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The internal threats of Stephen King's books

The closest a film has ever come to adapting King’s internal-horror aesthetic is a film King himself has publicly lambasted: Kubrick’s version of The Shining. It’s the most artful, scary, and beautifully directed of the King adaptations, and even excludes some of the novel’s more overt (and potentially silly) visual elements, such as the hedge animals that come to life and stalk the family in the yard. Yet, the film never tackles the serious human horrors that infect Jack Torrance throughout the novel, specifically his alcoholism, along with the themes of cyclical abuse and mounting financial pressure. King’s criticism of the film is that Torrance, as played by Jack Nicholson, is portrayed as unhinged right from the start, whereas the novel slowly unravels the man’s sanity, the haunted house he occupies pushing him deeper into madness and violence. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 28, 2014 - 87 comments

"That wasn't any act of God. That was an act of pure human fuckery."

Things That Don't Suck, Some Notes on The Stand
I recently reread The Stand for no particular reason other than I felt like it. I'm honestly not sure how many time[s] I've read it at this point, more than three, less than a half dozen (though I can clearly remember my first visit to that horrifyingly stripped bare world as I can remember the first reading of all the truly great King stories). It's not my favorite of King's work, but it is arguably his most richly and completely imagined. It truly is the American Lord of The Rings, with the concerns of England (Pastorialism vs. Industrialism, Germany's tendency to try and blow it up every thirty years or so) replaced by those of America (Religion, the omnipresent struggle between our liberal and libertarian ideals, our fear of and dependence on the military, racial and gender tension) and given harrowing size.

I'm happy to say that The Stand holds up well past the bounds of nostalgia and revisiting the world and these characters was as pleasurable as ever. But you can't step in the same river twice, even when you're revisiting a favorite book. Even if the river hasn't changed you have. This isn't meant as any kind of comprehensive essay on The Stand. Just a couple of things I noticed upon dipping my toes in the river this time.

[Spoiler alert: assume everything, from the link above to those below, contains SPOILERS.] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 19, 2014 - 162 comments

"Yeah, they're dead. They're all messed up."

BBC Radio 4's 'The Film Programme' talks to George A Romero. 'Forty five years after the release of genre-defining Night of the Living Dead, Francine Stock talks to the director George A Romero about inventing the undead zombie and where he might unearth horror in contemporary society. Plus why he doesn't rate Stanley Kubrick as a horror director.' [SL BBC Radio 4 episode] [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 on Nov 7, 2013 - 15 comments

"Here's Johnny!" vs. "Boo!"

In celebration of Halloween, The Dissolve has devoted three long posts to The Shining: a keynote examining the film and King's relationship to it, a staff discussion, and a critical comparison of the film with the 1997 TV miniseries written by King. (Scrubbed the show from your brain? Let this episode of Nostalgia Critic refresh your memory.)
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 31, 2013 - 38 comments

A steady spiral into one core truth

The Trouble with "Carrie": Strong Female Characters and Onscreen Violence.
Whether she's volunteering to take her sister's place in the arena or grooming her son to lead the resistance; gunning down the gangsters who sell drugs to the kids in her neighborhood or swinging swords to avenge her daughter, the "strong female character" is often stirred by a maternal concern, a quintessential desire to preserve her community, to protect the weak and vulnerable. Her bad-assery must be in the service of a greater good. Even when she's more ethically complex (like the Bride, who begrudgingly admits that all the people she killed to get to her daughter, "felt good"), she never takes a place at the table of Walter White's grand epiphany: "I did it for me."

