Trailer For: You Can't Kill Stephen King



This looks. . .

New Years Shining


Jack Torrence at the 1921 July 4th ball

Ken Hanke writes in the Mountain Express, "Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) is one of the few horror pictures that has anything to do with New Year’s Eve, hence the Thursday Horror Picture Show choosing it for this time of year." (Full article HERE)

So The Shining is linked to New Years Eve ?  I did not know that! 

Actually, I can't think of many ways The Shining is a New Years film.  Anyone. . . Anyone. . .?

I would speculate that the picture, above, is of a New Years Eve party, not the 4th of July!  That photo, that is shown at the end of the film, has stirred a lot of questions and debate.  (More HERE)

USA TODAY: 11.22.63 Is Full Of Suspense And Heart

USA Today has an article titled "10 Books We Loved In 2011."  USA TODAY’s book critics Deirdre Donahue, Jocelyn McClurg, Carol Memmott, Bob Minzesheimer and Craig Wilson reveal the 10 books they most loved reading in 2011.

About 11/22/63 they write, "Take one of the most iconic events of the 20th century — the assassination of JFK — and mix it with the imagination of Stephen King, and the result is a blockbuster novel filled with suspense and heart."

The other one on the USA Today list that caught my eye was Tom Perrotta's book "The Leftovers." 

Thanks to BRYANT BURNETTE

Win Salem's Lot At Lilja's Library

Picture: Lilja's Library

This just goes to show that the best just keeps getting better!  Lilja's Library, the best Stephen King website on the web, has a great contest that gives King fans the chance to win a copy of Salem's Lot.  Not just any Salem's Lot, though -- this is the Random House paperback reissue of King's second novel.

Rules and guidelines are HERE.

Most Irritating Stephen King Characters

What character drives you nuts?  It's all about the characters, right?  So which of the cast really gets on your nerves? 

These are characters that may not hold the lead as the "bad guy", but they are still annoying!  As powerful as sweet characters might be, annoying ones leap off the page.  These are the people who run nails across the  chalkboard as you read.  The reach from the page and drive you nuts.  You want to hit them because they are just that icky.

When these characters died -- if they died -- you might have cheered.

That he is able to annoy us with characters, sometimes so real they make your blood boil, displays a strength in King's writing.

Here's my list of irritating Stephen King characters:

1. Craig Toomy in the Langoliers.  On edge, easily set off -- King makes him completely unlikeable. 
2. The Tick Tock man.  (My wife's nomination.)
3. Blane the Mono.  Did you ever want to punch a train? 
4. Carrie's mama.  Religious weirdo #1.
5. Mother Carmody.  Religious weirdo #2.
6. Revered Rose.  Religious weirdo #3 + Bigot.
7. Herold Lauder.  Idiot.
8. Vera Donevan.  Rich snob.
9. Joe St. George.  Wife beater, general idiot.
10. The Trashcan Man.  Though lovable, he is also annoying.
11. Rita Blakemoor, from The Stand.  Old, washed out druggie.
12. Julie Lawry.  The girl from The Stand who Nick met in the drugstore. 
13. Will Darnell.  Jerk from Christine who owned the auto body shop.
14. Wilfred James, 1922's narrator who killed his wife.  Though I'm not including a lot of main characters, this guy was an idiot from start to finish.
15. Cap in Firestarter.
16. Reverend Coggins.  Religious weirdo #4
17. The Beaver.  Not always annoying. . . but really, man -- toothpicks!

So what characters do you find irritating?

11.22.63 Journal #5: What are you thinking ?

I am well immersed in 11/22/63.  It is great.  I find myself yelling at Jake quite a lot lately.  "What are you thinking?" is usually what Mr. Epping is getting from me these days.

Okay, rules of time travel say you should not do anything in the past that might change the future.  We are told over and over that the future is fragile.  So, if that is the case, why in the world is Jake building a relationship with a woman?  What if she is supposed to have children with someone else, and he is messing that up?  Why is he tracking Oswald?  He knows what the sucker is going to do, so just knock him off and get moving.  Doesn't moving in right next door, and bugging his house no less, seem a little -- dangerous? 

Didn't Al's notes instruct him not to fall in love?  If the past is so fragile, shouldn't he be executing this plan with a lot more precision?

Wait, because there is more.  By directing school plays, students are telling him he "changed my life."  If he is changing peoples lives. . . he is changing the future.

I haven't read the end of this book -- it's just a humble journal entry.  But I am wondering what's up with my friend Jake.  I like him very much, but cannot for the life of my understand why he does what he does!  If he's going to lead Sadie on, he might as well level with her.  She's in for a big surprise the night he kills Oswald, right?  Isn't he inflicting great emotional harm to her by killing someone and then disappearing out of their life?  And if he brakes her emotionally, might that mess up other relationships she was destined for?

That's the wonderings of someone who thoroughly enjoys this book, but is also yelling at the main character. 

Link: Interview With Mick Garris


Stephenking.pl has posted an interview with Mick Garris (HERE). 

I think Grzesiek Tupikowski did a masterful job asking some great questions. 

In the interview, Garris does explain why he chose to kill Mike's wife in a different manner than the novel.  They also discuss why Sarah Tidwell was moved out a generation, and other differences between the mini-series and the book.

I liked this portion:
Q: This winks for King's fans and references to him and his works are probably your work, are they?
Garris: Well, a little bit, but really, most of them were Matt's ideas. I actually didn't want to do too many of those and distract from the story. But it's always fun to provide a nod to the master...


There are a couple of "huh?!" moments.  Garris says, "King doesn't really write about teenagers, not since CARRIE, anyway, and Hollywood now seems to feel that all horror films have to be about kids. But we'll see."  What about Christine, From a Buick 8 . . . and that's all I can think of!  IT and Pet Sematary were about children, not teens.

I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!

THE STAND: Waiting For The World To End

Roy Ford at the Scotsman has an article about another year going by, and the end of the world always seeming close at hand.  (HERE)  Of course, Herold Camping is mentioned -- but the world did not end when he said it would.  Oopsie. 

Any article about the end of the world really should include the Stand.  Why?  Because plague was such a unique way to end it all!  Interest in the end of the world always draws a crowd, and Hollywood isn't ready to let the Stand fade away -- or the potential dollars.

Ford writes:
Warner Brothers – looking for a new franchise to replace Harry Potter – is currently in talks with Ben Affleck to direct a series of films based on Stephen King’s journal of the plague years/world-goes-to-Hell-in-a-handcart epic The Stand.
And. . .
King states that “much of the compulsion I felt while writing The Stand obviously came from envisioning an entire entrenched societal process destroyed at a stroke”, and likens the desire to Alexander lifting his sword above the Gordian Knot and growling: “I’ve got a better way.” Just as every creation myth needs a Devil, so every apocalyptic scenario needs some survivors – otherwise, where’s the story? The appeal of “THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT” both to storytellers and audiences is clear. It’s a chance to start again, set humanity free from the rules and see what happens, and just how good – or bad – we really are.
I'm glad this Christmas to be looking forward to the next coming.  Religious freak?  -- Sure!  I think He really is our only hope of peace on earth, goodwill to men.

