonderful read. But I somehow identify a beach book as being a little bt "forgetable." Don't know why. But a beach book feels to me like something you read only to entertain you for the moment -- lik a Simpsons episode. But, I'm sure I am the only one with that definition. My wife just says that a beach book is, "Just some little paperback that doesn't take long to read."

My List
I welcome, as always, your list. Since four books made the list, I'll offer four King books I think are "beach" books:

Christine
The Body (Different Seasons)
Firestarter
The Colorado Kid

Authors I identify as "Beach Book" writers:
James Patterson
Patricia Cornwell
John Grisham (classic Grisham, anyway.)
Harlan Coben

FULL ARTICLE HERE

photo: http://gunnshow.wordpress.com/

POLL RESULTS 2

Favorite Dark Tower Novel
6 The Gunslinger
9 The Drawing Of The 3
7 The Wastelands
7 Wizard and Glass
5 Wolves of the Calla
0 Song of Susannah
5 The Dark Tower
1 The Wind Through The Keyhole
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Total votes as of Nov. 29, 2009 -- 40
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Dare I comment on any of this? Well, just a couple of notes, okay. First of all, who actually voted for Wind Through The Keyhole? And seriously, six of you think the Gunslinger was the best? Did you read the others? Do you like being confused and depressed?
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The top of the list does happen to be The Drawing of the Three. A wonderful choice!
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Oh wait, one more thing. Really. . . NO ONE put Song of Susannah at their top? I admit, I was confused most o the way through that novel, but I enjoyed King meeting himself.
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My own favorite was Wolves. But right on the heels is drawing of the three.
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You can continue to vote at the bottom of the page. Multiple voters will be locked up in Carrie White's closet. Poll resutls are unscientific but absolutely right. So there.

Stephen King Timeline

This is a cool website. It goes up to Lisey's Story.
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http://timelines.com/topics/stephen-king/page/1

The Shining II -- Not So Fast


E.W. writer Kristen Baldwin posted this about the possibility of Stephen King writing a sequel to The Shining:
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King is quoted thusly from an email, “It’s a great idea, and I just can’t seem to get down to it. . . People shouldn’t hold their breath. I know it would be cool, though. I want to write it just for the title, Dr. Sleep. I even told them [at the book signing], ‘It will probably never happen.’”
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Baldwin notes, Still, King — whose most recent novel is this month’s Under the Dome — can’t quite shut the door on the Shining sequel, adding, “But ‘probably’ isn’t ‘positively,’ so maybe.”
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Still America's Boogeyman!

Charnel House (a great Stephen King website) has this note about King's current success:
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"Displacing Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, this weekend, King's Under the Dome hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller chart. After hitting his 30th #1 with Duma Key, King released the short story collection Just After Sunset, which stalled at #2. Under the Dome, King's 31st #1 bestseller, continues a trend starting with The Dead Zone in 1979, and sets a new record for number of #1 bestsellers; to date, no one has even come close to King's achievement. s note"
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Seems that maybe King hasn't lost his touch. While there is some whining from the literary snoots, the public continues to turn to Stephen King over other writers. Why? I don't know. I know that for me, he's not afraid to go places other writers might hesitate. He's not afraid of monsters and kids or a woman tied to a bed or a giant dome covering a city. And with King, the story always stays center stage. With Brown or others who are currently popular, his books can have a feeling of agenda.
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http://charnelhouse.tripod.com/
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http://www.nytimes.com/pages/books/bestseller/index.html

Serial Novels


Stephen Emms at guardian.co.uk has an interesting article titled: Should serial novels be continued? The premise is: Out of sync with print-based reading habits, this form is nonetheless perfectly in tune with the web.
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As a Charles Dickens fan, I am naturally interested in serial novels. Of course, this is exactly what Stephen King did with The Green Mile.
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Emms writes, "The potted history of the serial novel is well-documented, dating back to The Thousand and One Nights, with its frame of vizier's daughter Scheherazade narrating hook-laden stories to avoid execution by King Shahryar. Its heyday was the 19th century, with the Charles Dickens-founded periodical, All the Year Round, publishing novels of his, including Great Expectations, and Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone, at the same time as Sherlock Holmes was taking his first cases in The Strand magazine (which had a circulation of 500,000).
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Nowadays newspapers and journals rarely serialise novels, but the format lives on in Japanese manga, as well as the dank online caves of the horror, SF and occult genres, pioneered by Stephen King's "e-novel", The Plant, published in 2000 (which remains unfinished)."
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By the way, I've mentioned this before, but there is a great book about Wilkie Collins, cited above, by Dan Simmons called Drood.
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The thng about the internet as a means of doing serial novels is that it doesn't really let the reader "touch." Wouldn't it be cool if papers still did serial novels?
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Benefits of the serial novel:
.The man inblack fled across the desert and the Gunslinger followed.
King himself gives a chatty explanation of the serial novel, Dickens and his own work in the introduction to The Green Mile. Here is my list of benefits for a serial novel:
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1. We're all in it together. The reviewer, the reader, usually the writer are all close to the same place.
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2. Heightened anticipation. You have to wait for the next installment. Thsu the excitement about Little Dorritt.
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3. No jumping to the end. Do we really do that? Well, I happen to know at least one person who will make it to the end of Under The Dome. . . because my evil twin peaked. King shares how he caught his mother peaking at the end of a mystery novel in the introduction to The Green Mile.
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4. More disicipline for the writer doing his first draft. After all, once the story is released, the author is kind of bound to stick to major plot lines and details he already developed. He can't write the end, and then clean it up.
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Is Dr. Sleep Really A Sequel?


