In his Huffington Post article, "Taking The Stand For Stephen King," Steven Petite makes the argument that Stephen King is more than a popular genre writer -- but a truly "great" writer.
Petite notes that King is often underrated, though he has received numerous awards that should break him out of the horror mold.
Petite steps out to make a bold statement; one book alone is strong enough to be considered a 20th century "classic." And he isn't talking about The Shining. The Stand, Petite argues, is a truly great novel. "In 1991," he writes, "The Stand should have been considered for the Pulitzer and the National Book Award."
The Stand is without a doubt one of the greatest stories ever told. He may be considered the greatest genre writer alive, and his books are likely to be read for hundreds of years, most likely surpassing some of the nominees for both awards in 1991.Is appreciate a voice out there ready to call not only King a great writer, but his work "classic" literature. For too long we've assumed popular equaled trash. The truth is, most great books were popular when released. Naturally, some writers, like Poe, were not really praised until later; but it's not like Charles Dickens was only discovered after he died!
Sometimes a writers own peer group, reading public and critics begin to recognize that something special is going on here. That's what Petite hones in on. He writes,
"My reading habits primarily are of the "literary" nature, but Stephen King's knowledge of literature, his grasp of storytelling, and the art that he creates are worth taking a stand for, because without Stephen King, the book industry would be vastly different today."
Is The Stand that strong? I think Petite has hit the nail on the head; it is indeed. Has King done better than The Stand? That's up for debate, isn't it? IT, The Green Mile, 11/22/63 and The Shining should all rate up there as truly great novels. But the Stand is special to us.
What makes The Stand so much fun? It’s a modern telling of the end of the world. The apocalypse comes right down to us. It’s our New York and our Los Angeles. It all comes to an end thanks to a government created plague the West Coast calls Captain Trips. A long, sprawling novel, The Stand has lots of little cubbyholes–pockets of story that are a world of their own within the larger story. (Stephen King A Face Among The Masters)
More than just being fun, King dives into other authors worlds and plays with their toys. With The Stand, King even dabbled in the world of Poe. -- but I'm saving that for the book.
Check out Steve Petite's book, The Concept Of Home at amazon.com/Conceptofhome
Today is Steve's birthday, which means he has dropped the kindle edition to 99 cents. You can't really beat that.
A coming of age tale starring Porter Wallace: A failed writer who needs to find a purpose for his existence. After giving up on writing, he embarks on a journey to rediscover life, love, and the true meaning of home. He burns bridges along the way, learns from mentors and uncovers secrets as his quest to become a writer again turns out to be secondary to his home.--HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEVEN!