Salems Lot (Stephen King)

This novel brought up my lapsed Catholicism. About one third of the way in I had taken to wearing a crucifix. I was so absorbed that I only put the paperback down to sprinkle drops of holy water around my bedroom. Hell, why stop there. I even asked the dog and cat to help me out with a few Hail Marys. Back to the book: this is a busy tour de force of how evil small towns can be. Of course that’s total BS but it works for a fictional setting. There is a wonderful intimacy on display with so many characters we can relate to. From the paranoid bus driver aghast at how unpatriotic kids are in 1975… to a Peeping Tom old bag, Mabel Werts, and her binoculars… to the slut-shaming of a teenage girl because she has big boobies. Magic stuff.
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Rose Red (2002 USA)

Stephen King screen adaptations have become quite a conundrum. He has lambasted most of them for altering characters and flow. King purists stick to the argument that the phenomena and events he describes simply cannot be captured visually. Rose Red represented ABC’s televisual attempt at the horror master’s work. Scripted and executive produced by King, it’s more ironic than terrifying; the only example I’ve seen where the TV/ movie shortcomings orignate from Stephen King’s story rather than the production values or casting. This three part mini-series revolves around a haunted house, named Rose Red, in Seattle. [Read more…]

It! (Stephen King)

king-book-coverKing did something special with IT, and I’m not sure exactly what it is….It might just be the sum of the entire equation which makes IT such a fantastic novel. A few times, I had to remind myself it is 2016, not 1958. (It was 2016, sorry…only 2 days into the new year and I’m already confused) If you are thinking of reading IT, it is definitely worth the investment. I’m glad I took the time to read it, savour it, and not rush through it. You got that? [Read more…]

Night Shift (Stephen King)

stephenkingnightshiftKing’s flair for the short story is almost unsurpassed. My favourite is “Children of the Corn”, where a bizarre road accident prompts an argumentative couple to seek help. When they begin to explore a strange town, a rather disturbing lack of adults leads them into a sinister ritual. Each story is very cinematic, so its no surprise to learn that 12 of them have been turned into (bad) movies. But there are some crappy ones too, depending on your taste. [Read more…]

Firestarter (Stephen King)

firestarterOne of King’s most emotionally compelling books. Back in the day (1980) when he had the golden touch, writing immensely visual novels. I rarely experience particularly strong emotional reactions to even very good books. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story with topics such as hallucinogenic drugs, a family on the run or secret government experiments that engaged my feelings deeply. They are such cliches that are over used. But this one did. [Read more…]

Christine (1983 USA)

christine 3I lost interest in John Carpenter many years ago because his films started looking and feeling like the work of someone who no longer cared. “Christine”, on the other hand, is the work of a director at his peak. It is a brilliant cinematic reduction of the King novel’s strongest elements. It is still a love story about a boy and his car, and it is still a study of teenage angst and high school cruelty, but it is also spare, stylish and uncluttered. [Read more…]

Something to Tide You Over (1982 Creepshow USA)

cap016My favourite story from the popular box office hit that contained four others in a portmanteau format. There is something uniquely creepy about a cold deserted beach with a ghostly wind blowing. Nicely named too: Comfort Point. It looks and feels so desolate. [Read more…]

Cat Girl (1957 United Kingdom)

033(Happiness is a warm…)

A blogger’s work is never done.  I’ve wiped the flour off my apron and lifted up my under-frock to let you have a perv at my new baby. Please read on while I go into post- review depression. On July 20 1957 British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan uttered these words: “Let’s be frank about it, some of our people have never had it so good.” By the time I was born a decade later the good was running out fast and my family emigrated to the colonies. But it must have been nice to be a teenager in the 50s and 60s. [Read more…]

The Stand (Stephen King)

the_stand_journal_2No, not the ‘uncut’ one, but the original. 823 pages was enough for me, I don’t need another 377 or whatever the new one clocks in at. Anyway, The Stand is not a flawless novel by any means. The ease with which the overwhelming majority of the survivors seem to get over the loss of loved ones, and society in general, is a tad too easy. [Read more…]

JOYLAND (Stephen King)

o-JOYLAND-STEPHEN-KING-facebookIt’s difficult to imagine there are any readers left in the world who might approach a Stephen King book with an open mind. He’s sold more than 350 million books worldwide, produced 50+ novels since Carrie was published in 1974 etc.  There can’t be many people who are indifferent to King’s books either. [Read more…]

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