JOYLAND Trailer (english)

King Halloween Photo Taken In April



Check out dishmag.com's article, "Behind the lens, Stephen King," in which Raeanne Rubenstein discusses a 1985 visit to photograph Stephen King and family.

He took the picture of the King family on Halloween (above).  But guess what. . . it wasn't Halloween!  It was more like April. Rubenstein explains:
One of the greatest moments of that visit though, was when either I (I’d like to take the credit) or Stephen (I cannot remember) came up with the idea of dressing the whole family up in scary costumes. And we did! You might think it was October, Halloween, but the backs of the contact sheets say differently. It was actually April when we did this. 
As you can see, Stephen was dapper as werewolf, Joe Hill as the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Tabitha pretty as a picture while walking dead, Naomi as a gorilla, and little Owen Phillip very cute, as a blood-sucking vampire with great big teeth. Now, what fun was that!
Near the end of the article, he note, "In case you’ve been thinking all these years that Stephen King might be a stuffy, intellectual, literary dude, take it from me, he is not. I took lots of pictures of him bowling with his wife, dancing into the wee hours, playing with his children, and other fun and heartwarming scenes. I promise you that though his imagination might be warped, himself King seemed like a pretty regular guy."

Joyland Trailer


Family Guy: The Mist Ending


Chadbourne "I'm Very Proud Of This Project."

photo credit: K Fletcher
from lincoln county news

lincolncountynewsonline.com has an interesting article about artist Glenn Chadbourne  titled, "Chadbourne's Pen Brings Life To Next Stephen King Publication."

From the article:

Chadbourne who has done extensive work for King, said he spent the bulk of the past winter working on the project. Chadbourne said the original poem he received was only three written pages. 
"It's my baby," he said. "They gave me the text and then just let my imagination rip. They wanted between 70 and 90 pages and I gave them 88." 
He spent several months working 12 to 16 hours a day to come up with art for the project, including a half dozen different cover pages for the various editions. 
"I am very proud of this project," he said. "It is not every day you get something like this."

Final Stephen King Flowchart



THIS IS AWESOME!  Source: laughingsquid.com
Australian artist and flowchart enthusiast Gillian James of Tessiegirl created “The Stephen King Universe,” a very detailed flowchart linking the vast collection of books and characters thought up by author Stephen King. Limited edition prints are available to purchase online.
This just shows that some people really really really like to organize things!

Stephen King NEWS



  • NPR has an engrossing interview with Stephen King at www.npr.org


  • PARADE magazine has an interview with Stephen King.  He says his wife is tough to impress when it come to writing, and that he used to pay his kids to put books on tape.  That's so cool!  I used to bribe my sister  to do the same thing.  Now we have audible.  King says Mad Men is basically a "soap opera."  The PARADE interview is at www.parade.com




  • James Smythe has posted the next part of his Rereading Stephen King (IT).  He calls IT, "one of King's most enduring novels" and "intimidatingly huge."  www.guardian.co.uk.   

  • Crews working on the set of A GOOD MARRIAGE set off fire alarms for a second time -- annoying a neighbor enough to try and turn his irritation into "news."  So here it is!  news.  But it's not news, is it?  Nope.  But here's the link --tarrytown.patch.com

NPR: King JOYLAND Interview

Stephen King has given a great interview to NPR about his book Joyland, titled, "Stephen King On Growing Up, Believing In God And Getting Scared."

Dimension X

King is asked what got him scared as a kid -- a subject that's getting old for some of us, except that he notes the importance of old radio.  Dimension X in particular.  YES!  You can listen to Dimension X at archive.org.  Some of the best writers of the day, including Ray Bradbury, had their stories translated to radio for this program.

THE SHOW!

Hey, this is kinda preachy.  No apologies!  It's my thoughts about what King said. 

King describes some modern preachers and mega churches as a sort of carnival where the preacher is reduced to being a "carny pitchman."  I find that very interesting because I agree, that is what has happened to much of modern Christianity.  Instead of being people of the Book, for many it has become people of the show.

I am reminded of the times people demanded Jesus do a miracle, and he refused to be a showman. In fact, even his home town was excited when he came through.  The local boy makes good -- now put on a show!  But he would not.  

The book of Mark implies that if Jesus would have done miracles for King Herod, he could have escaped death.  (Luke 23:8-10)  But he would not even speak to Herod, giving him no answer to the King's many questions.

When the Faith is reduced to guys slapping people on the head, or jumping up and down, or sowing your seed to get a blessing -- the Gospel itself is lost in the show.  There is a difference between passion and thinking how to clearly communicate  the message and simply turning God's Word  into a good luck charm to stir masses.  I cringe when I see certain preachers on TV, holding up their Bibles and then giving nothing more than a motivational talk.  Still, Philippians 1:18.

By the way, I do think preachers should be interesting!  They should have something to say (from the Scripture) and say it well.  I weary of preaching that goes like this, "I'm just going to talk from my heart --" which is fine, except you kinda start to wonder if that is code for I didn't study this week so I'm winging it!

What King, and actually the Bible, drives at about preaching is AUTHENTICITY.  Preachers are not to be carnival salesmen, showmen who are fun to watch but actually hollow at the core.  The preacher is to be the real deal, living out what he teaches and explaining with passion what authentic faith is and how it is lived out in a way that honors God.  He's not there to steal from the congregation, but to truly Shepherd and love them. 



Creation: I find King's comments on God delightful.  He admits to being totally inconsistent. I understand that, and respect him for admitting it.  

Before pointing out that the God who created this world must have an interesting personality, King says of those who choose not  to believe, "then you're missing the stars in the sky and you're missing the sunrises and sunsets and you're missing the fact that bees pollinate all these crops and keep us alive and the way that everything seems to work together. Everything is sort of built in a way that to me suggests intelligent design."

Or, as King David said,
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place, 
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him? 
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings 
and crowned him with glory and honor. 
(Psalm 8:3-5)

The Spirit!  King notes that the original term for the Holy Spirit was the Holy Ghost.  Rightly implying that God is Spirit.  As Spirit, he is not limited to a body.  (Unless it's in the miracle of the Incarnation.)  Actually, his comments on God watching us is very good.

KUBRICK

King talks about a discussion he had with Stanley Kubrick.  King says that belief in spiritual things is freeing.  He says that Kubrick was a "thinking cat.  He really thought about what he was doing.  He didn't just go out there and shoot film."  He retells the story of Kubrick asking him about belief in the supernatural.  Kubrick suggested that belief in ghosts is really optimistic, since it implies an afterlife.  "Sure," Kings said, "But what about hell?" Long pause, then he said in very stiff voice, "I don't believe in hell."  

