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Old 05-18-17, 09:11 PM   #1
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The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

I searched but didn't really see a general thread, so here we are. Not every book garners (or needs to) its own thread so I figured we could just toss some random thoughts, news or whatnot here.

So I'll start with copying what I posted in the "Favorite King book" thread just as a jumping off point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
I'm currently re-reading It for the first time in 25 years, but I spent last year trying to catch up on some of the more recent novels by King. I'm bored tonight so some quick thoughts:

11/22/63 - easily my favorite post accident novel. Just brilliant beginning to end, so much so I'd put it in a top 5 of all his work.

Revival - awesome and just a total mindfuck ending. You think it's going one way, he drops some hints that may lead it in two to three other directions and nope, he blindsides you with the ending of all endings. Just, wow.

Doctor Sleep - Excellent novel, but very loosely tied to the Shining. Fortunately that doesn't hurt it. Like Revival, you think it's going one way, you want it to go another and King takes you down a different road altogether.

Joyland - part of the Hard Case Crimes series, but it's not much of a mystery or crime novel though. It is a decent little read.

The Dark Tower: Wind Through the Keyhole - TDT is my favorite series but this little novel didn't do much to rope me back into that world. It just didn't have the same magic.

Full Dark, No Stars - EPIC collection of novellas. It's up there with Different Seasons. It'd be cool if these could be made into equally awesome movies.

After the Sunset - Started and only read about half of it. This collection just didn't grab me. I need to get back to it.

As for novels, I need to get to Buick, Cell, Lisey, Duma Key, & his Mercedes trilogy. I think between those and Tommyknockers, I will have finally read all of King's [readily available]work. Well, sorta. I couldn't get through Talisman or Black House. Maybe after I read all the recent stuff I'll go back and try them again.
Bazaar of Bad Dreams - Burned through this one this week and finished tonight. Pretty solid little collection. Not all are winners, but most are pretty good. However there is an inordinate amount of stories revolving around or involving vehicles. You have a car that eats people, a story about road rage, one about a drunk driver, and one about a guy witnessing a murder on a bus from his taxi. I guess that's to be expected from a guy hit by a car.

Mile 81, Bad Little Kid, Ur & Obits were probably my favorites. I liked Drunked Fireworks, but it suffered from King alluding to the outcome before you get there.

Ur was probably the most unique. I don't have a Kindle so this was my first time reading it. Man, what started out as an obnoxious shill piece (almost gave up on it) turned out quite good. The concept was fantastic and I loved the Dark Tower tie-in. It was also kind of cool getting all kinds of Kentucky references throughout.
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Old 05-18-17, 09:15 PM   #2
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

King has two new books in the works for 2017, both collaborations. First up is Gwendy's Button Box which just came out this week. It's a 170pp novella going for a full novel price:



Next up is Sleeping Beauties on 9/26:



Not sure what's up with the collaborations though. Trying something different? Channeling his inner Patterson?
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Old 05-18-17, 09:41 PM   #3
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Really liked 11/22/63 though it was a little different for him.
Loved Doctor Sleep.
Hated Revival. (the ending was a surprise.)
Never got into the Dark Tower though I did like Eyes of the Dragon.
Definitely need to reread IT.
Trying to get my son to finish Christine.
Haven't read Bazaar yet.
Really liked Mr Mercedes and Finders Keepers, though that one seemed to drag a little bit.

Liked Creepshow.
Hated Graveyard Shift.
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Old 05-19-17, 12:51 AM   #4
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Hey Michael, you mentioned in the post you quoted that you were re-reading It. What were your impressions after finishing it again? It and Pet Sematary are still my favorite King novels, can't wait for the It movie.

dtcarson, agree about the ending to Revival, one of the darkest endings I've ever read. If you like MM and FK, I really think you'll like End of Watch. I was very happy with the Hodges trilogy.
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Old 05-19-17, 10:41 AM   #5
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

I just finished the Green mile. I think Pet Cemetery is next up on my list.

