King to interview Lauren Grodstein



It apears Stephen King will be shaking things up a bit in an upcoming interview.  Instead of having the questions shot at him, he'll be asking the questions.  I doubt he'll ask, "Where do you get your ideas?"  King is set to interview author Lauren Grodstein at Water Street Bookstore, located at 125 Water Street in Exeter Saturday, March 3, at 7 p.m. at the Cooperative Middle School auditorium in Stratham.  More (HERE)

Water Street Bookstore says, "Acclaimed author Stephen King interviews up-and-coming author Lauren Grodstein in this unique literary event. The Algonquin Book Club will be livestreaming the conversation to book clubs and fans across the country and around the world."  (More HERE)


The website gives this summery fo Grodstein:
Grodstein is the author of A Friend of the Family, a riveting story of suburban tragedy, in which Lauren Grodstein charts a father's fall from grace as he struggles to save his family, his reputation, and himself. Pete Dizinoff, a skilled and successful New Jersey internist, has a loving and devoted wife, a network of close friends, an impressive house, and, most of all, a son, Alec, now nineteen, on whom he has pinned all his hopes. But Pete hadn't expected his best friend's troubled daughter to set her sights on his boy. When Alec falls under her spell, Pete sets out to derail the romance, never foreseeing the devastating consequences.
Lauren Grodstein's books include the novels A Friend of the Family and Reproduction is the Flaw of Love and the story collection The Best of Animals. Her pseudonymous Girls Dinner Club was a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. Her work has been translated into German, Italian, French, Turkish, and other languages, and her essays and stories have been widely anthologized. Lauren teaches creative writing at Rutgers-Camden, where she helps administer the college's MFA program. She lives with her husband and son in New Jersey.
The website also notes that the event is free.  That's my favorite 4-letter word. Seats are first come first serve. Please call (603) 778-9731 or visit www.waterstreetbooks.com for more information.

Seven Reasons We Read Stephen King, #3 : He Writes Uphill



Constant readers are -- constant.  We read other writers -- sometimes when forced -- but come back to King because of his unique powers as a writer.  One of Kings greatest strengths is his sheer muscle!  I mean in writing, of course.  He has the ability to write uphill. 

By "writing uphill" I mean that he does not take the easy route when creating characters.  He makes them real, and often gives characters a weakness. 

Now, he's known for also giving certain characters some hidden super-power.  Carrie can move things with her brain, and charlie can blow up a tank with a ball of fire.  While those characters are fun, Kings real gifting as a writer shines when he gives us characters that have physical limitations or some kind of restriction.

One of the strengths of King's writing is the handicaps he gives characters. It's got to be the kid in the wheelchair who fights the werewolf, right? This was really played with in Gerald's game. One woman, tied to a bed, fighting for every bit of movement. It gives us brilliant writing!

This actually got King in trouble when writing Christiane. He allowed the narrator, Dennis, to get hurt in a football accident. This meant that Denny had to quiet down and allow Mr. Stephen King to take over the story telling for a spell.

Tightening the noose:

King also uses situations to limit or handicap his characters. In Cujo the characters were limited to the car. King narrowed this in Misery, where Paul Sheldon is in bed with broken bones. He really tightened the noose when he wrote Gerald's game and actually tied his main character to the bed -- alone in the room. (Well, mostly alone)


Real Deal

These handicaps draw the reader into the novel in a unique way. While other writers might avoid the difficulty of creating such characters, the real world is full of people with various limitations. The Stephen King universe is all the more real.  Of course, these characters are harder to write!  They make the story more difficult.  Yet, King exercises his muscle as a writer and never flinches. 

Here's a few interesting character limitations King has given us:

  • Jack Epping gets whooped in 11.22.63.  King does this at the very time the story really requires Jack be at his best.  But the story has more suspense with Jack limping his way through Dallas. 
  • Nick, deaf and mute. (The Stand)
  • Tom, mentally handicap. (The Stand)  When my mom was reading The Stand, she wrote me a note saying "Nick and Tom ... Brilliant paring."
  • Roland, hand injured (Dark Tower)
  • Susanna, crippled. (Dark Tower)  This leaves our characters pushing  a wheelchair through a memorable portion of The Drawing Of The Three.
  • Jessie, tied to a bed. (Gerald's Game)
  • Paul Sheldon, injured in auto accident. (Misery)  Of course, Paul Sheldon was really messed up by Annie Wilkes!
  • Marty Coslaw, an eleven-year-old boy in a wheelchair. (Cycle Of the Werewolf)
  • Clayton Blaisdell, Jr., mentally handicap (Blaze)
  • Junior Rennie, migraines. (Under The Dome)
  • Dennis, broken leg (Christine)
  • Bill, stutters. (IT)
  • Eddie, asthma. (IT)
  • Jack, drinking. (The Shining) I'm not sure that one really counts. . .
  • Polly, arthritis. (Needful Things)
Writing uphill isn't just giving the characters a weakness such as a handicap; it can also be a weakness such as being the wrong color or gender or age.  King does kill the monster with the star of the football team, he does it with the Losers Club.  By giving us broken people in difficult situations, King's writing is forced to be ever sharper.  And, the characters are more like us!  We identify at a deeper level.

Notice how seldom the villain is weakened.  In fact, it is often the villain, the monster, who is given full strength!  By making the hero weak, the villain strong -- we are consistently left rooting for the under-dog.

It is dangerous to ever compare -- so let's compare!  Tom Clancy gives us Americans v. Russians.  Seriously, who do you think is going to win?  No mater what enemy we are against in a Clancy novel, they're gonna get their booty's kicked because America is tough.  Or consider Grisham.  I like John Grisham novels, but the disgruntled lawyer is always cut from the same card stock.  Little guy verses cooperation is the common theme.  Only, other than being the "little guy" there usually isn't much more to weaken the main character.

This was adapted from my article,  (HERE)

King Speaking at Savannah Book Festival


Jason Kendall has posted news that Stephen King will be speaking at the 5th annual Savannah Book Festival.  (HERE)  King will deliver the closing address at 3pm, February 19. 

Info: http://www.savannahbookfestival.org/

The New Yorker: "Is Carrie The Worst Musical Ever?"

Michael Schulman has an article in The New Yorker titled, "Is carrie The worst Musical Ever?"  (HERE)

Disucssing the 1988 musical version of Carrie, Schulman notes that the musical lasted a grand total of three days.  It lost $7,000,000 !  It was compared to the Hindenburg disaster (really, people?!).  It seems people compared the blood to "strawberry ice-cream topping."  That's pretty bad.

So is Carrie the worst musical ever?  Sculman explains his article: "I’ve taken an informal survey of some notable buffs to find out what they consider to be the absolute worst, most memorably tasteless, or inept piece of dreck of their theatre-going lives."

