Night Flyer Review

Here's a new review of Night Flyer by David Finniss at Does he like night flyer? well, catch this line:

"I didn't really have high hopes for this one, but even with the low bar set, this film really didn't meet my expectations at all."

"It's not quite as bad as say, The Lawnmower Man, but really, that's not saying a whole lot. While I've still got quite a few movies to go, I'm fairly certain that this one ranks amongst the all time worst King based films."

King On J.D. Salinger

When I was in 6th grade our English teacher inflicted Catcher In The Rye on us. Or, so we thought. We hated reading. But as we began to dig in, we couldn't believe what our teacher had put in our 6th grade hands! This book was full of wonderful, glorious, cussing. Stuff our parents wouldn't approve of. Open rebelion against authority. We couldn't believe the adults at our school had given this to us.
King's Post:
Yesterday, January 27, 2010, the author of Cathcer in the Rye, J.D. Salinger died. Stephen King paid tribute to him in his an Entertainment Weekly article. King notes that he wasn't a big Salinger fan, but he still feels sad the way yhou feel when finding out "an eccentric, short-tempered, but often fascinating uncle had passed away."
King noted that Salinger was one of the great post World War Two writers. And, he notes that "in Holden Caulfield — maybe the greatest American-boy narrator since Huck Finn — he created an authentic Voice of the Age: funny, anxious, at odds with himself, and badly lost." That is what was wonderful about Catcher in the Rye.
Of course, Salinger dived into a private life after Catcher in the Rye. He continued to write -- or said he did -- but only for himself. King notes, "Salinger’s death may answer one question that has intrigued readers, writers, and critics for nearly half a century — what literary trove of unpublished work may he have left behind? Much? Some? Or none? Salinger is gone, but if we’re lucky, he may have more to say, even so."
By the way, I have never reread Catcher in the Rye. Even though it was a wonderful experience, I never felt the need to return. So, I wasn't a fan of Salinger, but Cather In the Rye did have a huge impact on me.
King may feel some connection to Salinger because both of them have had to deal with being banned.
The Shining
Notice in The Shining, Kubrick has Wendy reading Catcher In The Rye. I have no idea if it means anything. However, visual memory speculates, "It seems unlikely that the content of the novel has any bearing, but the front and back cover of the paperback (printed in the same way for decades) are exactly the same--another doubling/mirroring element. The covers are red with gold lettering, as in "redrum" and "goldroom." Red is color that signifies blood and thus death, gold is related to the goldrush of the American westward expansion."
Kings post is here:

Times Talk posted the link for the times talk.

Who's gonna die laughing?

Here is King's EW article: Decoding Movie Blurbs.,,20338349,00.html

Here's a couple of his blurbs, but the whole article is great.

  • ''One of the best films of the year!'' This is the Mother of All Blurbs, most commonly sighted on TV and in newspapers around awards season. TRANSLATION: ''It's not.''
  • ''Delightfully funny! Chemistry galore!'' (Leap Year) TRANSLATION: ''You might laugh once or twice, but don't count on it. The actors are clearly breathing, however, and sometimes they breathe on each other.''
  • ''Prepare to die laughing!'' (It's Complicated) TRANSLATION: ''You will see actors you know and respect doing wacky things!'' Also, ask yourself this: Do you want to die laughing? I suppose it would be better than choking to death on a steak bomb at Quiznos, but still.

I like that last one. Only Stephen King would ask us: Do you want to die laughing? Now we wait patiently to see -- now that the idea is in his head. . . what character will die laughing?

Narrating Stephen King

entertainment weekly has a post up about good and bad choices for audio book narrators. "For example: “Not Scary Enough: Joe Mantegna reads Stephen King’s Thinner”, “Too Scary: Willem Dafoe reads Stephen King’s The Langoliers.”
So, just a quick list of my favorite Stephen King audio books:
1. Stephen King reading Needful Things.
2. Frances Sternhagen reading Dolores Claiborne
3. Raul Esparza reading Under The Dome
4. Sissy Spacek reading Carrie.
5. Frank Muller reading Shawshank Redemption
Worst ever -- though I've already lodged this complaint -- Grover Gardner reading The Stand.
I have noticed a few people complaining that it is hard to keep up with all the characters in Under The Dome. That's actually a place where the audio edition is very helpful. Raul Espraza does such a good job giving each character their own voice that you easily keep up with who's who.
Check out this great post on Stephen King audio books:

Exciting News At Lilja's

Lilja's posted some really exciting news for King fans. Titled, Two books done, Posted: January 27, 2010 -- check it out. I won't spoil the news, but it's COOL.