All the books you have mentioned Michael have ranged from decent to really good. I think he's been on a hot streak with his last few books.

Has any one else finished the whole Mr Mercedes trilogy yet? I enjoyed all of them though the first was the strongest. Wish he would do more of these detective mysteries.

Also for anyone interested. There is a podcast The Losers Club which is all things king. They go through a book at a time and dive into it. The podcasts are a little long and overly talky at times, but if you love King as much as I do, its worth a listen.
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Old 05-19-17, 11:04 AM   #6
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Loved It but havent read it for at least 25 years. I need to re-read it.

Really loved The Stand.

Thought The Dark Tower series was great except the ending.

I used to ready everything he put out but havent read his work for years now. I need to get back into them
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Old 05-19-17, 11:33 AM   #7
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

I've read The Dark Tower series over the last year or two. It was fun, even if the ending wasn't great. At least the E. R. Eddison novel The Worm Ouroboros gave fair warning in the title.

Last month I read Hearts in Atlantis, and I liked the first story, The Low Men.

Then I read The Colorado Kid, expecting something different because it was under a hard boiled detective imprint. I enjoyed the discussions on the mechanics of storytelling, but it's easy to throw an unsolvable mystery on the page if you don't care if it makes sense.

What do I read next?
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Old 05-19-17, 06:12 PM   #8
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

I am about to start Joyland. Sounds interesting, any comments?
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Old 05-19-17, 06:57 PM   #9
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by stvn1974 View Post
I am about to start Joyland. Sounds interesting, any comments?
I really liked Joyland. It's not scary at all, but it's a pretty character driven good coming of age mystery.
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Old 05-19-17, 07:29 PM   #10
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by collven View Post
Hey Michael, you mentioned in the post you quoted that you were re-reading It. What were your impressions after finishing it again? It and Pet Sematary are still my favorite King novels, can't wait for the It movie.
Ironically enough I didn't remember anything about it, given the story's use of 'memory' as a plot element. I first read it when I was around 16, fairly close to the Loser's Club ages. Now re-reading it, I'm close to the age of them grown up. I loved it... save for the 11 year old psuedo gang rape. What was King thinking there? All kinds of fucked up.

That aside, my favorite aspect of the novel was the coming of age Loser's Club story of becoming friends and dealing with the bully's and everyday life. Prior to rereading I was trying to recall and thinking, 'Pennywise probably killed a dozen kids' but after running through it again, it's easily in the triple digits. I had forgotten King takes you back every 27 years all the way to the 1800s. It'd be interesting to see some of that captured in the new movie, but that's doubtful.

I have a seventh grade daughter who said a classmate was reading it, so she inquired. Child abuse, spousal abuse, gang rape, PW telling Beverly (as her dad, IIRC) that he wants to fuck her **** and lick her clit, rampant racism and use of the N-word, and an entire homophobic town, not to mention the murderous clown with a body count in the hundreds. King really covered a lot of ground. So yeah, no It for my seventh grader.

Movie talk: It will be interesting how some of the racism and homophobia will translate with the 30 year bump in time for the movie. The homophobia would still work in the 80s given the rise of AIDs, but can people handle that in context? Then Henry being a racist a*hole to Mike throughout. The racism works great in '58, but not sure how well that would work in the '80s.

Being a little older and wiser, I'd have to put It in my top 5 King novels.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:10 PM   #11
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by collven View Post
As long as you are catching up, I highly recommend starting with the Mr. Mercedes trilogy. I enjoyed all 3 of those.
Will do. Started it yesterday and I'm already hooked 80pp in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dash View Post

All the books you have mentioned Michael have ranged from decent to really good. I think he's been on a hot streak with his last few books.
Under the Dome
11/22/63
Dr Sleep
Revival

Helluva run right now.
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Old 05-20-17, 01:31 AM   #12
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
Ironically enough I didn't remember anything about it, given the story's use of 'memory' as a plot element. I first read it when I was around 16, fairly close to the Loser's Club ages. Now re-reading it, I'm close to the age of them grown up. I loved it... save for the 11 year old psuedo gang rape. What was King thinking there? All kinds of fucked up.