Three Tears For Stephen King





Wayne C. Rogers has a very nice review of 11.22.63 titled, “Stephen King’s, 11.22.63., his best in a decade.” (HERE)

Rogers opens by saying that “Until I finished Stephen King’s newest novel, “11/22/63,” I’d only cried at the end of three of his books.” He recounts the tears flowing during The Stand, The Dead Zone and The Green Mile.

Rogers suggests that the real strength in King’s writing is the characters. I totally agree! 11.22.63 is not an action novel – nor is it really an alternate history novel – nor is it science fiction (sci-fi for those of you who remember how to abbreviate that correctly) – the novel is completely character driven! And that, my friends, is the real joy of a Stephen King novel. It breaks all genre, because he doesn’t write to genre, he write about people!

Even if you spent a lot of the novel yelling at Jake, “you’re an idiot!”, you still care about him. Often characters in a novel can come across very cardboard. I like John Gresham novels, but can’t say I ever really cared deeply about anyone in the novel! Those puppies are totally plot driven, and the ride is awesome. But in the end, I don’t feel a deep connection to the people I met in the book.

With Stephen King, I feel like I’ve met these people. What’s more, characters in his book remind me of people I know (good and bad). Anyone met Mother Abigail? I have! How about Lloyd? Or how about Herold? We have all met someone who might remind us of Jack in The Shining. Worse when we discover a bit of Jack in us! If you ever have to deal with small government and the men who like being big fish in a small pond, then you’ve met Big Jim! What made Carrie so powerful was that we all knew a Carrie in High School. For some of us, we had moments when we felt just like Carrie! Other moments we look back with regret on because we behaved like those who made life miserable for Carrie. Sure, rocks didn’t fall from the sky, and the high school did not burn on prom night! A plague did not sweep America, a Dome did not lock my city in – but it’s the characters identify with. The crazy become believable when you add people you know.

Meditating on what Rogers said, I am quite curious. Do any of you actually cry when you read Stephen King? I like these characters a lot, but I’ve never ever cried reading a book. Never. And I think I’m a pretty compassionate guy. But I don’t cry for people I know aren’t real! I’ve shouted “YES!” before. I got pretty excited when the finger of God reached down from heaven and nuked the bad guys. That was sweet stuff! When Christine took out revenge on the bad boys, that was well worth the price of admission. And 11.22.63 has some definite yes moments. But tears? Am I the only one keeping the pages of my Stephen King novels nice and dry? Really? REALLY!

I did not cry when. . .
The kid in Cujo died
The kid in Pet Sematary died
The kid in The Gunslinger died
The kid in IT died
. . . wow, it’s bad to be a kid in this guys novels!
I did not cry in the Green Mile, The Shining, The Dead Zone, or IT.

Now, two questions:

1. What scenes has King gotten you to cry during? Come on, surely he’s squeezed some tears out of some of you!

2. What characters do you feel like you’ve met?

The Nation: King Is Underrated

I really enjoyed Charles Taylor article in The Nation (HERE) titled: "You Can't Always Get What You Want: On Stephen King."  In it he discusses the difficulty in catagorizing King, and the struggle mainstream media has had in understandng the wrtier.  He calls King "underrated" and quotes  critic Leslie Fiedler as saying “When all of us are forgotten, people will still be remembering Stephen King.”

Taylor writes,
"In a way, the National Book Foundation’s recognition was confirmation that King had become A Writer Who’s Better Than You Expect Him to Be. Just a year earlier, a great deal of public affection greeted the release of From a Buick 8, the first King novel to appear since the accident that had nearly killed him three years before (he was struck by a pickup while walking on the side of the road). Reviewers understood the story of a mysterious Buick Roadmaster that comes out of nowhere and brings violence and terror in its wake to be a metaphor for King’s brush with death. They weren’t wrong, but they also underestimated the book."
He spends quite a bit of time discussing From A Buick 8 and 9/11.  Very interesting! 

There's a lot more to the article, and all worth your time.

STAGE TUBE: Director Stafford Arima Talks CARRIE!


From: broadwayworld.com

This is a great interview with Stafford Armia as he discusses Carrie.  "At the core of Carrie is the story of being different." 

The Stand On Audio!

Here's some awesome news: stephenking.com just released word that The Stand will be coming out in audio format.  Here's what King's website says:
Random House Audio will be releasing the long-awaited unedited audiobook edition of The Stand which will be read by Grover Gardner. The exact date of publication has not yet been determined, but is tentatively scheduled to be on February 14, 2012. The recording will be released for purchase digitally by Audible.com and iTunes and available in the library market on CD.
Grover Gardener also did the reading for the original, edited version.  I listened to that version this summer and loved it.  Gardener's voice takes a bit of getting used to, because at first he seems very dry.  After listening for a while, I found that he doesn't get in the way of the story! 

This is AWESOME news!  Now. . . about The Mist . . .

Interview With THE HONK MAHFAH, part 2



This is the second part of my interview with Bryant Burnette of the Ramblings Of A Honk Mahfah blog.


Talk Stephen King: Do you have a some favorite spots on the web that are King related?
Bryant Burnette: Duh. Talk Stephen King and Lilja's Library, of course!  
Talk Stephen King:  Strong in the force, this one is.
 Bryant Burnette: I also enjoy the message boards at StephenKing.com from time to time, although message boards are really not my thing. I also enjoy The King Cast and the Stephen King Fancast sites, as well as Joe Hill's blog (if you want to count that, which I sorta do).


Talk Stephen King: Let’s have some fun with the Honk Mahfah: You are now required to list these Stephen King films in best to worst order (meaning 1 is the best.) Only problem is. . . they’re all terrible! However, if anyone can do it, the mighty Honk Mahfah can!

The Langoliers. Sleepwalkers. Dreamcatcher. Thinner.
Needful Things.  Graveyard Shift.
Children of the Corn. Maximum Overdrive. . . .
Is this terview beginning to feel like work? Well, put some sweat into it!

Bryant Burnette: Ironically, one of the next big posts I was planning was a film-centric version of my Worst To Best post, wherein I rank ALL the movies -- even the various sequels which don't even really count.

Talk Stephen King: Not that ironic.  We read your thoughts before you think them.   But please, carry on.
Bryant Burnette: I compiled an initial ranking just the other day, so I'm prepared for ya on this one!
Talk Stephen King: You read the questions ahead of time, didn't you?
Bryant Burnette: Let's see now...
8 -- Thinner (absolutely awful in every way)
7 -- The Langoliers (also absolutely awful, but it at least has David Morse and Dean Stockwell in it)
6 -- Sleepwalkers (also absolutely awful, but it has Alice Krige in it, and that counts for A LOT)
5 -- Graveyard Shift (terrible, but also enjoyable in some curious way, at least for me)
4 -- Children of the Corn (see above comment)
3 -- Dreamcatcher (I'm tempted to say this is worse than all the rest put together, simply because it had a lot of talent both in front of and behind the camera, and therefore ought to be judged more harshly; but without grading on a curve, I can't honestly rank it lower than this -- it's pretty damned awful, though)
2 -- Maximum Overdrive (it's a terrible movie, but I love it fiercely; falls into the so-bad-it's-fun category; I'll take that over merely bad ANY day of the week, and I'll take it over mediocre three days out of the week)
1 -- Needful Things (we part ways here a bit in that I think this is at least a competently-made film; not great by any means, but competent; if you ever have a chance to see the three-hour version, do so -- it's quite a bit better!)
Talk Stephen King: The really sad thing is that I agree with your comments on all of these!
Bryant Burnette:  Easy-peasy, David! You're gonna have to work harder than that to rattle the Mahfah!