Rev. Coggins Self-flagellation

Is Stephen King Out Of Touch?
"Stephen King is really out of touch," I thought as I listened to Under The Dome. King has Reverend Lester Coggins practice self-flagellation. That is, he beats himself with a rope -- 12 knots representing the 12 apostles (or 12 tribes?)
Self-flagellation is a rather obsecure act of punishing oneself usually for religious reasons.
1. It is done by some to identify with the suffering of Christ. In the Philippines I have heard of people being crucified by choice.
2. It is also practiced for humility.
3. It is also done to atone for personal sin. This seems to be Coggin's motivation. He feels guilt for two things: First his involvement with Big Jim and the drug operation, and second for his use of pronography.
As a pastor, I'm familiar with the act, but didn't really think anyone did that. "Does King think religious people actually do this?" I found msyelf asking. It's like those people who assume I own a copy of Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ. Right. . . that's what my family does for fun. . . we eat dinner and then watch Jesus get beat to death. Let's just say, I don't own a copy.
It felt like that same kind of misunderstanding that King was making about Christians. Not that he seemed to be saying all Christians do this, but because he would think any Christian in the modern would would still do this seemed out of touch to me.
King Is Actually At The Top Of His Game:
Then I read a reuters today! They reported that the very popular Pope John Paul the Second practiced self-flaggelation with a belt. he did this, the article said, to "imitate Christ's suffering." The article, which is citing an upcoming book, also said John Paul, "engaged in a practice known as mortification, the self-infliction of pain in order to feel closer to God, whipping himself with a belt that he kept in his closet. The book also said that when he was a bishop, he often slept on the bare floor so he could practice self-denial and asceticism."
I understand the act of self-denial. That's actually Biblcial -- The idea behind fasting. Of course, in the Old Testament you have a lot more feasts than you do fasts!
Now this is where King gets spooky. He has the ability to take a practice and then show it twisted out of proportion. Like a cult leader might actually do. Suffice to say, after reading the article today I found myself much more willing at accept King's Rev. Coggin's as a realistic character. Now. . . how Big Jim ended up in his church is another story.
Article: Pope John Paul flagellated himself, new book says:

Review of Return To Salem's Lot

This review is interesting only because Chad Webb admits up front that he might be the only person who actually likes this! Have you seen this movie? I haven't, since it only exists in VHS. Remember VHS? Vaguely.

Stephen King Ticket Info announced

Charlotte Sun has this information about the upcoming Stephen King appearance at the Charlotte county Cultural Center:

Requests for tickets for the Big Read kickoff event featuring author Stephen King at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County on March 20 will be accepted beginning Feb. 1 on the Charlotte County Web site,

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets for the 400 available seats will be distributed by a random drawing of requests submitted and are limited to two tickets per household.
Anyone wishing tickets must apply at between Feb. 1 and Feb. 19. Those receiving tickets will be notified by e-mail by Feb. 26. Tickets must be picked up at the Cultural Center Theater box office no later than March 6. A second drawing will be conducted for tickets not picked up by the deadline.

His performance kicks off the Charlotte County 2010 Big Read, a six week series of events and programs on the stories and poems of another famous horrormaster, Edgar Allan Poe. The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and ArtsMidwest. Its goal is to revitalize the role of reading in American culture and unite communities through great literature.

What, Dead People In S.K. Novel?!

I found Jeff Kline's article in The Ledger absolutely Hilarious. Titled, "Favorite Characters Die Off in End of King's Book" Kline gives quotes from the ledger's book club, some of whom are disappointed with UTD. But, it begs the question. . . what were they expecting? Are these people aware that King wrote Pet Sematary? Or Cujo?
But, here's some of what the whining is about:
The First set of complaints: It's too much like a Stephen King novel!
"It's too long, has too much violence and way too much bad language. The cast of characters is long and it gets hard to remember who is who, although King nicely provides a roster of town residents. But nearly all the characters the reader comes to like are killed off."
Long, violence, bad langauge. All of which typify a Stephen King novel! Kline cites Sally Miller on the cussing issue: "I do think he's a great story teller, but I don't know why he finds it necessary to add so much profanity in his books." Look, I don't cuss at all. Sometimes King has characters cussing in a context I don't think is natural for that character. However, he feels that for his characters to be real, they need to talk real. I can respect that.
The Second complaint: It doesn't measure up to The Stand.
Kline cites Ada Lavin who liked the book but was "disappointed at the same time. This is far from his best." Kline says that The Stand is her favorite, which she said was "more suspenseful in a fraction of the size." WAIT A MINUTE! Did anyone do a page count here? First of all, The Stand is not a fraction of the size of UTD? -- It's LONGER! Second, does anyone remember a few deaths taking place in The Stand? Like, uh, all of America! Plus Nick, plus Glenn, plus... it goes on and on (the death list).
The Third complaint: The hedgehog dies.
Kline notes Joy Banks and says, "She was especially upset at the fate of the hedgehog in the very beginning of the book, which put her in an off mood for the remainder of the story."
Are you serious?! What was supposed to happen to the hedgehog? It just feels the wind of the dome as it slams down? She's weepy over the hedgehog, what about the lady who got her hand chopped off? (That was cool) But, Kline then says that Banks didn't read the whole book. "After starting the book, Banks skipped roughly 600 pages, reading the last 200. "I don't feel like I missed anything." I thought she was in a "off mood for the remainder of the story." She skipped 600 pages! And people who say they don't think they missed anything. . . how would they know?
The Fourth complaint: It's Not A How To Manuel For Dome Building
Kline bluntly says, "As a science-fiction book, panelists found it lacking." He quotes Michael Pimentel, "In the very beginning of the book I was really happy. Then it went to 200 pages, then 300, then 400. Now you're really overdoing it. You're not explaining what is going on and I'm getting really tired. I want to know what this dome is and I want to know it in the beginning. Once I got to the 300s, my excitement starting going down. It started becoming labored reading." So this guy actually thought the book was a sci-fi novel that would explain the workings of a mysterious Dome? I don't care how the Dome works! The Dome sets the stage for what happens inside. Remember in the Cannibals when the doors got locked and no one could get out? Same thing, just a bigger scale.
Hitchcock would have called the Dome a "McGuffin." "[We] have a name in the studio, and we call it the 'MacGuffin.' It is the mechanical element that usually crops up in any story. In crook stories it is almost always the necklace and in spy stories it is most always the papers." In another interview, he explained, "It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men in a train. One man says, 'What's that package up there in the baggage rack?' And the other answers, 'Oh that's a McGuffin.' The first one asks, 'What's a McGuffin?' 'Well,' the other man says, 'It's an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.' The first man says, 'But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,' and the other one answers 'Well, then that's no McGuffin!' So you see, a McGuffin is nothing at all."

