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comment by briandmyers
briandmyers  ·  1448 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 'bl00s Reviews #9: "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving

As always, an enjoyable review - thanks.

I keep seeing references to 'IT' (admittedly, at least a couple from KB). It's been on my list for a while now, and probably the only King blockbuster I haven't read. I think I'll pick that up, when I finish what

I'm on now ("The Count of Monte Cristo" - one chapter in, and captivated).

Recently finished 'Blindsight' by Watts, which I believe was reviewed on hubski. Interesting ideas were explored, but the writing and the story didn't do it for me.

Also recent : "The Stranger" by Camus. Maybe I just didn't 'get it' but I was underwhelmed. At least it was short.

"Catcher in the Rye" by Salinger. Rubbish. At least it was short.

kleinbl00  ·  1448 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It isn't a great book, but it's a good book. Mostly it's long and rambling and entertaining but it's kind of like a Vegas buffet. There's a lot of food, it isn't great, but it's cheap and filling.

I felt betrayed by Blindsight. It starts out in a very engaging way and then it delaminates. And it delaminates ugly.

I made it halfway through Camus.

briandmyers  ·  1448 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Your description of "It" reads a lot like how I'd describe his "Dark Tower" series - an enjoyable read (if you like King), but not very deep, and a little unsatisfying. I'm interested to see what the film looks like, though - I think it could translate well. I've heard they have lined up Idris Elba as the gunslinger.

_refugee_  ·  1447 days ago  ·  link  ·  

IT: If you have seen the movie, and enjoyed it, you will find the book a much more satisfying version of the same story. My $.02, as a King fan.

If I had to pick a single King book to recommend, it wouldn't be IT. That's not to say I haven't read it (heh) multiple times and enjoy it as/for what it is, it's just - damn it's a long novel. There's weird creepy bits outside of the horror narrative that, especially in our current society, could totally turn some readers off of the book. It lacks some sort of deeper "meaning" or "message" or "theme" that is generally relatable or ultimately raises questions and reflection in a reader; I guess what I'm trying to say is it's very much an entertaining story but that's about all.

I gave "Catcher" a solid 2.5 tries, with spacetime in between. Don't get it, won't get it, find the novel exasperating. Feel the same about "On the Road" and "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," except I gave each novel successively fewer chances. A high school English teacher did commiserate with me about "Catcher" and commented that it is the kind of book that one either "gets" or totally doesn't. I totally doesn't.

After reading this review I thought, "What is my favorite book?" and compared that to "What book(s) do I recommend others to read?" It is funny, of the few I can name to answer each question, there is no overlap between the sets.

I have not read "Owen Meany" despite having had a copy for years; same with "Cider House Rules." That being said, I have often considered "The World According to Garp" one of my very favorite novels. So that's interesting.

I am not saying do not read "World According to Garp," but I am saying I care about it enough that it would be painful to read a negative, especially an intelligent and negative, review of it. And there are very, very few articles of media where that is the case. Usually I am a "destroy this utterly" sort of gal.

kleinbl00  ·  1447 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Robert Persig knows fuckall about zen and fuckall about motorcycle maintenance. We read it in class and you get to the point where he runs out of gas and then switches on the reserve tank and it's a total facepalm.

Fuckin' hate that book.

b_b  ·  1447 days ago  ·  link  ·  

By coincidence, I just started reading It last night. Got through the first several chapters, and I'm hooked. As many film adaptations of King's stories as I've seen, I've never read any of his books. I'm excited to read this, and really glad I don't remember much of the It miniseries, except for the fact that it scared the shit out of me at age 8 or whatever.

_refugee_  ·  1288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Btw, so did you finish it? What did you think?

b_b  ·  1288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Really enjoyed. Probably would have loved it at 600 pages more though. I thought that at times he got lost in the weeds with backstory that didn't add much and that felt a bit boring. But the first and last 300 pages were spectacular. Not sure I've ever read anything that has my heart racing as much as the chapter where we meet Bev and she leaves her husband. I think I'm going to read another of his, possibly Dead Zone (after I'm over the election), or The Stand. Recs?

_refugee_  ·  1288 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So King definitely has his "things" that show up multiple times in his works. The Stand is the best of his "viral apocalypse" books I've read so far, but if you thought It got wordy, you will find the same of The Stand. I remember feeling it was really long at points. Also, if you've either read his The Fog or watched it, you might feel it's repetitive.

As for The Dark Half, I would say - more to the point than The Stand. I'm interested to know why you are considering it, honestly. It's either The Dark Half or The Dead Zone where King describes an incident of violence that I still think about in passing to this day. I wouldn't say it's traumatizing so much as...really makes you wonder what that would feel like. And glad that you don't know, cuz you are pretty sure it would hurt a fuck.

I reread Christine early this year. I think it's a great, great horror story but also a classic Americana story, what with our obsession with car culture, and I really liked it for that.

I also remember liking Firestarter quite a bit and there's a quote in it I still remember from time to time: "Life is short, and pain is long, and we were all put here on this earth to help one another." I would honestly really recommend Firestarter.

If you like fantasy, and especially if you do read The Stand, but even if you don't, consider The Eyes of the Dragon.

I also happen to be a fan of Rose Madder but - I would say that with the caveat that I don't know if it is really a strong book so much as I like the ultra feminist women's lib sort of storyline.

I am a bit SK fan, but some of his books are bad and it's undeniable. Thankfully, none of the ones we've named here fall into that list, I think.

kleinbl00  ·  1448 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You know? Never read Dark Tower, never read The Stand. I suspect that I wouldn't bother with It if I hadn't read it in 5th Grade.

bfv  ·  1448 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I liked the first Dark Tower books, because I read them before I'd ever heard of Michael Moorcock, but Moorcock did it better. "Moorcock did it better" isn't a very strong criticism, but it's not much of a recommendation either.

briandmyers  ·  1448 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I can't recommend "Dark Tower", frankly. "The Stand" was great, as I remember it, except for the deus-ex-machina ending, which seemed bolted on - but the story up to the ending made the game worth the candle. However, a much younger 'me' read that, so take it as you will. I have not read the extended version.

kleinbl00  ·  1448 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Stephen King uses The Stand as his argument for "sometimes the ending doesn't come to you." It still bugged him ten years later.

Make of that what you will.