Stephen King is the subject of a pull-out section of his own in the Times this weekend — additional online features are at the link, including a submission form for asking the author questions. King’s latest book, Lisey’s Story, is excerpted at the Times link and is reviewed by David Montgomery in the Chicago Sun-Times — I don’t suppose the article will be free access for long though, so I’ll note here that David liked it. From David’s review:
"The Mystery Writers of America announced recently that in 2007 they will be honoring King with their prestigious Grand Master Award, the highest distinction the MWA gives to recognize outstanding achievement in the mystery field."
I haven’t read a Stephen King book for ages. I think Misery was the last. My favourites were "The Stand", "’Salem’s Lot" and the short story "The Shawshank Redemption" (it had a slightly different title in the book). I was mildly thinking of reading the book he wrote in 10 parts once they are all collected into one. I was also mildly tempted by his last, The Cell. Lisey’s Story sounds good, too.
Stephen King is one of those authors, like J K Rowling, about whom people tend to be snobby and even despise. I have got no time for that sort of attitude. Authors like King and Rowling get thousands and millions of people reading. Of course their books are a matter of personal taste, as are anyone’s, but I really don’t like it when one reads articles (usually pretentious ones) in which the writer condescends to these authors.
As I probably say far too frequently and boringly, J K Rowling should win the Nobel prize for literature when her seventh book is published. Nobody in our lifetime has done what she has done for reading. She’s opened the world of reading to more children than any other author, probably ever. But she won’t win the prize, though, because the world isn’t like that. However, far more people read authors like Rowling and King than read their detractors, so they will have the last laugh.