Changes At WZON notes the following about WZON:

Vacating the Zone: "WZON in Dover-Foxcroft (103.1 FM) has been airing progressive talk shows less than a month, but the Stephen King-owned station is already scrambling to make changes in its lineup. According to North East Radio Watch, WZON lost three daily shows distributed by the now-defunct Air America network – Ron Reagan, Montel Williams and "Clout." No word on what’s taking their place (the Web site hadn’t been updated as of late morning on January 25), although listeners closer to the source will probably find out shortly."

Stephen King And The Simpsons, 2

I like the Simpsons. I like Stephen King. What's better than when the Simpsons steal an idea from Mr. King?
1. In 2000, King was a guest on the Simpsons episode: Insane Clown Poppy.
Marge: So, Mr King, what tale of horror and the macabre are you working on now?
Stephen King: Actually, I'm taking a break from horror for the time being.
Marge: Oh, that's too bad.
Stephen King: At the moment I'm working on a biography of Benjamin Franklin. He was a fascinating man who discovered electricity, and used it to torture children and green mountain men. And that key he tied to a kite - it opened the gates to HELL.
Marge: Well, when you go back to horror will you let me know?
Stephen King: Will do. [writes down a note: CALL MARGE RE: HORROR]
2. The Simpsons did a parody of The Shining (called The Shinning) in Halloween Treehouse of Horror V.
3. According to, King has had references in 6 episodes and had a cameo in a 7th (noted above).
4. In the Simpsons episode the Joy of Sect Homer and Bart see a bookstore called "Just King and Crichton." That's funny! I wouldn't mind running that bookstore.
5. Wikipeida notes, "In the episode "Dude, Where's My Ranch?", Moe asks "Ya ever see the movie Misery?", to which an injured man replies "Actually, no." Moe then says "Then this will all be new to you." and the two drive off while menacing music plays."
Obviously the most cited book by the Simpsons is the Shining. They seem to love it! I laugh at all the people who say the Simpsons should sue S.K. for his use of a Dome. There seems to be a pretty good working relationship between the two.
I just found this link, which is really cool. It's Stephen King in popular culture:

Car Name

Just put this under strange. . .
Gary Dickson at the Lake County Record Bee has an article on names people give their cars. Seriously. Now, I've never named a car. I tried, but my daughters wanted to name the car such girly names that I gave up. My brother in law named his car "War." Not a girls name -- but after a funny FDR quote that I will not repeat here.
Dickson notes, "Stephen King has probably had as much to do with people naming their cars over the past quarter-century as anyone. He gave us Christine, the first really killer car. It was a 1958 Plymouth Fury that 17-year-old Arnie Cunningham thought was to die for. Actually, I think the movie scared me away from naming my cars for a while, especially female names. It seems that more cars that are given people names wind up as female for some reason, even when the owner is a lady. I'm not sure why."
You know, it is interesting that Christine is a girl. . . since she's haunted by a dude who killed himself. Very strange. All of it.
But, let me ask: Have you ever seen Carrie on the road? You know, a little new car that's beyond timid. . . until you try and pass and then she goes road rage on you.