Of course, once Sculman turns it over to the "experts" they have to remind us of the "spiderman" musical. Michael Riedel of the New York Post says,
"I think my lasting memory of Broadway will forever be the climactic moment of the three-and-a-half-hour first act. Spider-Man stood at the foot of stage and took a huge leap into the audience, then got stuck hanging from a cable. He had to play the air guitar to entertain the audience. Finally, the stagehands got hold of him and pulled him back. I thought, For eighty million dollars you get three fat stagehands and a guy playing the air guitar!"
Frank Rich comes the closest to defending the Carrie musical when he says, "Carrie was by no means the worst musical I saw while I was reviewing." So the best he can say is that it wasn't the worst!

Read the entire article, it's a joy!

Carrie is the worst musical I've never seen. 

Seven Reasons We Read Stephen King, #2 : He's Mean

Who woul do this to a high school prom?
Stephen King would !  And it's just mean.

Here is another reason the constant reader remains faithful to King's writing: He's Mean.

Yep, it's true.  He's one mean dude.  Don't get all gushy about all the nice things he does for people; flying troops home for Christmas and paying for people's heating bills -- the truth is, ice runs in those veins. 

Okay, the man Stephen King is a great guy.  But wait!  The writer can be one cruel, heartless, mean monster.  Most writers don't have the guts to be mean!  (refer to article #1 in this series).

I will mention this right now, and get it out of the way: Stephen King is a murderer.  Yep, he is.  I'm not producing the list because it will "spoil" some stories -- but how many favorite characters has Mr. King killed?  A lot!  There was that nasty bomb in The Stand.  And a not so pleasant death in 11.22.63.  I believe a few people died in Duma Key -- and it wasn't pretty!  What made that scene with George in IT so scary?  The fact you knew Stephen King was mean enough to actually let the monster chow down on little Georgie!  Could Danielle Steele have done it?  No.  But then, after reading a few pages of Danielle Steele, I'm wishing I was little Georgie.

King isn't satisfied to just kill characters -- he delights in some pretty nasty death sentences.  There's very few lethal injection's in a King book.  He's more likely to kill a character with more. . . creative methods.

Seriously, I couldn't believe it when a youngster shot himself in the head in one King novel.  A kiddo!  Is anyone safe?  No!  But just the fact that he would do something like that made me come back again.  Gives the reader the feeling, "I gotta keep reading, I don't know what that mean writer will do next!"

King might try and tell us he's not that bad; the bad boys are the George Stark's and Richard Bachman's -- but I don't think so!  As Machine goes about the gruesome murders in a Stark novel, I can hear Stephen King's villainous laugh coming from the shadows.

Here are some mean things Stephen King did to us:

1. Christine.  That name alone should cause you to shiver a bit.  The novel is a "take no prisoners" type book.  It's straight horror, and I love it!  It's painful to endure such darkness as a reader -- and what keeps us going back!  It's the sure knowledge that King is mean enough to keep making it worse! 

King is not going to get up one morning and think, "Man, these poor readers need some sunshine!  I better lighten up on this horror."  No sir!  He doesn't care if his book gives you a bad day, or keeps you awake at night.  And what makes it worse, I'm pretty sure he enjoys it.  He relishes the title "America's Boogeyman."  He's happy when you are shivering under the covers too scared to visit dreamland.

2. The Dark Tower.  Oh sure, the misery is over now -- but some of us remember waiting years (YEARS!) for mean ole Stephen King to get his pen and paper out and once again follow the Beam.  But was he worried about us?  No!  He just wrote what he wanted, forgetting the tower all together for spells while he hammered out Misery and The Green Mile and stuff like that.  Sure, we read the other stuff, always wondering: "When is the next tower book coming out?"  Did King care that we were waiting?  No!  He wrote at Roland's prompting, not ours. 

I saw an article recently that George Lucas would not make any more Star Wars films because the fans made him so miserable.  People say things to Lucas like, "You ruined my life!"  And so, off he goes to sulk and not make anymore Star Wars.  See, the problem is, Lucas isn't mean enough!  He should say, "Forget the fans!  It's not their story, it's mine!"  Go ahead, inflict Jar Jar Binks on us.

King doesn't take opinion polls on which way a story should go.  I mean, I was not a happy camper when I reached the end of the Dark Tower.  Did mean ole Stephen King care?  No!  Get this, our misery brings him satisfaction.

I leave you with this: Would anyone want to live inside a Stephen King novel?  NO!  Because you never know how he's going to mess with you!  He has discussed the possibility of Charlie from Firestarter and Danny from The Shining meeting up.  Are those two characters hiding in a closet somewhere, screaming, "No!  Make him leave us alone!"  Sure, I can think of a priest who thought the horror was over with Salem's Lot, but King turned up years later with more fun in his bag.

Would you ruin a high school prom?  No!  Because you're nice.  But Stephen King would, because he's mean.  And that's one reason we read him!  Because Mr. King is not afraid to do all kinds of cruel stuff to his characters.

No, this article was not written by Stephenie Meyer.

Piper Laurie's "Learning To Live Outloud"



Photo Credit: Richard J. McCormack (HERE)
Oscar-nominated actress Piper Laurie chats with fans during a book signing for her memoir "Learning to Live Out Loud" at the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in Jersey City on Saturday, January 28, 2012.

Piper Laurie, who played Margaret White (Carrie's mama), has a new biography out titled "Learning to Live Out Loud." (HERE on Amazon)  Laurie signed copies of her book today in Jersy City.  (article HERE

Of course, what's getting a lot of press right now is her description of her affair with Ronald Reagan while he was between marriages.  So Ronnie slept with Carrie's mama. . . gross! (on all counts) But wait, sincere question here -- would that make Ronald Reagan none other than Carrie's elusive papa?  I knew that girl got her powers from somewhere!

Carrie was a return to screen for Laurie, and defined a new era in her career. Douglass Daniel writes,
Laurie left movies for 15 years. Living in upstate New York, she grew personally as a wife, a mother and an artist. Her return to the screen as Sissy Spacek's mother in 1976's "Carrie" heralded a new phase in her career that would include the cult TV series "Twin Peaks" (1990-1991).
Probably one of the best death scenes ever is Margaret White's demise in Carrie.  (There is a good description of it HERE.)  It is a euphoric "YES!" moment.


Seven Reasons We Read Stephen King, #1




This is going to be fun. 

I want to post some short articles on why I think the constant reader is -- constant.  Why do we come back to King when the world is full of wonderful writers?  I saw a new Grisham book today, but realized I don't have time to read it.  I mean, the Stand comes out next month!  And I want to read the Library police.  When it comes to fiction, I think King is simply the best.  Why?

Reason #1 : He's Fearless.