I'm seeing a lot of news and internet activity suggesitng King will again use Danny Torrance in a novel titled Dr. Sleep.
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Already in the writing?
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James Grainger at books.torontoist.com says that King said he began writing the book last summer.
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Sequel?
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"King remarked that though he ended his 1977 novel on a positive note, the Overlook was bound to have left young Danny with a lifetime’s worth of emotional scars. What Danny made of those traumatic experiences, and with the psychic powers that saved him from his father at the Overlook, is a question that King believes might make a damn fine sequel."
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Though Danny returns, the story itself looks pretty unique. Of course, the Shining itself centered on the family as much as on Danny alone. Usually a sequel continues the precious story. Will the overlook play any part? What about Jack's ghost?
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A Kubrick Slam?
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Of course, Danny has taken up horse betting, something he learned from. . . Dick Hallorann. WAIT A MINUTE! Dick Hallorann is dead, right? We all saw it on screen. He's quite dead, in Kubrick's version of The Shining. But in King's novel, Hallorann comes to the rescue just in time as the family escapes the big explosion.
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Actually, it should be a lesson to movie makers: Stick with the book, or the writer might get the last laugh when he wrties the sequal.
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Dark Tower?
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With King writing a sequal to the Shining and a new Dark Tower book in a close time frame makes me wonder if he might connect the two. He certainly didwith Salem's Lot. Of course, I really no idea, but I'm just sayin'. . .
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Thank You Mr. King!
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A word of thanks to Mr. King. Before he went on this talking tour, sharing all these ideas and leaving us all breathless with anticipation, he at least gave us a thousand page novel to sift through. Nice. That does ease the waiting. Well, not really. And they're killer ideas, aren't they! I mean, a dark tower novel, a Danny Torrance novel, cool.
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Stephen King In Manchester

Got ten bucks? Want to see Stephen King? Well, if you live in Manchester, you're in luck! King will be speaking at the Manchester Elementary Middle School on Wednesday, Dec. 2, starting at 7 p.m.
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Wow, this Under The Dome tour is huge. The Manchester Journal notes that a new book by King are like "seismic events in the publishing world."
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Stephen King has some history with Manchester, previously appearing four years ago for a fund raising event. And in the mid 90's when he discussed his book On Writing.
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For tickets or additional information for both Ken Burn's and Stephen King's appearances, call the Northshire Bookstore at 362-2200.
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http://www.manchesterjournal.com/ci_13851301

Ridiculous

File this under ridiculous waste of time. Want to come on thejourney?

When you think about it, Wind Through The Keyhole really isn't that far off.

Stephen King said in his book On Writing, "I believe the first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months…Any longer and — for me, at least — the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel, like a dispatch from the Romanian Department of Public Affairs, or something broadcast on high-band shortwave duiring a period of severe sunspot activity."

So. . . some creative math:
  • King said he would start work in about 8 months. (Well, actually he said he wouldn't start any sooner than in 8 months.) We'll start with today and add 8 months. July 23, 2010.
  • He writes first drats in three months or less. October 23, 2010.
  • Give another month for a rewrite. November 23, 2010. Yes, it's now been 1 year.
  • Give another 2 months for editing junk. January 23, 2011.
  • Then, someone has to print all that paper. Give it a month. February 23, 2011.

I GIVE UP! This could be a very long wait. Plan b: I'm still waiting for Roland to hypnotize him and tell him to get on with it.

Aren't you glad you came on that trip? There's two minutes of your life that you just can't have back again. You're welcome.

Is It Good To Horrify Children?


The Sydney Morning Herald has a fascenating article titled: "Why it's good to horrify children." The thesis is: "Reading frightening books helps youngsters deal with their fears."
.ka is a wheel
Irish author John Connolly describes arguing with his friend about which Stephen King book was scariest. His friend said the Shining while he held true to Salem's Lot. What's unusual about that? He was 11. ELVEN, and reading Salem's Lot.
.Danny Torrance Shines on
Connolly writes, "Current wisdom may suggest that 11 is a little young to be tackling a great deal, if not all, of the King oeuvre, but books such as Salem's Lot were but one element of a pre-adolescent appetite for the uncanny that encompassed novelisations of old Hammer films, dodgy Pan anthologies of horror fiction edited by the delightfully named Herbert Van Thal, and classics of the genre from Bram Stoker's Dracula to the short stories of M.R. James."
.ka is a wheel
So, is it good for children to read horror? Personally, I think King is best left to adults. I'm lstening to Under the Dome, but only once my kids are dropped off at school. But here's an interesting quote I do identify with: "Like a lot of boys, I was curious about the darkness, and I quite liked being scared a little, as long as I was in control of the medium."
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If I can list his main thoughts, I would summerize this way:
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1. Reading horror allows children to admit the reality that the world is not always kind.
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2. Reading horror allows children to "control the medium."
.Danny Torrance Shine's On
3. Reading horror allows children to sense a little bit of rebellion, without really going too far.
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4. Reading horror allows children to identify with their need for justice. It doesn't dumb the world down.
.Look for oy in the next Dark Tower novel
I hope this is a fair summery of his argument.
.ka is a wheel
One more quote: "Children have a hardwired sense of justice, and of right and wrong. It's adults who engage in games of moral compromise, who seek to justify their sins and the sins of others by falling back on pleas of necessity, impotence or that old reliable: ''It's very complicated. You're just a bit too young to be able to understand.''
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(By the way, that we are "hardwired" with a sense of "justice" is an important theological thought.)
.ka Specifically that we are created in God's "image" with a sense of Justice, mercy, love.
Leaves the question: What child friendly books has King composed? My own list:
.Danny Torrance Shines On
1. Eyes of the Dragon.
.Will Roland kill Jake again?
2. The girl who loved tom gordon pop up book
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3. ? I can't think of any more.
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My daughter wanted to read Creepshow with me. My wife objected. Of course, she won out (m wife). . . so my daugther will have to wait. But she' seven and Connolly was 11. That's really a pre-teen. Quite different from little kids.
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I had a copy of "Creepshows" sitting around. On the cover is a skeleton. Our two year old picked it up, and my wife froze. Was this going to scare her? "Mom!" The two year old shouted joyfully, "A dinosaur!"
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I am interested in any thoughts you have on this.
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Check out the full story:
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POLL RESULTS 1

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How Many Dark Tower Books HaveYou Read?
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I read 1 book: 0
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I read 2 books: 3
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I read 3 books: 4
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I read 4 books: 2
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I read 5 books: 1
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I read 6 books: 2
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I read 7 books: 68
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I don't read the dark tower series: 6
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Total votes: 86
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By the way, I was only a "six." Sorry, I didn't read all of Wizard and Glass. I struggle with the concept of ruby slippers on the Gunslinger.
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You can still vote at the bottom of the page. Multiple voters will either be banished to the wastelands, or given a sweet doggie named Cujo for Christmas.

