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  1. #1
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    Default Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

    Looking forward to King’s sequel to The Shining (which should not be confused with the Kubrick film). Due out in September, Doctor Sleep follows a middle aged Daniel Torrance and his fight against a group of psyhic vampires called True Knot.

  2. #2
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    I can't wait. Didn't realise it was out as late as september. Oh well. Hopefully it doesn't ruin the first book by being a mediocre sequel to what would be a classical stand-alone one. It better meet up to expectations.

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    That's the problem with King in the latter half of his career. He needs a decent editor for his books and tends to be given too much leeway, as whatever he writes is going to sell regardless. I found the first half of his career to be his best work. Nowadays you just don't know what you're going to get from him -- some of his stuff sucks, some of it is good.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Member trancemode's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Bubble View Post
    I can't wait. Didn't realise it was out as late as september. Oh well. Hopefully it doesn't ruin the first book by being a mediocre sequel to what would be a classical stand-alone one. It better meet up to expectations.
    He expressed worry about this himself in an interview, sort of half-jokingly saying, to paraphrase, that most sequels suck and he hoped this wouldn’t be one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That's the problem with King in the latter half of his career. He needs a decent editor for his books and tends to be given too much leeway, as whatever he writes is going to sell regardless. I found the first half of his career to be his best work. Nowadays you just don't know what you're going to get from him -- some of his stuff sucks, some of it is good.

    Interestingly, he cranked out some of his best work (It, Pet Semetery, Misery and Dark Tower II) and worst (The Tommyknockers, Cujo—though it’s worth noting that even his “crap” is compelling reading) in the 80s during the height of his coke/booze addiction. As you perhaps already know, at the end of that decade his family did an intervention, and he’s been on the wagon ever since.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trancemode View Post
    Interestingly, he cranked out some of his best work (It, Pet Semetery, Misery and Dark Tower II) and worst (The Tommyknockers, Cujo—though it’s worth noting that even his “crap” is compelling reading) in the 80s during the height of his coke/booze addiction. As you perhaps already know, at the end of that decade his family did an intervention, and he’s been on the wagon ever since.
    Actually, I should have known that, but I didn't. Thanks for the info. I guess I should have realized that, based on his rate of output. I mean, the guy was just pumping out books at a phenomenal rate.

    I actually liked The Tommyknockers a lot. I'm not sure why you are listing it here, especially if you are going to put Pet Semetery in his "best work" list (I happen to like that book as well). It's always characters, characters, characters, and the leads in that book IMO were really people that stuck with me. I like the idea of a loser redeeming himself in the end; and his uncovering of the spaceship to me very much models his style and method of writing and one that I share ... which is basically that you are unearthing something that already exists, rather than weaving it wholesale. Unfortunately at this point he seems to have recreated Tommyknockers a few time (I thought "Under the Dome," which I haven't yet finished, is the same kind of concept).

    With Dark Tower, I liked 1-4, hated 5 with a passion, 6 improved, and 7 was decent most of the way. Wizard and Glass is one of my favorite books by him ever; Marvel put out a decent run of some of the stories, at least with the visuals. I do agree that The Drawing of the Three is one of his strongest works.

    About the time he stopped writing Dark Tower after book #4 (and entered a ten-year hiatus with that series), I found his work less interesting and more hit or miss.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Actually, I should have known that, but I didn't. Thanks for the info. I guess I should have realized that, based on his rate of output. I mean, the guy was just pumping out books at a phenomenal rate.

    I actually liked The Tommyknockers a lot. I'm not sure why you are listing it here, especially if you are going to put Pet Semetery in his "best work" list (I happen to like that book as well). It's always characters, characters, characters, and the leads in that book IMO were really people that stuck with me. I like the idea of a loser redeeming himself in the end; and his uncovering of the spaceship to me very much models his style and method of writing and one that I share ... which is basically that you are unearthing something that already exists, rather than weaving it wholesale. Unfortunately at this point he seems to have recreated Tommyknockers a few time (I thought "Under the Dome," which I haven't yet finished, is the same kind of concept).

