[a / b / c / d / e / f / g / gif / h / hr / k / m / o / p / r / s / t / u / v / vg / vm / vmg / vr / vrpg / vst / w / wg] [i / ic] [r9k / s4s / vip / qa] [cm / hm / lgbt / y] [3 / aco / adv / an / bant / biz / cgl / ck / co / diy / fa / fit / gd / hc / his / int / jp / lit / mlp / mu / n / news / out / po / pol / pw / qst / sci / soc / sp / tg / toy / trv / tv / vp / vt / wsg / wsr / x / xs] [Settings] [Search] [Mobile] [Home]
Settings Mobile Home
/lit/ - Literature

Thread archived.
You cannot reply anymore.

File: 829305643.jpg (321 KB, 2400x1353)
321 KB
321 KB JPG
Please explain, in your own words, why Stephen King is a garbage novelist.

Any and all defense of the man, his work and especially his politics is off-topic and should be ignored.
Just finished some of his Richard Bachman stuff. God damn, it makes me realize how many bad books he wrote that so heavily outweigh the handful of gems
my man look like he from who ville
I did a sensible reddit chuckle
I just read wind through the keyhole. Better than most of his dark tower shit but that's not saying much. I think what I dislike most is is dialogue, which many say is what he is best at. The problem I have is his conversations go on for too long. Pads out the book where there should be more prose. And his prose is mid
and p.s. his politics are so bad it's extremely embarrassing.
King writes like some people work.
That is, it's just something he does for money, devoid of passion and soul, and does just enough to get by.
Bland, tedious, monotonous drivel that's not worth the paper it's printed on.
Stephen King, the hated.
He's a big faggot
>it makes me realize how many bad books he wrote that so heavily outweigh the handful of gems

I say, from the long view of things, the gems outweigh the trash. That's just how the sorting function of time works on literature.

How will he be reckoned in 100 years? Will he even be remembered? Only time will tell.
For all the shit he's printed he always be alright with me for the bachman books, salems lot and his early short stories. He should have burned everything else.
>Father hymen checks his daughter every time she comes home from school
>Drops "kike" fifty times on a single page
>Can't write a good villain so he relies on making the villain drop a couple of "Nigger" bombs to make them unlikable
>Really bizarre, Seinfeld-esque analogies and metaphors
>Kike character's personality is the fact that he is a kike
>Tries way too hard to shock readers will that it becomes laughable (leg chopping scene in "Misery", the "grain and drain" diet in "Shawshank"
>Laughably written sex scenes
>Literally Deus Ex Machina as an ending
I read most of his novels as a young teen because they are pornographic and titillating. This is especially true of The Stand, which I read as a 13 yo, the longer unabridged version. The sex played on my adolescence as did the basic libtard themes. Easy for a kid, with no understanding of the wider world, to fathom. He's so fucking shallow and perverted.
Never read anything by him, but watched a bunch of movies inspired by his novels beacuse my mother likes them.
Why is he so popular?
Is The Shining any good? I really the movie.
i liked the first half of the stand and i did not like the second half of the stand. i read the first 100 pages of 11/22/63 and got bored. i haven't touched his work since.
He's done a few good books yeah, I've read tonnes of his stuff.

His best:

Salem's lot
The Shining
Wizard and glass
Pet semetary


The stand

Shit tier
Almost every else, with a special mention of 99% of the bachman books, the rest of the dark towers and that stupid fucking dome book. God I've read so many, and they're mostly fucking cringe. His short stories are also included in this tier, although they make better movies (green mile, Shawshank etc)
His characters good
His endings bad
>His characters good
I never got this. His characters are often weird stereotypes. After you read a few of his books you'll also notice the same type of characters reoccurring.

I think that last book of his that I read was Duma, where the main character wasn't anything special. But King made him worse by having random thoughts of missing banging his now ex-wife and cumming on her back and then having to clean it up.