Talk Stephen King: I was really bummed when the Dark Tower hit the most recent speed bump. Do you think the project is dead, or just going to get a giant budget cut?
Bryant Burnette: I think if it were totally dead, we'd know it. As soon as Universal pulled the plug, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer would have thrown in the towel and just moved on to the next project. Instead, they pop up every few months and talk very passionately about how much they still want to get the project going ... somewhere ... ANYwhere. 
I'd dearly love to see Roland and his merry band of flint-eyed badasses marching across the silver screen, but I've felt all along that doing The Dark Tower as a series of movies is deeply problematic. Then again, so is doing them as a television series: given Jake's age, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which the character wouldn't have to be aged upward to be 15 or so, since he'd end up that old by the time the series was over anyways. I could live with changing Jake's age, I guess, but it would certainly take a lot of bite out of certain events in The Gunslinger
The ideal solution, I think, is going to be to wait a decade or so, until the motion-capture technology used in movies like The Adventures of Tintin has become inexpensive enough that it can be routinely employed on a television series. Then, HBO -- or perhaps (by then) Netflix, or Facebook, or Google -- needs to commit to making a series which will last roughly ten seasons. That's going to be the only way it can truly capture the novels, and THEN only if someone massively talented is running the show. 
To answer your question, though...? I think it will end up getting made in some form by Ron Howard. He's a big deal in Hollywood, and when someone that notable digs his heels in and decides he's going to get a project made, it typically gets made eventually. It will end up being a very compromised version of the story that will have King purists screaming bloody murder, but it will be big, and it will be fun, and it will be a hit, and if one can set the novels aside it will be good on its own terms. 
That's my prediction, at least.


Talk Stephen King: Do you have a favorite format for King material? (Movies, reading it, listening to it, comics)
Bryant Burnette: Reading. No question about it. I love the movies, and I love the comics, and I love the audiobooks, but when I think of Stephen King, I'm thinking of reading. A book, too; not a Kindle or some other such e-reader. Maybe I'll change my mind about that when I inevitably get one, but for now, I'm a paper man. 
And you already know my stance on audiobooks: that's listening, NOT reading. That is not to say that one experience is more valuable than the other; I just feel that they are very different experiences, even when the person performing the audiobook is the author himself.

Talk Stephen King: What did you think of the Cemetery Dance edition of IT? Personally, I’m still having to work out and build up some muscle just to lift the thing.
Bryant Burnette: I only got mine in the mail today, and somehow, the day has conspired against me a bit: it's managed to slide right on by without me making the time to sit down and really examine the thing. I skimmed it a bit, though, and my impressions are twofold.  
On the one hand, I love -- LOVE -- the look of the pages, with the red and black borders. Gorgeous.  
On the other hand, I'd be a liar if I didn't admit to being extremely unimpressed by what I've seen of the artwork so far. I started feeling a little uneasy about it back when the samples were released several months ago, and so far, I've seen nothing in the book to make me feel much better about it. The artwork was the major reason I bought the book, and if I'm being honest, I don't feel like it's good enough for me to have spent $125 on. $50, maybe; $125, not a chance. Being an assistant movie theatre manager is fun, but it doesn't pay much, and if I'm being honest with myself, I look at the nearly $150 I spent on a book I already had and I think, that's more than I spend on groceries some months; that's something I probably shouldn't have bought at all, especially if I was going to end up disappointed by the artwork. 
I'm happy to have the book, though, for the new afterword if for nothing else. (Still haven't read it; waiting to do so after thumbing all the way through the book, as a reward in case I end up being disappointed by ALL of the art!)

Talk Stephen King: You lean left, I lean right – neither of us live for politics! So, that said: When King includes politics in his novels, do you usually find yourself agreeing with him? Do you think it’s effective when King introduces politics?
Bryant Burnette: That's a great question! 
The only time I've found myself responding negatively to King's politics was in Under the Dome, where I felt the characters of Big Jim and Andy were maybe just a bit too much. It's a very leftish novel, of course, and while I personally agree with way more of it than I disagree with, it felt a bit too one-sided.  
All things considered, I don't like fiction -- be it books, movies, or television -- that gets too specific with its politics. I kinda prefer that the politics be -- on the surface, at least -- neutral, so that I can make up my own mind. I think the reason for that is that since pop culture is our common language in some ways, that makes it something that can unite us. Get a bunch of Star Wars fans in a room together, and we might end up arguing ... but it's going to probably be about the prequels, not about politics. Conversely, I suspect that if you put two people in a room who are diametrically opposed to one another politically, and then somehow convince them to ONLY talk about movies, they'll eventually find some real common ground. I don't know if that counts for much in the grand scheme of things ... but I think it potentially can count for at least something. When the entertainment goes too far to one side, though (as in Under the Dome), I think it begins to lose some of that universality. That's not to say that I think ALL fiction ought to be politically neutral, though; clearly, sometimes taking a specific stance is necessary. 
Mostly, I find myself agreeing with King's politics, both in his books and outside of them. I have occasionally found myself wondering how I would feel about it if he were a conservative, and the answer I've come up with is this: if he were a more conservative person (or, for that matter, more liberal than he already is), I don't think he'd be the same writer that we think of, and so therefore maybe I wouldn't have found myself drawn to his work in the same way at all. 
Then again, Ray Bradbury is a noted conservative, and I enjoy his books a lot. Not to the extent I enjoy King's, granted, but his politics don't seem to have biased me against him.
Talk Stephen King: I didn't know that about Bradbury.  
Bryant Burnette: Just don't expect to see me starting a new blog devoted to the fiction of one G. Beck anytime soon...

