Finally, I have read more Stephen King! Enough to finally have some consistency with this series! Turns out being stuck indoors is incredibly helpful when you need to get through 700 pages of killer cars (we’ll get to that) or 1,000 pages of a shape shifting clown (oh boy will we get to that), but for now, let’s look at what I’ve gathered is a relative deep cut in the King canon, which is odd considering it established a popular sci-fi trope. Stop me if you’ve heard this plot before-
After a long absence and a series of Doctor Who it’s time to bring back my past recurring blog posts, starting by picking up where we left off with the entire bibliography of Stephen King. Thankfully we don’t have to do The Stand and talk about a global pandemic sweeping the globe but instead we can talk about The Dead Zone, which raises the simple but brilliant question of “If you had the power to change the future, would you?”
Ask a “Constant Reader” of King’s work what their favourite novel is and the answer is probably The Stand. It’s his attempt at a Lord of the Rings type epic set in modernish America (depending on the edition it’s either 1980 or 1990) and I have to say I think he succeeded. With the uncut edition running at over 1,000 pages, The Stand is a daunting read but hey, I had a four month summer and I had to do something right? And now we can discuss the book in the marathon.
Do I even need to introduce this one? You all know The Shining. King’s first “superstar” novel, published in 1977 after the success of Salem’s Lot and Brian de Palma’s Carrie adaptation made King a household name, is without question his defining work. It’s an iconic tale of horror and tragedy and its legacy still stands to this day. So what better way to honour Halloween and the release of Doctor Sleep to cinemas then to explore one of the most revered modern horror novels?
Vampires have always been one of the most endearing pop culture creations and to be honest, I dig them. Even before Bram Stoker’s Transylvanian count, vampires have existed in popular culture and folklore for hundreds if not thousands of years. So it only seems natural that any writer wanting to explore horror will eventually write a vampire novel. Stephen King’s contribution to the vampire mythos is his second published novel and at nearly 600 pages long is a much larger, denser and richly packed text than his first. A classic tale of good and evil, ‘Salem’s Lot is the perfect October Halloween book as King explores the self destruction of small town America through the lenses of a vampire invasion.
It’s October, and for once I’m actually going to do horror related stuff across the month and not just on the 31st. Every Wednesday up till the 30th we’ll be looking at the first four Stephen King novels written under his own name. I’m not doing his collection of short stories Graveyard Shift (published in 1978) because I’m lazy and haven’t read it (plus I’m prioritising getting through The Dead Zone right now) and whilst I will discuss the Bachman books in due course let’s be honest, the first four Stephen King books written AS Stephen King are so iconic that it’ll be a shame not to go through October without discussing them. So without further ado, and considering I’ve delayed this long enough, let’s get things started with his first published novel.
OK, back onto the regular monthly posts after last month’s double bill. From this month on expect a wide variety of films- you may find me discussing Hitchcock or Welles one moment, then back onto the 80’s trash cult films. This is because I’ve started studying film at university so naturally will have to be watching “proper” cinema along with the stuff I usually throw into these articles. Luckily, today saw my first lecture and film screening so we’re getting some much needed variety for September. But first, the usual nonsense-
Ah, Stephen King. The name conjures up killer clowns, haunted hotels and possessed cars. For over forty years his name has been synonymous with scares, thrills and genius. King is perhaps the most famous author living today and even if you’ve never read a single book of his you surely know of his reputation, or seen a film based on one of his many stories in his gigantic bibliography.
So, you were probably wondering where my July film list was. Here it is. At the end of August. Due to multiple issues, including holidays, a university application and losing track of time in this endless summer, I decided to skip July and have a big film extravaganza at the end of August, with the idea that I would have seen countless films to discuss. A noble plan in theory, but due to those aforementioned issues plus other pastimes such as reading and League of Legends my combined film total for two whole months is not quite as much as perhaps you may think. Regardless, here are the films I saw this month, and from next month we should be getting some interesting ones as that’s when I start Film Studies at university.
Another year done and dusted- and what a year it’s been for nerdom. A new Doctor arrived, Thanos killed half the universe (SPOILER ALERT for the three people who don’t know), the Skeleton Detective got political and del Toro won his Oscar. 2019 promises to be huge, so without further ado it’s time to reveal what I am looking forward this year in terms of films, television shows and books. We are returning to Hawkins, visiting our favourite drunk reality jumping cynical genius once again, travelling to a galaxy far far away and the most underrated comic book hero of all time is getting a new coat of red. 2019 is going to be huge.