Carrie does what Beatrix Kiddo and Ellen Ripley and Katniss Everdeen don't: She does it for herself. Her vengeance, her violence, is in service to no one, no noble good. She doesn't kill because her family and friends have been threatened. There are no friends, no fellow outcasts, to protect from the bullies. No little sister to shield from Mama's wrath. Only her. And she is enough. Carrie kills because she was wronged.

posted by Lexica on Oct 30, 2013 - 44 comments

Mama, I've been asked to the prom

It turns out that if you cut together a bunch of scenes from Disney's Cinderella along with the audio track for the trailer of the new Carrie remake, you get something very creepy, disturbing and brilliant.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Oct 16, 2013 - 42 comments

What Stephen King Isn't

Thoughts on what makes him a damn fine and fun read.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 12, 2013 - 49 comments

The Dollar Babies

The Dollar Baby (also sometimes referred to as the Dollar Deal) is a term coined by best-selling author Stephen King (Previously) in reference to a select group of students and aspiring filmmakers or theatre producers whom he has granted permission to adapt one of his short stories for only $1. [more inside]
posted by SkylitDrawl on Sep 29, 2013 - 36 comments

What could possibly go wrong?

The Stanley Hotel, inspiration for the haunted Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's 1977 novel The Shining, has announced plans to dig up the pet cemetery on its grounds. [more inside]
posted by Lou Stuells on Sep 27, 2013 - 45 comments

Underlined and triple-starred

By Heart is a series on The Atlantic's website where writers speak about their favorite passages, each illustrated by Doug McLean. Here are a few of the entries so far: Stephen King on two opening lines, Hanan Al-Shaykh on One Thousand and One Nights, Susan Choi on The Great Gatsby, Jessica Francis Kane on Marcus Aurelius, Fay Weldon on The Myth of Sisyphus, Adam Mansbach on Montaigne, Ayana Mathis on Osip Mandelstam, Anthony Marra on Jesus' Son, and Mohsin Hamid on Haruki Murakami.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 29, 2013 - 7 comments

"Either get busy living or get busy dying."

The Stephen King Universe [Infographic] Via: coolinfographics.com
posted by Fizz on May 17, 2013 - 38 comments

You wanna hear a story?

A Conversation With Stephen King (NSFW language, MLYT) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 28, 2012 - 23 comments

The Foulest Stench Is In The Air, The Funk Of Forty Thousand Years

It has been 30 years since it was first recorded, and almost that long since it was released as a single and a extra-long music video (alt. link: YT), but Thriller has remained at the top of lists for best Halloween songs (2, 3, 4, 5) and best Halloween videos (2, 3, 4, 5). You know the dance, and you've read Vanity Fair's extensive Thriller Diaries (previously), or at least Los Angeles Times' 25 Thriller facts, but have you seen the almost hour long making of the video? Have you heard the voice-over session with Michael and Vincent Price, with the bonus unreleased "rap" vocals by Price? You remember that Vincent did Thriller just to make fun of himself, like he did when he worked with Jack Benny and Red Skelton, right? Or maybe you're in the mood for more of the comedic horror that Michael liked, such as his collaboration with Stephen King, Michale Jackson's Ghosts (HD, with Japanese subtitles and intro). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 30, 2012 - 19 comments

Rereading Stephen King

Rereading Stephen King Guardian columnist James Smythe has read everything Stephen King has ever written – and now he's revisiting each novel in chronological order. First: a young girl with some dangerous powers [previously] [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Sep 8, 2012 - 124 comments

The Stephen King Universe Flow Chart

Gillian James charts the connections in the Stephen King universe* Meanwhile The Guardian is rereading King begining with Carrie and Salems Lot, CNN has discovered The Gospel of Stephen King, and in further Castle Rock news a new movie version of It is being made.
* Not including The Dark Tower
posted by Artw on Jun 11, 2012 - 70 comments

“They pay me absurd amounts of money,” he observes, “For something that I would do for free.”.