It's been a while, so maybe I'm mixing it up with another antagonist. It boils down to I am not that impressed with his characters. And I think he writes such bloated books that the reader has enough time to read about said characters that they seem less bland.
If you give a chimpanzee a typewriter eventually he will write Shakespeare.
Apparently is you give a literate one a typewriter eventually a better writer will adapt your works to film.
The Shining is incredibly overrated. The Stand and It are both god-tier in terms of popular fiction meant for the masses.
>His characters good
Yeah strongly disagree with that. They almost all feel like cardboard cutouts of people, they have no real depth. Like a lot of aspects of his work they're incredibly generic, it's like muzak for paper. It's so ridiculously bland it's almost impressive. Even the names he comes up with sound wrong and just plain stupid sometimes.

>a better writer will adapt your works to film.
This seems to me his greatest and what will be his lasting legacy, stuff that he didn't have much if any direct involvement in.

>I read most of his novels as a young teen
This was me too. I've forgotten a lot of it but I don't feel any compulsion to return to any of it. I've struggled to express my distaste for him words for that. Guess it wasn't worth holding memories of.
Surely there are more perspectives of life than "child who gets bullied" but Stephen sure doesn't like to go beyond that when he writes protagonists

Who hurt you, Steve?
Daddy left him. His brother probably kicked his ass for being a nerd. Says he saw a friend get struck by a train as a kid but has no memory of it so that's probably a work of fiction.
The gangbang scene in 'IT'
Not really, it's alright but the movies just so much better.
I thought King was shit for a long time but I recently read Salem's Lot and that ruled.
The stand went on for far too long, and ended so poorly it took it down from his best tier.
The gems outweigh the trash for sure. Though, I haven't read any real trash by him but I believe in it. Oh wait: End of Watch was really bad.
He's like the Robert Pollard of literature. He just writes constantly and shits every idea out rather than saving them up, waiting, and making fewer, higher quality works. Dude CAN write solidly when he wants to, he just doesn't care to. He knows fuckers will eat up whatever he makes.
Okay but Dean Koontz is basically the same thing but orders of magnitude worse so can we shit on him instead?
The ending is fine and better than what you normally get with King. Also, I never felt that it dragged at all (even the complete text edition). The Shining was far shorter and dragged like fucking crazy.
No, but you can throw him in the mix. I don't recall ever reading Dean Koontz.
Never read one of his novels but his book on writing fiction was 3/4 memoir, making it a big waste of time
Everything the good guys did was a complete waste of time. They might as well have done absolutely nothing and just stayed in their little town, because trashcan man was just going to drag a bomb in and blow everyone up anyway.
His views are now much to conservative for my taste (I know his views were kinda different back in the day, there are some really progressive and controversial short stories). Now its a nonstop glorification of american small town narrow-mindness and supposed "values" (IMO Clive Barker is pretty much the complete opposite of King). In terms of the above I found especially the for whatever reason predominantly praised "The Stand" his worst work so far. There can hardly any shade of grey be found in this novel. The characters are stereotypes and all that religious bullshit is sickening (and again very atypical compared to his earlier works, something must've happened in his life). I don't get the hate for him being a supposed "lib" at all, IMO he's quite the opposite.
>Salem's lot
is okay
>The Shining
Terrible. Kubrick inverted it and made it good though.
>Pet Semetary
Probably the worst book I've ever read
Actually pretty fucking good. Bloated though.
>The Stand
Pretty good, but not as good as IT. Even more bloated.
I've read some short stories and probably some other stuff but it's not even worth mentioning desu. I think IT is worth listening to on audiobook at 2.5x speed.
Barker is nice but I don't agree with his views, Stephen King is far too liberal for me
>The ending is fine
No it wasnt. It was the most ridiculously random, deus-ex-machina, "I-just-want-to-wrap-this-shit-up-now" crap ending I have ever read.
since he quit drugs he hasn't written a good one
File: 1641419866356.jpg (71 KB, 800x800)
71 KB
Never read any of his books
I feel like y'all are biased towards him because his Trump Derangement Syndrome, which I agree was embarrassing, but that doesn't necessarily mean he is a bad author. He added a lot to the horror canon and you have to respect that.
1) Style.
His style is incredibly clunky, basic, and bland. Despite all the proliferation of description, it still feels like a first draft. It lacks any sense of cadence, rhythm, flow. Check Joyce, Robert Anton Wilson, and Burroughs: they could write paragraphs with short sentences that actually sounded and flowed well.
The style is so uniform that you can take a King from the 70’s and a King from 2010’s and feel like the books were written by someone frozen in time: a writer who stuck with some basic and never tried to improve. Even Shakespeare actually evolved. You can see the process clearly of you a complete collection and read from the first Henriad till The Tempest. Yet Stephen King does one thing and doesn’t improve as a writer.
This stubborn adherence to this pedestrian journalistic style actually destroys the impact of the horror in his book. The most gregarious example of this is the Revival: a King’s homage to Machen’s Great God Pan. I think everyone should read it and then read a Lovecraft story to understand viscerally why King sucks and Lovecraft rules. The story is about a disillusioned pastor who discovers that a side effect of his electric treatment of disease is a glimpse behind the veil of death. The problem is that the glimpse is short lived. By the end of the book this pastor finds the right victim, let the victim die then resuscitates with the electric treatment and, clenching her hand, and clenching the main hero’s hand, witnesses the afterlife: a Matrix level tier of Gnostic pessimism where humans are slaves to ants. The problem is that, thanks to bland prose, the climax doesn’t deliver. It feels so flat you can’t feel anything about it.
Here’s an approximation of King’s style.

