Take One: The “King” of Horror

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One of my favorite writers is Stephen King. Yes, he writes lots of scary stuff, but 1. what’s wrong with writing in a certain genre and 2. he doesn’t just write horror. Or, if you think about it, everyone writes horror to some extent. But my point is that King is a good writer period, no matter what genre. He mystifies the reader in The Eyes of the Dragon, he brings sympathy to laborers with lousy jobs in the short story Luckey Quarter (published in Everything’s Eventual), and gives us a woman with a rapid mouth to root for in Dolores Claiborne. He creeps us out when we’re lost in the woods (The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon), tells us if we ever become famous, stay clear of stalkers, or in Annie Wilkes’ words “number one fans” (Misery), and to be aware of everything you’re told and to not listen blindly to people ( the novella Apt Pupil). He brings us stories of our youth (The Body) and our lack of sleep cycles (Insomnia). Any good writer can transform a touchy subject, like domestic violence, which King touches upon a lot, into a mind blowing story for the ages. I personally enjoy scary stories, and I don’t really see King’s stories as “scary” per se. More suspenseful or terrifying I would say. I recently finished The Girl Who loved Tom Gordon  about a young girl who gets lost in the woods, and for comfort, imagines her favorite Red Sox baseball player with her. That is a story that many people can identify with. My favorite book of his is Dolores Claiborne, the story of a woman who is accused of killing the owner of the house she cleaned for twenty-two years. This woman is not fancy, but merely a woman who does her  job well, even though she hates it. My mother is very similar to the character. Both care for people as a job, both have foul mouths, and both are strong women with kids. Please comment on your reasons for enjoying Stephen King or disliking him.

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