You can smell fear dripping off some writers.  They're scared to kill a character off; and when they do, they have to bring them back.  Star Trek boldly killed Spock -- then they blinked and brought him back.  King doesn't play stupid games with the reader! 

The courage of the writer is important for the following reasons:
A writer needs to get out of the way and let the story tell itself. They must be willing to kill characters and bring misery on people they've fallen in love with, so that stupid story can unravel the way it's supposed to.   I think that sometimes the story heads in directions that even Stephen King doesn't expect!

This comes partly because King does not write with an outline.  In fact, he says stories that didn't work for him were the ones he plotted. 

Courage also means that he lets the characters show us uncomfortable sides of humanity.  Were there moments you felt for Oswald?  Or were there times you hated Roland?  That's because characters are not just good and bad, the best of them have depth.  Allowing characters to live means that they sometimes curse, hold opinions the author does not and exhibit both noble and dark behavior. 


Here are 5 novels that show the courage of a writer:

1. The Stand.  One reason we love The Stand is not only is it big, you actually don't know what's going to happen next!  Characters you think are on King's cutting block hang in there to the end.  Of course, some of us have read The Stand so many times, it has lost that initial power of suspense.

2. Cujo.  I don't want to ruin the book for you, but it is gutsy!  King once again allows the story to tell itself without getting in the way, and the result is wonderful. 

3. Pet Sematary.  This novel is full of surprises -- unless you watched the movie first!  (Where is the audio?)  The novel is gripping because it is the story of a typical nuclear family dealing with the worst thing in the world for a parent -- the death of a child.  But the novel does not take expected directions!  And again, those dark endings take nerves of steel. 

4. The Mist.  The novella has the courage to leave the ending open!  I think that takes real courage for a writer to not eel the need to fully conclude the story.  Of course, sense it is told in first person, King could not exactly kill his main character off.

5. Thinner.  While not my favorite novel, it's strength is partially in the fearless writing of Stephen King.  He follows that novel down uncomfortable avenues and let's us cringe with him.  And then, as usual, once he's got us all cringing and scared, he laughs his head off. 

TELL ME:
So, what novels do you think reveal Kings courage as a writer? 
Or, perhaps even more fun, what novels did he totally wimp out on? !

Riding The NEWS Bullet



This pictures has nothing to do with this article
except it is what I NEED
my wife should take out a loan and buy this for me

Hey, there is a lot of really cool news out there right now. Let me offer some bullet points to several interesting stories out right now:

I really enjoyed the article at Lilja's Library titled "Did You Catch Stephen King?" (HERE).  He recounts Kings various on screen appearances, from small roles to large -- country bumpkin to loveable trucker.  He even notes one non Stephen King project in which you can spot King's voice!  It's a very nice summery.

Hollywood Reporter has a Sundance Film Review of Room 237.  (HERE)  The bottom line, " A wacky, sometimes hilariously esoteric deconstruction of the subliminal messages and hidden meanings in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining."

*  Matt at Stephen King Fancast has posted an interview with Christopher Birk, director of Willa. (HERE)  Also catch my interview with Matt (HERE).  And the nice things Matt said about me, even though I picked on him and Bryant, are (HERE).

Playbill.com has a article titled: PHOTO ARCHIVE: Carrie Musical, Original Photos and Playbill.  (HERE) "As the infamous musical Carrie — based on the Stephen King novel — prepares for its first-ever New York revival at MCC Theater, we look back at the original UK and NYC productions and offer a glance through the pages of the Broadway Playbill."

The original final chapter of 11/22/63 has been posted on stephenking.com (HERE).  Though posted at stephenking.com, I first saw it at Lilja's.

DVD File has posted the final specs for the Bag Of Bones DVD's.  (HERE)  I might be the only constant reader who enjoyed this mini-series a lot! 

Summer Dawn Hortillosa at The Jersey Journal has a story titled, "Lincoln, Holland tunnels subject of exhibit at Hoboken Historical Museum."  (HERE)  She discusses Angus Gillespie, who served as a consultant for the exhibit's design.  Gillespie has written a book, “Crossing Under the Hudson: The Story of The Holland and Lincoln Tunnels" in which she notes various media references to the tunnels, including Stephen King's novel The Stand.  Worth noting, since I think the trip through the Lincoln Tunnel is one of the most memorable -- if not one of the scariest -- scenes in any Stephen King book.  Rank it right up there with those two women hacking each other to death in the middle of the street in Needful Things, eh!

*  Finally, Matt at Stephen King Fancast introduced me to the Discordia 19 website.  Very well done!  You can find it (HERE)  Check out the post, "Mark Geyer Remarqued King Illustrations" (HERE).

Bev Vincent and the Doctor in IT



A new copy of Cemetery Dance came the other day.  While the issue itself is not very devoted to King, Bev Vincent's article's are always stuffed full of note worthy King items. 

Bev discusses Full Dark No Stars, offering a summery of the book.  Most interesting to me, Bev shares that his doctor was mentioned in the King book IT.  As it turns out, the doctor had been King's physician in the 1970's.  "There he is, giving a baby Mike Hanlon a tetanus shot."   

I also enjoyed Bev's review of the movie Dolan's Cadillac.  No spoilers here, except to say that he does say it is better than the Children of the Corn remake.  Hummmm. . .

Vincents notes on King are always interesting and alone make it worth picking up a copy of Cemetery Dance.

You can purchase Cemetery Dance #65 HERE

11.22.63 Journal #7: Obdurate

Obdurate & Stephen King: The Use of the Word “Obdurate” in 11/22/63
with notes from reader 19



Dictionary.com : unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner.

"Because the past didn’t like to be changed. It was obdurate." -- 11/22/63 (p. 159).

Obdurate–a fascinating word. Not one we hear in everyday conversation.

King plows new ground in 11.22.63 with the concept of time itself being obdurate. 

What if time wasn't a thing, like a block of wood or even a machine -- what if it was alive?  What if time was insulted when people tried to change it?  And, the biggie -- what if it could fight back?  What if the time line itself was able to protect itself against time-travelers. 

Examine this quote, and notice how the past is indeed alive:
"Because the past is sly as well as obdurate. It fights back. And yes, maybe there was an element of greed involved, too."
King also writes,
"The past is obdurate for the same reason a turtle’s shell is obdurate: because the living flesh inside is tender and defenseless." (p. 827)  Time protects the people within its shell.

Sadie picks up on the theme and tries to relate to it but she uses the wrong word–malelevolent--instead of obdurate. She hasn't experienced the obdurates of the past the way Jake has!  It has beat him to a pulp! 

The addition of time having will is something I suspect future writers will pick up on.  Watch out, Captain Kirk, next time you go back in time, it might not just be the Klingon's on your tail!

And then there is the Yellow Card man. . .

