Posts Tagged With: stephen king

6 writers who had to look up the word “sober”.

The source of this deliciously well-written post (I’m just only hosting it): here.

Writing is a doddle. Just look at this. Look at what I’m doing right now! I could literally tap the ever-loving shit out of these keys all day and never break a sweat. But that’s the difference between writing for fun in a squalid crack den using a nearby heated spoon as a WiFi access point, and writing to feed a family and pay the heating bill.

Carving a career as a writer is hard (as opposed to the actual act of writing itself). It’s not always book signings and movie adaptations. And even if it is (as is the case with these examples) the stress and the piled up years of torment and rejection after rejection is bound to play an evil role in it all. Call it their muse. Call it medicinal or therapeutic or a deep-routed desire to kill onself slowly. However you choose to disguise it some writers just need that morning whiskey before continuing with that paragraph.

The following are great American writers who may have screwed up some vital organs in pursuit of alcohol and artistc outlet but managed to achieve a hell of a lot more by doing so than if they’d have been quaffing carrot juice and  having yoga sessions.

Stephen King (1947 – )

Yes, I intend all these photos to be black & white. It’s so noir…

Who is he?

Probably one of the most famous authors currently writing today. If you were to lay all his published short stories, novels, novellas and film adaptations end to end…you would be ousted as a weirdo. At the height of his success he took the rockstar approach to writing and began indulging in a variety of substances. To the point where he has even been quoted as saying that he had no recollection of writing the novel Cujo.

So what has he achieved?

Just about everybody on the planet has read at least one of his books (or seen his films for those of you with no imagination). His work is so widely accessible and popular entire sections of high street bookshops are set aside just to house his work and several of his adaptations have gone on to win awards . In short: what has he achieved? FUCKING EVERYTHING!

Oh, and he slated Twilight author Stephanie Meyer.

What happened to him in the end?

He cleaned up (boo hiss!). After the publication of The Tommyknockers in the late 80′s his family held an intervention. Emptying a bin bag in front him they saw – amongst beer cans and cigarette ends – cocaine, Xanax, Valium, NyQuil, dope and…er…cough medicine (hey, drugs are drugs). It was basically a Wurzel Gummidge version of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing passage (below). He stated in his memoirs that he quit drink and drugs after that. And his subsequent novels have not been as well received since. Just saying…

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all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.

Some people have it, and some people don’t—the shining, the ability to see what others don’t. Jack and Wendy’s five year old son, Danny Torrance, has the shining. But will this be a help or a hindrance at the haunted and desolate Overlook Hotel, where timelines don’t know their place?

Stephen King’s “The Shining” is a scary literary encounter. It’s often regarded as King’s best novel and is big on psychology and suspense. It’s got some great set pieces and is actually a very absorbing study of breakdown and madness, following a writer (Jack Torrance) and his family’s decision to work as winter caretaker in a ski resort hotel cut off by snow over the winter.

As for the style, let us just say that this is an incredibly strong, well-constructed novel, with King using all of the wonderful little literary tools and bricks and mortar fans love him for. Critics believe that the novel will still be read, studied and debated 50 years from now. But don’t wait that long to read it. Yes, it is a horror novel. But, as with most of King’s novels, the true, real horror presented is not of a supernatural nature but made up of things we visit upon ourselves and each other.

P.S. 1: Stanley Kubrick’s fans will be dissappointed: the ending is different to the film.

P.S. 2: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” (a memorable sentence written over and over by Jack Torrance) does not appear in the novel. As I’ve always suspected, it was a Kubrick’s brilliant screenplay twist. To be continued.

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shining.

“We all shine on…” (Instant Karma!, John Lennon)

[...]

- Bravo, zise Hallorann. Scoase un inel cu chei din buzunarul sacoului sau din serj albastru si descuie portbagajul. In timp ce punea valizele inauntru, Danny fu surprins sa-l auda spunand:

- Stralucesti, baiete. Mai mult decat oricare altul pe care l-am intalnit in viata mea. Si implinesc saizeci de ani in ianuarie.

- Hm?

- Ai un talent. Hallorann se intoarse spre el. Intotdeauna am numit talentul asta “stralucire”. Asa ii spunea bunica mea. Si ea il avea.  [...]

- Numai pe mine m-ai cunoscut?, il intreba pe Hallorann.

Bucatarul rase:

- Nu, copile. Dar tu stralucesti cel mai tare.

- Sunt multi din astia ca mine?

- Nu chiar multi. Dar se intampla sa dai peste ei. Sint o gramada de oameni care au un pic de stralucire. Habar nu au. Dar, ca prin minune, cumpara flori cand sotiile lor sunt suparate, reusesc la examene pentru care nu au invatat, isi dau seama cum se simt oamenii pe care-i intalnesc. Am cunoscut vreo cincizeci, saizeci din astia. Dar numai vreo zece, inclusiv bunica-mea, stiau ca stralucesc.

[...]

Va straluci cand va straluci. (Proverb american)

Shining, Stephen King, p. 106-107

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