Talk Stephen King: I enjoy books about Stephen King as much as books by Stephen King. I know one of my favorite books about King is Lilja’s Library. Do you have some favorites?
Bryant Burnette: That's easy: The Art of Darkness by Douglas E. Winter. 
Talk Stephen King: Oh!  That is a good book! 
Bryant Burnette: Remember earlier, when I talked about scavenging The Book Rack for all the Stephen King books I could find? Well, one of the books I bought was Winter's awesome study of King's work up to that point in time. I read it with utter fascination, and (I kid you not) as a result my critical abilities took a leap forward greater than any that had been prompted by any class I'd taken in school. For the first time, I was coming to an understanding that books I actually liked could be About Something. Because of that, I was able to start thinking about books I was assigned in school -- To Kill a Mockingbird, or Fahrenheit 451, or A Separate Peace -- in a different way. 
I think that may have a lot to do with why I eventually ended up getting an English degree, so I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Winter's book had as big an effect on me as any of King's books themselves did. 
And frankly, while there are plenty of books about King, I find them most of them to be fairly shallow in comparison. There are others I love, though, including The Stephen King Companion by George Beahm (his The Stephen King Story is also good), Creepshows (a fine book about the movies) by Stephen Jones, and Rocky Wood's awesome, encyclopedic books about King's uncollected works and his nonfiction. There are also several biggies which I either haven't bought yet (including, to my shame, the Lilja's Library book!) or have a copy of but haven't yet read (Bev Vincent's The Road to the Dark Tower and Robin Furth's Dark Tower concordances being probably the two most notable). 
But when I think of nonfiction about King, The Art of Darkness is always the first thing to come to mind. It's deeply insightful, and yet also so thoroughly readable that it manages to be accessible for "common" readers, rather than being dry analytical stuff aimed squarely at dusty old intellectual types alone.  
At this point, I may as well level with you, one Constant Reader to another: the whole -- the ONLY -- idea behind my blog is for me to teach myself to write something along the lines of The Art of Darkness. There doesn't seem to be an updated edition forthcoming from, so I'll just have to fill that void myself. That's an arrogant goal, of course, and I'm aware of it; I'm also aware that I'm nowhere within shouting distance of Winter's skill level, not yet ... but, maybe, someday. And even if I never get there, I'm intently focused on trying. I'd love nothing more than to be able to write a multi-volume series of books exploring the entire breadth and depth of King's work, and do so in such a way as to be able to appeal to some kid somewhere who's in a used bookstore, pawing through musty old paperbacks looking for another book to fall in love with. If I can't get that kid, then I'll have considered my attempts to be failures. 
If I get to where I want to go, though, King won't be the only topic I take on. Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, James Bond, Walt Disney (especially Walt Disney World), Larry McMurtry, Quentin Tarantino, the Dune novels, Star Trek, Bob Dylan, Alan Moore ... those are just a few of the topics my brain screams at me to write about. Who knows; maybe someday... 
And if so, I'll have The Art of Darkness to thank for it.

Talk Stephen King: Okay, we're now on question #13, a good number for any horror blog!  Here's the most important question I have for you: How did you win the Lilja's Library contest and I didn't? HUH?!
Bryant Burnette: Beats me, dude! I've never won nothin' like that before, and I don't have a clue how I managed it this time! 
Talk Stephen King: I don't win anything, either.  Maybe I should have entered the contest. 
Braynt Burnette: The audiobook sure does like nice on my shelf, by the way... :) 
Talk Stephen King: Now you're rubbing it in! 
Bryant Burnette: Well, I could go on answering questions like that all day, but only at the risk of annihilating my welcome. 
Talk Stephen King: Hey, thanks for the great answers.  One constant reader to another -- keep up the good work. 
Bryant Burnette: Thanks for the opportunity! 
Talk Stephen King: Okay, Merry Christmas mister Honk Mafah extraordinaire.

Interview With THE HONK MAHFAH, part 1

My friend, Bryant Burnette, is the face behind the Ramblings Of A Honk Mahfah blog site.  The blog is dedicated to articles and reviews about Stephen King. I really liked his review of Bag Of Bones, where Honk interviewed Mahfah. Well worth your time, friends!

One of the things I appreciate about Bryant is that he shoots straight. That’s important when seeking a gunslinger. This interview is simply one Constant reader to another -- two dudes who dig America's Boogieman.
Ramblngs Of A Honk Mahfah is HERE.

Talk Stephen King: Hi Bryant. Tell me about yourself.
Bryant Burnette: I am an assistant manager at a movie theatre. I've been doing that off and on -- mostly on -- since 1997. I took a break from it at one point because I'd decided I wanted to get a second degree and use it to become a high-school English teacher. That was a mistake; John Smith and Jake Epping I am decidedly not. I spent four months substitute teaching and decided I'd rather do just about anything than teach. 
My specific job duty at work is that I'm in charge of my theatre's projection booth. That used to be a lot cooler than it is now. We're all digital now, but back when we ran traditional 35mm film, I would go to work and spend all day walking around threading film through the projectors, pressing start, and patrolling for problems. It was great. I'd take my MP3 player with me and listen to podcasts, or audiobooks, or whatever else was quiet enough that I could still hear the machines without any trouble. 
With us being digital now, though, there's no need to spend all day in the booth, so I also work downstairs doing what all the other managers do: managing. It's not the dream job it used to be, but it's still pretty fun. For example, I'll end my shift tonight by watching a double-feature of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Adventures of Tintin all by myself, with the sound cranked up, the lights all the way off, and some tasty popcorn for crunchings and munchings. I'll get to program the show so I can watch whatever previews I want to watch, and there won't be any distractions.
Gotta love that, right?  
Talk Stephen King: How long have you been reading Stephen King?
Bryant Burnette: On purpose...? Since the summer of 1990. (More on that momentarily.) 
However, I first read King semi-accidentally. It was 1987, and the movie version of The Running Man had come out. I was a big Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, thanks to the television edit of Conan the Barbarian, so I really wanted to see The Running Man. My mother -- rightly, I might add -- wouldn't let my father take me to see it, since it was rated R. So, Dad did the same thing he'd done earlier in the year when he couldn't take me to see Predator: he bought me the book. In the case of Predator, it was a novelization -- one that introduced me, at the age of 13, to numerous charming profanities which I still use to this day -- but in the case of The Running Man, it was (obviously) the Stephen King novel. I read it, and enjoyed it, but I didn't care who had written it; I only cared about it as a way of experiencing a movie I couldn't otherwise see. 
Fast-forward to 1990. Dad had read a review of the uncut version of The Stand, and was talking about wanting to read it because it sounded interesting. However, when he was telling me about it, he goofed, and said it was a novel by Steven Spielberg...!  
Here's a fact: I am a huge Spielberg fan, and have been since I was old enough to understand that movies were made by actual people. So when I heard that my favorite moviemaker had written a novel about good and evil battling it out after the end of the world, how do you suppose I reacted? 
You got it. I went to try and find a copy. I bought most of my books at a used bookstore called The Book Rack, so that was the first place I looked, and the nice old lady who ran the place directed me to a copy of the original edition of The Stand, written by ... Stephen King. 
Stephen King?!? What the...? I thought it was written by Spielberg! 
Was I disappointed? Yes. Oh, yes, I certainly was. BUT ... I remembered having read -- and liked -- The Running Man, so I decided to give the book a whirl. 
Never has a fish been caught so firmly. Unlike most fish, though, I felt no pain at being hooked: I was happy to be dangling on that line.  
I couldn't afford new books, so instead, over the course of the next few months, I bought every used Stephen King book The Book Rack had. Then I reread them all. Then I bought things that looked similar: books by people like Peter Straub, and Robert R. McCammon, and Dean Koontz, and Clive Barker. About a year later, I started -- I had a job by this time! -- buying the books new in hardback. 
Twenty years later, I'm just as hooked as I ever was.
Talk Stephen King: Okay, what is your favorite book? If you say "the Stand" you have to list a second favorite, because almost everyone says The Stand! If you don't say "The Stand" you will be rushed to Kingdom hospital for a deep exam.
Bryant Burnette: My favorite book is NOT, in fact, The Stand. It's It. So, yay me; I get to avoid checking in to Kingdom Hospital! 
Talk Stephen King: No.  We're still sending you. . . we just have to find a new reason.  Let the interrogation  --I mean interview -- continue. . . 
Talk Stephen King: The Honk Mahfah is now required to list the 10 best Stephen King books. If he does not, he will be forced to watch play fetch with Cujo. Get to it, my friend. . .
Bryant Burnette: One of the blog posts that was the most fun for me to write was a post wherein I ranked ALL of King's books, "worst" to best. It was also one of the most difficult I have written; it took a week! So, I suppose I could cheat and just post a link to that article, but what fun would that be? None. 
Instead, I'll go off the dome and give you a Top 10, and then later the motivated can go check my blog and see if I was able to replicate the order! 
10 -- Carrie
9 -- The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
8 -- Skeleton Crew
7 -- The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
6 -- On Writing
5 -- The Green Mile
4 -- The Dead Zone
3 -- The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
2 -- Different Seasons
1 -- It
So, for those of you keeping score at home, yes, it IS true: I don't even have The Stand in my Top 10! (Incidentally, here's a link to that post, and it turns out I got fairly close to replicating the order: HERE)