I sit on the toilet and shit. I stand up, wipe my ass with Cottonelle Ultra (extra soft; my wife’s son likes it), and flush it along with my shit. I release my breath in relief. It’s a normal maroon colour, number 1 on the fecal table in terms of form and consistency. At old age any shit that is not liquid is a gift.
I exit the toilet and turn left. I enter the kitchen and see my wife spread on the table, belly down, spine up. Her arms are spread like she is crucified. Her face is chalk white. Her eyes are rolled back in her head. Her throat is sliced, and a pool of blood spreads around her head like urine from beneath a frightened dog’s flank.
I look up and see Penisvise the clown standing behind her, grinning. He lifts his right hand. A blood covered sickle catches the afternoon sun and glints.
“’Sup?” I ask and walk towards the Toshiba fridge.
Penisvise shrugs. “Same shit. Different day.”
I open the fridge, take a Budweiser and sip. “You do the day and let the day do you.”

That’s why the bland prose sucks. It creates no atmosphere, no tension, but a overall feel of utter apathy and blandness.
2) The characters
His character actually feel like characters in a movie, TV series, or cheap novel. They don’t feel full and alive like Joyce’s Dubliners. They feel like tropes: the depressed writer, the magical negro, the tomboy, the hillbilly retard, the joker, the cool spic, the magical downie, the paranormal teenage girl, etc. King tries to give them depth by a 3rd person limited narrative and bloating up the narrative, yet you forget all about them once you finish the book and put it on the shelf.

Cindy bent over counter and shuffled her hand underneath it. Her fingers stumbled on a cool metal cylinder. She gripped the shape and yanked it.

King’s version.

Cindy bent over the counter and shuffled her hands underneath, praying that Bill wouldn’t check her ass. Even in such circumstances, she still felt conscious about her buttocks. Once they’re out of here - if they get out here - she’d go to the gym, five days a week, and follow a diet. Dairy and water sounds good.
Her fingers stumbled on a cools metal cylinder. Cindy gripped the shape and yanked it. Just what she was looking for. The hard steel was identical to the feel of her dildo when unused. Stop it Cindy. You must escape the mutant gerbils.