King reflects, "To me it was the voice of someone who was denying their own deeply held belief in something they were unable  to root out."

King said he told Kubrick, "It's not that you don't believe in hell.  It's that you CHOOSE not to believe in hell."

You can listen to the NPR interview with Stephen King at http://www.npr.org

Listen To GHOST BROHTERS




Stephen King's FB page posted:
You can now stream the full Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County album on WSJ.com. If you haven't heard it yet, give it a listen and let us know what you think!
check it out at blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy

The Stand -- THE KID!


The Stand Journal Complete and Uncut, #9

I've been slowly moving through the Stand as I drive.  It's a slow  read for me,  since I live in a  small town, only 1 mile from work. The best places in California are small towns.  I think I've been reading slowly also  because I'm not expecting much.  So I don't hurry out to make extra drives and listen to my book, since I think deep down The Stand cannot possibly surprise me.

I was wrong.  The Stand has once again surprised me! I know I read this version in high school, but once again either my memory has failed me -- probably not! -- or I just skimmed through spots I thought were  probably going to be dry -- THAT'S IT!  

The first time I read The Stand, I found the character of the Trashcan Man to be a huge distraction. Of course, I didn't know as I read the book just how important he is to the books grand finale.

Trashie is a nut.   I mean a big time, crazy loon nut.  Is he mean?  Well, not exactly.  He serves the dark man, but he's childish.  Of course, if trashie were a child, he'd be the one in the corner quite a bit for doing stuff  that would shock the good mothers in town.

By the way, Trashcan Man's trip into the Eisenhower Tunnel is almost as scary as Larry Underwood's.  It just comes later in the novel, so I think it's less talked about.

Now some of my memories for Trashcan Man are skewed because the most recent version I read was the original abridged version.  Though King cut down on Trashcan Man's journey, the entire episode is more boring because the character of the kid is almost completely stripped away.  If there is something that makes this portion of the book breath, it's The Kid.

I know he's not --  but I picture him as a kind of loony Elvis.

Who is The Kid? The Kid is a southern boy who catches up with Trashy as they head toward Cibola -- Vegas.  He is over the top domineering, demanding the introverted and often timid Trashy drink chug beer and not throw up.  At night, his abuse of Trash becomes even worse.  Frankly, he treats the Trashcan Man like trash.  He rapes him with a gun -- at it goes on from there.  The kid dies one of the most wonderful deaths ever in the Stephen King universe!  (Read on at your own risk)

After an argument, wolves come out to defend the Trashcan Man.  Apparently the wolves are servants of the Dark Man.  King writes:
The wolves came on, no faster and no slower, at a fast walk. Their eyes ... Trashcan Man found himself unable to look away from their eyes. They were not the eyes of ordinary wolves; of that he was quite convinced. They were the eyes of their Master, he thought. Their Master and his Master.
Trashcan Man, on the other hand, holds out a burned hand to the wolves, and a wolf licks it. They (the wolves) escort Trashy away from the crazy Kid, while trapping the kid in a car (an Austin).  This remind you of Cujo?  It should!  "The wolves seemed to grin up at The Kid, their tongues lolling out of their mouths. They seemed to be asking him just how long it would be before he kicked the dark man out of ole Lost Wages on his ass. Just how long?"

Exactly what happens to The Kid isn't revealed until quite a bit later in the book.  Stu, Larry, Ralph and Glenn come upon The Kid's corpse.  They call him the wolf man.  Though they will be unable to put together the mystery of exactly what happened, King fills the reader in -- for which he deserves a big THANK YOU!  It is so tempting for writers to leave bits of the story in a haze -- sometimes it's nice to have some answers!

(I'm not telling you anything here that's not already all over the web!)

King writes, "Finally driven by hunger and thirst, he had opened the passenger door. One of the wolves had jumped him and torn his throat out. But the Wolfman had throttled it to death even as he himself died."

Though no longer escorting him, the wolves give the easily spooked Trashy a huge dose of confidence.  If the Darkman can protect him with wolves, then he can protect him i the darkness of  the Eisenhower tunnel as he navigates through the darkness.

The tale of The Kid is a story of sweet revenge.  Even with the first conclusion to the story, that he is simply left to die in the car -- the reader has a sense of "OH YEAH" justice.  Then when  The Kid is found dead, and King reveals the wolves ate him alive -- and the reader remembers the evils The Kid brought on Trashcan Man in that hotel room, the reader is shouting all the more, "YES!"

It's the same sensation as reading Dolores Claiborne.  You know, that moment when she gets her  man running at full speed and then down the well the abuser goes!  In a Stephen King story, it's really not good to be a sexual abuser.  You might go down a well, or get eaten up by wolves.

Kevin Quigley writes at his website charnelhouse.com,
"It is here that the expansion of The Stand is most important. The Trashcan Man, little more than a puzzling cipher in the earlier edition of the novel, gets some much-needed character work. During his trip through the desert to find Randall Flagg, Trash meets a dangerous psychopath named The Kid, who emotionally and sexually abuses him during their strange time together. The Kid is a representation/culmination of the never-ending cycle of abuse and torture at the hands of others; Flagg represents inclusion, camaraderie. Trash's terror of and subsequent escape from The Kid works well to flesh out this relatively weak character, and to strengthen the resolve of his mantra, My life for you."

Audible Review Of Joe Hill's NOS4A2

The DNA Of A Stephen King Book


Check out digitalbookworld.com's BookDNA.  Aaron Stanton writes this intro to the projet:
Over the last two months, my company (BookLamp) has had the honor of working with the publisher Coliloquy on a project with Stephen King and the other authors of The Rock Bottom Remainders. We’ve been analyzing their writing, and asking the question, “What does Stephen King’s writing look like compared to theirs?” 
I don’t mean that metaphorically — I mean, if you visualize the various themes in his books, what would that look like? 
Whenever the Book Genome Project analyzes a title, the computer creates a graphic that we refer to as its Thematic Currents. This includes a number of King’s well known books, most of which I grew up reading late into the night (likely later than my parents would have approved of at 13 years old).

So, in honor of good ol’ times from my childhood, I thought it might be interesting to share some of the thematic flows of a few of King’s titles. Let’s take a look… though, fair warning: These graphs do contain some spoilers.
The ful article is at: digitalbookworld.com

Under the Dome by Stephen King Summer Readalong

UndertheDome

Are you hyped about Under the Dome yet?  I am -- so long as I'm not the one under the dome!