Talk Stephen King: What!  That Stand isn't on your top 10 list!  I'm calling the Library Police.  
Talk Stephen King: I know you also enjoy collecting King items when they don’t cost a billion dollars! Do you have a most treasured possessions?
Bryant Burnette: I'm going to answer that question in two ways. 
First of all, I'm going to say that my single most treasured King book is a book about King: the massive limited edition Knowing Darkness: Artists Inspired by Stephen King. A few words about that: it's not a perfect book, not by any means. The text is frequently fascinating, but just as frequently sloppy: riddled with typos, poor grammar, and all-around bad writing. I know, I know: an amateur writer taking a pro to task for sloppy writing is laughable. If that's your reaction, you're not wrong. NOW, that said, I stand by my statements, and insist that for $250 (which is what that book cost, though I was able to get it for $150) a customer ought to be able to expect a book to be impeccably edited. It is also so heavy a book that -- and I kid you not about this -- the second I pulled it out of the box, it tore out the bottom of the slipcase and plummeted to the floor. I had to tape the slipcase back together; it looks like crap and makes the book highly un-resellable. Luckily, I don't have any intention of reselling it, because despite those complaints, I ADORE that book. The art is gorgeous beyond belief, and THAT'S the reason I bought the book. 
Secondly, though, I have a pair of hardbacks that are REAL rarities. They are both extremely limited editions.  
One is a hardback of The Plant, which was made by the local company that serves as the bindery for the city library. That's right; I printed out all six parts of The Plant (front and back of the pages, no less!) and had them bound as a hardback. I love being able to put that on my shelf.
Talk Stephen King: Woe!  THAT IS COOL! 
Bryant Burnette: As for the second, it is also a hardback bound by the local library bindery. This one, though, is a true one-of-a-kind. I'm sure other people printed out The Plant and had it bound; there probably aren't a ton of those floating around in the world, but I'm not daft enough to think I'm the only King nut who had that particular idea. However, I've got a copy of a book called The Unfound Door, which consists of rare, uncollected Stephen King short stories like "Weeds" and "The Crate" and "Man with a Belly," interviews, screenplays, articles about King, etc. I edited this collection myself, meticulously retyping it all so that the book would have a uniform -- if amateurish -- look and feel. There have probably been a few peole who've done this, as well, but since I edited mine -- even including vain little commentary pieces! -- personally, there is no other edition of this particular book.  
I spent the better part of a year on that project! So, really, I probably ought to count THAT as my most treasured King item! 
Hopefully, by the way, that doesn't make me sound too creepy and obsessed.
Talk Stephen King: Creepy, no way!  Obsessed. . . we all are a little.
Bryant Burnette: It was a lot of hard work, but I remember listening to a LOT of great music while I did it, so it was definitely not time wasted. Plus: now, if I want to read "Before the Play" or "Slade" in the middle of the night, I've got a collection that can solve that problem!
 .     .     .     .     .     .
 Okay, that's going to wrap it up for this part.  But check back, because the second part will be published faster than Blane The Mono can give a riddle.

The Last Rung On The Ladder


I got word today that The Last Rung On The Ladder has completed filming.  Here's their trailer.  

I'm Just A Lowly Reader

I admit, I am just a lowly reader.

Have you other lowly readers ever notice. . . Some publishers act like we're doing something bad by wanting to buy a book.  A book they're selling!. . . a book they will make money on. 

In fact, some publishers seem flat out angry at the readers!  These publishers behave as if they are doing you a big favor by allowing you to buy from them.  Some publishers really wish no one wanted their books. . . then they could have them all to themselves!
Here are some favorite lines from the Donald M. Grant website:
  • Please do not call or email us asking for more information than is posted here. (that's in red.  I wonder why they have a phone.)
  • The Signed Numbered Deluxe Edition can be ordered only by those who have a S/N THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA below # 801 (DOH!  Imagine being the poor reader who owns #801.  They're reading this, going, "You've got to be kidding me!"   Merry Christmas, and if you are #801 and above, then there is no room in the inn. . .)
  • You must still own it when we ship THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE or your order will be cancelled (ooohhhh!, is someone angry?  They tell us what we msut own in order to buy the book.  Not just that we previously purchased from them, but we still have to own it.  I wonder what they would do if the book got torn in half and is now owned by two people) and any deposit/payment refunded and the Deluxe Edition sold to the new owner.  (Aren't they assuming the "new owner" would want to buy the new book?  They also left an "i" out of "deposit."  Not worth pointing out. . . except that they publish books and stuff like that!)
  • We will then do a lottery drawing approximately six weeks after the Deluxe Editions are shipped for remaining available copies but as we expect there to be very few copies available the lottery will be restricted to owners of Numbered THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA between 801 and 1,250.  (We bow in humility before the mighty publisher.  Gosh, ma, we wouldn't want these books falling in the wrong hands!)
  • Send us a POSTCARD -- NOT an email or letter -- which reads. . . (Wow, there is a lot of tension in these rules.  we should feel ashamed for even wanting to buy the book!  Didn't they already say not to email them?  It is tempting to drop them an email just to cause the writer of these rules to explode in rage.  And I am also wondering: Who is it that has the postcard collection over there?  Do I get a better chance if I send a postcard of the Stanley Hotel?)
  • And my favorite: REMEMBER, only send in ONE post card per copy of The Little Sisters of Eluria that you have. If we receive more than one request from anyone we will throw them ALL away.  (Yep, there is some seriously unresolved anger in the rules department over there!  I like that, "we will throw them all away. . ." lousy readers!  Sheesh.  Imagine, wanting to buy our precious books!)
You will want to note the sign on the door as you enter: "No shoes, no shirt, no copy of Little Sisters, no service." 

What made them so angry?  What did readers do that caused this rage?  Is there someone out there who needs to say "sorry"?  If you have mistreated this publisher -- please, please, please tell them sorry! 

Now, the publisher would defend all this by saying they are seeking only to give first cancel to those who have previously bought signed numbered books.  I understand that.  I don't understand the negative -- even hostile -- tone toward the readers. 
What if Walmart did this when you purchased Aquafresh? . . .
Cashier: "You know, you can only buy this toothpaste if you have purchased this brand before." 
Me: "Oh yes, I have." 
Cashier: "But your previous purchase has to have a serial number below 8,000.  Your previous Aquafresh purchase was 8,123.12, which is clearly not within our guidelines." 
Me: "But I still want to buy it." 
Cashier: "Well, send us a postcard and maybe we'll consider letting you smell the breath of someone who actually bought it." 
Me: "But you have piles of it, right here!  Maybe I can call my order in." 
Cashier: "No!  No!  No!  You may not call!  Calling is not allowed.  And definitely, never ever ever ever email!  We hate the Internet, we hate the phone.  But you may send us a postcard." 
Me: "Does the postcard have to be from anywhere specific?" 
Cashier: "No.  But it must have a stamp with a year before 1982 and a bar code not containing the number 6." 
Me: "I see.  All perfectly reasonable.  I'm sorry I wanted to buy your product."
Cashier: "You are forgiven.  But you will be charged for taking so much of my time." 
Me: "I am so ashamed of myself." 
Know why Walmart doesn't do that?  Because they actually want to sell stuff!  And, to make the sale, they have to be nice.  Sadly, no matter how arrogant the publisher is, readers will accept the nonsense in order to get the book. 

