Posts tagged ‘Stephen King’


Published as a paperback by Galley Books in 2015, with Revival, Stephen King has done it again; taking us on a ride through interesting characters with a touch of horror, maybe more than a touch. I enjoyed this novel. Now let me tell you why.

First, some background.

Stephen King and I are the same age, and we’re both writers of horror. The similarities stop there. King has bucks coming out his butt because his novels sell because they are excellent reads. I just have a butt with the usual production, but I’m working to change that. I love King’s work, and with this last novel, I’m beginning to understand why.

We grew up together.

I enjoy all of King’s earlier novels, written while he and I were young or of middle age, the characters kept my interest and the storylines were magnificent horror. But the age of the characters was unimportant to both me and the work. Then, as he grew old, and life took its toll, his writing began to change, and being the same age, I now strongly identify with the characters.

There is no guide to getting old, thank God, for if there was, some might chose not to. Everyone’s experience is different and unique. There are those who do not have a chance to experience the aches, pains and loss of the purpose they once knew. You know the only way to not grow old, think Marilyn Monroe. They are the ones who suffer the loss of opportunity of time and accomplishment.

Now, about the story.

Revival centers on a minister who loses his faith and a young boy he encounters before circumstances cause this loss. Even after his loss of faith, the minister holds revivals and accomplishes cures using ‘secret electricity’, an unknown form of electricity which he is sure exists. He also feels this electricity will allow him to glimpse worlds we cannot normally see. The result is not pleasant. King goes totally H.P. Lovecraftian at the novel’s conclusion. Being a fan of Lovecraft, I loved it.

Revival is an excellent tale of horror, but it is much more. It is also a skilled description of the ageing process through the life of its characters. Until you are there, advance age cannot be truly described. This is what give a richness to King’s tale. Through personal experience, King does a fantastic job of combining advance age, and bearing the crosses of life’s experiences.   I also bear crosses, and am stumbling through the years.

Treat yourself.

Read this book.

June 15, 2015 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment


Written in 1972-1973, this novel brought me a new appreciation of the ‘master’ as I have never felt before. In this story, Helen Keller could have seen the gifted writer which would emerge on the horror scene.

Surprisingly, this work, in the strictest sense, in not a horror novel. There is a dead accomplice giving Blaze, the main character, a brain-damaged man, advice, but he only exists in Blaze’s mind and memory. What I found remarkable about this work is how King creates a multi-faceted who kidnaps and kills, yet you’re able to get into his mind and past and find sympathy for his actions.

I’m not giving away any more detail. Buy the book and fill the ‘master’s’ coffers. You won’t be disappointed.

May 21, 2015 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment


In an earlier piece, I mentioned I’ve noticed a new trend in TV programing I find refreshing. Never in my wildest dreams, and I have many, would I think I would make such a statement – but there it is. The trend I’m going to discuss is the shift from the never-ending series to story lines which more resemble the format of books, that is, they have a beginning (Duh), and more importantly, and ending. Also, another aspect to this new programing which I find most refreshing is that they kill off characters. Don’t get me wrong, I know important characters also die in your usual TV series, but the event is advertised days or weeks in advance and when it does occur, little or no surprise is left.

What shows inspire this article? I will not discuss some of the now classic programs like The Sopranos or Walking Dead because I have not followed them. The shows I have been following are Falling Skies, Extant, The Last Ship, The Strain and Under the Dome. All these shows have a ‘book feel’ to them, and of course, some of them are based on books.

The Strain is particularly efficient in killing off characters. I haven’t read the series yet, but fully intend to. As far as the Under the Dome is concerned, I have read the book, and in all honesty, although I am a huge fan of Stephen King, I found the end of the novel lacking. Listen to me criticizing The Master of my genre. Fat chance he’ll ever criticize me. You first have to read to criticize. I digress. As far as the TV version is concerned, I feel it’s gone from an effort based on the book by Stephen King to one inspired by Stephen King. Oh, they kill off characters as The Master is fond of doing, a characteristic I gladly follow, but the most recent episodes I find wandering and lacking. The writers appear to be making things up as they go along and the story line is becoming weak and confusing. That’s just my opinion.