That aside, my favorite aspect of the novel was the coming of age Loser's Club story of becoming friends and dealing with the bully's and everyday life. Prior to rereading I was trying to recall and thinking, 'Pennywise probably killed a dozen kids' but after running through it again, it's easily in the triple digits. I had forgotten King takes you back every 27 years all the way to the 1800s. It'd be interesting to see some of that captured in the new movie, but that's doubtful.

I have a seventh grade daughter who said a classmate was reading it, so she inquired. Child abuse, spousal abuse, gang rape, PW telling Beverly (as her dad, IIRC) that he wants to fuck her **** and lick her clit, rampant racism and use of the N-word, and an entire homophobic town, not to mention the murderous clown with a body count in the hundreds. King really covered a lot of ground. So yeah, no It for my seventh grader.

Movie talk: It will be interesting how some of the racism and homophobia will translate with the 30 year bump in time for the movie. The homophobia would still work in the 80s given the rise of AIDs, but can people handle that in context? Then Henry being a racist a*hole to Mike throughout. The racism works great in '58, but not sure how well that would work in the '80s.

Being a little older and wiser, I'd have to put It in my top 5 King novels.

I was about the same age as the kids when I read It. King creates some of the best child characters of anyone. I agree about the sex scene, it's unfortunate. Otherwise, still an awesome book.

I think I'll re-read it again after the movie comes out. Hopefully they don't wait too long to get started on the 2nd one. I was hoping with the hugely positive reaction to the teaser trailer, the studio would get production ramped up, but I haven't heard anything.
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Old 05-20-17, 06:10 AM   #13
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post

I have a seventh grade daughter who said a classmate was reading it, so she inquired. Child abuse, spousal abuse, gang rape, PW telling Beverly (as her dad, IIRC) that he wants to fuck her **** and lick her clit, rampant racism and use of the N-word, and an entire homophobic town, not to mention the murderous clown with a body count in the hundreds. King really covered a lot of ground. So yeah, no It for my seventh grader.
Well, King was coked up when he wrote it.
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Old 05-21-17, 05:16 PM   #14
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

I don't know why you're calling the sewer orgy a gang-rape when it was clearly consensual. I was in Grade Six (eleven years old) when I read It and found that part very arousing. Looking over it now is revolting.

I will say, I've been struck by about the amount of times child porn mags have appeared in King's work (Drawing of the Three, some short stories I vaguely recall). There is a lengthy sequence in Needful Things describing the intricate process of purchasing magazines through the mail and picking them up at secret PO boxes. I'm not saying that part is autobiographical... but I've wondered.
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Old 05-21-17, 09:46 PM   #15
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

'Eh, six of one half dozen of another. I know it's not a gang-rape, but I typed orgy originally but it's not really that either. However you classify it, it comes out of the blue and isn't needed.

I finished Mr. Mercedes earlier. Damn good read. King manages to best James Patterson at his own game. Of course Patterson is a shell of his former self now that he has college interns writing all his novels.* Hodges reminded me of an older and softer Andy Sipowicz. Looks like they're making a tv series out of it.

King is definitely on a hot streak. I already have Finder's Keepers, but I need to pick up End of Watch on the discount rack (if it's there yet). I have Gwendy's Button Box showing up tomorrow.

*total exaggerated assumption, but probably not far from the truth
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Old 05-22-17, 09:15 AM   #16
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Every 10 years or so I reread every King book and short story chronologically. It takes me about 18 months. It's great to get the maximum effect of all the cross references and call backs.

Looking forward to the Year of King with multiple films, TV projects and books.

I've been reading King since 1979.
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Old 05-22-17, 01:44 PM   #17
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
Not sure what's up with the collaborations though. Trying something different? Channeling his inner Patterson?
Owen is his son, who I guess felt he needed a bit more help breaking into writing than his older brother Joe.
"Gwendy" apparently was an idea King had that he had gotten stuck on, so he offered Richard Chizmar the opportunity to see where he would go with it.

http://ew.com/books/2017/05/16/steph...chard-chizmar/
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Old 05-22-17, 09:25 PM   #18
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Thanks for the link clapp. Excellent article and cool to hear how the joint effor came together. I just started it today.