Other publishers treat readers with what I can only call glad enthusiasm.  Personally, I'm sticking with Cemetery Dance for special editions.  The signed stuff sells out quick at Cemetery Dance, but they're not angry about it!  In fact, they seem flat out thrilled to be selling King items, and really seem to like the readers.

Lilja's Library: Grant Takes Orders For WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE



This is from my favorite website, Lilja's Library -- which is by far the best Stephen King website out there! 

Here is what we have been waiting for. The Donald M Grant cover for The Wind Through The Keyhole.

Grant is also starting to take orders for this one today so head over to their site for more info if you’re interested in getting a copy.

The King Cast: A horrorday gift guide for Kinglovers


Check out the most recent episode of The King Cast, titled "Episode 22: A horrorday gift guide for Kinglovers."

Bob LeDrew landed some great interviews for this episode (trust me).  Included were Ms. Mod (Marsha DeFilippo), Matt Jacobs and Luanne Johnson (SK Fancast), and myself. 

Okay, having never ever been interviewed before (about Stephen King) I totally messed a question up!  Bob asked what I would save if the house was burning -- of the King collection.  I was at a loss.  Looking at my shelf of King books kinda helps on this one!  I would now have to say that I would reach for some audio tapes.  Yep!  Audio tapes!  The audio edition of The Stand and Frank Muller's reading of The Mist, since both of these are out of print. 

King raises $240k to help low income heating


This is a great Christmas story running on MSN's homepage.

Associated Press has an article titled, "Stephen King raises $240,000 to pay Mainers' oil bills."  (HERE)  That exceeds what King expected to raise when he promised to match $70,000 in donations.  However, a California donor offered another $50,000 if King would match it.  Of course, he did.

Hundreds show up for King signing in Alpharetta



HERE is an article titled "Rare King appearance draws hundreds of fans to Alpharetta."

Katie VanBrackle writes:

More than 600 loyal fans of author Stephen King filled the Alpharetta Walmart Supercenter on Ga. 9 in Midway Wednesday night, Dec. 14. 
Hundreds spent the previous night sleeping in tents outside the south Forsyth County store to ensure their place in line.

The constant readers who spent the night on the sidewalk jokingly called themselves "Occupy Walmart."  I like it!

She notes that King was also in Alpharetta to promote the musical "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County." 

thanks to Bryant Burnette

Shearer: "The Shining still shines."



THIS IS COOL. . .

I really enjoyed Andrew Shearer article The Shining still shines, which is posted HERE.  It is reposted with permission -- thank you.  I totally agree with his statement that watching it on the old worn out film can add to the sense of . . . ah, just read the article. . .

True movie nerds don’t mind taking a road trip when they really want to see a film, but there’s a certain amount of risk involved. I ventured out twice within the past week, beginning this past Sunday to the Mall of Georgia for “Sideways” director Alexander Payne’s latest, “The Descendants” (starring George Clooney). The movie ended up being well worth the trek, but I haven’t always been so lucky. But then there are special occasions when a revival screening takes place, and it feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you can’t pass up. I was devastated when I missed “The Shining” when it played the Classic Center last year, so it was imperative I drive to Atlanta’s Plaza Theatre to catch what would be one of the very last times this film would be shown on the big screen.

That doesn’t mean fans never will get to see “The Shining” with an appreciative audience again, but the next time they do, they’ll probably be watching a digital version. According to the managers at the Plaza, Warner Brothers is closing its film vaults next year and no longer will be sending out any 35mm prints from their catalog. Computerized archiving is a great way to preserve movies for future generations to enjoy, and to ensure these films will be available on whatever formats our kids, grandkids and great grandkids decide to watch them. Film stock deteriorates over time and can be damaged whenever it is handled or run through a projector, so it does make sense to try to keep the originals intact before they’re extinct. But anyone who was there for Tuesday’s sold-out screening can attest that some movies are even creepier on a worn-out film print than they ever will be on a clean, sharp digitally projected image.

Released in 1980 and based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, “The Shining” was went largely underappreciated in its day. Back then, the “Friday the 13th” era was just breaking, and no one seemed to really understand the slow burn of madness that master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick had pulled off so well. Now famous for star Jack Nicholson’s high-energy performance as possessed dad Jack Torrance and Shelley Duvall’s baseball-bat swinging, drowned cat-like wail, the film also is a technical marvel. Boasting some of the very first uses of the now-commonplace Steadicam system, “The Shining” features several dizzying sequences in which the camera flies smoothly around the beautifully-constructed Overlook Hotel set, chasing the cast through its corridors and out into the snow-covered maze where the film’s unforgettable climax takes place. It’s easy to feel like you’re going insane right along with good ol’ Jack, a testament to the enduring power this movie has.

There’s a reason why The New York Times recently published an article about a new cult phenomenon for horror on VHS tape, and why it’s hip to digitally add scratches, dirt and distress to high-definition video footage. Does format matter when it comes to watching a film? Most people would say no, and are perfectly content watching a movie on a Kindle or the back of the headrest on a long airline flight. For my money, how you watch a film makes a huge difference, and “The Shining” has never been as frighteningly unsettling as it was at the Plaza on Tuesday. Besides, I liked knowing I was getting the same theatrical experience that people got when the movie first came out.

“The Shining” will be screening one last time at Atlanta’s historic Plaza Theater at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Visit plazaatlanta.com for details.

Friday: Bag Of Bones Complete

Tonight A&E is running both episodes of Bag of Bones back to back.  So if you missed it the first time, here's your chance to see the whole thing.  Then, if you miss that -- they're running it again.  That's 8 hours of Bag of Bones!

11.22.63 Journal #4: Seriously?

Usually the thing about King's writing that most deeply connects with me are his characters. They think, speak and tend to make decisions the way normal people would when in similar situations.  Sometimes a characters logic baffles me.

So, I want to lodge a small complaint. . . but it's probably not what you are expecting.

The biggest (certainly most publicized) complaint I have seen about 11/22/63 has to do with the sex.  It has been said that the sex scenes are awkward or poorly written.  I must disagree!  The sex scene complained about was awkward. . . because it was someones first time!  Those leveling the complaint should read the whole book, not just use Kindle to search down the hottie scenes.

My complaint has nothing to do with sex scenes.  It has to do with secrets and our ability to keep them.  In one scene George suddenly realizes that maybe he should let his secret out of the bag and tell his lover the truth.  Now, everything in the reader is shouting at him, "Don't do it, you idiot!"  But something else was worming through the back of my mind.  It went like this, "Seriously, dude?  This is the first time you've been even slightly tempted to tell someone the truth?"