Do You ONLY Read Stephen King?

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Stephen King fans are fiercely loyal. However, some readers choose to only read Stephen King. I think this is somewhat unique to King fans. I don't know many people who only read Tom Clancy. But then, Clancy isn't as prolific as King.
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George Beahm mentioned this devotion (to read King only) to author Clive Barker. Beahm pointed out, "When we interviewed Douglas E. Winer at his hoe in upstate Virginia, he commented that at a public gathering with you, you two were discussing your perceptions of the many peole who read tpehn King and your work but who apparently read little else. They have no frame of reference outside your and Kings body of work. That's a very self-limiting eperience." (Stephen King Companion, George Beahm, p.163)
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So who else is worth reading?
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Historical drama:
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I really like Ken Follette's companion books: Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. This is a kind of fiction King isn't going to give his readers. King likes the here and now -- while Ken has the ability to transport you easily to another time and place. One wonderful thing Follette does concerns dialogue. Unlike other novels set in middle ages, he does not use old English. The langauge is easy and the action constant. There are no wasted scenes in his books.
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Here in America there has never been anyone who really challnged John Steinbeck. In particular The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck gives a gritty front row seat to a nasty part of American history.
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Romance:
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I don't read romance. My wife is enjoying a book titled, "The Time Travelers Wife." I will refrain from comment. (Oh, I also don't read much Scifi.)
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Classics:
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You really can't beat Charles Dickens. In that catagory, King himself recommends Little Dorrit, saying: "His most sentimental, absorbing, delightful novel...and yes, you will like it. Dorrit is as easy to read as any current best-seller, and more rewarding than most. Also, it explains the whole Bernard Madoff mess. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'." http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20278661_5,00.html
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My favorite Charles Dickens book is Great Expectations. Strong characters and carefully plotted, this novel is Dickens at his best.
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Legal / Political:
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Classic John Grisham (Pelican Brief, The Client, The Firm)
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On the political front, George Orwell's twin books: 1984 and Animal Farm were great.
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Tom Clancy, so long as I can say: I liked his old stuff. Red October, Red Storm Rising. But when it turned into a Jack Ryan soap opera at a billion pages each, I ducked out.
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Horror:
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Might as well make a list for this one. I like the genre.
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1. Edgar Allen Poe is wonderful. It doesn't matter which story you read, they're all good.
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2. Richard Lymon is pretty demented. I thnk he's great! One of those guys who just wrote the stuff he wanted to write and didn't care what people said. http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/richard-laymon/
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3. There's Drood, by Dan Simmons. King said this about Drood: "Simmons is always good, but Drood is a masterwork of narrative suspense. It's a story of Egyptian cults, brain-burrowing beetles, life-sucking vampires, and an underground city beneath London...or is it? Maybe it's all in the drug-addled mind of Dickens contemporary Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone), whose poison jealousy of the Inimitable becomes more apparent as the story nibbles its way into the reader's head." http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20278661_6,00.html
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4. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stephen King explains, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written at white heat by Robert Louis Stevenson in three days. It so horrified his wife that Stevenson burned the manuscript in his fire place. . . and then wrote it again from scratch in another three days." (Danse Macabre, Chapter 3, p.60)
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5. The Beast Within, Edward Levy is what King's mother would have called "trash." Good trash? No. But it's a delightful read. I read it the first time thinking, "I can't believe they print stuff this bad." Then I bought it hardcover when I lost the paperback. There is something about it that is good trash.
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Mystery:
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You really can't beat Aurther Conan Doyal's Sherlock Holmes stories. Why? Because they are sharp, well written and short. Together, they build a common story, but each one stands on its own.
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Also under mystery, my wife rads Monk.
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Christian Fiction:
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This is a genre I avoid at all cost. All the world needs is another Christian Amish Romance book. Gag. I am waiting for the Stephen King version of this genre. Ha! That would be wonderful!
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My job requires I spend lots, lots of time reading commentaries and other scholarly works on Scripture. Maybe these books are too preachy. Maybe they're just too sappy. Anyway, the Book has enough of everything.
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Probably the best Christian author is Frank Peretti. He and Ted Decker live on the edge of all out horror. But in general, I stick witht he real thing in this catagory.
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Commedy:
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How about Forrest Gump. I'm serious, it was a good book! And a lot of stuff that didn't make it to the screen.
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Another wonderful commedy / drama is Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Anne Burns.
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Books / Authors I want to read, but just haven't:
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Les Miserables.
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H.P. Lovecraft.
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Ernest Hemingway
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Harlan Ellison -- now who couldn't be interested in an author who had a dust jacket that included the statement that he was "possibly the most contentious person on Earth"
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Susan Boyle Compared To. . . CARRIE!



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You know her. Sure you do. The woman who Simon misjudged. The woman who brought down the house on Britain's Got Talent. Her debut album has already topped Amazon's pre-sale charts -- and it's still weeks before the release.
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Kitty Empire makes this interesting comparison: "A more fitting end to Britain's Got Talent would have seen Boyle kebabbing the judges and burning down the whole cruel, exploitative edifice with her telekinetic powers, like Stephen King's Carrie. As it is, you can only hope that her success will make Susan Boyle happy and that the fame monster doesn't eat her up."
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Yikes! That makes connections I didn't want to think about. I thought Susan was awesome. But then. . . I thought Carrie was pretty cool. . .
eight

