I'm gonna give an popular opinion here: It by Stephen King is actually good.
Now hear me out before you call me pleb. I'll agree that most of King's writing is shit. His prose is too basic and cinematic, his characters are for the most part flat and uninteresting. His narrative sequences are usually cringey and sometimes just unnecessary. But It, I think, is actually unique to all his other works. And I believe it actually has a lot literary value, at least artistically.
A lot of this is subjective, I'll admit. But I feel like the characters this book are actually quite real. Sure, they superficially have archtype traits, but mostly these character feel fucking REAL. Even the minor characters, the ones mentions only one or two pages per.
And the prose, dear god. For some reason the prose in this one book by King is just kind of heartbreaking. I realize I can't be very convincing if I myself don't understand the specific reason for why I like certain things, but I'll try. The only best way to describe what makes the prose so good is simple composition of each sentence. I suppose the chemicals in my brain respond to these compositions in the same way they respond to seeing an old tree in the woods that melts you.
There's a lot of Lovecraftian theme going on, but it has the ambience akin to Marilynne Robinson or Alice McDermott, maybe even Cormac McCarthy.
Among all Stephen King's work, I think It actually comes closest to being literary.
Stephen King's major gimmick is combining mundane, blue-collar Americana (notice how he's always dropping brand names of things?) with supernatural/mythological goings on. He tries to bring his horror closer to the reader by making the characters and settings believable by their relatable nature, and this book is where he most successfully pulls it off. If he were a better/more creative writer he could really do something earth-shattering (and yes, LITERARY) with this most potent combination but since he isn't IT probably represents his ceiling.
'Buzzword' is a buzzword that faggots use when they can't understand the meaning of a word or concept but want to appear intelligent and informed in front of other anonymous faggots.
Except I explained like 3 paragraphs why I thought the book was good, so way to focus on one tiny detail rather than the larger points. This is one of the reasons feminists are never taken seriously.
>Among all Stephen King's work, I think It actually comes closest to being literary.
That's not Misery though. I'd argue that's the only King work that is literary, since it is largely his only book that is almost completely free of the kind of predictable shenanigans mentioned on >>7615152.
I actually do completely agree with OP, even though he obviously sucks cocks.
Most of King's work is total garbage, but he does have some pretty damn good gems in there. "IT" is my favorite of his, and I do think it comes pretty damn close to being literary. I think if he cut about 100 pages out of it, it probably would be literary.
"IT" is still on my top 5 books though, next to Faulkner and Hemingway.
>it comes pretty close to being literary
>it could do with 100 pages less
>still makes his top 5
I think I liked 'Cell' most out of any Stephen King book. Only because of the girl that gets bricked, I fell in love with her. 'It' was neat until the cosmic turtle + sewer gangbang shenanigans. The sewer gangbang was pretty neat though.
Agreed, most of his work is...well I guess I wouldn't say "garbage" but it's definitely candy. Some of it is garbage, though, yeah. Actually, more now that I'm thinking about all the stuff he did.
I think "Black House" is overlooked, though it's with Peter Straub so I don't know if it counts. And some of his short stories are good. One about John Dillinger I liked.
He blends together many of his characters and reuses them in what I believe it is his best work, The Dark Tower.
This. Carrie is probably his best. Raw, horrific, depressing brutal and unmerciful. He was struggling and unhappy when he wrote it and hasn't captured that same bleak small-town dark Americana since then, except maybe with Salem's Lot.
I thought I had lost my mind when that happened. When the nigger got a turn I knew that I had
It was such a gorgeous book. I will always stop with 200 pages left. I fucking hated the sewer gangbang. I fucking hated, moreso than the rest of his works, the fact that he obviously had no idea to end it. It was such a perfect book for so long that it just fucked with me that he destroyed the ending. I actually like King. He writes tons and he's usually interesting and well written. But when you make something as good as the first 80 percent of It you better fucking end it with a decent ending.
It's only a few autistic contrarians who truly hate King and incessantly post about how much they hate him.