Most of us would be tempted to show off a little.  To take our knowledge for a little spin.  Of course, falling in love when on mission is stupid to begin with.  And telling the truth in this instance is not a good idea!  But the temptation should have been chewing him up.

Review Of The Afterword In IT



A short review of the new afterword in Cemtery Dance’s edition of IT.

As usual, King delivers a chatty afterword that leaves the reader feeling like they’ve just sat next to the author and had a nice few moments him. King has been interviewed so many times that he is an expert and anticipating the readers questions – and he always answers candidly.

King says that the actual writing of IT took around nine months, and that he started the work in longhand in a series of blue books. However, as the blue books piled up, he eventually moved to the typewriter.

I really like some of the insights King had to the writing process, and in particular to character development. IT forced the writer to deal with his characters on multiple levels; adult and child.  I think King handles this brilliantly in the novel.

King obviously considers Bill himself, but the primary character in IT is the monster. Since Pennywise is a shape shifter, IT is able to take on many forms. This gave King great freedom in exploring monster myths as it gave him a platform to present all the monsters his imagination could conjure up!

Famous Authors Featured on the Simpsons


 I spotted this link first at Lilja's LibraryHERE is a list of authors who have appeared on the Simpsons.  #2 on the list is Stephen King.  #9 is J.K. Rowling.  Stephenie Meyer isn't on the list.  Doesn't TWILIGHT seem like Simpson material?  Oh well, here's what the article said about King:
Stephen King is one of the most prolific and popular authors today, publishing numerous best-selling novels during his long career, so it only makes sense that'd he show up in an episode of The Simpsons. King appears comes into an episode when the family decides to take in a book festival, repayment to Lisa for the destruction of her room in a VCR repair gone wrong. When they meet the iconic author, Marge tells him to, "Call me when you start writing horror again," a jab at the author for getting away from his core audience, perhaps. King dutifully notes her request, however, with no hard feelings.
Appearing more often than King himself is his work.  Under The Dome was mentioned by Mr. Burns.  King was also mocked in The Shinning. 

More Pictures: Cemetery Dance IT

Brian James Freeman has posted several photos of Cemetery Dance's IT.  Here's one.  I like this picture because Freeman shows the CD edition next to the original American and British editions.  Check out all of them HERE.

Bag Of Bones Boosts Ratings For A&E

Philiana Ng at The Hollywood Reporter has posted the ratings for Bag of Bones.  Not bad!  The first night drew 3.4 million viewers, which makes it the top cable telecast for the night.  Ng writes, "on the following evening, Bag of Bones retained a strong 88 percent of its premiere audience, delivering 3 million viewers."

The article is HERE.

The Girl Who Loves Horror: Review Of Bag Of Bones

A while back The Girl Who Loves Horror told us that Bag Of Bones was her favorite book.  I've been looking forward to her review of the mini-series -- be it good, bad, or something in between.  This is reposted from her blog, which I highly recommend!  (http://thegirlwholoveshorror.blogspot.com/)
 
Resposted with permission.
 
Review Of Bag Of Bones Miniseries
by Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror)
 
 

Oh-kay. How to talk about "Bag of Bones"? It's always hard for me to review an adaptation of a book I love so much and have such a strong connection to, and Bag of Bones is definitely one of those books. Most people would probably say that you have to look at the book and adaptation as two separate entities. To a point, I agree. Movies and books are different mediums and therefore must be dealt with in different ways. But when a movie has such strong source material, how can one not judge the movie based on its ability to effectively recreate what was presented in the book? Let's see how Mick Garris and crew did with my favorite Stephen King book.

Part One Review: Honestly, not much has happened so far. Jo Noonan died, Mike Noonan grieved, Mike went to Sara Laughs (even though it was never mentioned in the miniseries that Sara Laughs was the name of his lake house but whatever), Mike found out that Sara Laughs is haunted by Jo and Sara Tidwell, Mike met Mattie and Kyra, Mike got involved with Kyra's crazy grandfather Max Devore. There's still much to be covered and since they didn't get very far in the first two hours, a lot of story and action is going to have be crammed into the last two hours. Good or bad? We'll see.

I must say that the first part felt a little slow, and not necessarily suspenseful. Mike's dreams and his ghostly encounters felt like the filmmakers were just recycling the same old horror movie cliches, when in the book the mood was creepy but much more subtle. I loved the inclusion of the refrigerator magnets and Bunter's bell as how the ghosts communicate, though. Pierce Brosnan's crazed laughing about these incidents was a little weird, but Mike expresses in the book about how he is both terrified by the ghosts and a little excited at what he is experiencing as well, so I guess that fits.

I'm still not sold on Brosnan as Mike. He's a bit older looking - though that doesn't matter much - and he doesn't have Mike's sarcastic sense of humor or overall way with words (he's a writer, remember). The actors playing Max Devore and his yet-unnamed "assistant" Rogette are also quite good so far, though they haven't had much to do. Max has just the right amount of cunning and evil behind his eyes, just how I pictured him from the book and Rogette is perhaps even creepier looking than I pictured.

The big change I got pissed off about noticed was how Jo died. In the book, she has a brain aneurysm in a parking lot and Mike wasn't there. In the show, she gets hit by a fucking bus. I understand the need for making things a little more dramatical or whatever but this is going a bit far. And to have Mike running out and holding his bleeding and dying wife? I don't know that they should have gone for that big of a change for the sake of drama. It was too gruesome for me, but I admit that it did manage to hurry the story up a bit and get Mike to Sara Laughs, so I'm letting it slide for the moment.

A couple things I did like: Really liked the dream sequence where Mike kisses Sara, Jo, and Mattie. It set up for the audience who the important players were in this piece and was quite beautifully shot. Also really liked the actress playing Sara Tidwell. She's absolutely gorgeous, and if that was really her singing in that one scene, then she's pretty freaking talented, too. Though Part One is starting out a bit dull, I'm excited to see how the dramatic events of the conclusion play out. Time for Part Two!

Part Two Review: NO! No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Part One may have taken a few liberties with the story and changed things around a bit, but Part Two done messed the whole thing up. What I'm complaining about though, is not just that they changed stuff (although, yes, I was very annoyed at some of the changes). The real problem with this was the way everything was handled. All the action went down too quickly and they seemed to treat the audience like they were stupid.

What I mean by this is that at several parts, they had characters literally spell out what was happening instead of revealing it in a better way and letting the audience figure it out for themselves. The worst part was in the scene of what happened to Sara Tidwell. They actually had a bloody Sara say to the men, "I curse you! You will kill your daughters! Your sons will kill their daughters! And so on and so forth!" before she died. Ri-donk-ulous. What, is she a witch now or something? Mattie had to actually say to Mike, "That's why Jo didn't tell you she was pregnant! She knew about the curse!" What about the fact that all the children's names that the men killed started with a "K" like Sara's daughter Keisha (in the book, it was a son and his name was Kito)? All those little facts just make the mystery seem more involved and bigger and more powerful than the miniseries made it out to be.

I did love that they included one of my favorite parts from the book, which was when Mike met Rogette and Max on The Street and Rogette starts throwing rocks at Mike in the lake. It was a much longer scene in the book and always felt a little ludicrous to me, but also very funny and showed how crazy those two were. I actually had an actress in my mind for Rogette while reading the book - Marian Seldes.