It’s a cheap trick to create 3d characters. An adroit writer would create the necessary depth through mannerisms, body language, and dialogue. Once again, check Dubliners where Joyce, through short stories, manages to create more lively characters than King through his decades spent writing.
And the dialogue is another of King’s failings. All the character actually speak the same. No matter what their background - lower, middle, upper class, writer, scientist, lawyer, kid, adult, old croak - all characters sound the same.
And I don’t understand why on goodread the onions and Karens says that character are relatable, that they represent casual people. In most of King’s work the main heroes are usually posh upper middle class to rich shits: successful writers who bangs top models (It, Desperation, Tommycknockers, to a degree), university professors (Shining, Dreamcatcher, Pet Sematary), business tycoons (Duma Key), rock stars (with homeless past but still, The Revival), or upper middle class WASPS (Desperation, both books, It, Insomnia, Duma’s Key). I don’t see how this American strata is in any fucking way relatable. Usually the antiheroes, if they’re human, come from a lower class background: Henry Bowers and his friends in It, as one example. Evil some time takes the form of lower class: the vampiric wanderers of Doctor Sleep, who cruise in caravan vans and rest at trailer parks, despite having all the wealth in the world. You get a very twisted perspective from King’s books were the upper middle class are the good guys while everyone below is stupid, retarded, or evil. The only other character King uses are kids, bums, and retired old people.
For me, it's the shinning.
There’s no place in King’s world for service and factory workers, programmers and poor writers, cooks, electricians, plumbers, and other trades.
Plus, King often dumbs the characters to keep the plot moving. One memorable example is Dreamcatcher when a guy picks up a toothpick, while keeping a parasitic alien in the toilet bowl, and gets killed and starts the main plot. Imagine: would a normal person, seeing a dead person with a bloody burst out ass ( the parasites erupt out of the ass in the book), knowing that whatever was inside is floating in the toilet, get up from the toilet seat to pick up a toothpick to chew on as stress relief while his friends searched for tape to wrap the toilet lit in? I think even terminal junkies would prefer to suffer through junk sickness than let such evil out of the toilet. He lets characters do dumb things that no one on their sane mind would do to keep the plot going and thus ruining any realism and verisimilitude.
One thing I notice on goodreads is that King fans say that he creates such characters that you never doubt the motives of their actions. One and only one counter-example is needed: the gangbang in It. I fucking fail to see how an 11 year old girl, who through the book gives no sign of understanding what sex is and how it actually happens, suddenly wants to fuck 5 boys and in a fucking sewer at that. My memory of that time shows me that girls at that age aren’t that interested in romance or, if they are, then it’s sappy Disney kind, not the full on fucking you encounter in It.
And now we come to the third point
3) The plot
People says that King is good at making plots.
What King is good at is keeping attention by using literary clickbait and cheap emotional thrills (dead children, dead heroes, love relationships).
If you take the plot of any of his book and think about, it falls apart and you see how contrived it is.
Take It.
The idea is simple: an alien entity is feeding in humans, especially kids.
Yet, unlike any other animal who eats its prey whole, It takes a bite from the kids then leaves the body there for others to find. So you have, throughout the books, an endless procession of headless bodies, mutilated bodies, bodies with bite marks of them. What fucking animal in the world eats like that? And what kind of intelligent animal would leave its kill for others to find? Wouldn’t it be logical for It to lure kids in the sewers and eat without leaving any trace to keep its secrecy? King apparently saw this dilemma but he took the easy way out: It keeps the whole of Derry in hypnotic sway; people turn a blind eye on the murders.
And if It is intelligent and knows about human affairs, then why is it focused on kids, who provide less nutrition than adults, when It could prey on adult after they have sired children and, thus, a new generation for It to feed upon? Even here King took the mentally challenged way out of the conundrum:
>poor writers
What about Jack Torrance
It makes Derry prosperous, bringing more people to the city; It feeds on children because their fears are easier to exploit (and here another dilemma appears: if It abuses the imaginary faculties of children why do the gay basher see a clown in the novel’s beginning and why do the grown-up Losers fall into Its traps? Being adults that know of Its existence and how it works, they should have an easier time dispatching it, not harder. King decides that It, apparently a material beings, is actually defeated by imagination, hence why grown up Losers are in disadvantageous position vis-a-vis It, although they should have the advantage because no imagination in adult, less chance to influence them.)
Why the children and their mutilated bodies instead of coherent logic? Emotional manipulation (Children are dying; they’re disfigured; It is such a fucking evil bastard) and titillation by the use of violence.
Another example of a very contrived plot is the Institute.
The premise: a government facility abducts bright and ESP prone children, captures them, tortures them to enhance their ESP, then makes them focus their powers via hypnosis to create assassinations. The problem is that kids go retard from this process in a matter of months.
And this is the main branch on the wheel that shows that Stephen King lives in a alternate dimension. He writes the method was developed on the 60’s and never afterwards improved. Economically, such usage of ESP talent is waste. A normal secret operation would understand that submitting of rare individual through torture and debilitating hypnotic process that burns said individual to vegetables in a matter of months to achieve a killing at distance is a process where wastage is disproportionately bigger than the end result. It’s not worth it.