UTD -- The Tommyknockers Redeemed




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As I read Under The Dome, I find myself thinking how much it is like The Tommyknockers. Of course, in the Tommyknockers, something just didn't work. People have mentioned several times that King was high while he wrote this -- I don't know. But he also wrote Misery in the same time period, and it worked.
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It wouldn't be until Needful Things that King would really pick up his pace again and write a novel with large cast. But with Needful things, things worked!
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In a many of ways, Under The Dome seems like The Tommyknockers Redeemed.
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Note:
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1. Length: Both are very large novels.
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2. Genre: Both are essentially Science Fiction. Though a King Novel always defies genre. Fundamentally, it doesn't matter if the problem is a Dome or a spaceship, the real story is the people.
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3. Large Cast: King stopped writing The Cannibals because he says it was hard for him to handle such a large cast of characters. I think that accounts for a lot of the rambeling in Tommyknockers. But by the time Under The Dome was written, he had Needful Things under his belt, and a large cast wsan't such a problem. A story about an entire town.
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4. Degenerating Circumstances: In Tommyknockers, as the ship is dug up, the town begins to lose it. Different circumstances,but things quickly go from bad to worse in Under The Dome.
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5. Message: King wanted to give a "message" in Tommyknockers. Kind of a Dwight Eisenhower warning about technology. But the message gets muddled. In Under the Dome, there is a clear message -- and it isn't missed. Why? Because King didn't just write the message into his book, he's preached it across America! "We all live under the dome."
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6. Prose: The Tommyknockers was plagued by rambling prose, while Under the Dome is tight. In fact, several times I stopped the CD and mentioned to my wife how simple his sentences are in Under the Dome. "I wouldn't be comfortable writing things that simply, but it works."
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Essentially, I think Under The Dome is a kind of redemption for Tommyknockers. It's not in any way a 1940's scifi, but it is a town in distress from an unknown force.
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Mini-Series:.
I'm generally a fan of the Tommyknockers mini-series. I wish the spaceship were a little cooler. But over-all, I thought it was great. They managed to "fix" a lot of the problems in the book. My favorite scene: When the boy makes his brother disappear in a magic trick. . . and he can't bring him back! Ahh, that's good.
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Under the Dome will also skip the movie scene and move to the small screen. This is a good format for King. Hopefully for those of you who didn't like the mini-series of the Tommyknockers, Under the Dome will be a "redemption" in that sense also.
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Bookcovers:
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Interestingly, The Tommyknockers is also one of those books that suffers from bad covers -- in my humble opinion. Anyone pick up the Tommyknockers and say, "Wow! A green glowing strip thing! I've got to read this book!" And, "Oh, it comes in gold lettering or in red. . . I've got to buy two!"
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Under The Dome, by contrast, has a very engaging book-cover. One of the best.
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Hey, if I can ask here. . . why do the British editions so often have better book-covers  WHY?! Why do the Bridish get to have bookshelves that look better than mine? Is this coveting? No. It's complaining, which is different.
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Intentional?
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A question arises: Did King in any way intentionally "redeem" elements of the Tommyknockers? I think not. He's never said so. But what is shows is growth in his craft. Something difficult -- a large cast, whole town, scifi -- first executed with a stumble is now offered up with a hard press toward the finish line.
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King has said that it bothers him that people like The Stand best of all his books since it was written so long ago. Well, here is a fair contrast. Tommyknockers or Under the Dome? I think the growth of the artist is obvious. And in its unique way, Under the Dome redeems what the Tommyknockers lost.

Danny Torrance Shines On

King first hinted that he had an idea for a new novel that involved Danny Torrance. Then King suggested a title, but warned that he wasn't really going to write the book. Wait, there's more, because he then suggested a theme for the non-book.
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For a book that isn't going to be written, he's sure saying a lot about it. In fact, he's said a lot more about the non-book (Dr. Sleep) than he has about the book he's said he would write, The Dark Tower.
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James Grainge at books.torontois.com writes, "So what would a sequel to one of King’s most beloved novels look like? In King’s still tentative plan for the novel, Danny is now 40 years old and living in upstate New York, where he works as the equivalent of an orderly at a hospice for the terminally ill. Danny’s real job is to visit with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side, and to help them make that journey with the aid of his mysterious powers. Danny also has a sideline in betting on the horses, a trick he learned from his buddy Dick Hallorann." http://books.torontoist.com/2009/11/stephen-king-planning-possible-sequel-to-the-shining/
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It has been nice to have King out in the media. He's been plugging Under The Dome pretty hard. Now, someone, send him back to whatever cubbyhole he really does his writing in and get back to what he really finds fun -- writing. Though, he is a great interview -- I can't remember a story that he shared so much about it before he even started writing. I would suggest it implies he would really rather be writing than talking! But I'm just guessing on that.

Dreamworks Options Under The Dome


It's exciting news! Cynthia Littleton at variety.com reports that Under The Dome will indeed be a new series -- and guess who has picked it up?
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Littleton says that DreamWorks TV has optioned the book and is looking to set it up as an event series, probably headed for cable.
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Executive producers will be Stephen King, Steven Spielberg along with other DreamWorks staff.
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For the viewer, it's a dream come true. DreamWorks, bluntly, knows how to make good movies. And King knows how to write good books. And the option of a series instead of a movie gives the story the needed space to flesh itself out. Hopefully this will be as well done, or better, as the The Stand.
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Other than the Talisman -- which hasn't come about yet -- , I know of no other joint ventures by King and Spielberg.
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So now I know why that kid on the dreamworks picture is fishing from the moon. . . he's holding the Dome up.
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http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118011629.html?categoryid=10&cs=1
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http://www.comingsoon.net/news/tvnews.php?id=61057

Stephen King on The Hour


Want to see a full interview with Stephen King? Canadian talk show The Hour has an interesting interview posted on their website. And, you can watch it all. Nice.
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George Stroumboulopoulos says in his opener: "Stephen King, here, tonight. Currently plotting the demise of all of us. . . . I'm looking forward to this conversation, Mr. King, because I have a bone to pick with him. This man Stephen King has single handedly made me afraid of cars, clowns, cats, dogs, pets in general, the prom, atique stores and luxery mountain resorts that are supposed to be fun. You name a thing that exists, anythng, and King has made it terrifying. Except prision, which he made kinda beautiful."
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George seems well versed in the Stephen King universe. More than a passing knowledge, so that makes for insightful questions.
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The discussion about Jack Torrance's relation to King himself is good. Also, I liked King's comments on politics. Mostly, that he says he isn't here to shove his views -- he's here to tell a story.
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Also, interesting, was King relating that he bought the van that hit him. Now, that is spooky, gang!
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For the interview with King, jump up to about the 22min marker.
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http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Shows/The_Hour/ID=1336760889

Under The Dome -- #1 On Top Ten

Published: Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 - 8:22 pm
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1. "Under the Dome" by Stephen King (Scribner) (F-H)
2. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books) (F-H)
3. "New Moon" by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) (F-P)
4. "Push" by Sapphire (Vintage) (F-P)
5. "Open: An Autobiography" by Andre Agassi (Knopf) (NF-H)
6. "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown (Doubleday) (F-H)
7. "Divine Soul Mind Body Healing and Transmission System" by Zhi Gang Sha (Atria) (NF-H)
8. "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) (F-P)
9. "Ford County: Stories" by John Grisham (Doubleday) (F-H)
10. "Eclipse" by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) (F-H)
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Interesting, King's book takes top spot, while Stephanie Meyer has two on the list. Also, John Grisham is known to be a friend of King's.
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http://www.sacbee.com/977/story/2336941.html
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Just as a footnote: Check out the pictures of Artists Inspired by Stephen King. Cool! http://www.liljas-library.com/

A Sequal To The Shining?


