Thursday, January 02, 2014

Waltzing to perdition …

 Stephen King and That Awful Muttering Voice | The American Spectator. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This writerly skill, plus King’s sheer tenacity, means that his more self-consciously literary readers are finally starting to throw around terms like Great American Novel. He deserves it; several of his novels are great in themselves, but especially great as portraits of a particular culture and time. It’s amazing that he’s managed to work so much Americana into his books with only an occasional lapse into hokeyness. Think of everything his cold fingers have touched: the prom, the classic car, the hot dog, The Wizard of Oz, the Winnebago, “Hey ho—let’s go!”

1 comment:

  1. I read Stephen King's On Writing over vacation and thought it was well done although at the end he gives an example of a first draft he wrote and then the same draft after his editing process. The latter still contained words and phrases that seemed out of place and I thought should have been edited out too. Overall the example confirmed my own personal view of his books, and why he is a good writer but not a writer of a Great American Novel. He is too prolix; a deeper edit seems necessary in his work. Merely providing slices of Americana, which so many writers do (think, in the entertainment writer business Lee Child, who writes the Jack Reacher books, which are great slices of Americana too) either doesn't make a Great American Novel, or, if it does, then the are so many works that qualify as to make the category less-than-grand.