Interview With Matt Jacobs of SK Fancast


Glad to present an interview with the man behind the Stephen King Fancast. If you haven't listened to the most recent Fancast, I encourage you to -- as well as his movie reviews.  My favorite section actually is the movies! 

The interview is below, but first the links. . .
Matt is like Sponge Bob. . . he's everywhere!

Okay, now the interview! 

Talk Stephen King: Hi! I know you are very serious about the world of Stephen King. Tell me about yourself.

Matt Jacobs: I started as a fan of Stephen King because of his Movies. My wife has always been a big fan of King's novels and I started "reading" them at her recommendation. By reading I clearly mean listening to.

Seeing as how I am a huge proponent of the podcast scene, I started a podcast based on King fandom, unknowing that the Kingcast already existed. So I guess I owe Bob an apology for treading all over his territory.

Non-King stuff about me. I am married to my high-school sweetheart. We have been together for almost half of my life and I love her more than anything else. I also love heavy metal music, pop divas, dubstep, Twitter, my beard, anything to do with Nerdist and British TV. My iPhone too. I have no children and have no intent on having any, a choice that my mom and grandma remind me is a bad idea on a daily basis. LOL!

TSK: Is your family enthusiastic about this obsession?

Matt Jacobs: Only my wife. She is wonderfully supportive! I know she will read this even though she doesn't have to. Love you sugarfoot! #Petnames My family barely knows the internet exists. They think it's that wonderful thing that streams them movies and holds their Facebook pages and that's it.

TSK: Do you own a dog named Cujo? A child named Carrie? A pet buried in the Pet Sematary? How messed up over this King stuff are you?

Matt Jacobs: My wife wouldn't allow me to name the dog Cujo or Pennywise, although I tried both.

TSK: Well, I guess if it's between a dog named Cujo and a wife, I would choose the same. 

Matt Jacobs: I guess my obsession goes to the extent of my blog, podcasts and the fact that I own 5 or 6 King related t-shirts. If you were to math out the amount of time I spend writing, recording and editing audio or video, it's nearly a full-time job. Now if I could convince my readers, listeners and viewers to pay me to do it, I would be a happy camper. Then again, I doubt that I have the audience that Bob has podcast wise, and you and Honk have me beat on readers and hits, I'm sure. My site is growing though, so I am hopeful.

TSK: I enjoy Stephen King Fancast. It is a unique site in the mix of many Stephen King websites. What makes the Fancast different?

Matt Jacobs: I think my site stands out because, in my opinion, its very media heavy. Whether you want to read about King, hear about King, or watch videos having to do with King, you can get any of that.

I know that you, Honk and Lilja have been at this for a while, so if I am going to try to leave my mark, I will have to make sure that virtually any King fan can find something they are interested in.

I am also trying to appeal to the nerd crowd. It's my opinion that King fans are already pretty nerdy, so it's not much of a jump to get nerds into King, or I would like to think.

TSK: What is your favorite Fancast episode?

Matt Jacobs: My favorite episode... wow. I had a BLAST with Stephen Lindsay, Jeff Lane, Bob and Bryant! Bryant stands out the most, but it's also the most recent. I am huge fan of everything all of them do, as well.

I think my episode with Luanne was my favorite though. I have been friends with her since we attended community college together 10 years ago. We lost track of each other for a few years, due to our own university agendas and various other things. That episode of the fancast was a great friendship being re-kindled after years of dormancy. All those nostalgic nights of RPG's (the super nerdy old school kind that require books!) and endless hours in the smoking section at the school comparing notes on Psych classes. I know that we both looked back on those times with great fondness. Now we have an excuse to do that again, just with King instead of psych or RPG's. That's pretty biased, but I also believe those dudes would understand. Still waiting for you to get Skype and join me on an episode... #UnderPressure Then again, I made your blog's FB page, so I should know how resistant you are to tech. Which is a little hilarious, considering you're a blogger. LOL!

TSK: I know you have big plans for the website. . . tell us more.

Matt Jacobs: Well, I wanted my Constant Listeners (which is what I call my podcast listeners), blog readers and Movie Club viewers to be able to guide the hand of what is to come with my website and fund it if they are interested.

What they don't know, is that I have every intention on re-building and re-branding the website and creating a mobile app whether I get funded or not.

I am really excited about the mobile app, mainly because then people can read blog posts, listen to the Fancast or watch the movie club from their smartphones, for only 99 cents. I am going to charge a tiny amount for the app simply to cover the cost of the app and future time invested for updates and such that I will have to make.

TSK: Okay, now the gloves come off. Star Wars or Star Trek?
Matt Jacobs: Star Trek, if I must pick one.
TSK: Is that a typo?  I'm sending a star destroyer your way, and there is nothing captain Kirk can do about it.
Matt Jacobs: But I would give up both of those for Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sherlock.


TSK: More seriously – like, on the level of things that actually matter in life. . . what is your favorite Stephen King book?
Matt Jacobs: Either Cell or Black House. I really like Black House because I tend to identify with the character of Beezer St. Pierre.

TSK: What is your reaction to King adding stories to an already complete series with Wind Through The Keyhole?
Matt Jacobs: All things serve the beam... including King.

TSK: Oh, and while on the topic. . . what did you think of the revision of Gunslinger?
Matt Jacobs: I never got into the series until the newer version of Gunslinger was released. I haven't gotten around to reading the old version yet.
TSK: Wasn’t the end of the Dark Tower a lot like the reboot of Star Trek? Just restart the timeline. . .
Matt Jacobs: Sure. I always thought it would be cool if the DT movies were made from the perspective of being that reboot. DT 2.0, if you will.
TSK: That would be cool!  And keep people from saying "it wasn't like the book."

TSK: This is important: Do you think we’ve seen the last of Richard Bachman, or are there more trunks full of forgotten manuscripts out there? We all know you know, so tell us, okay.
Matt Jacobs: We haven't seen the end of Bachman...

TSK: Do you have other favorite writers? . . . Are you secretly a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan?
Matt Jacobs: LOL! The only Wilder I enjoy is Gene.
TSK: What do you think of Joe Hill’s work?
Matt Jacobs: I am a big fan of Joe Hill. I also am a big fan of Jeff Lane, Stephen Lindsay, Aldous Huxley, the Classic Greeks, Doyle, and Rowling.

TSK: WOW! I loved your review of the Langoliers! Laughing very hard. Only, you punished us by showing us the ending sequence twice. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t know that I ever made it all the way to the end of that movie. I’m glad you’re not afraid to tell the truth about some of these movies, because the Stephen King universe has certainly produced its fair share of stinkers! Any other movies stand out as just absolutely bad in the Stephen King movie bucket?
Matt Jacobs: Where to start... First off, my favorite King movie, is "Storm of the Century," so I really like your logo.
TSK: I put it there just for you, Matt.
Matt Jacobs: Sleepwalkers and Lawnmower Man stand out as being horrible. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching them however.