There’s another aspect I’d like to discuss, but that’s enough for now for me and you.

Stay tuned.

On the whole, I enjoy this new trend and hope to see it sustained and increased. My writer and reader friends: What do you think?

To be continued…

October 5, 2014 at 6:17 pm Leave a comment



This is actually a belated birthday greeting. King’s birthday was two days ago. He is the same age as me.

I was amused to learn that when his wife, Tabitha, went into labor with their first child, Stephen was at a drive-in watching ‘The Corpse Grinders’.

I think I can top that.

When my wife, Joni, was extremely pregnant, I took her to see the remake of ‘The Fly’. In this version Gena Davis dreams that she gives birth to a huge maggot.

That night Joni went into labor, and the next morning gave birth to our daughter, Annie.
No need for pest strips.

September 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm 2 comments



I have a small window on how much Stephen King must be tormented by his imagination.
This story was published in AlienSkin some time ago. It concerns a science fiction writer with an overactive imagination, some would say beyond control. Coupled with his mind wanderings was a new-found power.
I hope you enjoy the story.


I have always had an active imagination. If I had had the courage to put a bullet through my head when I first realized the consequences of my thoughts, you dear reader, would have more than five days to live. I suggest, for your own sanity, you put down this story. Now!
Consider yourself warned.
I used my vivid imagination to write works of science fiction, and had some measure of success. I was no Ray Bradbury, but I was able to make a reasonable living with my novels with flashy covers showing alien worlds and their weird residents. The occasional scantily clad Earth females depicted on the covers didn’t hurt sales either. I would let my imagination run wild and my pen would follow. I do not know the true extent of the powers, but I fear I may have done some damage light years from Earth.
The first hint of my peculiar ability occurred a month ago. I visited a bagel shop early one morning, as was my habit, to avoid crowds. In my southeastern Pennsylvania community, three people constitute a crowd, four a mob.
I entered the store and found, and much to my satisfaction, found I was the only customer. A husband and wife owned and ran the establishment. They were always there together.
I placed my order, and as I stood idly, a strange thought emerged. How easy it would be to rob this store at this early hour. I could write a mystery. It would be my first attempt at something other than science fiction. My mind was consumed with plotting the crime, and as I waited for my bagels, my thoughts set up the robbery scene. Seven days later, that store was robbed and the couple murdered.
What a strange coincidence, I thought, as I read the newspaper.
A few days after the robbery, I was driving along an interstate highway behind an old pickup truck. A ladder was propped up against the tailgate. I imagined the truck hitting a large bump in the road and the ladder being hurled from the truck and through the windshield of the car following. I switched lanes and forgot the vision.
Seven days later a horrendous accident happened, almost identical to the scene I imagined. It made the local news.
This time I was shaken. Was this just a second coincidence?
I tried an experiment. I pictured a week of continuous rain. We were under drought restrictions at the time, so I thought this would be an innocent and perhaps beneficial test. Exactly seven days later, the rains poured down and rivers overran their banks. I had forgotten about the rivers. Property was ruined. Lives were lost.
To avoid more damage, I went back to writing science fiction. Fiction that I ensured occurred far from this planet.
Then it happened. Two days ago, after I vowed never to conjure up stories about the here and now, but I slipped. I was writing a story about an alien ship traveling through an asteroid belt. Before I knew it, my mind was picturing the asteroid that impacted the Earth some sixty-five million years ago causing the extinction of the dinosaurs. But God help me, my mind wandered and took another step. I wondered what the Earth would be like if an asteroid ten times the size of the one that killed the dinosaurs impacted the Earth.
We have five days left.


September 26, 2009 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment


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