Stephen King Has Guts

I realized the other day that what makes King a strong writer is that he's got a lot of guts. Fearless courage of a weriter. Two examples:
First, he's not a afraid to let his hero's get in a real mess. Most writers would work to keep Barbie out of the jail cell, but King drops him right in. It makes the novel more difficult. And it paints King in a tighter corner. Of course, it's a lot more fun to read. . . but it takes guts for a writer to let his hero's get in a real mess.
Second, he's not afraid to introduce characters with limitations. The Stand is a good example of this. Nick in particular would scare me away as a writer. How do you deal with a deaf mute? Well, King did it brilliantly!
.And here's a quick list of things that took guts as a writer:
1. Destroying Castle Rock.
2. The end of the Dark Tower was gutsy.
3. Revising The Stand.
4. The sex scene in IT
5. Geralds Game eclipse day.
6. Letting Paul Sheldon live in Misery.
7. A wheelchair bound hero in Cycle... (Same with Susannah Dean)
8. Writing himself into the Dark Tower.
9. Switching viewpoints in Christine.
10. Writing a book with another author.
11. Suffer the Childen. Just the story itself is gutsy.
on a more personal note, it took guts:
1. To get off drugs and go sober.
2. To pull Rage from publication.
3. To write Dreamcatcher by hand.
4. To speak openly about politics.
5. To say what he thinks of Twilight.
6. To use money for a purpose.
7. Sueing to get his name off of Lawnmowerman 2.
8. To publish under the Bachman name.

Stephen King - Conan O'Brien

Remember the good old days when NBC was nice to Conan? Of course, the other night he tried to spend a million dollars on a car. Silly Conan, he could have broke NBC by buying Stephen King special editions.

Anyway, here is a clip of Conan talking to Stephen King back in happy 2005.

Shawshank: A rainy day movie

With all the rain here in California (and there has been a LOT) the Orange County Examiner has this article: 10 Movies You Can Watch on a Rainy Day. Number four is none other than one of my own favorites... and an itneresting note about it being #1 on IMBD. But, here's the quote and the link:

4. Shawshank Redemption (1994)This Frank Darabont film, based on a Stephen King story, about a banker who is falsely sentenced to prison for murdering his wife, is #1 on IMDB’s Top 250 (as of this writing) for a pretty good reason—it’s a very good film. It’s an uplifting movie despite the gloomy situation the main character Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, is in. He develops a friendship with the warden (a bad guy) and other inmates that makes the prison life a little more bearable. A story about hope that can literally take you places. There’s also a great rain scene at the end. To say more would be spoiling it.

The Shining Review Link

Since I've been on the topic of The Shining lately, Ken Hanke at has a truly insightful review of The Shining. He does a good job comparing the book to the movie and showing their strengths. Of course, he wants to read the book as a psycological thriller, and this leads him to a problem:

"The problem with reading The Shining as purely psychological is that it raises the question—in terms of the action—of who (or what) lets Jack out of the pantry after Wendy imprisons him there. I’ve heard the argument that Wendy herself perhaps let him out, but that seems off-base to me, not in the least because at that point she has yet to experience anything inexplicable. When she finally does see the Overlook for what it presumably is, she sees—and hears (there’s an indecipherable chanting on the sound track that might well be some black-magic ritual)—more than Danny or Jack ever did. It’s as if the evil has to completely reveal itself in order to penetrate her less suggestible mind."

Simply put. . . I think the ghost did it.


It's a dark and rainy night. After church our family hunkered down to watch a movie, and I convinced them that a great stormy night movie was Twister. Not much thinking needed here, just watch tornados rip up the American Midwest.
"Ahhh," my wife was thinking to herself, "alas, no Stephen King." (I think I wore them out on the eight hour mini series The Stand. Oh well, their loss.)
But, as we're watching Twister, my wife says, "Oh no! Look what's on the drive in movie screen." I look up from my computer to see a twister tearing through a drive in movie... and on the screen is Jack Nicholson wielding his ax. Sweet! Best part is watching Jacko get blown to smitherines by the tornado.
IMBD notes a this factual error: "The drive-in theatre is showing The Shining (1980), but the film jumps about an hour." Yeah, yeah, yeah -- who cares. I mean, Twister was made in 1996, so the real question is: Why are these people crowded in a drive in theater to watch a movie from 1980? Those midwest towns must really be dull! And we all know, all work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy.
By the way, here's the poll results from last weeks poll. question was: Which is better, Stephen King's the Shining or Kubrick's. You said:
3 -- Kubrick's version
10 -- King's Mini-Series
5 -- I like them both
2 -- I hate them both

Ghost Brothers Confusion has this message posted:
John Mellencamp’s recent characterization of his hugely ambitious “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” musical theater collaboration with Stephen King as “very complicated” has been borne out by media confusion over the nature of the project.
In an effort to clarify, John, King and producer T Bone Burnett are finishing up the recording process for the deluxe three-CD set featuring the full text of the libretto and a recording of the music and script. The CD components involve the entire production—music and dialog—on two discs, with a single disc containing just the songs.
The set is still on track for release prior to the musical’s scheduled opening next September at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater. As has been reported, the production team has assembled a stellar cast to record the songs, including Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Neko Case, Dave and Phil Alvin. The casting of the Atlanta stage presentation is also underway.
Meanwhile, Burnett continues to record the actors who voice the speaking parts for the “Ghost Brothers” recordings.
As John said last month, “It’s hard enough to make a play with music work—even when you can see the actors singing. But here we have something that’s become way out of fashion: An audio program that allows the listener the opportunity to use his or her imagination!”