    With Dark Tower, I liked 1-4, hated 5 with a passion, 6 improved, and 7 was decent most of the way. Wizard and Glass is one of my favorite books by him ever; Marvel put out a decent run of some of the stories, at least with the visuals. I do agree that The Drawing of the Three is one of his strongest works.

    About the time he stopped writing Dark Tower after book #4 (and entered a ten-year hiatus with that series), I found his work less interesting and more hit or miss.

    I’m going by perhaps faulty memory here, but I’m pretty sure King himself said he considers T-Knockers one of his poorest novels, and fan critics seem to have the same consensus. However, that doesn’t prove anything. If it worked well for you and made such a strong impression, maybe it’s a better book than its author thinks. Personally, it wasn’t one of my favorites, although I liked some of the same things about that you do, such as the loser redeeming himself. I read it a long time ago, and as I recall it tanked for me in the second half. But as I said, even my least favorite King books are compelling reading. I’ve never not finished a Stephen King book, and I’ve read probably 90% of his work.

    As for Cujo, King said (in his book On Writing), to paraphrase, that he was so fucked up when he was writing it that he doesn’t even remember writing it.

    Of the DT series, I liked DT2 (Drawing of the Three) the best. It was soooo intense, and had fantastic momentum all the way through. I also liked 7, and the way he ended the series (without really ending it). Why didn’t you like 5 (Wolves of the Calla)? I thought 1 was the weakest, which King himself agrees with. He didn't yet have a good feel for the characters. And the literary pretensions got in the way of the story because King went against his own mantra, which is that story is paramount. I thought his newest installment, Wind Through the Keyhole (King nicknamed it DT 4.5, because the bookend story is set between DT 4 and 5) was quite good.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by trancemode View Post
    I’m going by perhaps faulty memory here, but I’m pretty sure King himself said he considers T-Knockers one of his poorest novels, and fan critics seem to have the same consensus. However, that doesn’t prove anything. If it worked well for you and made such a strong impression, maybe it’s a better book than its author thinks. Personally, it wasn’t one of my favorites, although I liked some of the same things about that you do, such as the “loser” redeeming himself. I read it a long time ago, and as I recall it kind of tanked for me in the second half. But as I said, even my least favorite King books are compelling reading. I’ve never not finished a Stephen King book, and I’ve read probably 90% of his work.
    The movie version is hilarious.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Marvel put out a decent run of some of the stories, at least with the visuals.
    Yeah, the Marvels are pretty good, but the story and characters aren't brought to life the way they are in King's prose.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by trancemode View Post
    Yeah, the Marvels are pretty good, but the story and characters aren't brought to life the way they are in King's prose.
    Agreed. I mostly just thought Jae Lee and whoever else worked out on it were decent choices. King isn't easy to adapt, because much of his power is in his actual words. the same concepts translated straight to film (as another medium often used) often end up silly.

    Did you see the version of The Raft that showed in one of the Creepshow movies? The story itself is pretty creepy as hell, but the low-budget adaptation just sucked. It needed a much better budget and effects just to stand a chance.

    I've tried watching the TV adaptation of IT, but I've never made it through either. IT is probably my favorite work by him, since it deals with the passing of time and the loss of childhood, in addition to all the horror motifs in the work; but uggh, the TV version was just so low-budget that it was miscast, and you can't really condense something that long and powerful into such a short censored work. Same problem with the TV version of The Stand; the whole end of poet Harold Lauder was laughable in the TV movie, but beautifully written in the story.

    Very few works of his have really survived the move to cinema. Shawshank was easily one of the best; there were changes I didn't like, but the movie to large effect captured the glory of the prose.