A Stephen King interview: by Neil Gaiman "I interviewed Stephen King for the UK Sunday Times Magazine. The interview appeared a few weeks ago. The Times keeps its site paywalled, so I thought I'd post the original version of the interview here. (This is the raw copy, and it's somewhat longer than the interview as published.) I don't do much journalism any more, and this was mostly an excuse to drive across Florida back in February and spend a day with some very nice people I do not get to see enough. I hope you enjoy it."
posted by Fizz on Apr 28, 2012 - 51 comments

Dark things in the closet, literal and figurative

The Vulture ranks all of Stephen King's books from worst to best.
posted by mightygodking on Apr 24, 2012 - 300 comments

Top Ten books of famous authors

Top Ten Favorite Books from authors: Stephen King's 10 favorite books. David Foster Wallace's 10 favorite books. Sue Monk Kidd's 10 favorite books via the CS Monitor.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 20, 2012 - 52 comments

All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy

Stephen King has confirmed he is working on a sequel to The Shining called Doctor Sleep. He discussed the book and read excerpts at George Mason University. The book features a new grown up Danny Torrance working as a hospital orderly, fighting vampires pirates, and using his powers to bet on horse races (which sounds familiar). Fans of Kubrick's film adaptation (which do not include King) were treated to a tribute in a recent Doctor Who episode that recreated a few rooms and corridors from the Overlook Hotel.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Sep 27, 2011 - 188 comments

Out went my heart's new fire and left it cold.

After weeks of rumors, it's official, Ron Howard's ambitious adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower series has been cancelled.
posted by Panjandrum on Jul 19, 2011 - 90 comments

Diamonds and Rust

'Herman Wouk Is Still Alive' a new short story by Stephen King. Interview where, among other things, King discusses the origins of the story, his creative process in general, the status of the short story today, and his liking for Judas Priest. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 21, 2011 - 59 comments

You Know They Got a Hell of a Band

Stephen King and John Mellencamp will debut their long-awaited Southern gothic musical 'Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County' next year. The story concerns the deaths of three people in Atlanta in 1957 and the CD will have songs by Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Meg Ryan, and Matthew McConaughey. King is also working on the 8th Dark Tower book, 'The Wind Through the Keyhole', which is due next year.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Apr 3, 2011 - 48 comments

There’s no place in this town for weirdoes

Though the sets and music are pure golden-age horror, the villagers are coded as ’50s sitcom types, bland exemplars of suburban uptightitude. Their ranks include a young Mos Def, though he’s seldom called upon to do anything other than act scared of supernatural goings-on in a manner that would cause even Stepin Fetchit’s ghost to say “For God’s sake, man, show some dignity.”

Just in time for Halloween, the AV Club series My Year of Flops unearths the Stephen King-written, Stan Winston-directed Michael Jackson's Ghosts (2, 3, 4).
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 27, 2010 - 15 comments

"The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few vampires."

Stephen King's Intro to 'American Vampire': ''Salem's Lot'' author lets loose with some pretty strong opinions about how you do bloodsuckers right in short essay for the first volume of the upcoming DC Comics title -- read it here first! "Here's what vampires shouldn't be: pallid detectives who drink Bloody Marys and work only at night; lovelorn southern gentlemen; anorexic teenage girls; boy-toys with big dewy eyes," writes Stephen King in the introduction to his move into original comic book writing, American Vampire. "What should they be? Killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type-A. Bad boys and girls. Hunters. In other words, Midnight America. Red, white and blue, accent on the red. Those vamps got hijacked by a lot of soft-focus romance."
posted by Fizz on Oct 2, 2010 - 79 comments

Keep that bugle handy, Roland

Stephen King's The Dark Tower is coming to the silver screen
posted by angrycat on Sep 9, 2010 - 127 comments

Heeeeeeeeere's Jacey

Jace Clayton, better known as DJ /Rupture (previously on mefi), interviewed last month for the avclub. He discusses his use of Colombian cumbia music, collaborating with Dutch guitarist Andy Moor of The Ex, and a concept record with his Spanish electro-string quartet Nettle. The concept? Stephen King's The Shining transported to an abandoned luxury hotel in Dubai.
posted by mannequito on Oct 11, 2009 - 10 comments

