Albert J. Marro at the Rutland Herald has an article posted about king in Manchester. It's an itneresting story, including some good quotes from King and John Irving..
The article ends with this:.
King ended by taking a poke at his own fame and how well he is and isn't known. He said he had been stopped in an Oregon supermarket by an older woman who told him she recognized him and didn't respect what he did..
"I like uplifting things like that 'Shawshank Redemption," she said..
King said, 'I wrote that one, too.".
"No, you didn't!" She said..
That's a wonderful example of the prediciment King and his readers find themselves in. It's called typecasting. It's why George Reeves couldn't find a job after playing Superman all those years. Leonard Nemoy got so frustrated with being typecast as mr. Spock that he wrote a book titled, "I am not spock." Adam West was typecast as Batman..
Of course, Bela Lugosi only played Count Dracula once -- in the 1931 production of Dracula. But, it stuck, and he was forever stuck witht he spooky image. But don't worry, Lugosi had Ed Wood to save his reputation! (Any Ed Wood fans out there?).
Can any of us really watch Tony Shalhoub and not think. . . MONK! Well, we can, can't we. In television and movies I don't think the problem lies so much with the audience as it does producers and casting directors. They don't think we can make the mental shift -- but a good actor causes you to forget his other roles. In fact, my wife was watching Monk the other day and said, "Who is that guy playing the judge? I know I've seen him." And you know, at the moment -- I've forgotten! Because all he was on screen was the Judge, not anothe ractor from another show..
Wikipedia notes that "Ted Knight nearly left The Mary Tyler Moore Show because fans typecast him as Ted Baxter; he later played the comic role in Too Close for Comfort.".
King Typecast -- A Problem For Constant Reader.Will we return to the dark tower?
For those of us who like Stephen King it can become frustrating that so few people actually understand what he writes. People automatically assume that we are reading something equivalent to literary pornography -- of the horror genre. Just blood and guts, Texas Chainsaw type stuff.
King's writing doesn't always match his image. See, even if a book is "horror" there are still other elements that pull it together. Let's take the Shining as an example -- regarded by many as King's most frigthening work. The Shining has some pretty scary scenes! However, it is also a drama as we see the family slowly come apart. It is strong because of it's characters and story -- it's not just a cut-em-up. And that's where people often get King wrong! They assume King only writes slashers -- but I can't think of any he's produced. Now, George Stark might be guilty as charged..
Does King Prepetuate His Typecast?.
Of course he does! Why? Well, for one thing, he does seem to like writing horror. Most of his mainstream books are horror. And, his early work especially is full of scare factor. Carrie, Salem's Lot, The Shining -- one after another caused him to get the Master of Horror image.
The genre itself is a fascenation to King, thus the existance of Danse Macabre..
Also, the image sells books..
But King is also good at breaking out of that mold when he wants to. If anything, I think the typecast challenges him to sometimes break free and do other stuff..
A quick list of books that aren't in King's "typecast.".
1. The Body..
2. Shawshank Redemption..
3. Breathing Method..
4. The Sun Dog. ? More Twilight Zone that vintage "King.".
5. Gerald's Game.
6. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.
7. X-Men comic book.
9. The Dark Tower series..
10. The Eyes of the Dragon.
Now Richard Bachman. . . that dude deserves typecasting!
Is Bart Simpson typecast?