running themes stephen king books

(202 Posts)
marissab Sun 16-Jun-13 20:50:09

I'm reading Duma Key and am picking up lots of themes from other books. For example, one man who can't sleep says he feels like he's floating above himself like a balloon. This is an obvious ref to insomnia. I've read about links between books with randalf flagg and other baddies with `RF` initials. I would like to know more about these themes. Does anyone know if anyone's written anything i can read up on? It's something I'm interested in because I'm going back and re-reading the old SK's.

I have no heart. Evil little boy in grave suit in pet Sematary did not make me cry - it made me laugh.

insancerre Wed 03-Jul-13 18:00:53

ooh a webchat with Stephen King
that would be amazing

marissab Wed 03-Jul-13 18:16:33

Well so far i am racing through the gunslinger. He's just met Jake. And unbelievably, i'm find it an easy enjoyable read! But i guess its not too fantasy yet. The story has kinda drawn me in though. I really want him to catch the man in black (reminds me constantly of the johnny cash song!) coz i wanna know more about this charachter. When someone said ots more medieval than western, well not so far. Its been very western style, but i am unexpectedly enjoying it!

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Jul-13 16:16:33

Today's Amazon Kindle deal is The Shining, FYI fellow SK fans smile

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Jul-13 16:43:38

Remus - I have never found the need to suspend disbelief, even when reading sci-fi. Why would you want to? Personally, I like reading stories that are well-constructed and internally consistent so that they are rather believable.

My problem with Dark Tower #2 wasn't even that. It was:
1. I don't like fantasy books
2. I don't like Western/cowboy stories
3. Roland was ill, feverish, incapacitated throughout the books so really not the "Sex God" you led me to expect
4. Story was very dull and seemed to involve lots of walking or worse, pushing a wheel chair, on sand dunes.
5. The "monster" was a giant lobster that crawled at a snail's pace and blabbered "Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?”. I mean, seriously. grin

"For somebody who reads so widely and such (with all due respect) daft stuff in so many levels"

Thanks for the respect but I honestly don't know what you mean by the "daft stuff" you think I read. Stephen King books are probably the daftest in my library. For the most part, I like reading pretty heavy, complicated (and imho intellectually rewarding) books like Umbrella and Cloud Atlas. Can you give some examples of the "daft stuff" you think I read?

But you are choosing to suspend or not suspend disbelief according to whether you think a book meets what you have constructed to be your perception of good. By 'daft stuff' I mean stuff in which there are serial killing clown in the sewers, or spaceships coming to destroy the earth , or aliens coming to earth and having lots of sex or whatever. Daft yes, but still good!

Daft stuff can be great - and 'intellectual' stuff really isn't always good. That's why I agree with BOF on the other thread tbh.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Jul-13 20:26:02

I read It ("clown in the sewers") in my teens. It was OK then but I wouldn't read it now. I honestly don't know what you are referring to with spaceships coming to destroy earth or aliens having lots of sex. Sci-fi of the last 30 years is not about that sort of stuff at all.

I'm very disappointed in your understanding of the sort of stuff I read and have now decided to tell you even more about my books. Starting with Cloud Atlas grin grin grin

I'm JOKING, Cote. Relax! Spaceships = War of the Worlds and aliens wanting sex (actually half Martians wanting sex) = Robert Heinlein. Both of which give the reader plenty to think about too but are essentially 'daft' overall. smile As you know, I'm busy expanding my classic sci-fi reading at the moment - I haven't hit the last 30 years yet. smile

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Jul-13 21:07:16

He wasn't a half-Martian! He was 100% human, brought up by Martians after his parents died (or something). Again, I was about 15 when I read Stranger in a Strange Land. Not sure if I want to read it again.

Where are you in your sci-fi reading list? Have you read Dune and 2001: Space Odyssey yet?

Oops - shows how much it's stayed with me!

Have read Brave New World (loved), Do Androids Dream...(loved), Farhenheit 451 (liked), War of the Worlds (liked except for the cheesy ending), The Invisible Man (hated), The Time Machine (liked), another HGW which I've now forgotten the name of, erm...that's what I can remember offhand.

Haven't read Dune or Space Odyssey yet. Oh and not Sci fi but I've read and thoroughly enjoyed some Jules Verne books this year too.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Jul-13 21:28:10

You now need to move on to Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, and Heinlein - masters of classic sci-fi.