Haiti Not Under The Dome

Just a short note here. Reading Under the Dome and watching the news makes me realize what a good sociologist King is. Of course, Haiti is not cut off from the rest of the world. But reports of looting and civil unrest make me think of King's descriptions at the grocery store in Under The Dome. The news sometimes gives us glimpses into the world of Stephen King.

Each of us should consider how we are to contribute to relief in Haiti. Simply because. . . Haiti is not under a Dome. We can do something.

Recent Links

Here are some links I enjoyed:
1. A review of the Cujo blue ray DVD.
"The few features of the Blu-ray include an audio commentary with director Teague. Teague is engaging through the entirety of the track providing insight about the his history with the film. He gives a good bit of technical information behind the filming of certain key scenes as well. There is also a 43 minute making-of documentary, Dog Days: The Making of Cujo. The first of the three parts covers the adaptation process and the interviews are notable for the lack of Stephen King himself. The second part focuses on the performances of the actors dog and human alike as well as the photography of the film. Finally, the other elements of filmmaking (editing, sound, etc.) are covered in the final part. It’s a thorough featurette well worth watching."
2. Review: The Stand / Captain Trips (bookgasam)
Rod Lott writes, "In 1984, I was in eighth grade. During the week of standarized tests, I rushed through them to finish early, in order to spend as much time as possible reading a paperback of Stephen King’s THE STAND. In the quarter century that has passed, I’ve never re-read the novel, but it’s amazing how much of its characters and events have stuck with me all this time. (And, no, I’ve never seen the miniseries.)
"They came flooding back as I read the Marvel Comics adapation of King’s masterwork, currently collected in two hardcovers, both written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and pencilled by Mike Perkins: THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS and THE STAND: AMERICAN NIGHTMARES, containing five issues apiece, and now no longer confined to comic-book stores only.
3. Review of Haunted Heart.
Which, you might note as I say "i told you so" that the writer here comes to the same conclusion I posted just days BEFORE they published this article. Namely, as they say, this biography lacks "heart."
4. Short review of Under The Dome. By Patrick Varine
I enjoyed this review.
5. Two from Lilijas Library: First, U.R. on audio. Second, news thatA Dollar Baby of Survivor Type is in the making.
6. Surviovor Type website:

Dumbest Moments In Stephen King Movies

Joseph Lee at is doing Stephen King Month. This weeks article, "A Bloody Good Time: Stephen King Month Part 2 (The Dumbest Moments)" is worth a glance and a chuckle.
Lee writes, With the slogan of negativity first, I finished last week's worst films countdown and move on to the dumbest moments within all of his adaptations. As with normal "Dumbest Moments" columns, these are the most head-scratchingly stupid decisions or scenes that stand out in a bad film or drag down a good film just by being there. This isn't a movie series this time around, but an entire group of films based on adaptations of books. So it was a little trickier to narrow it down and pick out specific parts that represent the stupidity as a whole.
Here's his list, check out the website for the article:
#10: Poor adaptation choices
#9: Unnecessary sequels
#8: Virtual Reality Sex from The Lawnmower Man
#7: The Escape Plan from Maximum Overdrive
#6: The final story in Cat's Eye
#5: Morgan Freeman's overacting in Dreamcatcher
#4: The dialogue in Children of the Corn
#3: Bad Special Effects in The Langoliers, Dreamcatcher and Thinner, among others.
#2: The Giant Spider in IT
#1: The Mist Ending
And I have to say, concerning #1, I completely agree! I hated the ending to the Mist.

The art of horror

Roger Stine, “Carrie,” from Cinefantastique, Fall 1976.

Subtitled, "A coffee table book that might scare you awake" Deirdre Fulton's article in the Providence Phoenix is an interesting look at the massive Knowing Darkness. Fulton duely notes that this is really for serious fans, as just the price tag suggests.
Fulton has this interesting insight: "The book also portrays the master of horror as a thoughtful art lover. We get the sense that he is so excited by the pictures he paints with words that he can't wait to see them interpreted by visually creative people. In the pages about artist Bernie Wrightson, who drew interior art for several King books, including a limited edition of The Stand, and The Dark Tower V: Wolves of Calla, it's revealed that when Wrightson gets an assignment, he reads the manuscript and immediately tries to identify scenes that would make sense for artistic representation.
"During that time Steve sent me a letter," Wrightson tells George Beahm, a King scholar who penned the essays for Knowing Darkness, "saying he was glad I was on board. King told me: if you don't mind, I have a list of suggestions for scenes. I'm not art directing by any means, but these are scenes that I would like to see illustrated. If you agree, that's fine; if not, just illustrate the scenes you want. "As it turned out, King's list of 12 scenes were exactly the ones I picked."
also, this quote from Frank Darabont is interesting: "I'm certain that in the years since Carrie, with his publishing schedule seldom slowing for a moment, Steve has singlehandedly generated more damn artwork than any other writer since the dawn of time. That's not hype. It doubt there's even a close second."

