Stephen King Fans discussion

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message 1: by Heather (last edited Feb 16, 2011 07:04PM) (new)

Heather | 6 comments Hey guys, I've never really posted on the group much, but I'm actually doing a reseach project on Stephen King! I'm really excited, its going to be a paper mostly about his style, time period influences, and overall contributions to literature..
We read one novel and one short story, preferably ones that have NOT been made into movies (so no Shining or the Stand *darn*).

So, right now its between Duma Key and Insomnia I think..any other ideas would be awesome ! No spoilers please, and I'd like to know which you think would be better to analyze, better themes, that type of stuff. But, you don't have to give me any writing ideas for the actual paper guys, I don't want any, just which book you think would be more appropriate for this type of project.


message 2: by Becky (last edited Feb 16, 2011 06:40PM) (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Oooh, both would be great. I think Insomnia would be better for theme variance, and better to analyze, but I think that Duma Key is the better book all around.

Have you chosen your short story? If not, I would recommend 1922 from Full Dark, No Stars. :)


message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather | 6 comments Aw, thank you! I'll definitely check that out, I was thinking using one of the more recently published short stories and then an older one for the book anyway.

You don't think either is too, too creepy do you? Like weird or embarassing to present to the class? ahhah


message 4: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) 1922 is creepy and can be vulgar at times, but I think the way it can be analyzed would outweigh that.

But I guess I should have asked how old the class is - highschool or college level? LOL :)


message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather | 6 comments High School-10th grade. ahah, it's no problem.


message 6: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Maybe 1922 might not sit well with everyone's parents though... LOL

Hmm... Maybe ""All That You Love Will Be Carried Away" or "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French" from Everything's Eventual?


message 7: by Kit★ (new)

Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) | 609 comments I think it's a wonderful idea to do your project on SK, and not weird at all! Maybe you could do The Body for your short story? It's got good themes and characters, an excellent example of how he writes things that aren't just horror. I know it's an older one, but it's a good 'un :)


message 8: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) That's a good one, Kit. :)


message 9: by Kit★ (new)

Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) | 609 comments Oh wait I just sort of remembered you wanted ones that hadn't been made into movies, and The Body has been with Stand by Me. Whoops :O It's still a great story though...


message 10: by Dung Beetle (new)

Dung Beetle (dungbeetle) | 79 comments Between Duma Key and Insomnia, I would choose Duma Key. It’s the better book, and I think it’s overall themes are more typical of King’s work than Insomnia’s.

As for the short story, I think King’s earlier work is much better (I’d use Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut from Skeleton Crew) but you want to use a more recent one. In that case, I’d choose Home Delivery from Nightmares & Dreamscapes (you got your island in Maine, you got your zombies, you got your ordinary person in a crazy situation). Or, The Moving Finger, also from Nightmares & Dreamscapes, (ordinary person in a crazy situation again, also I think a lot of cultural references, plus things coming out of the drain!)

Aw, crap, I was saving the best for last (1408 from Everything’s Eventual) and I just remembered they made it a damn movie!


message 11: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I agree with you that Duma Key is better (although I really like Insomnia too), but I think that the classic themes in Insomnia are better for analysis. Plus it fits nicely into King's universe as well.

Please also remember to be careful of spoilers for those who haven't read all of King's books and stories.


message 12: by Tim (new)

Tim (rolandd) | 2 comments I would pick Duma Key over Insomnia, also, but for time period influences, I'd go with Under the Dome. It's a microcosm illustrating and exaggerating the problems of our times.


message 13: by Steve (new)

Steve | 246 comments I think Tim brings up a very interesting point. For all of King's tremendous output, knock out many of the historical & pop culture references and you will find most SK novels and tales are timeless...huge exceptions being The Dark Tower, Cell, It, and Under The Dome, which for various reasons could *never* have been written before their time.


message 14: by Heather (new)

Heather | 6 comments Woah, thanks so much, there are a lot of good suggestions here. Kit- I know it's so hard to find non-movie works of his!
Tim- Thats a good point, I do think its going to be hard to fit in the time periods. I'm kinda thinking about researching mostly the cultural, medical, or technological advancements/changes throughout his life? That helped him come up with the crazy sci-fi ideas... plus he constantly adds in songs (Hey Jude-Dark Tower) and other little references to his novels I could talk about.