In a post titled, "Stephen King gets rock-star reception" Claude Peck at Talking Volumes gave quotes from a very interesting interview with Stephen King.
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Peck says that King sees writing as “a sort of telepathy” in which an author may communicate directly -- and without complex technology -- with readers. "Dickens,” he said, “ still is sending from his mind to our minds.”
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The Shining Sequal Not Likely
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King says he thought about a sequel to "The Shining," titled "Dr. Sleep." But, he also says he doubts he'll ever write it. Which, actually, means nothing. A few years back he would have also said he wasn't going to do anything with the Cannibals. And, the Dark Tower series was done. So, it all depends on if the inspiration hits.
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Some favorites:
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King's favorite book: Lord of the Rings.
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Favorite adaptation of his work: Shawshank Redemption
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Favorite adaptation of The Shining: The mini-series.
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Favorite Scary Character: Pennywise.
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Life In S.K. Universe Must Be Difficult


King was asked by Star Tribune what books he'd like to revisit.
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King's answer, "I'd like to go back to "Firestarter." She was 9 or 10 at the end of the book; she's probably in her 40s now. I'm always curious about Danny Torrance in "The Shining," what it was like to grow up with psychic talent, in an abusive family. I'd like to see them meet."
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At first I thought, Interesting. This sounds like a friendlier version of Freddy verses Jason. Unless Danny has slipped a bit on his path growing up. Like Luke turning to the darkside. That could be cool.
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But upon further consideration. . . I began to wonder: Do these characters see King coming? What if Danny is living a perfectly normal life? What is Charlie is happily married? And here comes Mr. King. Full of his plots and murder, blood and migrains (Junior) and plane crashes. Look, both these characters know: It ain't easy being in a King novel. He uh -- doesn't write romance, okay?!
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I'll bet even now Danny Torrance is saying: "Stay away, Mr. King!" While every constant reader is saying: "Give us Danny and Charlie back!"
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Star Tribune Interview & Who's King's Sister?

James Lileks at the Star Tribune a really good interview with King. Interviews like this always leave me with my own set of questions. Like, eh. . . who is Stephen King's sister?
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Here are some of my favorite quotes.
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Lileks: His latest, "Under the Dome," might be described as "The Stand Under Glass." (That good! Really good!
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Lileks: Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way first. No, he's not spooky. Anyone who expects a creepy guy with a ghoulish laugh probably thinks Vincent Price sat around the house in a black cape, casting spells. (What? I did think all of that about Vincent Price. But come on, Stephen King does live in that creepy old house with bats on the fense. What's up with that, HUH?!)
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Lileks: A normal fellow -- except for the part about being one of the most successful authors in human history, the American answer to Dickens. (I can't help it. I say, quite humbly. . . I told you King wa a modern Carlie Dickens! I knew it. Of course, I wasn't the first to say it. . . but what's that matter when bragging? http://talkstephenking.blogspot.com/2009/10/stephen-king-modern-charles-dickens.html
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Lileks: "The success annoyed some critics, who regarded the books as the literary equivalent of a big tub of buttered popcorn." (May I offer a simple, oh so very very humble: I told you so again! http://talkstephenking.blogspot.com/2009/11/i-propose-literary-diet.html)
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King: "If you read 'Under the Dome' closely, you'll see my blind spots. There's a reference to Facebook, but not to Twitter -- that's the Internet I don't understand." (Amen, Mr. King!)
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King: "My sister read it, and said, you know, there's something like this in the Simpsons movie. The whole town is under a dome. At least someone in the book should mention it." (Your sister is a sharp woman. Who is Stephen King's sister? I know I'm reading this right, but what am I missing? Sister in law?)
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http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/books/69918817.html?page=1&c=y

Under The Dome Notes #3


I'm not reading this quickly. I'm reading this on CD. It's only 1 (one) mile to work. This used to be good. . . but now I'm wishing I had 20 or 30 minutes drive time.

  • A question: Does anyone notice that all of the pictures of UNDER the dome are from OUT of the dome? Why doesn't someone draw a picture of Under The Dome? I'm just sayin' . . .
  • Two guys walking along, one inside the Dome, one outside the Dome. Nice!
  • I'm freaked out by how King can take me inside Juniors head. I don't like it. I don't want to understand him. But that's what makes King such a good writer. I do identify. I liked the part where he woke up and hoped it was all a dream. I've had bad events in life where I woke up and thought -- ahhh! So it wasn't a dream?!
  • Calling Wolf Blitzer "Wolfie" is totally disgusting. Gross. Yuck. Now we're moving into the realm of horror. Gross. I'm going to go brush my teeth now.
  • Oh! And the description of the smell of blood. . .

This is pretty random, isn't it? Notes are like that.

