Saturday, May 2, 2009

Stephen King

"Eeeeek. It's HIM." said my friend Sherry pointing at the television. What was on was one of those commercials for a credit card and there for the first time Sherry was seeing what her favorite author looked like. My friend Sherry thought he was so great I started to read him. I must admit I didn't take to him right away, though with time I came to like him very much. I like books that are uplifting and with happy endings and without elements of horror, and I knew when I read him I had arrived at an uncertain path with people to whom terrible things were threatening to happen to. The uncertainty I came to love, who has not read a book and known by the end of the first chapter exactly how it was going to turn out, have not books become pastuerized and homogenized and formulized? He is a sort of wild card in the deck, and I like that. There is a thread of right and wrong that runs through his books. He has said that wildness and conservatism are woven through his character like a braid, and his books are real and fantastic, both together too. He has been criticized for making horror out of unlikely things but what else is out there to read, yet another book about a serial killer? Please!
His books have life to them and life is worth more than any amount of well, anything else. They always tell you in school how Shakespeare had to be popular and how Dickens was so popular in his day but popularity now seems to mean that it is not any good. I am confused by critics of Stephen King, methinks perhaps we can call this sour grapes.
When interviewed he certainly comes across as a person who has a lot of secrets. He is not sucking up and he takes silence easily. In other words, he is not pushing his books and smiling like an idiot and wondering if the interviewer thinks he is wonderful. He reminds me of James Garner in "Maverick", an actor who acted like he and the audience were in on the joke of how stupid the whole thing was, with a twinkle of self-mockery in his eyes. You just have to respect someone like that.

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