Angie and Angela's Anxious Life is having a Under The Dome Readalong.  This looks like a lot of fun!  She writes:

As some of you may know I love Stephen King. I run the goodreads Stephen King Fans group and shockingly I haven't read Under the Dome yet. The size of this book makes my eyes fall out of my head. But I am going to do it... I mean I did read the Stand!! One of the main reasons I need to get this book read is because in June the show is going to start on CBS and I must read this before it starts. I always like to read the book BEFORE a movie/show.
The guidelines are listed at her blog, and this:
So if you have been meaning to read this like myself this is a great way to motivate yourself. Be sure to stop by Coffee and a Book Chicks' blog and sign up!

angelasanxiouslife.blogspot.com

    JOYLAND print only

    Stephen King pioneered e-publishing with Riding the Bullet.  However, he seems to now  want to support "brick and mortar" book stores, encouraging people to get out and actually buy the book.

    According to NY Daily News:
    King told the Wall Street Journal that he hopes to inspire fans to buy the print edition in bookstores and said he does not know when he will make the book available digitally. 
    “I have no plans for a digital version,” King said. “Maybe at some point, but in the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one.”
    Does this concern me?  Nope.  But it does seem unusual.  One author who wanted us to get excited about ebooks now seems concerned about stores.

    I really like a hard copy of a book.  I like the way books smell, I like to feel the book in my hand.  I'm surrounded  by books -- both at work and home.  For work, I still like opening a Bible commentary and using my highlighters as I find important passages to remember.

    And, I still love book stores -- but I don't usually buy anything when I go in.  See, what I do is walk around, smell the coffee, look at books and mentally note what books to go home and buy on Amazon.  Do I feel guilty?  NO!

    So what's strange about King's move?  That he -- who is so big on literacy -- would block out an entire vehicle because it's so popular.  It seems that Kindle and other e-readers are younger, which is exactly the age group King is hoping to get excited about books.  Moves like this could count him out among the younger audience I suspect he hopes to reach.

    A Tribute to Tributes To THE SHINING

    PARADE: Interview With Stephen King


    Parade has announced that its Sunday edition will include an interview with Stephen King.
    “I’ve been typed as a horror writer, but I never saw myself that way,” King tells PARADE’s Ken Tucker. “I’ve reached a point in my life where I can write pretty much what comes into my mind and not worry about grocery day at Publix.” 
    In particular, I found his comments on Under The Dome TV series interesting.  King said, " It looks good. It’s not exactly like the book. It’s like a pogo stick: It hits big set pieces in the book, then bounces in its own direction. So that’s fine. You know what’ll happen is the purists who loved the book will probably scream, ‘Well, this is different and that isn’t there…’ But I think most people are going to like it. I hope they will.”

    Check out: www.parade.com



    ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS: THE STAND

    The introduction to this set of reviews is at talkstephenking.blogspot.com




    Van Hise Review Of: THE STAND
    From ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS

    The article on The Stand takes time to focus on a character that might be dumbed down: Harold.  Van Hise writes, “Harold is one of the most interesting characters in the book.”  I totally agree!  I find myself amazed at the depth of insight King brings to Harold. He also credits Nick Andros and Tom Cullen with stealing the show, saying, “and they’re what makes reading the book a truly memorable experience because they have all of the best scenes.”

    About Flagg, Van Hise suggests that for all the build up, he’s not really that scary.
    “When he does emerge as a full time character near the end of the book, his awesomeness is greatly diminished and he seems no more dangerous than your average, run-of-the-mill gangster.  Although genuinely portrayed as being an agent of Satan, his strength seems to fade under close scrutiny and his characterization becomes superficial and mild and not at all as frightening as we had been led to expect from earlier appearances in the book, and this is really disappointing.”
    I don’t know about that.  I remember reading The Stand for the first time, and finding Flagg very frightening.  I didn’t know what he might do. Only after reading the book do I look back and go, “humm, he was kind of a flunkie!”

    OKAY VAN HISE. . . WHAT COULD BE WRONG WITH THE STAND?  HUH?  Oh, he has a few things to note. . . I cut them down to neat bullet points:

    • Too long.  (He was reading the abridged version!)
    • End of the world saga’s are “trite.”
    • King's work in The Stand does not "equal himself."  ie, it's not as good as The Shining.

    I do agree with this; Van Hise writes,
    “The concept of a battle fo good versus evil (with all the good people in Boulder and all the bad people in Vegas) is an interesting new wrinkle, but it is never brought off.  We are constantly led to expect the penultimate conflict, and instead it’s all terribly low key, and on a subdued personal level, and with a little irony thrown in.  We are expecting a climax at least as powerful as what King served up in The Shining, and instead we get one which is as weak and diluted as the movie version of The Shining, which ended before the the climax could ever begin.”
    The ending is unexpected!  King defiantly seems to be moving the story toward a war of some kind, and instead simply lets evil self destruct.  I’ve often wondered why Larry and the others needed to go take their “Stand” and be sacrificed, if evil was just going to collapse on itself.  I guess to prove God’s righteousness in destroying them.  There is actually a whole theology behind that thought!  Anyway, I too would have liked to have seen a war between Boulder and Vegas.

    This is funny: Van Hise writes,
    “In an interview a while back, King mentioned that before The Stand was published, his editor at Doubleday made him take out 300 pages from the story.  If the book is unwieldy at 800 pages, I can’t even imagine what it would have been like had it hit a thousand pages. As it is, when  I finished it, I felt that I had completed an ordeal, lie running an obstacle course which had occasional pleasant diversions.  This is not to say that I'm sorry that I read it, because there are some extremely memorable scenes in this book, it's just that I wish there had been more, and that one of them had been the ending."

    ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS: THE SHINING

    VAN HISE REVIEW OF: THE SHINING

    (The Shining Journal, #3)



    Mr. Van Hise likes The Shining, but complains that it has "too much characterization." While Salem’s Lot was a big novel with lots of characters, The Shining is a big novel with just a few characters.

    In van Hise’s words:
    "The complaint I’m making is that when writer has a finely conceived story, there is no reason to detour from it into subplots and extraneous discourses which have nothing to do with that plot. Characterization is fine, but let’s not overdo it, and this book certainly does overdo it, mostly with Jack Torrance. The book is about the Overlook Hotel and what it does to these people one winter. When the story stays here it’s great. What happened to Jack Torrance when he lsot his job is just a big rap which he wasn’t able to roll with. Drumming that fact into our heads time after time isn’t necessary. Certainly it was important to describe Jack Torrance ine nough back ground detail so that we can understand why his mental collapse is believable, but too much of this reached the point hwere it came across to me as just padding. I’m well aware that this is a terrible thing to say about a writer, and I’m not saying that this is what King did, but rather that this is the effect it achieved. Fortunately, the book’s strong points far overshadow its weak ones."
    The reason Jack’s firing was so important to the book is that it was one of the catalyst for his drinking. Or return to drinking. I find all the background information does slow the story – but I can press on because I actually enjoy all these asides. If this was my first time reading The Shining, I think I too would be annoyed! "Where’s this going?" I would ask. But I already know where this is going, so I can take time to enjoy the greater depth King gives these characters.