I'm still torn on these full priced novellas (Gwendy & Blockade Billy). Size 14 fonts, lot's of padded pages, some illustrations... it's not really a 170pp book. Once condensed into his next collection, it'll probaby be about 80pp in a normal book. That's not a lot for a $16-20. I mean for that price they should be full color illustrations on gloss paper like The Dark Tower novels. I'm a colllector and completionist though, so I like having them all.
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Old 05-23-17, 02:52 AM   #19
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Gwendy's is not worth the price. I read it in less than 2 hours. As for illustrations, I only remember there being a couple of them, in black and white. If I could go back I'd just do the ebook.
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Old 05-24-17, 06:25 PM   #20
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

I quite liked Gwendy. Great little story, better than any story in Bazaar of Bad Dreams but yeah, high price of entry for one short novella. So stick to the ebook if you aren't into collecting, it'll save you 50%.

Picked up Lisey's Story today. I'm shocked I tell you, shocked that it's about an author. King needs to step out of his comfort zone. It seems like every other book/story is about an author.
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Old 05-31-17, 03:21 PM   #21
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

The last King books I read were 11/22/63 (a minor masterpiece) and Joyland (good, not great). I typically only read 1 King book per year or so. Need to get to another one soon. Will probably start with Mr. Mercedes.
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Old 06-13-17, 07:19 AM   #22
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Early summer book review roundup:

It: Still a modern classic and still epic as ever. I hope the new movie does it justice and doesn't just devolve into a run-of-the-mill modern horror flick. A+

Mr. Mercedes: King taking over for James Patterson and besting him at his own game. No horror, supernatural or twists into the macabre, just a simple crime novel with a great protagonist and solid villain. Also kind of weird seeing the main plot play out in real life (via the Arianna Grande concert) only days after finishing it. A

Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Pretty solid collection of short stories. Ur (the Kindle exclusive) was a solid surprise. Mile 81, and the Bad Little Kid are King at his best. A-

Just After Sunset: Very weak collection of short stories, though the last, A Very Tight Place, about a guy stuck in a turned over outhouse(in an abandoned construction site) trying to survive/escape, nearly makes up for it. D

Gwendy's Button Box: Fantastic novella. Great teenage protagonist with the weight of the world on her shoulders in the form of a magic box that can inflict untold terrors on the world. Fun little ride. The only thing holding it back is the price of entry. It's a bit pricey for what will equate to a roughly 80pp short story in a future collection. A

Lisey's Story: after a very rough start, it turned around 3/4 of the way through. This could lose 250pp and be an excellent 300pp novel. As it stands, it's too bloated to rise above the first 250pp of mediocrity you have to slog through to get to the good stuff. B-

Cell: Terrible from start to finish. Even with a unique take on the zombie genre King can't manage to make any of the characters worth rooting for, nor a story worthy of the "hook." I'd pair this with Gerald's Game as King's worst two novels. F
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Old 06-14-17, 11:30 AM   #23
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

It's been a lot of years since I've read any King, so I just started Under the Dome. Good so far.
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Old 06-20-17, 04:23 PM   #24
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Micheal - wonderful roundup.

Reminds me I need to read It again - it's been years. I have Mr. Mercedes in my to-read pile. The Gwendy's Button Box price tag comes courtesy of Cemetary Dance. I think they're a wonderful boutique publisher, but they come with a price.
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Old 06-21-17, 05:17 PM   #25
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Re: The Stephen King Catch-All Potpourri Thread

Can anyone recommend a few good King books that aren't scary? I have read Joyland, 11/26/63, and Under The Dome. I wouldn't consider those very scary. I was going to try to read IT for the first time this summer, but I had a pretty traumatic incident happen to me last week and don't know if that would be the best reading material for me right now.
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