Questions People Ask, 1

So here are some questions folk have asked. Remember, I know nothing! Ask Bev Vincent, he knows all. Yes, these are all real questions people have asked.
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1. Is Needful Things Connected To The Dark Tower? No. Of course, everything King goes back to the tower. But I can't think of any specific connection.
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2. What's up with Under The Dome ebook? I don't have a clue.
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3. What Stephen King books have cannibals? I can't think of any. Survivor type is the closest. And with that one: Does Under the Dome have cannibals? Not that I know of -- I haven't finished it. If I knew -- I wouldn't say.
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4. What are torrant downloads? They are digital files. I think -- when it comes to King at least -- they are usually illegal. And, when downloading to your computer not worth the risk. There's a thing called bugs. . . Anyway, keep your King fandom on the level. If you don't pay for it, someone isn't getting royalties.
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5. What does "clustermug" mean? It is a word Big Jim Rennie uses in Under The Dome. I do not know the exact meaning. I think it's a made up cuss word.
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6. Is there any new info on The Wind Through The Keyhole? None that I know of. Since it hasn't been written, King isn't likely to say much.
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7. Is there an alternate ending to the Dark Tower? Sure there is. That note where King tells you to stop reading. . . stop reading there and that's the alternate ending. Other than that, I know of no alternate endings for the Dark Tower. But in a sense the Dark Tower has no ending. If King writes a novel in the middle of the series it will be intereting to see which timeline he is working on -- the original journey or the "new" journey.
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EXTRA: Is the Tommyknockers on anyone's top 10 list? Why, yes it is! Stuart Tinker said it is one of his wife's favorite books. Okay. . . no one asked me that question. But I've been trying to think of a way to sneak that in to something!

The Best Book To Start With


This week I started rereading The Gunslinger. Of couse, I'm also reading Under The Dome. What prompted a fresh reading? Two things. First, an over abundance of audible credits. Second, the announcement of a new Dark Tower book. To reread the series will take something like a million years, so I need to start now.
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Where You Start Matters
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I'm a pastor. People ask me all the time, "What book of the Bible should I start on?" Think I suggest Leviticus, Revelation or Jude? I don't think so! Try Mark. It's like the ADHD Gospel, constant action. That's good starter stuff. Nothing wrong with the other books, but they're just not what you need to get your feet wet on. Does it matter where you start? It does.
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When it comes to King, there are certain books that are better to start out on than others.
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When I was a sophmore in High School a friend told me I would really enjoy a writer named Stephen King. He brought me two books: The Stand and The Dark Tower, the gunslinger. I started the Dark Tower having no idea what it was -- but I liked the title. I quickly surmised that the tower was not exactly going to be the focus of this book.
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I eventually gave up reading the Dark Tower and moved on to The Stand. I was hooked! LaterI came back to the Gunslinger, but it's never been my favorite novel. I like the other Dark Tower novels. Except I have not read Wizard and Glass cover to cover.
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What is the best Stephen King novel to start on? Here's my list. Feel free to offer your own:
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1. The Stand, Complete and Uncut.
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2. The Shining.
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3. Misery
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4. Under The Dome.
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5. The Mist.
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I wouldn't start with: Tommynockers, The Talisman or Black House, The Gunslinger, Geralds Game, Insomnia.

King Given Key To Sarasota


Put this under the heading of: I wish I's there!
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Robin Roy, City Editor, shares that Mayor Dick Clapp and Commissioner Suzanne Atwell gave Stephen King the key to the city of Sarasota. King got a standing ovation as he held the key up for all to see. I like this quote: "I always thought the key to Sarasota was my American Express card."
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What do you do with a key to the city? Can you lock everyone out? I don't know if I would want to give the key tot he city to a man who just wrote a story about a bunch of people who got locked in their city. Maybe you can get discounts when you show your key to the city.
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King was previewing Under The Dome before a soldout audience.
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A Night With The King


Susan Rife, who interviewed Stephen King November 16th has a very chatty blog posting that talks about her behind the scenes dealings with King. Nothing really new, but still interesting.
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http://offthepage.blogs.heraldtribune.com/10122/10122/
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Eric Deggans offers some insights on the interview itself.
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Liljas: King Covers World Series

This is interesting
http://www.liljas-library.com/

The Find, 2

Yesterday I posted a listing of things I'd come into posession of. See the post directly below this one.
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These items included: A copy of the Lisbon High School Newspaper, the Drum. King's short story the 43rd dream. A Letter: Signed letter from 14 year old Sephen King with his short story. An early draft of the title page of the Shining. Simply titled: The Shine. About three pages of the original manuscript from chapter 19 of the Shining. The galley page from The STand with Kings own handwritten notes. Several original manuscript pages from The Stand. A copy-edit page of the Dead Zone. Four hand written draft pages from The Dead Zone. Manuscript pages from Pet Sematary. Including some edting noes. A photograph of the Ad Card in IT, with a hand written note to add the Bachman books. Some manuscript pages from IT. With some notes from a copy editor. A copy of the January 1985, issue 1 of The Castle Rock Stephen Kingnewsletter. Photo of Stephen King strapped in an electric chair. Four hand edited pages from the Dark Tower's "The Slow Mutants. A ledger with anunpublished story inside. A copy of the first Garbage Truck column, Febraruy 1969.
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Cool, huh! I know you're anxious to know: 1. How did I find these items. 2. What did I pay for them. Second answer first.
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1. I paid $24.95. Wow, you're thinking, some people just don't know what they have when they sell stuff.
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2. Truth is, I found them, all of them, in Bev Vincent's new book: The Stephen King Illustrated Companion.
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Now, if all that stuff were just photographed in a book, I would not in any way feel that I had actually come into posession of them. But there is something really unique about the Stephen King Illustrated Companion. Most of the items listed are loose -- meaning they are reporductions of the originals. It's like you're holding the actual thing! Want to have the first Castle Rock Newspaper in your own hands . . . it's there!
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This stuff is really neat.
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It's like a book stuffed full of treasures. In fact, I found the book so full of stuff it was hard to deal with at first. I had to decide: Am I going to look at all this stuff, or read the book? I looked through the stuff!
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I liked the additional stuff so much, I almost bought a second copy. My wife said it would all make a cool collodge (sp.) But, somehow that didn't really appeal to me.
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You need this book!
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There! I said it. Look, I don't review books for a living -- so I don't to claim to be dispassionate. There are lots of books about King out there. Lots of bad books, in fact. Books that review the same stuff in pretty much the same way. The good books about King stand out. I will always credit the Stephen King Universe as the book that renewed my interest as a adult in King. That's where I first really understood that all things go back to the Dark Tower. Both of Behem's companion books were good as was his S.K. America's Boogeyman. Honestly, this book is different from any of the other stuff out there.
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It is also oversized, which surprised me. Here's why that's helpful: It means that the items in the book can be put back without damaging them by folding them, etc. Even if you take the things out of their slips, everything goes back easily. No cramming.
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The Text
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Of course, the companion not only offers the unique extra items, but the text of the book. I have really been enjoying this. Every single work is not covered -- nor could it be. But Vincent has chosen key points and works in Kings life and dealt in detail with them. So while most books of this type just skim by, Vincent gives himself the space to add depth.
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I enjoyed both of George Beorge Behm's Companion books. They were pretty comprehensive for the times (Late 80's, early 90's) but the volume of work even at that time was more than anyone could really review. Like the other companion's, Vincents is full of interesting side articles and tid-bits of information.
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Bev Vincent has a keen eye for details. And this book is full of details. Of course, I'm ready for the companion part 2! (King fans are like the Plant in Little Shop of Horrors. FEED ME, SEYMORE! FEED ME!)
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The Find!