Real life MKULTRA stopped because it was understood that the cost to result ratio was skewed: the logistics too unpredictable and complicated, the result, poor. In the Institute, King leads us to believe that the government would, through different presidencies, and despite the inner reports, allow such a wasteful operation to continue. IRL two things would happen: the project is terminated; new methods are developed that allow the growth and usage of the talent without traumatic degenerative results, that is, if you have something as rare as an ESP prone kid, you would foster the talent and ensure, in any way possible, that the kid stays on the healthy intelligent side instead of letting him slide into clinical idiocy.
The most insulting is the end where the snotty brat of a hero says to a government agent that their torture was moot because the assasinations could be explained by statistic formula: something that a government operation of such kind, probably featuring academic mathematicians in the project, apparently overlooked. Can you, anon living in the real world, not segregated in a luxurious mansion in Maine, understand how fucking stupid the premise is
Forgot about him. Read Shining a year ago, didn't really stuck. Yes, I fucked up here.
I've read some King for research purposes lately and out childhood nostalgia and am posting now my disgust with the recently read stuff.
Then what’s the point of the book? Emotional titillation, once again: feel the pain of the children, the government is LE BAD, fuck yeah, the good guy wins in a epic OMFG fight!
In essence it’s pornography for the emotions: the reason why women love King so much.
Other general problems with the the plot are
A) A predictable peak through peak pattern - tension in first act, little reprieve in the middle, escalating time-bound tension in the act. It’s obvious in IT: first part leads to the encounter with the werewolf in the streets while the Losers where kids, is followed by a reprieve when they gather in the restaurant as grown ups, and ends up with an action packed climax going from night to the next day. It’s obvious in Desperation: one group escapes from prison while the other survive’s the town’s traps; a chill moment in the old cinema; action rising towards the explosive banishment of evil. It’s obvious in the Institute: boy’s nightmare in the facility; catching breath in a hick town; confrontation with the force of the facility and its destruction as the climax.
B) It’s time bound (I’ll talk later)
C) It always features het fucking. No matter what the events are, the main hero is going to fuck his love interest, be it a school crush (It, The Revival), an ex-wife (Duma’s Key), girlfriend (Salem’s Lot), companion (Dark Tower; Institute; The Revival).
Then why do people read King?
I think there are three possible reasons
1) The time-limit of the plot.
What King is good at is creating tension, which he does by making his heroes work against a quickly ticking clock and managing it by the skin of the teeth. In Duma’s Key the heroes must find the doll before dark, and the reader is hammered by the description of fading daylight. The same is Salem’s Lot where the heroes have the time until sunset to kill the vampires. In Dreamcatcher the race against time is about who’ll reach the water reservoir first, the aliens or the good guys; and you have this chain of people - alien, good guys, bad military guys - going after another. In It the Losers are chased into the sewers by the human antiheroes: you’re reading a pursuit where the kids are pressed by behind and are driven into the baddy’s lair, and you’re wondering how will they make it out. Even such slowburn books like Tommycknockers and Insomnia actually pick up in the last act: in the former the tension is will the writer escape the villagers turned aliens or not; in the latter it’s a race against time to stop a possessed kamikaze flier from destroying a feminist rally. And it’s telling that the books that are panned by King’s readers - Tommycnockers, Insomnia, Desperation, Duma’s key - are the ones that lack heavily the feeling of race against time, of the pursuit.
2) Ending the chapter and subchapters with a bait.
Most of the times, but not all, King ends the chapter and subchapters with a short phrase that makes one read further.
A personal reason why I come to dislike King was his reactions to criticism from the serious liteary figures like Harold Bloom. Although King says that he’s Big Mac and fries of literature, his writing is full of genre fiction writers BTFOing literary types (It, the Kennedy book, Lisey’s Story), which shows that the contempt of the academics gets him. What actually impresses me is that King, despite having the money to devote himself whole decades to the study of classics and their prose - he can afford private tutoring on Nabokov and Joyce and, if he’s lazy, he can hire the best prose writer in the Anglosphere and make him edit his work into something like Ulysses tier - kept to his bland prose and his dissociated from common human existence themes. Instead of reading and improving his prose King, like a child, shits on the critics in his books, apparently unable to comprehend that he, a guy who writes like this:
File: Screenshot (181).png (1.44 MB, 3840x2160)
1.44 MB
1.44 MB PNG
Beverly always woke up when the alarm went off in her parents’ bedroom. You had to be fast, because the alarm no more than got started before her father banged it off. She dressed quickly while her father used the bathroom. She paused briefly (as she now almost always did) to look at her chest in the mirror trying to decide if her breasts had gotten any bigger in the night. She had started getting them late last year. There had been some faint pain at first, but that was gone now. They were extremely small—not much more than spring apples, really—but they were there. It was true; childhood would end; she would be a woman.