King to Appear In Port Charlotte

Pamela Staik at notes that Stephen King will be kicking off a month-long "Big Read program" on March 20 at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County at 11 a.m.
Angie Patterson, manager of libraries in Charlotte County is quoted as saying, "It looks like Stephen King will be doing a combination of speaking and probably a question and answer session, but we're still working on it."
There are four hundred available seats, which are free to the public througha lottery system. Exactly how to get in that lottery will be released in February.
Patterson notes that while King is a big draw, his interest is not simply in selling books or hear his speech, but to involve people in the Big Read program. Big Read program is actually exactly what it sounds like -- a program meant at getting the American public back into books. This year their theme is Edgar Allen Poe. (Didn't I say a few weeks ago that King and Poe were both good stuff?)

Inside Look At Knowing Darkness

The massive book Artist Inspired By Stephen King has gotten a lot of priase. 24 of the unique pictures are posted at Included are:

1. Roger Stine, Carrie
2. David Voigt, Stephen King on Hollywood
3. Steven Shroud, Cujo
4. R.J. Krupowicz, The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet
5. Don Brautigam, Night Shift
6. Don Brautigam, Skeleton Crew
7. Stephen Gervais, The Regulators
8. J.K. Potter, Skeleton Crew (I like this one)
9. Phil Hale, Gunfire
10. Jill Bauman, The Wheel of Fortune
11. Rob Wood, Nightmares and Dreamscapes
12. Bernie Wrightson, May (cycle of the warewolf)
13. Bernie Wrightson, They stared at him. He stared back
14. Bernie Wrightson, Before the Play
15. Michael Whelan, The Dead Town
16. Michael Whelan, Come On Now, You Bastards
17. Dave McKean, work from The Dark Tower IV
18. Dave McKean, work from The Dark Tower IV
19. Comert Dogru, “The Dark Tower" (spooky Turkish edition)
20. David Ho, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
21. Peter Stanimirov, Christine
22. Drew Stuzan, The Shawshank Redemption
23. Darrel Anderson, The Dark Tower
24. Les Edwards, The Island Ferry

King's Give Rescue Vehicle

The Associated Press is reporting that Stephen and Tabitha King donated $30,000 through the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to purchase a 2009 Ford Expedition loaded with lifesaving equipment to the Lebanon rescue department.

SYFY announces 2010 lineup

Brian Ford Sullivan at notes that SYFY does indeed have Stephen King in its line up. Noting that Riverworld and The Phantom were both ordered as pilots, Sullivan says, "They'll be joined by recent series pickups "Haven," based on the Stephen King novella "The Colorado Kid," and "Being Human," a re-imagining of the U.K. series of the same name, both of which could be ready for summer launches."

Free Republic's List Of Top 15 Movies has this list of top 15 Stephen King movies. They offer it without commentary of explanation. I'm stunned Children of the Corn didn't make the cut.

15 Pet Sematary
14 Storm of the Century
13 1408
12 Children of the Corn
11 It
10 Rose Red
9 Secret Window
8 Hearts in Atlantis
7 The Green Mile
6 The Shining
5 The Mist
4 The Stand
3 Stand by Me
2 Misery
1 The Shawshank Redemption

Under The Dome Notes #7

This book is outstanding! One of the things I really like is King's easy, conversational narration. In fact, I find myself saying: "Oh, I didn't know you could do that!"

For instance, the main paragraph on page 474 is wonderful. Notice how King is acting like a tour guide. He suddenly moves to present active tense and speaks directly to the reader. It is as if the constant reader has been transported inside the Dome and is sitting a-top the store roof with Mr. King as he points out what's going on.
  • "There is a pause, a moment of indrawn breath. think of a cat teetering on two wheels, deciding whether or not to go over."
  • "See Rose Twitchell looking around..."
  • "See Anson put his arm around her waist."
  • "Listen to George Roux howl through her hanging mouth..." (yuck)
  • "See the reinforcements."
  • "Next comes Linda Everett.."
  • "See Julia arrive just behind Linda and Marty..."
  • "See frank DeLesseps kneel down beside Mel just in time to avoid another rock..."
  • "Then... then someone yells. . ."

This is all stuff your English teacher will tell you not to do. But it's stuff readers love! Now, it's annoying when a writer stays in that mode for an entire novel. King doesn't even stay there for one whole page. But when he uses this narrative style, it is very powerful.

