A Problem with Stephen King

It is all summed up in the handy chart below (source linked to the image). You see, at some point he started referring to his own works a little, and fans thought it was great, all sorts of stuff was happening in the same ‘world’ but ultimately I think it is a sign of staleness. This and yet another ‘Dark Tower’ novel really shows only one thing: none of these are really new ideas, they are tumors on one or two original ideas that were very cool indeed. The very first Dark Tower novel ‘The Gunslinger’ is really quite good, the whole series is far too long. The story is like a radical regenerative from Orson Scott Card’s Treason. It has a lovely arm or face, but it also has 4 legs and three other arms and an extra head growing off its spine… You can chart below to pick stories, anyone you don’t find on this chart like The Green Mile (or only has one outbound connection like The Eyes of the Dragon or Lisey’s Story is perhaps its own story. (Links obviously.. should be obvious… go to Amazon since those three books are actually worth reading. Insomnia doesn’t get a link because it is terrible and I could only manage a few pages before my insomnia was cured forever…)
Stephenh-King-Universe-FLowchart-900px

One final note: the fact that most SK works take place in Maine and even similar places in Maine is not, in itself, any problem. He knows Maine well, and so he writes about the people convincingly….

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6 responses to “A Problem with Stephen King

  1. I’ve not read any King, but I fail to see that the problem you mention is necessarily a problem in and of itself. Maybe I’m just misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you don’t like exploring facets of an internally consistent universe…

  2. The problem, I think, is that the works become too self-referential, it is very postmodern in that sense. Also, the more the universe is built, the more it becomes obvious that it is a facade. Stories that take place in ‘anywhere’ type universes have a real feeling. For instance you could read all of Arthur C. Clarke and, though you go to space and Titan and Mars and the bottom of the sea, the world feels real since they are effectively in the real world. Another way of putting the issue I have is that it seems more and more that most of Stephen King’s books are set in Oz.

  3. Hm… too forced, then? Like he is looking for places to tie the works together instead of allowing it to happen organically?

  4. zealousneophyte

    My problem with the series is that it lost the original atmosphere. “The Gunslinger” perfectly conveyed the spirit of a fantasy spaghetti western – a lone warrior wandering the wastes, a series of strange and supernatural encounters. There was something transcendent about it. As the series dragged on, added new characters, became more complicated, the original purity was lost. There was no…quiddity… no specific flavor to it anymore. It’s like he took a really good chili, then dumped in more and more spices until it became an unpalatable mess.

  5. Pingback: Nominated for the Liebster Award | Medieval Otaku

  6. Pingback: #10 Stephen King | Aquila et Infans

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