The rest of us for the most part agree that while his characters tend to not have much depth nor are his books particularly thought-provoking, he does know how to create an entertaining story that makes for an enjoyable read.
I have zero ill will toward King. He seems like a pretty solid guy and interviews/his book about writing he seems to be pretty well-aware that he won't go down in history as a Hemingway, Faulkner or Tolstoy. Just a dude who liked to write stories that entertained people.
Far more than I can say about some of the "writers" on /lit/ who haven't published a fucking thing nor do they take practicing getting better at writing seriously but think they're the next Joyce.
Stephen King has never ever claimed to write for any purpose other than to entertain the reader, but he takes that job seriously. I think he's a good writer because he knows what he's good at and doesn't have pretension to anything else. At the very least that makes him a good reader.
He is not a great or groundbreaking writer, but that's a different thing entirely.
To claim that King has not written anything "literary" is absolutely silly. Of course King has written some garbage. He's also written a lot of fun genre work. And, he's also written a number of books that are without out a doubt literary.
I actually think King is a fascinating American cultural artificat. Dickens by way of Lovecraft-at-the-drive-in.
I find something appealing about the sort of blunt humor of his writing. In his "On Writing" book he seems very aware of the impact his words have. Like when he's describing having his ears punctured by a doctor, or his car accident. One line I like is before the car accident, he takes a piss in the woods, and he writes something like "It would be another two months before I could piss standing up"
True. Something else he never gets credit for: The dude reads so much that his vocabulary contains some pretty obscure words. You might finish reading a paragraph about someone's farts and then encounter a word that, according to Google, has fallen out of use for decades.
I've been tricked into reading some of his other shit before and each time I've realised even the original reason to read it was a massive trick by the recommending party, this seems like the next trick, you've said everything you need to say to get me to read this now, like his vortex plots with extreme logical behaviour by everyone it.
You just have to leave abusive relationships and not look back, you stay around and it is obvious you are the worse character for being such a bad judge of character.
I really enjoyed the Dark Tower series, but it took me till the end of the second book to really start to get into it, the fourth book was incredible. I read it right after reading Blood Meridian for the first time so at first it seemed to fall very flat.
Hearts in Atlantis ties in to the Dark Tower series, with the low men, and a minor character, but is a great read, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to see a more literary side of him. It reads as a stand alone so you don't have to read the Dark Tower series to understand it.
I've read quite a bit of his stuff, mostly when I am having trouble thinking of something to check out from the library, but I also read voraciously so it's not uncommon for me to read things I'm not always enamored with.
i really like It. i read it in middle school but reread it last year and was v pleasantly surprised.
i can see how you could read all the pop culture/ads/song lyrics as gimmicky, but i think it details the setting in a neat way. it's like a pop culture-quilt over the (imo) engaging+above average narrative. the low culture maximalism really calls to mind all the postmodern doorstop epics and the story has a lot of good lovecraftian things.
He was thinking in older terms of sexuality as having magical power, rather than the modern depiction of sex as nothing but a Jesus-offending taboo
Seeing as they're fighting an ancient horror this seemed pretty reasonable to me, but Stephen probably overestimated the mainstream audience when writing that
Or maybe he was just high as fuck, he's said on the record that he doesn't even remember writing Cujo due to his embarkment upon a cocaine cruise
I actually emulated this idea in one of my short stories. It was a "bringing into" adulthood to defeat the opposing force. That's what I gathered from IT, at least. Except in my story, the opposing force was a trailer park where nobody could really ever move from (an overcoming and ability to move on), rather than in IT where the opposition was overcoming yet "driving out".
Overall, overcoming something through maturation is pretty much the theme I see here.
absolutely. All of the Bachman books are amazing and much better than his other books.
I've read a few King books, but the only ones I really liked are 11/22/63 and Mr. Mercedes. Should I check out Misery and IT?
Also, in ever King thread on /lit/, people are talking about how his short stories are better than his novels. Which collection is his best?
Shawshank and the Body (Stand by Me) are both great. Actually, an old fiction professor of mine loathed King, but said she taught the Body a few times because it was really valuable.