TSK: You mentioned in the review that it reminds you to the Twilight Zone episode, The Odssey of Flight 33. Are you a Twilight Zone fan? Any outstanding episodes come to mind?
Matt Jacobs: Yes! I love the Twilight Zone! I grew up watching those holiday marathons that they have.
TSK: Me too!  It wouldn't be the fourth of July without the Twilight Zone. The founding fathers were watching a TZ marathon while they waited for John Hancock to sign his name.
Matt Jacobs: I still watch them to be honest. I also have a 10 disc boxset. "Time Enough at Last" is my absolute favorite. "Real Steele" is good as well, I'm not sure if the upcoming Hugh Jackman movie is a take off of that or not, but I intend to find out.

TSK: What did you think of the recent Bag Of Bones?
Matt Jacobs: It was pretty bad... They completely lost the feel of the story, to me. That feeling was desperation. A man at the end of his rope to the point where he was ready to accept his own madness rather than fight against his fears. I didn't get that from the mini-series at all.

But I'll buy it when it comes out... Sometimes I feel like I know how Star Wars nerds feel. George Lucas has their undying love and affection, so he can put out a real piece of garbage and all they do is complain and buy it anyway. Not that different... LOL!

King's books are awesome, mostly, but the movies are rarely good or live up to my expectation.

TSK: You noted recently that your favorite method of book consumption is audio. YES! So, for those who say that isn’t really reading (I’m not saying who would say such a thing, but their initials are Bryant Burnette), do you have any response?
Matt Jacobs: HAHAHAHA! Oh snap! He got you honk... I would say to them, let's sit down over Skype and see who has a better grasp on the story. "Reading" or not, understanding is what you should take away from a story, not the fact that your eyes were able to gobble up more words than anyone else's. That is not aimed at anyone, but I have had my fair share of naysayers on the topic... yet none of them have joined me for a Skype session either. #WINNING Did I really just use that hashtag... so over. Sorry to anyone that feels awkward after seeing me use such an outdated hashtag.
TSK: I think reading the books is dangerous. . . you might smudge that nice first edition.
Matt Jacobs: In my house there is always the fear that my wife will spill something on it. She's kind of clutsy. Sorry Lovebutt! #MorePetnames
TSK: HAHAHA!  My wife READ my first edition Dark Tower 7 and smudged it.  She said she had to, as she had to finish the series and could not wait for a paperback.  I complained, and she bought me an atist edition. 

TSK: The web is a tangled place for Stephen King fans. There are some really great websites. What are some of your favorite haunts?
Matt Jacobs: TSK, Kingcast, Honk, Club Stephen King (a must if you have Twitter), Tower Junky and this new one I found called Discordia19... It's pretty good. He also runs a podcast, but not King dedicated.

TSK: I liked your interview with the Honk Mafah. He always shoots straight! I’m just so happy you both love bacon so much – But seriously, how can you talk to someone who won the contest at Lilja’s? And he knows more about the Stephen King Universe than I do. That makes me mad.
Matt Jacobs: Honk is my guy! He's a big fan of my beard... check the iTunes reviews of Stephen King Movie Club if you don't believe me. LOL! He is more dedicated to the King universe than anyone I know. It kinda makes me feel guilty...
TSK: And by the way, I'm one of "THOSE PEOPLE" you and Bryant refer to -- who like the books more than the movies. So what are you and Bryant going to do about it. . . HUH?
Matt Jacobs: Not a damn thing good sir. :) I refer to "THOSE PEOPLE" in a lot of different ways on my blog. I'm sure I have encompassed every person by now... including myself. HAHAHA!

TSK: Do you collect the books? If so, any treasured pieces?
Matt Jacobs: My wife and I have a pretty big collection. We are pretty proud of a first edition of "The Shining" that we have. I have a couple of variant cover DT comics that I show off now and again.

TSK: Thanks for taking time to do this. We are all expecting great things from the fancast as you take over the internet one byte at a time.
Matt Jacobs: That is my plan exactly. Look out Lilja! There's a n00b in the building! (I was shooting for funny there...) Thanx so much for having me! It was a real pleasure to be interviewed by someone as prolific as you! :)

LIKE on facebook

HEY, you can now LIKE Talk Stephen King on Facebook (HERE

Giant thanks to Matt at Stephen King Fancast for his help.  "Help" meaning. . . he made it happen!

Wind Through The Keyhole excerpt



Simon and Schuster has released a new excerpt of Wind Through The Keyhole HERE.

Most interesting to me was the forward.  King explains that the new book "should be shelved between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla . . . which makes it, I suppose, Dark Tower 4.5."

King also shares his delight at re-encountering his old friends, and finding they had "a little more to say."  He says, "It was a great gift to find them again, years after I thought their stories were told."

11.22.63 Journal #6: Suspicions


Reading a good book is like eating a good meal -- don't rush!  I'm enjoying 11.22.63 quite a bit.  I'm in the final days, headed quickly toward the BIG day.  So, of course, all the answers are near by, I hope! 

Remember the guy who used to hang around Ed Wood named Criswell ? He was famous for saying, "I PREDICT!" And he would say crazy things. Well, I have a few to offer. and if you don't know who I mean, google Criswell. No, I don't mean the pastor of 1st Baptist Church of Dallas!

It is worth writing down some suspicions I have at this point, before I know the outcome.  So. . . here are some not so educated guesses!  Those of you who have read the whole thing, don't correct me! 

So. . .

1. I suspect this will turn out to be a dry run.  That is, our friend is going to reset history again once he sees the outcome of his efforts.

2. I suspect Sadie will help George carry out his mission.

3. I suspect on his second trip, George will protect Sadie better.  the best face lift would be a reset in the timeline.

4. And if he does do this all again, I think he should do a LOT more study before heading into the past. George jumped too quick!  He needed to spend some time with his friend google and wiki. 

5. I suspect saving Kennedy will do nothing to save MLK. 

6. And for the changes that would happen if Kennedy did live:
--Without LBJ, I suspect the civil rights movement might take more time. 
--I do think Vietnam would be avoided all together if Kennedy lived.
--With no Vietnam, I am left wondering about other wars.  Gulf Wars and various police actions.  No idea on those!  I hope King deals with them.
7. I know the yellow-card man will be back.  He is always lurking near by.  But what kind of wrench he will throw in the mission, I don't know. 

So there you go.  Notes from a guy who actually knows nothing!