I'm telling you, when that chick gets angry, she is the scariest-looking person on the planet. The other lady is great in the role, though, and she has a great look with that black hair and costuming.

I admit that Bag of Bones was probably a hard novel to adapt. Much of it centered on Mike alone and his inner monologue which is not only difficult to translate to film but it also would have been very boring to watch Pierce Brosnan get scared at ghosts for a couple hours. Some scenes were great, like the dream sequence of Mike and Kyra at the fair but other important scenes were either watered down for TV or hyped up too much to make them more exciting.

A couple random comments: Rogette kissing Max in the bathtub before she killed him? Ew! She's supposed to be his daughter! They don't say that in the show but for people who've read the book and know that fact, this was a very weird little scene. Also liked the reference to Lisey's Story when Mike mentions "Booya Moon." Liked Mattie's death scene - that bullet wound in her cheek was horrendous. Did not like the scene where Mattie Devore appears to her daughter formed out of water. Too silly for my tastes.

On the whole, though, "Bag of Bones" was a complete failure. There was too much information that they tried to cram into the last two hours and the result was something very sloppy. This book is really so much better than the miniseries made it out to be. I know that must be annoying to hear, but I have mad love for this novel - it is probably my favorite book, period - and I think the story is so beautiful and heartbreaking and this adaptation does it no justice. Mick Garris, you are hereby banned from adapting anymore of King's work. Leave it to Frank Darabont, because believe me, he does a helluva better job than you.

EW: Bag Of Bones The Movie v. The Book

Stephen Lee has an article at Entertainment Weekly's Pop Watch discussing Bag of Bones he mini-series and Bag of Bones the book.  The kind of stuff the only really excites Constant Readers. 

Lee objects to the "tone" of the movie, suggesting it has a different feel from the book.  His only major noted derailment from the book itself had to do with the circumstances of Jo Noonan's death.  But Lee hastens to say that this was probably a necessary change.

Lee admits that "The creepiness of the book - translated well to television. . ."

The full article is HERE.

CIO: Security Threat Stephen King Warned Us About

CIO has an article HERE titled "The Security Threat Stephen King Warned Us About?"  No, it's not about Cell.

Taylor Amerding opens his article with this hook:
"Most people know that their computers and smart phones are under the constant threat of attack from hackers. But your car? Your house? Your TV and other consumer electronics?
It seems like a take on Stephen King's short story "Trucks" -- where machines come to life and go on a murderous rampage (the movie version was "Maximum Overdrive"). In this case, hackers find security flaws in the computers running our vehicles, appliances and medical devices and wreak havoc.
Amerding also directs us to an article titled, "McAfee report reminds me of 'Maximum Overdrive."  (HERE)

Garris Gives Us A HOME-RUN


Custody has its responsibility.  Giving Mick Garris custody of Bag Of Bones made a few people nervous. . . people who have never quite gotten over Sleepwalkers!  Well, my opinion only here, but I thought Bag Of Bones was a home run! 

Now I must admit to a few nervous moments in the first half.  I liked it, but found myself asking, "Where's this going?"  But the second half -- of my!  Everything comes together.  The story works as a cohesive whole.  My only complaint is that it had to be broken into two parts, since it relies so heavily on the second part to move things forward.

The acting was great!  The plot was a gift from Stephen King.  The mini-series gave us both story and gore, action and drama.  I was surprised at the amount of gore and violence, especially toward the end, that A&E allowed to hit the air waves.  Cable s a good venue for the Stephen King mini-series.

Bag Of Bones was a full embrace of the Stephen King universe.  This was especially true in the first part and in their promotion.  A lot of the publicity was obviously aimed at us constant readers!  (Any #1 fans out there?!) 

Though I am sure someone will say the movie was too slow, dragged and could have used more editing -- I think it was very well paced.  You do have to give the movie time to unfold, but that's the way a Stephen King story works!  King is not an action writer, he gives us drama and horror, and to do that takes a little time.  If you just want cut-em ups from beginning to end, they have those, but King doesn't write them.  King gives us thoughtful drama/horror that is deeply character driven. 

I thought Brosnan and the entire cast was great.  Brosnan did a good job showing us the inner struggles of a grieving man.  There are moments he is overcome by waves of emotional pain, but he doesn't allow it to crush him.

For King on the small screen, I would put this up there with The Stand -- among the very best.  Garris has shown himself to be a worthy steward of the King property on screen.  He is faithful to the flow of the story, the characters behavior and the tone of the book itself.  Quite simply, I look forward to seeing more Garris / King collaborations.  . . . so time to get to work on Cell!

Always interested in your opinion.

Does Bag Of Bones Hint At A Bachman Return?



Speculation has been buzzing for a while now that Richard Bachman might have left more manuscripts behind. 

We all know that Bachman made an appearance in the Bag Of Bones photo releases. Just check out those book shelves.

Tonight, in episode 1 of Bag Of Bones, Mike Noonan is told, "There's even talk of a newly discovered Bachman book."

Kevin Quigley at Charnel House said back in November, "For those of you who thought Bachman's posthumous novels had dried up with Blaze, worry not! It looks like the old dairy farmer still has some afterlife in him yet."

Quigley quoted King as saying: "I would like to write a Bachman novel that had some of that Charles Willeford feel. The dark side of American life ... I would like to start a book about a crazy private eye, a guy who is really on the dark side. I see the scene: this guy sitting in his office in an unnamed American city, the sky grey, the rain grey and hitting the window. That is it ... But I know the rest of it would follow pretty nicely with that hard-boiled voice like Raymond Chandler. Think of Philip Marlowe, only a total fucking degenerate.” (Charnel House)

I also liked Jo Noonan's comment, "have fun with Annie Wilkes" when the guy announced he was his number one fan.

Tell Us What You Thought Of Bag Of Bones



Tonight was the first part of Bag Of Bones.  I thought it was great!  Did it light y'all up, or let you down?

News: You can't kill stephen king


Monroe Mann posted today:
On Wednesday, December 14th, at 12 noon eastern we are releasing the trailer to the new campy horror film, "You Can't Kill Stephen King". I co-directed with Ronnie Khalil and Jorge Valdes-Iga and also co-starred.
Exactly what is "You Can't Kill Stephen King" ?  Campy -- horror. 

HERE is their facebook page.

LA TIMES: Stephen King On TV



Elizabeth Hand at the LA Times has an interesting article on Stephen King's TV mini-series. (HERE)  The list is pretty long.  I don't agree with every conclusion (there is no way Tommyknockers is the worst of the batch), but I enjoyed the article quite a lot.  Brimming with clips and insight, the article is well done.

The article is generally favorable to Mick Garris and gives him (and King) credit for not just pumping out blood and guts, but some serious drama.

Here is Hand's take on the 2002 television version of Carrie that I thought was a home run:

And then there’s the 2002 pilot for a projected series of “Carrie” in which Carrie survives to become a psychic investigator in Florida, something even Patricia Clarkson as Carrie White’s grim-faced mother couldn’t save. “You ever see something you can’t explain?” asks one prom-night survivor. “I’m not talking about a strange light in the sky, or Jesus’ face on a tortilla. I’m talking about something that’s not supposed to happen. Like, in reality.”