Thoughts On Haunted Heart

I've been reading Lisa Rogak's "Haunted Heart." It's subtitled The Life and Times Of Stephen King. Rogak moves quickly to clarify that her book is not about King's books, but his life.
I found this to be an extremely frustrating read. For one thing -- maybe I've just read a lot of King biographies -- there is very little new material here. A lot of the quotes I saw on the A&E biography of King. She did make the effort to interview several of his friends and colleagues.
However, as I read, I just couldn't shake the feeling that "something's wrong." I kept asking myself, "why is this book spooking me" and not in a good way! This is all one persons opinion, okay. I welcome those of you who enjoyed this book and encourage you to cite what you liked.
My big complaint:
Here's the deal: Rogak comes across as someone who has been assigned to write about Stephen King, not a personal fan. Note this paragraph early in the book: "Once I knew I was going to be writing about King's life, I got busy. I dug up old interviews in obsecure publications that only published one issue back in 1975, read numerous books, and watched almost all of themovies based on his stories and novels -- good and bad, and boy, the bad ones can be a hoot. I also plunged into the many books that have been written about him and his work since the early eighties. As with the films, there are some good ones and some that are not so good."
By the way, notice what she didn't read. . . THE BOOKS! It appears she let the movies speak for the Stephen King cannon in her mind.
Rogak has written a lot of these biographies. Michelle Obama, Dan Brown, and more. It's like she's a professional biography writer who had to familiarize herself with who King was.
Who assumes that?
Rogak writes, "So who is Stpehen King really? The standard assumption of casual fans and detractors is that he must be a creepy man who loves to blow things up in his backyard. Loyal fans usually go a bit deeper, knowing him to be a loyal family man and benefactor to countless charities, many around his Bangor, Maine home."
I talk to a LOT of people who know very little about Stephen King. I have never had someone say they think he is a creepy man who loves to blow things up in his backyard. This statement is set up as if it is going to be the theme of the book to tell us who King really is.
This really grated on me as I read -- the constant use of King's first name. She almost never, ever, calls him "King" or "Stephen" or "Stephen King" -- but it's just good ole Steve. As if he's her drinking buddy. But, truth is, as she describes in the book, when given the opportunity "Steve" chose not to step out from a door he was hiding behind to meet her.
I think the reason this is so unnerving is not that there would not be occausion to call him "Steve." When your talking to him face to face and he says, "Hey, call me Steve." But in a book, it feel like the author is trying to present herself as more familiar with the subject than she is.
Just The Facts
Rogak writes, "In researching his biography, I've attempted to check and double check the facts of his life, but whether it's the natural deterioration of memory that comes with age or two solid decades of abusing alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs in various combinations, the guy can't be faulted for fuding a few dates her and there." Nicely said. What she's saying, though, is that her biography will be more factual than King's own account of his life. It's a slam with a smile and a wink. But, even as a pretty serious fan, I have to ask: Does it really matter if exact dates get nailed down? Frankly, that's not what makest he story.
Rogak has her own facts problem within the text of the book. Namely, entire lines are repeated! Compare page 219 with page 226.
Also, there are frustrating factual errors: "A flurry of movies based on his books followed that fall, including Graveyardshift and IT which also became a made for TV miniseries. In May of 1984. . ." (p.132) Now, the Fall in question is 1984. Problem is, IT wasn't even published until 1986.
King is a difficult subject to write about. He's not a woman chaser. He's been married to the same woman and raised his family. So what makes his biography interesting is the books, movies and media. There are not a billion unique stories out there. But, just going through all the books alone is daunting -- not to mention books about King, movies and articles. This is not a Summer project!
Even though this didn't speak to me, that's not to say that it's not a great effort. But, it feels, frankly, souless.
I prefer George Beahm's "Stephen King, America's Best Loved Boogeyman." I hope this book is updated soon. I also like the companion books a lot. To be honest, Bev Vincent's book actually makes you feel like you know "Steve" without it being creepy! Or, the A&E biography was okay, if not a little short.
All right! I've been pretty hard here. So feel free if you liked this book to rave about it.

S.K. on a Shooter Jennings Album

Interesting news today from fangoria.
James Zahn writes, "Legendary genre author and FANGORIA contributor STEPHEN KING will be appearing on Jennings' forthcoming concept album, BLACK RIBBONS - due out March 2nd on Black Country Rock/Rocket Science Ventures. King will provide the voice of "Will O' The Wisp," a late-night talk radio host who is in the last hour of his final broadcast before the airwaves are overtaken by "government-approved and regulated transmissions."
With nothing left to lose, the radio host lets loose with a series of rants, punctuating his diatribes with selections from the discography of (Jennings' new band) Hierophant. Throughout the album's 14 songs, Will O' The Wisp flits in and out, painting an apocalyptic picture of what America could become in the not-so-distant future, while offering his loyal listeners-from whom he is about to be permanently cut off-the unvarnished truth.

Air America and WZON

Al Diamon at has the following note about Stephen King's radio station, WZON under the heading "A Zone of its own":
Best-selling author Stephen King has switched formats at his Dover-Foxcroft station, WZON (FM 103.1), ending the simulcast of the “Sports Zone” programming of WZON (620 AM) in Bangor and replacing it with liberal-leaning talk shows from Air America and other sources.
The station is now known as “The Pulse” and may add a local talk show in the near future.
A similar progressive format failed in the Portland market in 2007 and was replaced, ironically enough, by syndicated sports shows. So, Air America’s prospects in the hard-core Republican heartland of Piscataquis County don’t seem bright. But King is not subject to the same financial pressures as other radio station owners and tends to air whatever pleases him, rather than what attracts the widest possible audience.