Reader 19: A Short Review Of 11.22.63

Dallas in the 1960s


Reader 19 offers this short review of 11.22.63. 
What if you could go back in time and change history? That is the basic premise of 11/22/63. Stephen King’s latest novel has hit a home run, however, about three quarters of the way through we are left wondering where the novel is going. There is a backstory of the “life of “ George Amberson and the changing of the Kennedy assassination and you are often wondering if the two stories will intertwine. But not to worry because of course they did.

Even when it felt like the story was beginning to wander, I was compelled to finish the book–I HAD to know what happened. The main characters had so much depth and emotion. King skillfully draws the reader into the story. He also has the ability to blast us right into the late 50s and early 60s with Jake Epping. It’s a ride worth taking! As a woman in her thirties, I never lived in that era and it was surprising all the things that were so different in society even though it was not all that long ago.

In this book you feel like you know these characters personally and you don’t want the story to end. Even though the reader knows time travel can’t really happen, you are still right there with the characters. As such I often wondered throughout the book why Jake aka “George” does some of the things he does . . . but the end justifies the means once again. Even if he does something I might not have, I read on.

It amazes me how Stephen King can grasp the depth of emotion of the characters in his book–especially with women. He really seems to know a woman’s soul, and how a woman talks and thinks, as seen in this story with Sadie Dunhill.

I found it interesting that King did not feel the need at the beginning of the story to spend pages on time travel and how it is possible and why it works the way it does. He explains enough for us the reader to know and does not explain the why of it at the beginning because he knows that we want to get to the story.

By the way, Dark Tower fans–there is a Dark Tower link in the book but I won’t say where–read it and find it for yourself. It was unexpected and sort of a “ ah ha, of course moment.”

I will not give away any spoilers but suffice it to say there were several surprise twists at the end–and I was not left disappointed. The wandering was actually worth it since it all tied itself up nicely in the end. However, if I had been writing it, I think I would not have ended it in the way King did. King’s alternate version of modern history, is very surprising and well, creative.

King has successfully broken out of the horror genre with this book.

Gerard Lough's THE BOOGEYMAN


I had the opportunity to watch Gerard Lough's dollar baby, The Boogeyman.  The movie stars Simon Fogarty and Michael Parle. 

Director Gerard Lough told The Irish Independent reporter, Anita Guidera, "I am not a big horror fan but I wanted to make a film that had people on the edge of their seats and not just show blood and guts. . . I was so lucky with the cast and crew that I worked with and I think we have produced a really good film."
I enjoyed the movie quite a bit.  Here's why:

1. It's not a Hollywood big budget monster movie.  I like those!  But I also enjoy simple stories.  What is awkward is when a simple, straightforward story tries to be something it is not.  The Boogeyman makes no attempt.  The film is comfortable in its own skin. . . unlike the Boogeyman himself!

2. The story shines.  Like King's short story, the movie keeps its focus on the father who claims to have murdered his children.  There are not a lot of speaking roles, as the narrator carries us from scene to scene.  This works, for a short movie! 

3. I actually found the film scary.  I didn't expect to!  The story moves with a dreamy, nightmarish feel that is unnerving.  Like the short story, the viewer finds themselves asking, "Where is this going?"

4. The story is true to King's original work.  It flows naturally, and logically, from scene to scene.  It does not attempt to build side characters or introduce subplots to extend the story. 

I look forward to seeing more from Gerard Lough.


NEWS and Links: Remakes Progress

photo credit slasherfilm.com

Vulture reports that Ben Affleck has hired David Kajganich to rewrite the remake of The Stand.  The article is HERE

Claude Brodesser-Akner reports:
Ben Affleck is making progress on his own viral blockbuster: Stephen King’s The Stand, about survivors of a chemically weaponized super-flu. We hear that Affleck has hired screenwriter David Kajganich to pen the script after Kajganich wowed Warner Bros. with another recent King adaptation of the 1986 horror classic It – which, like The Stand, is being produced by Roy Lee and Doug Davison.

Slashfilm.com gives this background:

Warner Bros. has spent a lot of time developing big-budget adaptations of two classic Stephen King tomes, It and The Stand. The latter has seen a lot more activity of late, with Harry Potter team David Yates and Steve Kloves briefly attached to make the film before they decided one or two feature films wouldn’t do justice to the material. Ben Affleck stepped in as director, and now that he’s done shooting the true-life thriller Argo, he seems to be moving forward with The Stand.

Mention in Stephen King book has Westboro abuzz

By Donna Boynton TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF


WESTBORO — Tim Dodd’s mother gives him a Stephen King book every year for Christmas, and this past year was no exception.

An avid science fiction fan and loyal reader of Mr. King’s works, Mr. Dodd wasted no time diving into Mr. King’s latest book, “ 11/22/63 ,” about traveling through time and potentially altering the past.

FULL ARTICLE HERE
Copyright Worcester Telegram & Gazette

CARRIE MUSICAL Behind The Scenes Peek



Broadwayworld.com has posted a new video of the upcoming Carrie musical.

Dolores Claiborne Opera



I spotted this first at Liljas Library.

The Mercury News is reporting that Dolores Claiborne is being made into an opera. 
And projecting further still into the next new season, mezzo-soprano Zajick, Gockley said, is tailor-made for "Dolores Claiborne," the role that earned Kathy Bates an Oscar nomination for the 1995 film made from the Stephen King thriller.
"It's a movie of heavy passions and tragedy and survival, and we thought it had operatic qualities," Gockley said "And doing it for the indomitable Dolora Zajick made sense."
The opera, composed by Tobias Picker and well-known librettist J.D. McClatchy, will open Sept. 15, 2013.
I have thought for years that if any King movie was due a remake, it was this one and Needful Things.  But opera? 

Who Was Marv ?


For years Marv has faithfully held his post at Lilja's Library.  Recently Marv opened Marv's Museum.  We all have a good idea of what Marv is up to these days . . . but who was he before? 

Get out your quill, invite George Stark over and start writing!  Lilja has an awesome creative writing contest, asking readers to write and tell us who Marvin S was before he became The Library Policeman.  The two best stories get an awesome reward!  Check it out at Lilja's Library.


Lilja posts the rules as follows:
1) You should base your story on the original illustration Glenn Chadbourne has done (see below).
2) The story should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words.
3) You need to send me the story at the latest on Sunday February 19th, 12 PM Midnight Swedish times (that is 6PM New York time).
4) You can submit as many stories as you like.
5) The story has to be written in English.
6) You should send the story to me by mail at info[a]liljas-library.com
So get those word processors smoking!  Of course, many of us need to go give Library Policeman a deeper read.  I skipped and dipped through it years ago, but now I need to dig in!

Did LA Times Writer David Ulin Read 11/22/63 ?



Hold on to the word "Review" because it is important. 
  • The LA times has posted a "review" of 11/22/63 by David Ulin. 
  • It is titled, "Book Review: Stephen King's 11/22/63." 
So we're clear, right?  It is a review.  Got it? 