    Now, for an early commentary on the Kubrick film! Remember, please, Van Hise hasn’t had years of King and others griping about the film. It was met with generally good reviews, so it takes some perception. 
    "The film is also an abortion from the standpoint of the fact that the movie ends before it even reaches the point in the book where the climax really gets rolling. Yes, the movie cuts out the climax of the book, which is the very facet of the story which insured its popularity, because unlike the film, the book is not anti-climactic. The book builds to such a wild, ever pritch that it remains a classic of the genre no matter how many other horror stories you’ve ever rad. Whereas Salem’s Lot is a better book on the whole, The Shining contains his finest climax from every standpoint, and especially for sheer power and imagination.   
    Whatever else may be disappointing in the book, the climax is not! It delivers a one-two punch which carries the reader straight through to the conclusion with pile-driver intensity and in an extremely satisfying manner. This book cried out fo a powerful screen translation, rather than the commonplace treatment it received at the hands of Stanley Kubrick. Because of this, there are a lot of people out there who don’t understand why The Shining was a bestseller, or why it was even made into a film at all, and that’s criminal. Kubric has made King seem like an ordinary writer, and all because Kubric took excellent material and made an ordinary film. If there is anything The Shining is not, it’s ordinary."
    I can hear the "experts" on Room 237 shouting, screaming, crying at this! "The Shining" a "ordinary" film? I love the way van Hise gives such credit to the book.

    The introduction to this set of reviews is at talkstephenking.blogspot.com

    King makes visit to Exeter High School

    EHS Principal Sean Kiley and Stephen King
    share a lighthearted moment following King’s visit to Kristina Peterson’s class on Friday.
    PHOTO CREDIT: www.seacoastonline.com 

    Sea Coast Online reports that last Friday Stephen King mad a special  visit to Exeter High School.  He was expected to skype with Kristina Peterson's class, which has focused the last semester on King's novel "The Stand."  Of course, students wanted to talk with the artist who destroyed the world with a super plague and then brought down the battle between good evil.

    Now hold on!  They spent a semester studying The Stand?  Seriously -- I went to the wrong High School!  How cool is this!  I'm going crazy here with how awesome that is.

    Principal Sean Kiley said that ten minutes earlier than originally scheduled, King rolled right onto the High School  grounds and spent three hours on campus. 



    Kiley said about King, "He is as famous as he is humble, and agreed to be here today for nothing more than a roast beef sandwich and a diet Pepsi. Today at Exeter High School was a special one. King inspired faculty, staff, and students alike."

    The first hour was given to a private hour long session with students in Peterson's classroom answering questions about The Stand.  I like King's summery of the book, he told students, "if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."

    He then gave 90 minutes to answering questions and reading from his upcoming novel "Joyland."  

    The Sea Coast article closes with, "In response to a student question, King summed up what Exeter High School holds to be true, 'if you can read and write, you can own the world.'"

    The full article is at www.seacoastonline.com

    ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS: CARRIE and SALEMS' LOT





    CARRIE:

    What Van Hise does like is Carrie.  “Carrie seems like it has been part of the literature of terror forever,” he writes.  “And yet it is barely half a decade old.” Now, with two musicals, plays, three  movies and multiple reissues of the book, it seems more than ever that Carrie has always been with us!

    Van Hise also notes,
    “The texture of this novel is quite unique int hat even when it was first published, before any film was made, the reader knew that something monstrous was going to happen because the text is sprinkled with asides which were ostensibly excerpts from artilces and papers written on the tragedy of Carrie White and the horrors she wrought. Thus while we are meeting the characters and encountering their backgrounds, we also experience tension and suspense wondering what it’s all leading up to.”
    He also gives high marks to the movie Carrie. “Carrie remains the best cinematic adaptation of King which has been made thus far, Salem’s Lot and The Shining both having some nic scenes but mortal flaws at their core.”

    SALEMS' LOT




    Van Hise declares Salem’s Lot his favorite novel – as well as King’s.  Of course, King seems to love most whatever he’s working on at the time.  “The book is a totally satisfying reading experience which will bear rereading with just as much pleasure as the first time through.”

    He spends a lot of time complaining about the movie.  Several paragraphs, reminding readers that what they saw on TV does not really represent the book. Of course, I liked the movie a lot – but I’ve had many more years to be disappointed by Stephen King movies, so I’m a little numb and my standards are low!

    The introduction to this set of reviews is at talkstephenking.blogspot.com

    ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS PRESENTS STEPHEN KING




    10,000 Magazines, #9995
    Enterprise Incidents Presents Stephen King, 1984

    With a new Star Trek movie out, it seems fitting to look back at Star Trek and Stephen King.  Well, there isn’t much to go on there!  King makes the occasional Star Trek reference, but it’s not like his love for Batman.  Years ago I did come upon a small treasure called Enterprise Incidents.

    Enterprise Incidents was a Star Trek fanzine.  This was a special issue dedicated to Stephen King.  The effort expended for this project seems tremendous.  There is special artwork, reviews and articles.  The artwork is exceptional!


    This is one of the earliest tributes to King I can think of.  Here’s what’s funny. . . reviewer James Van Hise doesn’t give positive reviews to a lot of King’s work – yet he seems to love Stephen King books.  Here’s what’s really fun –Van Hise isn’t afraid to have an opinion!  Oh, he has LOTS and LOTS!  But he shares them without apology.  He doesn’t spend a lot of time working around what he thinks, or building up to it – he just says it. That’s really refreshing!

    Because this magazine is totally dedicated to Stephen King, not just one article – I’m going to give it some space.  I think the project was big enough, it deserves a little room on this blog.  So, in the days to come I’m going to post my reviews of Van Hise’s reviews.  Sound a little confusing?  Like having a commentary track over the commentary track!

    I highly recommend the magazine!  You can buy it at www.amazon.com

    THE SHINING: I remember that world

    the LA freeway in 1977
    Stephen King books are written for the NOW -- meaning, whatever the now is when they are written.  The present is always before you in a Stephen King book.  That means that if you read a new King novel, it will be full of fresh, delightful cultural references.  If you read an oldie, it will be full of bits of history you might have forgotten.

    I find myself identifying deeply with The Shining, because I feel like I've been to that world.  In so many ways reading The Shining is like a personal trip down memory lane.  I don't know these people, but I am familiar with their alien environment.

    It's all in the little  things. Jack drives a yellow VW.  My aunt and uncle had a yellow VW, and my family had a blue one.  The year, late 1970's -- same time frame the Shining was written in.  So, the scene where Jack pulls up in his VW is especially powerful to me, since I remember playing in my families driveway, and looking up to see my father coming in his VW Bug.  My mother hurried me to get out of the way -- I think I was playing with toy cars.