Won’t ever, ever, be accepted by people who like writing like this

A girl stood before him in midstream, alone and still, gazing out to sea. She seemed like one whom magic had changed into the likeness of a strange and beautiful seabird. Her long slender bare legs were delicate as a crane’s and pure save where an emerald trail of seaweed had fashioned itself as a sign upon the flesh. Her thighs, fuller and soft-hued as ivory, were bared almost to the hips, where the white fringes of her drawers were like feathering of soft white down. Her slate-blue skirts were kilted boldly about her waist and dovetailed behind her. Her bosom was as a bird’s, soft and slight, slight and soft as the breast of some dark-plumaged dove. But her long fair hair was girlish: and girlish, and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty, her face.
Instead of seething King could work on his prose.
I used to like King and defend King, unable to understand why S.T.Joshi and Harold Bloom were so negative about him. After Shakespeare, Milton, Pynchon, Joyce, he does seem very bad and clunky, without interesting insights.
But one thing King does good is show, don’t tell rule. If you’re a writer and want to see an excellent execution of this rule, try King’s novels.
S.T.Joshi, in the Modern Weird Tale, agrees with you about King’s conservative views. Pic related. He actually does a deep analysis of King in the book.
Dolores Claiborne is about a housemaid.
I think he's generally okay. He just has a great work ethic and knows how to capitalize himself.

Delete Post: [File Only] Style:
[Disable Mobile View / Use Desktop Site]

[Enable Mobile View / Use Mobile Site]

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective parties. Images uploaded are the responsibility of the Poster. Comments are owned by the Poster.