But, there is very little review of 11/22/63 taking place here!  It's mostly a discussion of King's character development, genre and how King is under-rated. 

The 703 word "review" discusses a new years conversation about Stephen King, Kings novella "A Good Marriage", the novel "The Shining", "Desperation", "The Body", "Misery", quotes from Desperation, discussion of why Desperaton is Ulin's favorite novel, and Ulin even takes a breath to remind us of his own interview with King. . . and on and on.  The "review" feels like a golf ball hit full swing in a tile bathroom.  It's everywhere except on target!

The strange thing is, there is no real review of 11.22.63 !  Here's the review (are you ready?) --
For the record, I didn't think much of "11/22/63"; I found it meandering and unfocused—not to mention far too long.
So it was "unfocused" "meandering" and too long.  Interesting, since that is my opinion of Ulin's "review."  The review portion of the review was 21 words -- while the article was 703 words.  But, according to Ulin, King's book was unfocused!

It seems he didn't like the book, but someone must have assigned him to write a review.  Instead of reviewing the book, he spends his time discussing King's strengths.  Since he didn't like the book, he makes up for it by telling us King has gotten a "bad rap."  Yes!  The bad rap comes from Ulin's "review."

Ulin offers no real, substantive discussion of the book, its characters, its themes.  Mr. Ulin wrote and unfocused review of King's work, criticizing King for being "meandering and unfocused." 

In fact, there is so little discussion of the novel in the review, I am left wondering if he read the book!  If he was giving this as a book report in class, I'd have to ask, "Excuse me, did you read the book?"  Expect him to say, "I've read a lot of Stephen King."  YES!  But did you read THIS book? 

This review begs the question: Who let this go to print?  Did they read it before they printed the "review"?  Did the hole for the book review slot demand to be filled, no matter what Ulin wrote? 

Read the review for yourself (HERE).  I think he was really reviewing THE SHINING !

Documentary: Room 237


Room 237 is the room number that Danny Torrance is told not to enter in Kubrick's movie version of "The Shining."  It is also the title Rodney Ascher's not documentary about obsessive fans of The Shining. 

Wait!  Are there obsessive fans of The Shining?  Well, I didn't know it until last week.  I was doing some research for another article, and ran into a series of websites that blew my mind.  People had counted frames and done all sorts of cray stuff.  I mean, it's a level of crazy I'm familiar with -- but in my line of work it's usually people who have gone a little nuts with the last book of the Bible.

Entertainment Weekly cites one fan who believes Kubrick directed the Apollo moon landings while shooting 2001 and hid clues in The Shining.  Jason Bailey notes that this makes The Shining "a giant coded message to tell the world about the ruse."  So The Shining is not about Jack losing his mind in a haunted Hotel. . . it's an allegory of the moon landing.  Of course!

Bailey cites Sundance programmer Trevor Groth saying, "“These obsessive people dissect The Shining, and they’ve watched it thousands of times, all finding their own coded meaning and language in it.” Like how the architecture of the Overlook Hotel doesn’t make any sense, with hallways leading to places that should technically be outside, and windows that show sunlight streaming in even though they are enclosed in the middle of the building… ?"

One blogger has found the hedge animals from the novel in the movie.  Yep -- they're there!  Check it out HERE.  This blogger also discusses color changes in the movie, time codes and durations, and VW's.  I kid you not.  So if you want to count frames and find meaning in that, go for it.

And I thought Trekkies (Trekkers?) were obsessed.

  • Bailey's article (the Atlantic) is HERE
  • The EW article is HERE.
  • An obsessive fan blog (Stanley Kubrick's Masterpiece) is HERE.
  • The Secret Sun blog which has an interesting article, HERE.

Cujo Goes To Iran

Iran Book News Agency has a post announcing "Cujo" has been translated into Persian and is headed for Iran.  The translation was done by Maryam Malakouti and will be released by Ofogh Publications.

The article reminds us that the 1981 novel was one King has said he really doesn't remember writing!  It also gives some background on the name Cujo, which is based on "the nom de guerre of Willie Wolfe, one of the men responsible for orchestrating Patty Hearst's kidnapping and indoctrination into the Symbionese Liberation Army."


Other King novels already published in Persian include "Blaze", "Dreamcatcher", "The Green Mile", and "Cell."  that's interesting, because those works are all less religious than other works by King.  I wonder if that has any impact on deciding which books to translate and publish in Iran.

The article is HERE

thanks to Bryant Burnette

DVD FILE: The Green Mile


Sometimes I have to read a review to find out what I don't like about movies I really like.  I didn't ko there was a problem with the novel Christine until I read all the reviews.  Just reading the book, I was entrhalled.  But now mye yes have been opened; I should not have enjoyed the book with such gitty pleasure! 

Now, I thought the Green Mile was awesome!  I mean, absolutely wonderful.  I didn't know there was a stone to be thrown at the Green Mile.  But, turns out, there is!  DVD File has a very good review of the Green Mile.  You can read it HERE.  It is generally all positive -- except for the parts that aren't so positive. 

So what could be wrong with the Green Mile, asked myself.  Only, I asked too late!  I had already read the review.  It caught me off guard.  The words had to settle in.

. . . Too long?  the movie was too long?  That's the complaint?!  It might be long because it was faithful to the book.  But, that aside, I must say that as a fan, I didn't know it was too long.  It didn't feel too long!  But dog gone it, next time I watch that movie, I'll be sure to note with disgust how long it is.  I'll fold my arms and huff and how much time I'm spending enjoying this wonderful movie.  After all, movies should all fit inside the 2 hour time frame.  That was abd of the Green MIle to give ust hat extra hour of pleasure!

DVD file explains:
At over three hours, The Green Mile is not a quick watch, and admittedly the pacing does occasionally lapse into the laborious."
Now see, I'd-a never known that without them telling me!  My senses didn't pick up on it.  I just sat there and enjoyed the whole thing, like a big fool.  But now I've been schooled.

Wait, there's more:
Scenes are often drawn out near the breaking point, and the consistent sameness in tone often stunts the film's drama and suspense.
Huh?  The suspense was stunted?  I could have been pulled even further off the edge of my seat than I was?  May I suggest that if scenes are drawn out to the "breaking point" it might be because you are in so much suspense waiting for what's going to happen next.

More here:
Even some of the more horrific execution scenes and the late-night escape sequence are not quite as exciting as one would expect.
I see!  I didn't know that, either.  Seemed pretty freaky to me.  I mean, fire was coming from the dude's head and all.  But maybe that's not scary.  . . . but if "horrific execution scenes" are not "exciting", what is?  Non-Horrific execution scenes? 