    A big deal is made in the book of Jack having a phone installed -- and again, I feel like I vaguely remember that world..  A world that used microphones to record things;a world where boilers  still had to be checked 3 times a day.  A world where someone can't just cell phone or text to announce the outcome of a job interview. A world where Richard Nixon was long gone -- but his memory still stung.

    Who can really say they remember the 70's with  any kind of fondness?  Well, I can.  I don't remember it well, mostly just feelings -- but mostly all good.  In 1977 the Apple II went on sale, the average income was $15,000 and the average home cost under $50,000.  Get this, the average monthly rent  was $240.  In theaters Star Wars was released.   Meaning that in 1976, people didn't know what Star Wars was!

    Also released was a movie named Roller coaster  Not great on plot, but it was  filmed at Magic Mountain (partly) and I like it because I can spot old rides.  Notice in the movie The American Revolution, the first roller coaster to make a full loops, does not have shoulder straps.  Magic Mountain was also Wally World  in National Lampoons Vacation.  And, again, notice that back then Revolution required no shoulder straps!  They only added the harness because people thought they would fall out, even though that's impossible.

    By the way, goodreads lists The Shining as #1 on their list of "Most Popular Books Published In 1977." (www.goodreads.com)

    Do you remember this world. . .



    A Note About Jack:

    King objected to the portrayal Jack Nicholson gave Jack Torrance. Reading the novel again, I can really see what was missed.  Kubrick's Jack is crazy; King's Jack is broken.  The difference is that crazy Jack is always seething just under the surface.  He is not tender toward his wife or son, just completely self  absorbed.

    The Jack of the novel is more complex.  He deeply loves his wife and son and sacrifices for them.  He plays with Danny, changes diapers when Danny was a baby and fights to keep his marriage together.

    When Kubrick's Jack goes nuts and kills everyone, there  is absolutely no surprise.  It's crazy to watch it unfold, but you could tell he was nutso from the get-go.  King's Jack  displays moments of rage, but in the early novel King is careful not to show us that Jack in action -- instead we see the Jack who has to live with the consequences of his bad  behavior.  It's like seeing the aftermath of a nuke and having to imagine what exactly the force was that  brought on the devastation   Only later  will King show us the nuke in action.

    The Shining, Journal #2

    King And Courtland Mead 1997

    King with Courtland Mead, during the 1997 TV Miniseries THE SHINING

    CELL is back



    . . . don't answer that cellphone!

    The movie adaptation of Cell is back!  David Konow at TG Daily tells us:
    You may remember some time back that Cell was going to be directed by Eli Roth from a script by Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander (Ed Wood, 1408). Then after the hostile reception of Hostel II, Roth claimed he was moving away from horror films, and this version of Cell fell apart. 
     Now Cell is back up and running, and while King adaptations have never fallen out of favor, perhaps he’s back in the zeitgeist right now because of Under the Dome, which will debut next month on CBS. As Giant Freakin Robot reminds us, we’ve also got the reboot of Carrie, Mercy, and A Good Marriage coming up as well.
    Konow gave us this from a previous interview with Alexander
    “It probably falls into The Stand-type of story.  -- Like a magnet, it ends up grabbing a lot of characters, a lot of people and a lot of ground. It kinda gets bigger and bigger as it goes along. That was tough in terms of trying to chop it down to movie length.”
    The full  article is at tgdaily.com

    Can King Give Us Good TV ?



    Eric Deggans at tampabay.com had this to say about the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's Under The Dome:
    Whenever it comes to television, I've grown used to Stephen King breaking my heart.
    Time and again, he's brought adaptations of interesting and compelling novels to TV, only to wind up with stuff that is too uninspired (Steven Weber trying to outdo Nicholson in a remake of The Shining?) too boring (Pierce Brosnan moping through a limp redintion of Bag of Bones) or too dumb (The Langoliers. 'Nuff said.) 
    Still, I have high hopes for the latest attempt to turn King's quality pages into quality television, CBS' Under the Dome.
    Deggans offers the following things to bolster his high hopes for Under The Dome:
    1. Dean Norris.
    2. It's a Summer mini-series like The Stand.
    . . . and that's about it!

    I would offer this: I think Under The Dome was written to translate to screen.  It's a visual story.  It is also character driven, and sometimes television does nicely with good characters and big pictures -- when given a descent budget and good actors.  I think Under The Dome promises both.

    A think a successful Under The Dome will add interest in making The Dark Tower as a movie and TV series.

    That said, what are your favorite Stephen King television adaptations?  (And your least favorite!)

    Favorites:
    1. The Stand.
    2. IT.
    3. The Tommyknockers
    4. The Shining  (I liked it)

    Least Favorites:
    1. The Langoliers.  It would have done better on the big screen, with more budget and less screen time.
    2. Sleepwalkers.  You all will tell me it was not made for TV, it was a real movie.  But it should have gone straight to cable.

    Burnette's Review Of: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS


    Bryant Burnette is good at a lot of stuff -- probably most of which I have no clue about!  Does he slam home runs on his off time?  I dunno, maybe.  A champion domino player?  Could be.  Maybe he repairs vintage cars. . . but I doubt it.  I do know this -- one thing he's really good at is writing reviews. 

    Bryant kindly let me post his review of the new Star Trek movie, Into Darkness.  I just finished watching the first one (first of the reboot) -- again.  I think it's great stuff, and like Bryant, can't wait for J.J. Abrams to take on Star Wars episode 7.  That said, I do wish he had gotten his hands all over the Dark Tower!

    Lengthy reviews take time, effort and research.  I appreciate Bryant letting me post this here and piggyback off his hard work.  Thanks man!

    Okay, have fun reading -- I did.

    A Review of "Star Trek Into Darkness"

    by Bryant Burnette, 


    This is a difficult review to write, not because I have nothing to say, but because I have so much to say that I feel as if containing and structuring my thoughts is going to be difficult. As a result, I'm going to write at least two different reviews, and possibly more, each focusing on a different aspect of the movie. This, the first, is going to be a simple thumbs-up-or-thumbs-down type review, completely free of spoilers; it is designed with people who have not seen the movie in mind.

    The second will be chock full of spoilers; it will be a broader and all-encompassing contemplation of the question of whether the movie does or does not work; answering that question fully really can't be done without discussing certain aspects of the plot that the filmmakers obviously do not want viewers to know beforehand. That review will be for people who have already seen the movie, or for people who don't mind knowing all of the plot points prior to actually seeing it.