I've come upon several exremely unique Stephen King items. These include some random pages of original manuscripts, hand written notes, typed letters and some works in the process of editing. Some of these documents include hand written editing in red and blue pen ink. Some of the manuscripts are from: The Shining, The Stand, Pet Sematary, The Dead Zone and more.
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Since collecting is new to me, you might post and tell me the value of what I've purchased.
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Specifically, here a a few of the items I've come into posession of:
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1. A copy of the Lisbon High School Newspaper, the Drum. King's short story the 43rd dream.
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2. Letter: Signed letter from 14 year old Sephen King with his short story.
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3. An early draft of the title page of the Shining. Simply titled: The Shine.
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4. About three pages of the original manuscript from chapter 19 of the Shining.
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5. The galley page from The STand with Kings own handwritten notes.
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6. Several original manuscript pages from The Stand.
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7. A copy-edit page of the Dead Zone.
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8. Four hand written draft pages from The Dead Zone.
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9. Manuscript pages from Pet Sematary. Including some edting noes.
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10. A photograph of the Ad Card in IT, with a hand written note to add the Bachman books.
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11. Some manuscript pages from IT. With some notes from a copy editor.
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12. A copy of the January 1985, issue 1 of The Castle Rock Stephen Kingnewsletter.
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13. Photo of Stephen King strapped in an electric chair.
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14. Four hand edited pages from the Dark Tower's "The Slow Mutants.
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15. A ledger with anunpublished story inside.
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16. A copy of the first Garbage Truck column, Febraruy 1969
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And much, much more. Go ahead, tell me what you think that's worth.

You Stole My Story -- NOT!

Frank Zotter Jr. of the Ukiah Daily Journal has a very ineresting article about a lawsuit brought against King by a woman claiming he stole her story. Christina Starobin claimed Despration was a rip off of her book "Blood Eternal" which she gave to Penguin in 1996. The judge read both books, was unimpressed with both (what's wrong with him?!) but decided in King's favor.

Now imagine how this would happen. King hits major writers block. He has to beg publishers at Penguin to let him steal Starobin's work. Right! I do not think that's how King gets his ideas. No more than I think he gets them watching the Simpsons.

Read the story here, it is interesting:
http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/ci_13799411

Under The Dome Special Edition

The moment the $75 special editin of Under The Dome was available from Scribner, I ordered it. Mark this under: Lessons learned. I then purchased UTD Signed Limited edtion -- $200.
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On November 10, I stopped at a chain bookstore and discovered a pile of the "limited" editions. But they weren't $75. Try more like 25% off, using store discounts. And there were other bargains. Buying from the publisher did not save any money.
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The signed edition arrived at the house on November 10. No extra fee was paid to rush shipping. The "special" edition arrived today, November 16.
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The difference in the books? NOTHING except the signature. It's the same book. Exactly. Only, one is marked $75 and is unsigned, the other has printed on the inside sleeve $200.
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What's the lesson? Buy the signed item and forget the "limited" editions. At least when they come out from the publisher. And extra $125 for King's signature is well worth it.
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Of course, Betts already noted that Scribner refused to offer the signed and special editions at a special rate for bookstores. This gave the publisher all of profit and left the small bookstore out in the rain. Nice of them, huh!
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Bottom line is this: Immediately when the sales closed on the signed editions, their value DOUBLED. While the unsigned special editions were selling BELOW their marked price. Just do the math.
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There, I will say no more about it.