I'd recommend you start with:

Foundation (trilogy) - Isaac Asimov
2001: Space Odyssey - Arthur C Clarke
Time Enough For Love - Robert Heinlein

When you have read these three authors to your heart's delight, we can move on to the sci-fi of the last 30 years, starting with its masters William Gibson and Neal Stephenson.

Does Neal S write for YA too? I think I read Time Enough For Love when I was a teenager, come to think of it. I also read some Asimov then but can't begin to remember which.

CoteDAzur Mon 08-Jul-13 21:38:47

No, NS doesn't write YA. Some of his books are quite complicated and brain-hurty, in fact. In a good way grin

HarderToKidnap Tue 09-Jul-13 12:54:24

OT a little, but I MUST take issue with Nit above, who said SK was sexist. I couldn't disagree more. I think he writes women better than just about anyone, and that is part of what makes him so readable and so fab. He writes women with love, deep respect, with huge insight and just generally seems to dig them, as he might say. He is also very good at writing about how decent men experience sex and desire, without objectification, which makes me think he is probably a decent man who can desire a woman without objectifying her. I love him for this lack of sexism, especially in his earlier books when it would have been so easy and so obvious to write women as 1-d.

Rereading insomnia now, thanks to this thread. Haven't read it since reading DT and it's brilliant.

Brain hurty, eh? I'll need to wait until the winter for brain hurty. I've just read a batch of history books which were brain hurty so I need a bit of a rest. I thought my vocabulary was pretty good but I was needing the dictionary every other paragraph in some of them! smile

ILovePonyo Tue 09-Jul-13 21:36:43

Just returned to thread to say I have finished pet sematary. Glad I read it but I felt worse for the daughter at the end than the son, although the actual description of gage getting hit by the lorry made me feel sick.

I can't believe I missed the shining on kindle deals! Might just get it anyway.

Pet Sematary wasn't one of my favourites, it started off good but tailed off quite quickly imo.

Finished Joyland today which I loved! Remus interested to see why you didn't like the ending?

I agree with hardertokidnap - I think SK writes women very well generally, the majority of them are resourceful, brave females! Having said that, there were a couple of stories in the Full Dark No Stars book that did leave me feeling a bit cold, mainly to do with the treatment of its female characters. But every author misses the mark sometimes, and SK has written so much it's to be expected!

Cote love Robert Heinlein but was told to save Time Enough for Love until I'd read most of them? Given I'm finding them hard to get hold of, it will take a bit of time. Love Job though, and need to read Stranger in a Strange Land!

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Jul-13 22:27:06

tilly - I don't know why you would need to hold off on Time Enough For Love, especially since it is the prequel to several Heinlein books - To Sail Beyond The Sunset and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, for example.

I read all Heinlein books in my teens and thought they were brilliant. Not sure I want to find out what I would think of them now smile I thought Friday was pretty cool, too. If you like Heinlein, definitely read Friday.

CoteDAzur Tue 09-Jul-13 22:28:46

Remus - If you want to see a real brain-hurty book where you definitely will need the dictionary several times per page, try Will Self's "Umbrella". He is a genius and that is a brilliant book. But Oh. My. God. How difficult can it be to read a book?! shock

I understand why it was nominated for the Booker Prize last year, and I also understand why it didn't win.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 09-Jul-13 22:32:38

harder Jo in Bag of Bones? Rachel in Pet Sematry? The story about the magical typewriter, where the writer makes himself a nice homely purty wifee and a geeky son? I'm sure SK likes women, but I don't think he likes them very career minded!

The fatty lezzy rape-organizee librarian in the short story whose name I can't remember is pretty dreadful as a character, really.

I'll try it. I hated The Book Of Dave though -self aggrandising twaddle imvho.

Have just started A Canticle For Leibowitz - loving it so far.

Joyland - I didn't like the end because I felt cheated and tricked. It seemed clumsy, and un-Kingesquely cynical to me. I thought it was clunky and schlocky.

Thanks Cote. I wish I had read them in my teens but only started reading them a few years back when I was lent a couple. A couple of people suggested holding off on TEfL as it (apparently) ties up a lot of threads from the other books? Maybe not, or maybe I got the wrong end of the stick (entirely possible!) I have read Friday, loved that one too.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 09-Jul-13 22:36:36

Oh and The Stand is quite horrendously sexist. But I did like it as a teenager and could probably read it again....

Nope, not getting the sexist thing at all. The only one I can recall that has hideous portrayals of women is Needful Things - but the men are hideous in it too.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 09-Jul-13 22:39:10

Oh, I wrote something about it once: I'll find it off my laptop and see if I can bear to post it tomorrow!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now