    I might or might not vomit up a third review that examines the movie's place in relation to the 48 or so years of Star Trek that have come before it. If the first review is for those who haven't seen the movie and the second is for those who have, then that hypothetical third one will be for Trekkies. But let's not get ahead of ourselves; those later reviews aren't even written yet, and technically, neither is this one; so let me stop the preamble and start the review!



    To answer the most immediate question with no further delay: yes, the movie is good. In fact, I think I'd go so far as to say it is great; I would say it with reservations, but I'd still say it. This is a wildly entertaining sci-fi/adventure flick that deftly balances excellent character work with strong action set pieces. This is grand, high-concept blockbuster-style film-making  and if you like that sort of thing, this movie delivers.

    The basic plot setup is this: after a planetary-survey mission to Nabiru goes spectacularly awry, Captain Kirk's ability to effectively lead the Enterprise is called into question by some of Starfleet's upper brass, including his mentor, Admiral Pike. Meanwhile, in London, a terrorist bombing at a Starfleet library (or, as Starfleet calls it, a "data archive") claims numerous lives and prompts Kirk and Spock and the rest of the gang to take the Enterprise on a manhunt: they have been tasked by Starfleet with finding the terrorist, a man known only as John Harrison.
    The subtext of Star Trek Into Darkness includes a somber reflection on themes related to how nations and their citizens should react and respond to terrorism. It's a timely topic (one shared by Iron Man 3) that comes in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, but can -- and probably should -- be considered in a broader post-9/11 context. You are officially forgiven if, having read those last two sentences, you assume Star Trek Into Darkness is a big fat downer of a movie. It's a lot of things, but a downer ain't one of 'em. Instead, the writers have done a wonderful job of taking all that subtext and wrapping it into an action/adventure movie that has a ton of well-earned laughs and never once feels oppressive. I am reminded of the best way to get a dog to eat his medicine: fold it into a piece of cheese and make him think it's delicious.

    The acting is top-notch all the way around. Most viewers will probably come away most impressed by Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the terrorist Harrison. I'm not one of them. Don't misunderstand me; Cumberbatch is awesome. But I think Chris Pine as Captain Kirk steals the show. Pine is a movie star. This was evident in the first film, and it's even more evident here; all it's going to take is one great non-Trek starring role for this guy to become the next Harrison Ford, or the next Tom Cruise, or the next Will Smith. Yes, he's that good great.


    And, God forgive me for saying it, but...he's better than William Shatner ever even thought about being. Again, don't misunderstand me; I love me some Shatner, who even at his worst is an interesting and compelling presence. And I think he gave a few genuinely great performances as Kirk (in "The City on the Edge of Forever," for one example, and in The Motion Picture and The Wrath of Khan for two others). Here, Pine takes it to another level. He's brash, he's confident, he's cocky, he's unconfident, he's conflicted, he's angry, he's sad, he's resigned, he's annoyed, he's defeated, he's triumphant, he's a leader, he's a follower, he's a man, and he's a child. Pick whichever of the two of those you feel are the most contradictory, and sometimes, he's both of them in the same scene, at the same time. At the end of this year, he will almost certainly deserve an Oscar nomination; he will not receive one, and that's a shame, because great work deserves to be lauded.


    Also doing great work: Zachary Quinto as Spock. I don't think he's as good as Pine, but he's pretty doggone good. Leonard Nimoy, who originated the role of Spock, will always be my preferred Vulcan, and comparatively, Quinto suffers. Luckily, the Spock we get in these two movies is a rather different sort of character than Nimoy's Spock, and while Quinto is not capable of playing Nimoy's particular brand of gravitas, he is not being asked to do so. Nimoy's Spock is somebody who we suspected of having emotions somewhere beneath that placid exterior; Quinto's Spock is somebody who we know has emotions. Sometimes, they're not even beneath the placid exterior so much as they are erupting from and disrupting it. Quinto is pretty great at playing the conflict he feels between giving vent to his emotions and repressing them, and while I am a little dubious about this new series' ability to transition Spock into a more traditionally Vulcan character in further films, I am really quite fond of what Quinto is doing here. And heck, for all I know, the writers will simply continue to move their version of Spock farther away from what Nimoy's Spock; sort of a case of "if you can't beat 'em, turn a corner and go in a different direction from 'em." That will anger many a Trekkie; I won't be one of them, probably.


    Cumberbatch's villain is automatically worthy of being discussed as one of the all-time great Trek villains, right up there with Ricardo Montalban as Khan ("Space Seed" and The Wrath of Khan), John DeLancie as Q (various Next Generation episodes), Alice Krige as the Borg Queen (First Contact), and Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat (numerous Deep Space Nine episodes).
    DeLancie always seemed to be having too much fun to really hurt anybody, and Krige seemed like she was mainly interested in having kinky sex; they're great baddies, but not necessarily intimidating.

    Montalban and Alaimo, though, seemed as if they would just as soon murder you and your entire family as they would eat a sandwich, and Cumberbatch is definitely working from the same mold. He's awesome here, and gets to play a surprising range of emotions. Harrison, as written, is even a mildly sympathetic figure; there are a couple of points in the movie where I found myself getting close to sympathizing with his viewpoints. Then I remembered that he'd blown up a bunch of people; I decided he was playing me for a fool, and that I wouldn't have it. But the fact that I even considered it speaks well of Cumberbatch's screen presence.


    I'd also like to single out Bruce Greenwood for praise. He plays Admiral Pike, and he's just terrific. He isn't in the movie nearly enough (which was true of the first movie as well), and I wish there was a way to have a spinoff in which Pike had the lead role. That'll probably never happen, but Hollywood can make it up to me by casting Greenwood as Roland in the Dark Tower movies Ron Howard wants to make. He'd knock that role out of the park. He knocks most of his roles out of the park, and Pike is no exception.