Anyway, I flipped a coin. Heads. Insomnia won, but I'll still be thinking it over this weekend...


message 15: by Heather (new)

Heather | 6 comments Oh! Another question, has anyone read Rose Madder? Thought about that for a second, seemed not as well known.


message 16: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Heather wrote: "Oh! Another question, has anyone read Rose Madder? Thought about that for a second, seemed not as well known."

Rose Madder would be a good one. I really like that one, and you could discuss the domestic abuse issue... But I still think Insomnia has a lot more to offer. :)


message 17: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (lknieriem) | 42 comments Heather, I curious how your assignment went. What did you end up picking and how did you present the material? I'm a high school English teacher and I have always wanted to use King in the classroom - just always run out of time. But this sounds like it would be a great project to have them work on throughout the year.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I did a project similar as well - I used Liseys Story (amazing!!! Some great themes to discuss with the class) and Cujo. As an optional I did a short story - Survivor Type. Damn it was scary.


message 19: by Kat (new)

Kat (katsobsession) | 40 comments Survivor Type is the creepiest King short story there is. Gave me nightmares the first time I read it, the only short story to ever do that! I realize this is an old topic now, but had to give my 0.02 :p


message 20: by Squire (new)

Squire (srboone) | 11 comments I did a research project on King in college (that earned me the ire of the English Department faculty) in 1987. It was more contorversial than it would be today because King was still in his early horror novelist phase.

My thesis was "Stephen King must be included in the category of Young Adult authors because young adults are reading his works." A reader of 12 doesn't want to read about 12 year olds, he wants to read about 14 year olds, etc. So I reviewed each of King's novels (only, like, 12 or 13 at the time)for their themes and values.

I grudgingly got a B on it, but I didn't complain. I had rocked the boat, and that's what was important. The Dept Head found it amusing that I saw the same themes in The Dead Zone as I did in Oedipus Rex and likewise The Talisman and Huckleberry Finn (a book I can't stand, BTW). But he did like my analysis of The Stand as a lesson in civics and the potential problems that can arise.


message 21: by Angie, Constant Reader (new)

Angie | 2535 comments Mod
Squire wrote: "I did a research project on King in college (that earned me the ire of the English Department faculty) in 1987. It was more contorversial than it would be today because King was still in his early ..."

Honestly I think that was a thesis. Do you still have a copy of it? It would be cool if King read it!


message 22: by Squire (new)

Squire (srboone) | 11 comments Unfortunately, I don't. It was more of a binder/scrapbook of ideas that I pulled together over a two-month period. Thoug I did have fun rereading all of Kings works in time to get it done!


message 23: by Tony (last edited Apr 17, 2013 06:52AM) (new)

Tony Talbot Squire...I've often thought that SK does his best stuff when he's writing about teens and missed his calling as a YA writer - IT and The Talisman come to mind, but so does Christine and Carrie. What could be more full of teenage anguish than those two?


message 24: by Squire (last edited Apr 17, 2013 10:20AM) (new)

Squire (srboone) | 11 comments You might be right. Even in his pure horror novelist stage, the alcoholic, the mentally deficient, and the child were the ones who were able to "see" what was actually going on, not the adults. King's early tales were "adultisized" versions of the ghostly campfire stories kids tried to scare each other with (that I was none too good at). This is true even today.

But I'm glad he never went the pure YA route. He didn't need to. YAs flocked to his stuff anyway. As I said above, YAs want to read about what's waiting for them as they get older, not what people theri own age are going through. And they ALL want to know what waits for them as asults!


message 25: by Aditya (new)

Aditya Actually i am pretty glad that King did not go the YA route as most modern writers who write in the genre turn out crappy books.But there are lots of writers i enjoy who may not be conventional YA writers but a major portion of their fan base consists of young adults like the late Michael Crichton.He was considered an adult writer but most of his classic techno-thrillers like Jurassic Park & Sphere were lapped up by younger readers.


message 26: by Tony (last edited Apr 17, 2013 11:00AM) (new)

Tony Talbot I'm thinking as much of the modern writers of YA horror - try Charlie Higson's "The Enemy" series and Darren Shan's stuff for examples. Pretty graphic.


message 27: by Aditya (new)

Aditya I was not talking about YA horror in particular,i think the overall YA genre is pretty average now-a-days.But i will make it a point to check out your suggestions when i get the time as my to-read list is quite long these days.


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