Another gem:
While the film does have its humorous moments, it is also often too solemn for its own good, unlike Shawshank, which better balanced the oppressive prison setting with humor, pathos, and suspense.
And now we've been told!  Only, I hadn't thought to sit there and compare the two.  I just enjoyed what humor ther was as it was sprung on me.  Dumb me!  I needed to be keeping my notes at hand.

Next time I find myself really enjoying a good movie, I'll be sure to ask a reviewer why it stinks ahead of time.  I will not so foolishly enjoy myself. 

Original Carrie Musical Review

This one isn't pretty, folks!  "The music is aweful. . ."  I won't spoil it all, but this review is wonderful.  I love it.  Only thing, don't confuse this Carrie with the new musical! 


CARRIE Cast Reveals Why They're Excited About the Show!

This is from Broadwayworld.com.

MCC THEATER yesterday announced The Carrie Anticipation Contest: Why Are You Excited About Carrie?. Theater fans all around the world are encouraged to submit a video explaining why they are excited for what is shaping up to be the most anticipated theatrical event of the season: MCC's upcoming production of Carrie. From all the submitted videos, one winner will win a pair of VIP tickets to MCC Theater's Opening Night performance and after-party on March 1, 2012. To enter the contest, to view other entries (including one by stage and screen star Jonathan Groff), visit http://www.mcctheater.org. In the video below, members of the cast and creative team reveal why they're excited about the revival.

Bag Of Bones An Excellent Thriller!

Bag Of Bones, Sweden

Debbie Walker has posted a list of 5 books to read in 2012.  #5 on her list is Bag of Bones.  Her explanation for why she loves this books makes one fantastic short review.  Very insightful!  The full list is HERE.  And this is what she said about Bag Of Bones:
Bag of Bones is another important entry in King’s take on writers and writing. Mike’s inability to write following the death of his wife, Jo, is palpably frustrating. One of King’s greatest strengths is putting into plain words the struggles of writing novels; here, writer’s block is as real and painful as Paul Sheldon’s physical pain in Misery, or Eddie Dean’s withdrawal hell in The Drawing of the Three. One doesn’t need to be a writer to understand Mike’s torment, or sympathize with it. Beyond King’s understanding of the writing (or not-writing) process is a rare glimpse into the world of publishing. Mike putting away manuscripts to be published at a later date is a fascinating, idiosyncratic detail that is also necessary to the plot. Now that the Mini Series has aired re-read or read for the first time Bag of Bones: an excellent book and a thriller in the best of Stephen King.

Flagg's City

In The Stand, Las Vegas is the designated capitol city for Randall Flagg.  It's his Washington D.C., the polar opposite of the New Jerusalem.  And is Las Vegas ever a wonderful choice!  It is a nasty place, ain't it?

 Stephen Mejias at stereophile us truly passionate in his hatred of Las Vegas.  (HERE)

He writes, "It's no surprise that Stephen King chose Las Vegas as the headquarters of evil when he wrote The Stand."  YES! 

Mejias explains:
My hatred for Las Vegas is juvenile and irrational and represents what is probably the last strand of my nearly resigned defiance for all things bourgeois, fascist, bogus, and generally lame. I’ve softened up a lot over the last 10 years, but Vegas hardens me anew. I hate Las Vegas. The place is soulless, hollow, utterly putrid, infested with sickness, vice, and abandon, driven by all that is dirty and unholy (I kinda like that part, actually), and, above all, fake. So incredibly fake, in fact, that one just has to marvel at its surface shine, its cardboard towers and phony waterfalls, its ridiculously realistic gondolas and Parisian skies.
. . . In Las Vegas, you have to wait years before you can safely cross the quietest of streets. Who built this city, anyway? Oh, yes: Criminals.
That's wonderful!  And leads to a quick question: Do any other cities qualify to be the headquarters of pure evil?  Of course, in the Bible, Babylon takes first prize, followed by Rome -- called the "Beast" and the "Harlot."  That's pretty nasty! 

So, nominate away: What other cities qualify for Randy Flaggs base of operations?

Field Trip to Marv's Museum



Marv the Library Policeman
source: Lilja's Library

My favorite King site, Lilja's Library, has opened a whole new section called "Marv's Museum."  Check it out HERE
 
First, you have to meet Marv.  Lilja shared with me that Marv was created by Glenn Chadbourne in 2006 as a mascot for Lilja’s Library.  For the past few years Marv has bee keeping watch atop Lilja's Library website.  He also appears on the cover and inside the book version of Lilja's Library.

So what is "Marv's Museum"?  Well, Lilja explained on his website that, "Marv’s Museum is a museum where I will show you interesting items that I have collected over the years. Initially there will be props from King movies but as time goes on I hope to add other things, things that I think you will find interesting."

The Museum is already a bustling place.  You find. . .
  • Pictures of items from Dolan's Cadiallac,
  • The original drawings for the president (King) and the first lady Zombies used in the Dollar Baby Home Delivery
  • The helmet that used in the Nightmares & Dreamscapes episode Battleground
  • This boxing robe used by the actor Ken Pogue in season two of The Dead Zone
  • This is the Can Tah that was used during the filming of Desperation

From Marv's Musuem
Lilja writes: "These newspapers where used in the movie version of The Mist from 2007 and if you look very close you’ll see some very interesting articles in it. They were donated by Frank Darabont himself."

And there's more!  My favorite is newspapers that were used in The Mist (pictured. . . but there's a lot more).  The headlines/articles are great!

Okay, that''s enough talk. . . time for the field trip.  Head on over to Marv's Museum.

Quigley: Collection Time for Stephen King


Kevin Quigley has posted a great article at FEARnet.com.  Quigley is author of several books about Stephen King and proprietor of Charnel House.

Quigley's article, titled "Collection Time for Stephen King: An Observation" is like an alarm clock reminding the constant reader that the time must be near for another collection of short stories. In  Collection Time, Quigley gives us an examination of several of King's short stories that have not yet been included in a book.

Of course, some of King's most memorable works have come from the books of short stories.  The Mist was one of my favorites.  Of course, sometimes the short stories are deeply connected to King's novels.   Jerusalem's Lot lay the ground work for Salem's Lot and Night Surf was groundwork for The Stand.  One of my favorites is Survivor Type -- which is a different kind of take on cannibalism. 

Quigley spots things I would easily miss.  (Maybe because I don't focus enough on the short stories, as I'm just trying to stay afloat reading all those novels!)  I like this observation about Morality:
"Morality" forms a loose trilogy with "Mute" (from Just After Sunset) and Full Dark, No Stars' "Fair Extension" as stories that explore the concept of sin and how it affects regular people.
Quigley also considers what story should serve as the "opening act."  I'll stop giving spoilers, because you should really read this article and chew on his conclusions.  I like it all!

The full article is HERE.