Kindling an interest in reading, or listening

Amazon's Kindle 2 was debuted on Monday at the Morgan Library (as speculated), where Stephen King read (and read) from his kindle-exclusive story. If you couldn't be there, read some live-blogging accounts. The interface and refresh rate is improved, now features text-to-speach (which upse the Author's Guild, who claim this feature is "an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.") But Kindle isn't the only the only e-book device. Going farther from the more book-shaped e-readers, you can read ebooks on iPhones or iPods (the latter has a DIY option), Gameboy Advances, or even the Mattel's Juice Box.
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 12, 2009 - 87 comments

Preliminary sketches of Tony Blair invariably had the PM knocking off the head of a robot.

When the House of Commons required a portrait of outgoing PM Tony Blair, to whom did they turn? Phil Hale. [more inside]
posted by infinitewindow on Nov 15, 2008 - 22 comments

God is cruel

'Around my house we kinda laugh when Sarah Palin comes on TV, and we say, "That's Greg Stillson as a woman."' Interview with Stephen King on the thirtieth anniversary of The Stand.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 24, 2008 - 121 comments

Don'tgive me no jibber-jabber

Man-up with Stephen King.
posted by Artw on Oct 13, 2008 - 137 comments

Calling King

Director Mathieu Ratthe has created in a scene from Stephen King's The Talisman in the hope of convincing those holding the rights to let him make a full film version. See also his short film Lovefield. More King: 25 episode 'graphic video' adaptation of his short story N.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 1, 2008 - 23 comments

# The thunder of his own guns filled him with stupid wonder.

Stephen King has described The Dark Tower as his "Jupiter." The epic series, inspired in part by Robert Browning's poem, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", has spanned 22 years, 7 books and nearly 4000 pages. The first book in the series, The Gunslinger, begins with a simple, memorable declaration, "The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." [more inside]
posted by kbanas on Apr 18, 2008 - 160 comments

Stephen King doesn't mind violence?

Stephen King weighs in on the videogame debate.
posted by P.o.B. on Apr 9, 2008 - 116 comments

Trapped in a hotel he never made...

Coming soon to a theater near you. If The Shining were made today. [via waxy]
posted by keswick on Sep 28, 2005 - 91 comments

There's a Riget in my Kingdom

OK, remakes. While channel surfing tonight I noticed that there is a new miniseries on the box called Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital starting soon, on a channel near you. No doubt it will go the way of other King TV Greats, as the trailer suggests (Ed Begley Jr. in another hospital role). I am more interested in the way that it is being marketed - with the explicit "Stephen King" moniker. Similar to other less than stellar US remakes of European originals, (Point of No Return / Nikita, the weird case of Spoorloos / The Vanishing(same director for both), I could go on). Given the explicit reference in the title to King, do you think that people will seek out the original? Can you think of instances where the remake outdoes the original?
posted by grimley on Feb 25, 2004 - 24 comments

Stephen King's National Book Award acceptance speech

Stephen King's National Book Award acceptance speech "took the award to task." In his National Book Award acceptance speech, King criticizes and condemns the divisive clash between highbrow and lowbrow literary cultures. NPR audio highlights and post-award interview. To a degree, he blames the National Book Foundation itself for the divisiveness. His acceptance speech revisits many of the points in the previous archived discussion when the award was announced. Stephen King, Mefi snooper?
posted by basilwhite on Nov 20, 2003 - 16 comments

It's good to be King

Stephen King, literary genius? "That they could believe that there is any literary value there or any aesthetic accomplishment or signs of an inventive human intelligence is simply a testimony to their own idiocy," says Harold Bloom. Mr. King to be awarded an honorary National Book Award for lifetime achievement, joining the likes of Roth, Updike, and Bellow.
posted by _sirmissalot_ on Sep 16, 2003 - 81 comments

Carrie: The Musical

Fifteen years ago, the venerable Royal Shakespeare Company staged a musical adaptation of Stephen King's novel Carrie. Wackiness ensued, to the tune of $5 million.
posted by pxe2000 on Jul 28, 2003 - 3 comments

Steven Lightfoot believes that author Stephen King murdered John Lennon, with the blessings of Ronald Reagan. Mark David Chapman was just an innocent pawn in their evil game. Witness the lengths Steven Lightfoot goes to to prove his theories. Here's the story that the media doesn't want you to read.
posted by iconomy on Jun 1, 2002 - 31 comments

So, has Stephen King lost it?