Asbestos Firestarter

How do you keep your copy of Firestarter safe from Charlie? After all, one wrong look from her could send your entire Stephen King collection up in smoke. Well, Abe Books is here to help.
I know, you've been loking for that asbestos copy of Firestarter -- right? Without it, your collection just isn't the same.
Fire may have been one of mankind's greatest innovations, but what it giveth in warmth, light and cooking, it taketh away in power and destruction. Without a doubt, fire is a book's natural enemy. Nothing gives a red-blooded bibliophile the creeps more than the mention of book burning. Which, perhaps, is why Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 strikes such a responsive chord among book lovers. The task of protecting your books from fire (along with light, moisture, silverfish, and shelf-wear) can be quite vexing, which is why books like these are so amazing.
The Fine Books Company of Rochester, Michigan has bundled together the complete fireproof science fiction collection; limited first edition copies of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and Stephen King's Firestarter, both bound in an asbestos material. Not even fireman Guy Montag himself could easily burn these babies (not that he would want to, having finally discovered the joy of reading...).
The asbestos Fahrenheit 451 edition was limited to 200 copies, all signed by Bradbury, and the copies of Firestarter, signed by King, were a limited lettered edition of only 26 copies making this combined set quite a rarity indeed.
the price. . . $31,810. But hey, shipping is only 8 bucks, okay! Sure, that's a lot of money, but think about it -- you won't lose this investment in a house fire. By the way, my wife already said no way.

Writers and Filmmakers

rediff movies has an interesting article on movies that make writers sulk. Of course, in the list is the Kubrick/King clash over The Shining.
It turns out, the first novel adapted for the big screen was 1924's Greed. Only problem was, the movie was 16 hours long! It was edited down to two hours -- because they hadn't heard of the mini series!
Anyway, the article notes "Kubrick, again. Clearly the best horror film of all time wasn't enough for author Stephen King, who always felt the Kubrick film changed his novel too much, going so far as to say that he hated it, especially Jack Nicholson in it. King himself watched over a TV miniseries in the late 90s -- Stephen King's The Shining -- and the end result was a damp squib. Kubrick, who passed away a couple of years later, surely had the last laugh."
Which leads to a question: Is Kubrick's version of the novel really that much better than King's? Personally, I like both -- but I prefer King's. But this makes me wonder how others feel. So, let's take it to the polls. Go ahead and vote on the right.

Congradulations Lilja's Library

Hans-Åke Lilja posted recently that he has made it. . . to ebay! The advanced readers copies are making their rounds, which is cool. And, also Amazon is now carrying Lilja's Library for $26.40.
An early concern I herd voiced was that there might not be a lot of purpose in putting the best of a website to print. Rod Lott at says, "One of the better, more comprehensive websites dedicated to Stephen King is Lilja’s Library, at, run by Sweden resident Hans-Åke Lilja. Rightly assuming you’d prefer to sit for hours on end on your couch, rather than in front of a computer screen, Cemetery Dance makes it easy for you to catch up on all the content with LILJA’S LIBRARY: THE WORLD OF STEPHEN KING. At more than 500 pages, the book is crammed with previously published reviews and interviews on all things King, from page to screen and in between."
Lott also notes that, "Clearly, the man is passionate about his subject. His writing style is more conversational than purely critical — example: “So, how is this book? Well, I liked it!” — but passion goes a long way when you consider the title is geared specifically toward fans as huge as he. For that crowd, for whom King eternally remains the king, LILJA’S LIBRARY comes recommended."

How Do You Get Out Of The Dome?

I m couious how the residents of Chesters Mill will escape the Dome.

Remember the riddle:
Q: How do you get out of room with no windows and no doors -- just a table and a mirror.
A: You look in the mirror and see what you saw. You take the saw and cut the table in half. Two halves make one whole. Put the hole on the wall, and walk out.

How will Barbie walk out? So far, as I've read:
  • You can't crash your way out.
  • You can't shoot your way out. In fact, the bullet might bounce!
  • You can't use a cruise missle and just blow a hole in the dome. Though the description of the fires and the ride along with the missle was AWESOME! No writer has ever taken me on ride aboard a United States cruise missle. Sweet.
  • You can't use acid to cut a hole in the dome.

Of course, the reader knows that none of these ideas will work. Come on, this is not a spoiler -- when page 300 has a missle and it's a novel over a thousand pages! "Really, the missle worked, they got out on page 320 and the rest of the book was about Junior fleeing the authorities." I think not.

It is interesting the amount of dust and junk the Dome collects. Symbolic, of course, of planet earth, since "we all live under the dome." Also interesting that the initial "shock" from touching the Dome can go away. Meaning you can later touch it without effect.

So, please, share your ideas. How would you get out of the Dome? And none of you who know the answer (read the end of the book) give it away. My ideas:

  • Look in the mirror, see what you saw. . .
  • Beam me up Scotty
  • Find the source of the Dome and blow it up.
  • Become good friends with David Copperfield (the magician) and hve him make you disappear. Or better yet, that kid from Tommyknockers... oh wait, not better yet! I just remembered where he sent his brother.

Okay, I have no good ideas.