    As for the rest of the cast...? I have little but praise:
    • Zoe Saldana is tasked with fretting over Spock quite a lot. There's also a decent of amount of general-purpose fretting. All we really know about Uhura as a character is that she really hates it when Spock doesn't show much evidence of his feelings. Saldana does this with an appropriate mixture of anger (not annoyance, but actual anger) and petulance that will not win over any of the Trekkies who hated the Spock/Uhura romance in the first film. Everyone else will continue to think she's pretty great, and hope that the writers continue to improve at writing for her.
    • Simon Pegg gets way more to do as Scotty here than he had in the first film. He is still basically just comic relief (and yes, he continues to be trailed by his peculiar oyster-faced sidekick), but Pegg is very good at comic relief, so that's fine by me. He's also surprisingly good with the few serious moments he gets; these are each crucial, and he nails every single one of them.
    • Karl Urban isn't given a lot to do as Dr. McCoy, but what's there is superb; I deeply hope that the third movie will give him the character development that has so far been reserved for Kirk and Spock.
    • John Cho has very little to do as Sulu, but he does get one great scene. You could say much the same about Anton Yelchin as Chekov, except that he doesn't get one great scene; he gets a collection of small good ones. Cho and Yelchin are both good in their roles, and while I deeply suspect that neither will ever be major players in these movies, there is evidence aplenty that they'd be game if given the opportunity.
    • Peter Weller -- ole Robocop himself -- has a small-ish role as a Starfleet Admiral who is an associate of Pike's. He's deeply convinced that Kirk can't hack it as a Starfleet captain, and he gets some good moments in the movie. Weller is a real pro, and having somebody like him in a role like this one adds a heck of a lot. One of my beefs with the various Trek television shows (and the original movies) is that on all but a small handful of occasions, when admirals and commodores and other top-level Starfleet personnel showed up, they tended to be played by nobodies. As such, when one of these characters was barking orders at, say, Captain Picard, it felt like exactly what it was: a nobody pretending to have some power over Patrick Stewart. My theory was always that nobody should be cast in those roles unless it felt, emotionally, as if there might conceivably be a spinoff series in which you got to see that character captaining a starship. Following that standard of assessment, can I envision a series in which Peter Weller was a Starfleet captain? You're damn right I can. Therefore, successful casting.
    • Alice Eve plays a science officer who ends up aboard the Enterprise during the hunt for Harrison. She's very pretty, and she looks very good in a Starfleet-blue miniskirt. She isn't called upon to do a huge amount as an actor here, but she's good at what she is asked to do. If you've seen any of the trailers for the movie, you know she can scream quite capably; luckily, there's more to it than that.
    J.J. Abrams on the set of Star Trek Into Darkness
    We've talked about some of the stars, but we haven't yet made much mention of director J.J. Abrams, who might well be the movie's MVP. He famously came to Star Trek as somebody who was not a fan; he'd grown up more of a Star Wars guy, and had never really paid much attention to Trek. He familiarized himself more fully with the shows and movies once hired for the job of directing Star Trek, and in interviews now he claims to have become a fan of the series in the course of that research; but frankly, he never sounds terribly convincing when he says it, and if I had a gun to my head and had to guess, I'd guess that he's fibbing a wee bit. He strikes me as the kind of guy who likes the concept of Star Trek, but maybe isn't all that won over by the execution of that concept in the pre-reboot series and movies. When watching his two Trek movies, with their messy humanity and their wit and their passion, you can practically see Abrams watching an episode of The Next Generation or Enterprise or Voyager or Deep Space Nine and saying, "Okay, fine, but what if we do this with people who yell at each other and break the rules and crack jokes and get drunk and sometimes like to fuck?"

    "What if Star Trek were exciting?" he might theoretically ask. These movies are the answer to that question. Some Trekkies have recoiled from it, and for the life of me, I cannot sympathize with their viewpoints. I love Star Trek, but there is no getting around the fact that the original was very much a product of the sixties. Nothing wrong with that, of course, and it continued to inspire people for decades afterward. Certain aspects of it still do, too. But the show came out during an era in American culture in which people truly believed that not only could things get better, they would get better, and were already getting better. The American dream might be working slowly, but it was working; demonstrably so. And in the future of that dream? The stars.

    Do people still believe that in 2013? I'm sure that some people do, and I'm equally sure that a lot of people will lie and claim to believe it even if they don't. But as a culture, I think we're in an awful dark place right now, and it seems apt to get a whole lot darker before the light starts shining again; and for the record, no, I really don't think we believe it. We want to believe it; but I think we're afraid it might have slipped away somehow. No need to take sides politically to see that, because it's evident no matter which side you're looking at. The mere fact that we actually believe the country splits down the middle ideologically speaks to that notion, I'd say. One of the questions Into Darkness asks is: aren't we better than this? In one key scene, Scotty confronts Kirk and more or less accuses him of warmongering. "I thought we were explorers," he says, angrily and confusedly. I thought so too, Scotty.

    The whole movie seems to ask a simple question: is this really who we are? Are we the kind of people who will let ourselves be swayed toward doing the wrong thing just because somebody else has done something really, really bad to us? That's not what Starfleet is about, Scotty seems to be saying. Starfleet is just an imaginary idea, of course; but in a way, you can say the same thing about America. Some segments of Trek fandom have objected strongly to the Abrams films because, they say, the movies lack the core ideas of moral philosophy that the original had. I simply don't find that to be the case; the Abrams movies, instead, are canny enough to realize that the America of this millennium so far does not itself possess that core idea of moral philosophy. We are, in a sense, lost.

    So rather than pretend we aren't and have the subtext of his films feel weirdly anachronistic, Abrams has opted for a different approach: he's pointed toward the right direction and said, "Hey, guys...? Shouldn't we be going that way?" These new versions of familiar characters are headed in that direction right along with us; they haven't quite gotten there yet, but we sense that they will, and through them we sense that we can get there, too. As such, this reboot-universe Star Trek feels every bit as of-its-era as the original series did of its own era. To me, that seems appropriate, and it reinforces the core philosophies of Trek; it doesn't refute them or bury them, or ignore them, it's merely realistic about them.

    Apart from that, on a purely technical level, Abrams is getting better with every movie. He's got a genuine gift for directing actors. That fact makes me even more anxious than I already was to see his next movie: Star Wars Episode VII. There's only been one Star Wars movie directed by somebody who had a flair for directing actors: the director was Irvin Kershner, and the movie was the best of the bunch, The Empire Strikes Back. I'm guessing Abrams combined with Star Wars is going to equal gold. That said, I also feel bummed out that we probably won't see another Abrams-led Star Trek movie. I certainly hope Paramount gets somebody with similar talents.

    Visually, Into Darkness is a marvel. The cinematography is great; the use of color is absolutely stunning, especially in the opening sequence. (This is my cue to implore you to see this at an IMAX screen if possible.) The visual effects are as good as CGI is currently capable of (which is pretty damn good); the costumes, which (I am delighted to note) continue to be way more inspired by The Motion Picture than one might expect, are excellent; the set design is impeccable.

    Speaking of set design, some Trekkies have hated the new Enterprise. Not me; I even kinda dig the largely-reviled engineering set, which looks suspiciously like a brewery. But leaving engineering aside, the ship interiors are just gorgeous; this is easily my favorite Starfleet vessel of all.

    It's also worth pointing out that Michael Giacchino, who provides the musical score, does terrific work. He leans heavily on his main theme from the previous movie, but when your main theme is that good, why wouldn't you?