So, has Stephen King lost it? This guy seems to think so. Some would say he never had it. I think that while this guy makes a few valid points, he goes overboard, and brings up many things that just seem petty and silly, like he's trying to over-prove his theory, and increase the word count of the article. What do you think? (Side note: I wouldn't be surprised if "Richard Blow" becomes the name of a victim in a future King novel...).
posted by sassone on Feb 19, 2002 - 23 comments

"That's it. I'm done. Done writing books."

"That's it. I'm done. Done writing books." After Stephen King publishes his next five new books, he's ending his career in publishing. Viewing his latest work as mere recycles of older novels that he has written, he's choosing to stop while he's at the top of his game rather than meet a grim end to his career. Are any fans of his work disappointed or do you feel satisfied with the body of work that he has created over his career?
posted by crog on Jan 30, 2002 - 68 comments

The Dead Zone all over again?

The Dead Zone all over again? Lucich said the boy approached his teacher on the afternoon of Sept. 10 and casually told her: "Tomorrow, World War III will begin. It will begin in the United States, and the United States will lose." eerie little story about a 5th grader in Dallas
posted by LeLiLo on Sep 20, 2001 - 17 comments

Dark Tower V Prologue available

Dark Tower V Prologue available at Stephen King's official website. Apparently, King is "hoping to press on to the very end and publish the remaining volumes all at the same time. That probably means three books, one of them fairly short and one of the other two quite long." If he continues the increase in quality that he established with Wizard and Glass, we'll be in for quite a treat.
posted by tallman on Aug 27, 2001 - 23 comments

Waiting with bated breath for the conclusion of Stephen King's online serial? Touck luck. Even though I don't care that much for King, I'm disappointed that this experiment failed.
posted by harmful on Nov 28, 2000 - 3 comments

So how much money is Stephen King throwing away?

So how much money is Stephen King throwing away? G. Beato's take on the world's most famous e-publishing experiment makes a great point: King has the clout to drive traffic, and that can worth a hell of a lot more than what he's getting directly from his readers. King's got brand identity and endless content -- why is he bothering with a subscription fee?
posted by gknauss on Oct 2, 2000 - 8 comments

Convergence.

Convergence. Dave Barry does a bang-up job tying together the recent threads about Harry Potter and Stephen King.
posted by baylink on Aug 11, 2000 - 4 comments

Stephen King's new serial is now online.

Stephen King's new serial is now online. The download is free, but he's asking people to pay; the next installment will be posted only if he receives payments for at least 75% of downloads.
posted by harmful on Jul 24, 2000 - 18 comments

Stephen King's scariest idea yet - A Shareware Novel?

Stephen King's scariest idea yet - A Shareware Novel?
posted by wendell on Jun 14, 2000 - 6 comments

RIDING THE BULLET by Stephen King

RIDING THE BULLET by Stephen King E-books are here to stay or lastest of the internet crazes? Stephen King is letting his lastest book all 1600 word or 66 pages of it out for a small $2.50 from Simonsay.com Paperless world, mmm... How without a laptop or you going to be able to read this in the bath tub or "reading room"? Try also the Stephenking.com For more information on the great writer's life and future.
posted by Max's Daddy on Mar 13, 2000 - 0 comments

e-publishing-wise, THIS is scary!

e-publishing-wise, THIS is scary!
posted by wendell on Mar 8, 2000 - 1 comment

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