Monday, November 30, 2009

Creeped me right the heck out.

I mentioned recently that Stephen King's book Pet Sematary was the only novel of his that had ever really scared the bejabbers out of me. Shortly after writing that post, I decided to re-read the book, only to discover that I had apparently... uh... "lost" my copy.

I picked up another one at Half Price Books the other day.

Cover me; I'm going in.

13 comments:

Michael said...

not planning on sleeping tonight?

Jeffro said...

I'd hate to knock on your door in the wee hours tonite.

Anonymous said...

Stephen King. Ugh. Worst hack writer since Melville.

Lovecraft is light-years better.

Cowboy Blob said...

I don't really care for the genre, but a statuesque Barbara Feldon lookalike dragged me to see the movie... then I met the psycho cat she was petsitting. Yikes.

wrm said...

I'm with the anonymous fellow on the Lovecraft. After that (in primary school, mind) King could never really scare me.

Bram said...

I'm not a big fan of the genre either but King's writing skills are undeniable. I read a lot of his books while deployed. (Lots of down time and slim pickings for reading. There was actually a copy of "War and Peace" going around between the enlisted Marines in the Radio Platoon.)

I did get the impression he puts a real effort into every third book.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Stephen King isn't scary. You know who is scary? Ring Lardner

How is THAT for neck-beard?!

wolfwalker said...

(The Lovecraft comment above was mine -- I forgot to sign it. Sorry.)

IMHO, a lot of people read Lovecraft the wrong way.

If you see Lovecraft as a writer of supernatural fantasy/horror, then yes, he's overrated. But I don't see him that way. When I read his stuff and consider the time he was writing in, it becomes clear that many of his works belong to an early strain of science fiction. His two longest works, At the Mountains of Madness and The Shadow Out of Time, are both unequivocally SF. So is "The Colour Out of Space." One can also interpret the whole Cthulhian Mythos as soft SF, since Cthulhu and most of his contemporaries came here from the stars and relied on their alien biology and technology for their powers.

As for his skill at writing memorable stories ... well, to me the last lines of "Pickman's Model" and "The Statement of Randolph Carter" are just as memorable as the last line of Clarke's "The Nine Billion Names of God."

doubletrouble said...

I'm with ya on this one Tam.

After reading PS, I was listening for Church in the dark...

Paul said...

Half-price books is on my "Do Not Patronize" list.
In my area, they post their store against the lawful carrying of firearms, by licensed individuals.

Richard said...

Tam, King himself has commented that Pet Sematary is the only one of his books that creeped him out so much he had to pause while writing it.

As for comparing Lovecraft with King, well, King can write Lovecraftian stories, Crouch End and Graveyard Shiftamong others, but there's no way on earth Lovecraft could have written The Reach, or Head Down.

Or the Dark Tower Saga for that matter.

Lovecraft excelled at creating a mood or atmosphere, while Kind excels at creating vivid characters that act and speak like real people, and it is that reality that draws you into the dark with him.

Sure King puts out some klunkers (2 novels about haunted cars? Really?) but when he's on, there's nobody better.

John A said...

OFF-TOPIC

In addition to HalfPriceBooks take a look at
http://www.bookcloseouts.com/
Limited, true, but two months ago I picked up over forty books at the occasional "Under $2.01" sale - which also garnered free shipping. On my income, getting hardcover books for a third or less of paperback prices is a bargain.

Lissa said...

NOOOOO, Tam!! Put it down and walk away!!!