    To sum up: I think this is a fine piece of entertainment. You need not be a Trekkie to enjoy it; in fact, it might help a wee bit if you aren't (although a familiarity with the previous film is recommended). This time of the year seems to be designed for big, thrilling movies that make us laugh, gasp, clap, and cheer. This one has all of that, and it also has a beating heart of real emotion at its center. And yes, there's some serious subtext in there, too, but don't worry:

    Like the dog swallowing its cheese-wrapped pill, you'll think it's delicious.

    Quigley Reviews JOYLAND



    Okay, I'm really excited about Joyland!  Really excited.  See, here's  the deal -- I've been so focused on Doctor Sleep, all my "Stephen King emotional energy reserves"  have been given to anticipating its release.  Joyland is there. . . but I've been unsure exactly what to make of it.  What is it?  A mystery novel?  A horror novel?  Is it the Colorado Kid?  I was recently assured that it is not Colorado Kid!  But. . . what IS Joyland?

    Kevin Quigley has released the first review I've seen of Joyland at www.fearnet.com. Quigley compares the novel to such early works as The Dead Zone, The Shining and Salem's Lot.  Now that's red meat for any Stephen King fan.

    Quigley writes, "It’s good to have a book like this now – simple, sweet, and not a little scary – to remind us that among the prequels and sequels, the epics and the TV miniseries, Stephen King can still spin one hell of a little yarn."

    Here's what's nice -- Quigley knows his Stephen King.  This isn't someone inside the business telling us this is a strong novel, it's the author of numerous books about King and the keeper of the King website, CharnelHouseSK.com.

    Go read the full review, it's great.  www.fearnet.com
    check out my interview iwth Kevin Quigley at; talkstephenking.blogspot.com

    Hill Highlights NOS4A2


    Do you want to go to Christmasland?

    Do You Plan To Read THE SHINING Before Doctor Sleep's Release ?


    Doctor Sleep is a stand alone book.  It is not a sequel to The Shining.  However, it contains characters from The Shining -- namely Danny Torrance.  Should readers reread The Shining before Doctor Sleep?   Stephen King has made it clear that he knows some people will, but that it is not necessary for understanding the new novel.

    Huck Finn followed Tom Sawyer,  had the same characters, but you don't have to read Tom Sawyer to understand Huck Finn.  However, why wouldn't you want to read Tom Sawyer?  And likewise, why wouldn't you want to read The Shining?

    I started rereading The Shining the other night.  I'm listening to it as I run, which makes  the running no less painful, but at least gives me some motivation to get out and moving.  I run late at night, so that makes reading Stephen King all the better!

    Why reread The Shining?
    Because the movies have tainted my memory.  Did Jack freeze to death?  No. . . that was the Kubrick version.  Did the Overlook remain,  or do I remember is blowing up?  I think it blew up.  I think that boiler went from the basement to through the attic. . . but I'm not sure!

    I've seen Kubrick's version of The Shining many many more  times than I've read the book.  Add to that the fact that I've also watched the ABC mini-series.  It seems appropriate to return to the original text and refresh myself.

    Because the story is pretty simple, we can assume we know it well.  But there are many things I've already encountered that I'd forgotten.  The reason Jack was sent packing from his teaching job, for instance.

    Some Quick Notes:
    A few things stand out to me right away as I start back through this book.
    1. Ullman is absolutely right to be uneasy about hiring Jack.  The reader experiences the scene through Jack's eyes, so on first read Ullman comes off as a jerk.  Or, in Jack's eyes, he's a officious little prick.  But this is not my first journey through The Shining, so I know that though Ullman may seem like a jerk, he's actually spot on about more than a few things.

    Ullman raises several valid concerns about Jack's employment.  He's worried that the family will be so isolated that they cannot get help if they need it.  And how true that is!  Danny will have to use his Shining to call for help when trouble comes.  He points out that the previous caretaker had two little girls, and the Hotel turned out to be a less than welcoming place for a family.  He wishes the owner would hire a single man to do the work.

    Ullman is also concerned that Jack's creative mind will go stir crazy in a big empty hotel.  He might start imagining things.  Could this be his way of warning Jack that all is not as it appears?

    The biggest concern  on Ullman's mind is Jack's drinking.

    2. King gives us quite a bit of the hotel's history.  I know, and have read, the extended prologue King originally wrote for the novel.  It's great!  However, King does a nice job in chapter 1 of telling the reader that the hotel has a very dark history.

    3. Chapters 2 and 3  introduce us to Jack's drinking and his temper through two different sources.   First Danny and Wendy are given a scene in which Danny recalls abuse at the hands of his father when he messed up the play his dad was writing.  Second, Jack is being given a tour of the hotel boiler room when he has a flashback of hurting Danny.  All this is nice foreshadowing.  The reader wonders: Will he do it again?

    4. Chapter 3 also introduces us to a major character -- the boiler.

    First Edition:

    The oldest "first" edition Stephen King book I have is The Shining.  I bought it about a year ago, anticipating Doctor Sleep.  I knew they would print The Shining and Doctor Sleep together at some point, but it seemed like a good idea to have an actual first edition of both books.

    The cover of the book itself tells you right away that the family dynamic is quite different from that of the movie.

    The Dark Man: An Illustrated Poem


    Cemetery Dance has announced the release of "The Dark Man: An Illustrated Poem"
    "Randall Flagg came to me when I wrote a poem called 'The Dark Man' when I was a junior or senior in college. It came to me out of nowhere, this guy in cowboy boots who moved around on the roads, mostly hitchhiking at night, always wore jeans and a denim jacket. I wrote the poem in the college restaurant on the back of a placemat, but that guy never left my mind."

    — Stephen King


    The Cemetery Dance website gives this info:

    About the Book:
    Stephen King first wrote about the Dark Man in college after he envisioned a faceless man in cowboy boots and jeans and a denim jacket forever walking the roads. Later this dark man would come to be known around the world as one of King's greatest villains, Randall Flagg, but at the time King only had simple questions on his mind: where was this man going? What had he seen and done? What terrible things...?

    i have ridden rails...
    More than forty years after Stephen King first wrote his breathtaking poem "The Dark Man," Glenn Chadbourne set out to answer those questions in this World's First Edition hardcover featuring more than 70 full-page illustrations from the talented artist behind The Secretary of Dreams.

    i have slept in glaring swamps...
    This Cemetery Dance Publications hardcover is a true marriage of words and art, with Chadbourne pulling the images from King's imagination and illustrating them in magnificent detail. This incredible blending of King's words with Chadbourne's art creates a unique page turning experience you can return to again and again, always finding new details hidden on every page. You'll discover hidden layers and mysterious secrets for years to come.

    i am a dark man...
    So who is the Dark Man and why is he traveling the country? The answers are terrifying....

    Check it out at www.cemeterydance.com