- Hail to the King, Baby: The ever-lovin' Onion A.V. Club offers a handy Gateway to Geekery post on Stephen King. If you've never gotten into his work and can't figure out how to start, this is the place.
(Then again, the man has sold something like 350 million copies of his books. Who hasn't read him?!)
Possible gateway: The 1985 short story "Survivor Type," from the anthology Skeleton Crew
Why: In his heyday, King was known for his uncompromisingly brutal, creepy images and plots, and his talent for propulsive, can’t-put-it-down thriller writing. At his absolute best, though, he also captures a sense of time, place, and character that rivals any popular American writer. The short story "Survivor Type" has all the above in an uncharacteristically tight, lean little package. It starts with a fairly ridiculous premise — a surgeon winds up shipwrecked on a tiny rock of an island with nothing but a supply of fresh water and a load of pure heroin — and takes it to its brutal, logical end as he realizes there’s nothing on the island to eat except himself. The last line of the story is one of King’s most memorable.
After you read the piece, make sure you go down to the comments section to:
A) gripe about your favorite King work that wasn't mentioned;
B) gripe about the bad movies made from King's work;
C) tell someone who loves one of King's books that they're wrong, it's a terrible book, their opinions are false;
D) toss in a random quotation from your favorite movie that no one else will understand — but if they do, they're almost as awesome as you are.
The Internet is great.
Book News Round-up:
- Vote for the Best Beach Books of All Time on NPR.
What do we mean by "beach books"? When you read one, your surroundings recede, time bends and you're transported, mesmerized, enthralled. These are page turners to be sure, but that doesn't mean they're brainless. This year's list will be fiction only; any genre, any period.
- California's Governator wants E-textbooks, and guess what — he gets them. Does it strike anyone else as terrifying when the Terminator wants to go all digital?
- Google is rolling out new features on its Book Search.
- "A year after the death of famed New England illustrator Tasha Tudor, the family battle over her estate, which seemed like it could not get any uglier, has taken a turn for the worse."
- Librarian Nancy Pearl picks the summer's best books so you don't have to!
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Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the Powells.com blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.
The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.
Books mentioned in this post