Tag Archives: Stephen King

Last year’s comebacks

I got caught in a lot of hype last year, mostly of the for-the-comeback variety: Good authors who’d taken their sweet time coming out with a new book, good authors who’ve just kept on writing but managed to hit the sweeter spot this time around. I have this notion about myself that I steer clear of hype, because it’s just the publishing world lying to me, but this is obviously flawed thinking. And so I like to console myself that the comeback-hype is the better kind of hype to fall prey to—one that has basis, plus the odds are with you because you know that it’s worked for you before? It’s more infectious, too: The hype was more of the bookish internet slaying everyone with a celebratory cheer: Marisha Pessl had a new book, Donna Tartt had a new book, J.K. Rowling kicked everyone’s asses and proved she still had a good book under her belt, Stephen King wouldn’t fucking relent and just kept getting better. [Continue reading.]

Funhouse of fear!

I’ve said over and over that Stephen King and I go way back—it all began when I filched his mass markets from my mother’s dresser at nine, and scared the crap out of myself when I read them under the covers thereafter. In the years that followed, my mom and I would unearth remaindered copies of his books at secondhand shops; I’d rediscover him via the blessedly extensive collection at the college library; I’d return to him again and again, via a life- and love-consuming quest of the Dark Tower or some sanity-shattering mission to save JFK’s life. Steve and I, we buds from way back. So: Of course I’d devour Joyland. That delightfully pulp (and faithful to the content!) cover, and the invitation: Who dares enter the funhouse of fear? Pshaw—YOU KNOW I DO, STEVE. [Continue reading.]

03102013: The weekend, in book acquisitions

First thing upon waking up, P. and I headed straight to one of our favorite Booksales, and after that we went to another Booksale; in the hours in between, he hoarded more knick-knacks and I drank my tea and smoked my cigarettes. (Do a riff on this, Sasha: How it’s the best thing to wake up one Sunday to the-man-you’re-mad-for-saying, “Let’s go buy books.” And later, a city or so away, the two of you mostly quiet in starkly lit stores—occasionally raising your head to find the other, to hold up a good find, to grin like the book-mad jackals that you two are.) [Continue reading.]

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.”

There remains a Sasha-shaped clearing on my bed; it’s the debris from the stillness of hours devoted to one book alone—there are (the leavings of lunch:) empty soda cans and bags of potato chips, an ashtray and a hollowed pack of cigarettes, a cellphone guiltlessly ignored. That is: I’ve finished reading Stephen King’s The Dark Tower—meaning, the seventh and last book; meaning, all of it. I can’t remember the last time I was so consumed by someone else’s world for months. The last time I had something constant to turn to, a much-needed something to get lost in. [Continue reading.]

In Books, January 2013

I seem to be behaving, thus far, this 2013, when it comes to amassing books. Fine, that’s still quite a number up there—and I have obviously rediscovered my fanaticism for good ol’ Steve—but they all came from the trusty, national secondhand bookstore that is Booksale. That is: The consolation is, my wallet didn’t burn as brightly. Because, you know, we really need less wallet-burning around these here parts. Yeah. Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of what I bought, and the respective feeble rationalizations for each purchase. [Continue reading.]

01282013: With Davis and King

Hello, kids; it seems I have survived Monday and all the blues that naturally come with it, and then some. But I soldier on, and I’ll read on—because that’s what one needs to do. I’ll read on until the next amazing weekend, until Real Life calls and promises that it will be awesome—until, dare I say, I’m closer to what idea of the Dark Tower I have, until I make good with a smidgen of what I obsessively think’s gone hokey with Real Life.

[Continue reading.]

King and his ka-tet

This book just dares sprawl in a way that the first two couldn’t—this one is so far removed from a dusty trail in the middle of nowhere, this book has left that long stretch of beach. There is purpose and tangible goals. The links between the world of the Gunslinger and the world-as-we-know-it get more defined, we begin to make sense of what exactly this Dark Tower is, we know more and more about how Roland’s world works or (more precisely) doesn’t. Chillingly enough, we get more insight into that oft-repeated phrase: “Once there was a world we knew, but that world has moved on.” [Continue reading.]

In Steve We Trust

Last November, in an attempt to make her proud, I told my mother—the woman who read us Stephen King for bedtime, the woman who made sure that no shelf would be found wanting of a tattered, secondhand King paperback—that I’d begun reading The Gunslinger. And she promptly set down her tea and gasped: “Why haven’t you read—? Oh my god, you haven’t read The Dark Tower series.” [The subtext, of course, went along the lines of: “You are no daughter of mine.] And then we proceeded to gush over Roland of Gilead, because that’s the only way to react to Roland of Gilead. [Continue reading.]

01142013: A book pile to cleanse the palate

I picked up The Drawing of the Three, the second book in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, because I wanted something hefty that would take me away from the bad juju flying around today. And so when Ronald wakes up at the beach (where The Gunslinger, first book, ended) and starts being eaten by the scariest, most ridiculous demon lobster in literary history—the man gets two fingers and a toe eaten, for fuck’s sake—I was thankful for someone to sympathize with, someone who made me think, “Well, he’s more fucked than you are, girl.” See, after being all, “I see serious problems ahead,” at page twenty, Ronald goes, “I jerk off left-handed, at least that’s something.” Yeah, let the Gunslinger remind you look for the bright side, Sasha. [Continue reading.]