Stephen King’s FULL DARK, NO STARS – “Read It, Live It”August 3, 2010
Stephen King puts the reader at the center of his creepy stories (either as male perpetrators in the first and third of this book, or as female victims in the second and fourth). Ultimately we want some kind of literary justice fitting the crime, and we get it.
What I like is that King does whatever he wants too. There is little or no restraint and he is one of us (how many millionaires know what Bondo is around the headlights of an old junker or make references to TV programs like Two and a Half Men?). Sometimes this gets him into trouble–the “Sweetheart Bandits” of 1922 is a clever idea that doesn’t quite work as is the mini-lecture on childhood molestation Betsy delivers toward the end of Big Driver. But at other times there is a freedom of emotion we just don’t experience with other writers.
King says, “When people ask me about my work, I have developed a habit of skirting the subject with jokes and humorous personal anecdotes (which you can’t quite trust…). But beneath the jokes I take what I do very seriously. When it comes to fiction the writer’s only responsibility is to look for the truth inside his own heart. It won’t always be the reader’s truth, or the critic’s truth, but as long as it’s the writer’s truth all is well… Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do–to face the fact, let us say, that murders sometimes help old ladies cross the street.”
Without Stephen King we would never know what characters like Wilfred Leland James, 1912, (who does murder his wife with the help of his son) are thinking. The sense of rural isolation, harshness and deprivation popular culture and consumerism encourage us to ignore. Our guy, Stephen King, doesn’t allow us to ignore. As someone once noted: All writers have a pipeline which goes down into the subconscious, but a writer who writes horror stories has a pipeline that goes deeper, maybe…into the SUB-subconscious.
To order this book from amazon for $16.77 click here: Full Dark, No Stars