    Quote Originally Posted by trancemode View Post
    I’m going by perhaps faulty memory here, but I’m pretty sure King himself said he considers T-Knockers one of his poorest novels, and fan critics seem to have the same consensus. However, that doesn’t prove anything. If it worked well for you and made such a strong impression, maybe it’s a better book than its author thinks. Personally, it wasn’t one of my favorites, although I liked some of the same things about that you do, such as the loser redeeming himself. I read it a long time ago, and as I recall it tanked for me in the second half. But as I said, even my least favorite King books are compelling reading. I’ve never not finished a Stephen King book, and I’ve read probably 90% of his work.
    I was completely on top of his books until maybe about 12-15 years ago, and then just lost interest. (I think Insomnia was the last book I bothered to slog through when I didn't like the story; well, actually Wolves of the Callah was, but I needed to read it to get to book 6.) I never read Cell, or Duma Key, for example. I did read the novella / story collections that came out.

    As for Cujo, King said (in his book On Writing), to paraphrase, that he was so fucked up when he was writing it that he doesn’t even remember writing it.
    hilarious. I think's amusing that a book he doesn't remember writing and one considered not his best work still is culturally ingrained; name a dog Cujo, and people know exactly what to expect.

    Of the DT series, I liked DT2 (Drawing of the Three) the best. It was soooo intense, and had fantastic momentum all the way through. I also liked 7, and the way he ended the series (without really ending it). Why didn’t you like 5 (Wolves of the Calla)? I thought 1 was the weakest, which King himself agrees with. He didn't yet have a good feel for the characters. And the literary pretensions got in the way of the story because King went against his own mantra, which is that story is paramount. I thought his newest installment, Wind Through the Keyhole (King nicknamed it DT 4.5, because the bookend story is set between DT 4 and 5) was quite good.
    I can't even tell you what I didn't like about it, because I barely remember it. I just know it took me MONTHS to read through; i was bored to tears, it felt like he was just trying to fill pages until he could catch the wind himself. Normally I can read a King book in a day or two (for an average length one, like The Dark Half) since I love them so much. God that book was a SLOG. It finally started to catch enough of my interest by about 60-70% of the way through that I could drag myself over the broken glass of the remaining 30%.

    I was not really a fan of King including himself in his own story, which I think happened in Book 6? It's a "cute" idea, but felt too self-indulgent, as it was to the degree that M. Night Shyamalan shoves himself into his own movies.

    I really loved parts of Book 7, and I'm a big fan of the Mordred storyline. I'm kind of an arachnaphobe to start with, and some of those scenes (starting with his birth) will haunt me forever. But I felt like King didn't quite know how to get to the end of the book. So he just starts slowly stripping away the characters... kind of like the last season of Lost where you know only a few will be left standing, so you start taking them out episode by episode. The ending with Mordred was great. The actual confrontation with the Crimson King, kind of predictable and boring. However, I am a big fan of the Epilogue; some people hated it, I thought it was the perfect "ending" to the story. In fact, if it hadn't happened that way, it would have likely been a let-down.

    I have the Keyhole book, but I only read about ten pages so far. I need to get into a mental groove, and then I should be able to finish it in short order; it's just been sitting here.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon View Post
    The movie version is hilarious.
    It certainly is, and is exactly the translation of King's work to TV that I despise. And good lord, it's got Allyce Beasley and Dennis Franz, and who??? Jimmy Smits? Gaaa....!

    I think what really got me in the story were the core relationships. I like the idea of Gardner, who is a washed-up loser... who finally find reaches down deep in himself to do something for someone out of love instead of remaining a loser. (My dad, another alcoholic, never grew a backbone.) And he and Bobbie have this close friendship despite the baggage each one of them carries, cuz they're both losers in some ways, but now she is changing into something else and they're finally losing each other... and she wants him to "come along" and he's rightfully afraid to go, so their friendship is slowly ending as she becomes a stranger.... yet there are moments when they still can touch each other's core. It's like watching a loved one die of cancer; the end is inevitable, so... what happens? the story answers that.

    And the other was the love of that grandfather for his grandkid who goes missing, and how things go bad for him, but what he does -- as best as he can -- to set things right.

    And the whole thing about the dog.

    It's always been about the prose and about the characters, with King's work for me; the supernatural stuff is just a convention I happen to enjoy, but without the other two things, it doesn't really work.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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