Stephen King And The Twilight Zone



This year is the 50th anniversary of Rod Serling's, "The Twilight Zone." Because Stephen Kng is a product of American culture, it is interesting to see the shows impact on his work. It is also worth noting that in the 1960's, Serling was as much a part of American culture as King is now.
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King talks directly about the Twilight Zone in his book Danse Macabre. In particular, The Eye of the Beholder episode. But from reading King, it wasn't any one episode that influenced him, but the entire series. And, perhaps more important, the series eator, Rod Serling.
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King on the popularity of the Twilight Zone:
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"That the Twilight one is. . . near immortal is something will not argue with; in big city markets like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francico it sems to run eternally, hallelujah, world without end, sandwiched into its own twiight zone just after the late evening news and just before the PTL Club. Perhaps only suh anient sitoms as I Love Lucy and My LIttle Margie can compete with the Twilight Zone for that sort of fuzzy, black-and-white, campiristic life which yndication allows." (Danse Macabre, 220)
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King gives a lot of ink to the Twilight Zone in the chapter of Danse Macabre titled: The Glass Teat.
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"Of all the dramatic programs which have ever run on American TV, it is the one which comes losest to defying any overall analysis. It was not a western or a cop show (although some of the stories had western formats or featured cops 'n' robbers); it was not really a science fction show (although the Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows categorizes it as such) not a sitcome (although some episodes were funny); not really ocult (although it did occult stories frequently -- in its peculiar fashion), not really supernatural. It was its own things, and in large part that fact alone seems to account for the fat that a whole generation is able to associate the Serling program witht he budding of the sixties . . . at laest, as the sixties are remembered." (Danse Macabre, 229) See his further comments from on Serling on pages 230-238
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Richard Matheson's Influence On King:
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According to the Complete Stephen King Universe (a great book), King was heavily influenced by Richard Matheson, one of the Twilight Zone's key writers.
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In The Twilight Zone Companion by Marc Zicree, King is quoted as saying, "[Matheson] was the first guy that I ever read who seemed to be doing something that Lovecraft wasn't doing. It wasn't eastern Europe -- the horror could be in the SevenEleven store down the block, or it could be just up the street. Something terrible could be going on even in a G.I. Bill-type ranch development near a college, it could be there as well. And to me, as a kid, that was a revelation, that wax etremely exciting. He was to puttng the horror in places that I could relate to." (p.57)
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Twilight Zone Episodes Influence On King:
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Think about it: Could the tite "The Dead Zone" have been at least inspired by "The Twilight Zone." It is certainly a story worthy of the Twilight Zone, isn't it?
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Paleycenter.org suggests that Christine was influenced by the driverless car from “A Thing About Machines." http://www.paleycenter.org/influencing-stephen-king-star-trek-cindy-sherman-and-more
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It is worth noting that a writer might have a thought planted from a T.V. show or a conversation, or any number of things. But as they add other ideas, the story becomes their own. And, just for my own notes, I seriously doubt there is a real connection between The Twilight Zone and Christine.
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If I may. . . I think if the Twilight Zone offered King anything, it was simply the power of a strong ending. Twilight Zone is all about the end. The story builds to a climax, gives a twist, and usually leaves you stunned. King has showed a gift for this same type of twisted ending, a skill perhaps enhanced by his love for the Twilight Zone.
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King Becomes Part Of The Legend:
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The admiration doesn't appear to be a one way street. Not only has King spoken of his love for the Twilight Zone -- the Twilight Zone has featured his work in many forms. Of course, the highest Twilight Zone honor is an episode. But there have also been contributions to the Twilight Zone magazine, and interviews. They obviously see that his work is compatable with their genre.
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In 1985 King's short story from Skeleton Crew, Gramma, was turned into an episode for the New Twilight Zone. Now I don't remember the 1960's. But 1985. . . I was a kid living in Los Angels. The Night Stalker was in our newspapers, Star Wars was all the rage, and the New Twilight Zone wasn't even spoken of. Go figure. And my parents were huge Twilight Zone fans. I guess this series just didn't take off.
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Twilight Zone Magazine
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April, 1981: The first issue of the Twilight Zone magazine had an interview with Stephen King.
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June, 1981: The Jaunt was published in Twilight Zone magazine.
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May, 1982: Several articles on the upcoming Creepshow.
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July, 1982: King did a review of the movie "The Boogens." (Neverheard of it!)
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September, 1982: Article on Creepshow
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November, 1982: King's article appeared "The Evil Dead: Why You Haven't Seen It Yet and Why You Ought To"
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April, 1983: Twilight Zone magazine had reviews of Creepshow and Different Seasons.
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June, 1983: Twilight Zone magazine published The Raft.
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December 1983: Articles on The Dead Zone appeared.
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Februrary 1984: Articles on Christine.
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June 1984: Reviews of Christine and Pet Sematary.
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August 1984: Reviews of Firestarter. (Movie)
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February 1985: Interview with Stephen King and Peter Straub about their book The Talisman. The cover for ths magazine shows both King and Straub wearing interesting headgear. (Straub looks like an SNL conehead)
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October, 1985: Has a letter from King to the editor.
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December 1985: An interview with Stephen King. (By the way, this issue is only $4 on ebay.)
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February 1986: The Twilight Zone Magazine prints King story, "The Fifth Quarter".
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December 1986: Interview with Stephen King.
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February 1987: Twilight Zone magazine review of IT.
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Interesting Links:
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The Shining and The Twilight Zone, http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-4121-Pop-Culture-News-Examiner~y2009m9d13-The-Shining-and-The-Twilight-Zone
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Listing of magazines and covers that Stephen King was in. Very well done! http://jerodandlisa.com/king/mags/S-Z/
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King's bio on the Internet Movie Database includes his Twilight Zone episode, Gramma. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000175/
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The Twilight Zone's influence On Stephen King, http://www.paleycenter.org/influencing-stephen-king-star-trek-cindy-sherman-and-more
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Watch more here: http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=3556683

I Propose A Literary Diet!


I've read a lot of the reviews of Under The Dome. To me a review says more about the one reviewing it than the work itself.
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Big Mac
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Some time back King compared himself to the literary equivalent of a "big mac." Unfortunately, many people took him serious. But King doesn't dish out Big Mac's, he gives four course meals these days. But reviewers continue to come to King expecting their Big Mac's.
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Have you noticed that a lot of people aren't reading King for the joy of reading King -- they're reading to dish out their reviews. Big Mac's are easy to review -- gormet meals are not so easy.
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Too Much Of A Good Thing?
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Without citing any specific review, though I could give a lot of links, there is a lot of complaining about the length of Under The Dome. Many people suggesting that it doesn't need to be this long to tell the story.
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Stop Gulping!
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I propose a literary diet. Stop gulping down fastfood and learn to enjoy a carefully paced, long novel. It's not about how fast you can read it -- the journey is part of the joy. Some readers would do well to learn to enjoy what they read. Why try to read a book as quick as possible? Take in. Taste it. Enjoy being there.
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Some in my family complained that Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Anne Burns was too long. But it wasn't just driven by plot, it was exciting just to see the situation unfold.
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By the way, in his time Charles Dickens got the same complaint. That he was padding his novels. But, may I ask: Does anyone really want to just read a barebones outline? Try H.G. Wells if that's the kind of writing you like.
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Long books I took time to enjoy:
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Pillars of the Earth
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World Without End
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David Copperfield
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Gone With The Wind (Well, I didn't read it, but my wife did. And I plan to spend my life mooching off of her wisdom. So I count it as one I've read.)
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War and Peace
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Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (okay, not a novel, but I read it)
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Enjoy What You Read
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There is only a problem with length when the book gets boaring. But sometimes it is enjoyable to allow a writer to "get" you somewhere, and then allow you to linger. To be clear, my literary diet is not to read less, it's to enjoy what you read. As the doctor would tell you, chew your food slowly.
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So go ahead, take the diet plan. Stop reading just to gulp, and enjoy the flavor. No need to hunt for big mac's, come to the table ready to have a nice, long, enjoyable dinner.