5. Hollywood can’t get enough of him, but he’s not a snob about it
As I mentioned in my previous post Top 10 Campy Horror Films, there have been over 80 film adaptations of King Stephen’s work. That doesn’t just include literal adaptations like Carrie or The Shining, but less obvious ones like Stand By Me and Shawshank Redeption (a personal favorite) both based on short stories. He pops up in pop culture when he feels like it and on his own terms and isn’t afraid to criticize or make fun of himself. He relishes in cameos and guest appearances that have significance for him like The Simpsons and Fever Pitch (he’s a die hard Red Sox fan – I’m looking at you Troi) while rooting for the up and comers in his “Pop of King” column in Entertainment Weekly. And it’s not just film and television that has a hard on for Stephen, Marvel Comics took The Dark Tower and ran with it.
Pop quiz, bitches: Who is Stephen King’s favorite Superhero?
4. He takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’
Everyone knows that Stephen got hit by a car while walking down a rural road near his house back in 1999. I’m sure we all had a vision or daydream (or 10) of his wife Tabitha going all Misery on him. It’s pretty much miraculous that he can walk. While recovering, he wrote my favorite of his novels, Dreamcatcher. He also felt thankful that he was rich and wouldn’t have to worry about his medical bills. Then he realized that a lot of other writers aren’t rich so he created the Haven Foundation, an organization that helps freelancers who can’t pay for their medical bills. I’m always happy to see nerds helping people so I gladly tip my hat to Mr. King for that one.
Pop quiz, bitches: What kind of accident did Stephen King witness as a child that many believe served as inspiration for his novels?
3. Fuck yeah he’ll write a 1500 page, 19 lbs. book and I dare you to tell him he can’t
He has an ability to make grown ups want to sleep with the lights on (if they can even sleep at all) and worry about their pets going all Cujo on them. I can understand why people would think twice about crossing him. Remember that guy that hit him with his van? Yeah, he died on Stephen King’s birthday. So when a book publisher gets word that an author is writing a behemoth of a book, he’s probably going to freak out a little. Unless that author is Stephen King and people have a tendency to DIE ON HIS BIRTHDAY. Following in the footsteps of War and Peace and Sacajawea, Sir Stephen wrote a book of epic proportions with Under the Dome. Oh the tangled webs we weave but none weaveth like the Kingeth. For a complicated web of characters and plots, Under the Dome was surprisingly easy to read and a TV mini-series produced by Steven Spielberg is already in the works.
Pop quiz, bitches: Where did Stephen King get the name for the character Jim Rennie in Under the Dome?
2. He says what’s on his mind and all others be damned
Stephen King just doesn’t give a damn about what other people think of him. He does what he wants and he makes no apologies for it. He has never been secretive about his past with addiction and even admitted basing the character of Jack Torrance in The Shining on himself at his alcoholic worst.
His view on people is such: “I think that we’re all mentally ill. Those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better – and maybe not all that much better after all.”
He has insulted the writing ability of Stephenie Meyer, questioned the literacy of the US Army and been very outspoken against the war in Iraq, all without fear of those who would challenge him. He has a quick wit and a mass of minions who are ready and willing to heed his command to tell opponents to shut up. I might not always agree with him but he’s got balls and that I respect.
Pop quiz, bitches: What was the name of Stephen King’s student newspaper column at the University of Maine?
1. He writes for people with a sense of humor, not for snobby elitists
He once called himself “the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.” An author who focuses on emotion rather than intellect even though his writing is very, very smart. He started out as a high school teacher and it is my belief that he writes for them as opposed to the book critics. He uses profanity with sophisticated relish, a talent that brings great joy to me and my love for a well placed f-bomb. He delights his most loyal readers by connecting people and places throughout his novels. Richard Tozier, for example, appears in Dreamcatcher, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Duma Key, and It. His loyalty lies with his fans and his fans are extremely loyal in return. I heart you Stephen King. I even heart your cell phone zombies.
Pop quiz, bitches: Who is the author that most influenced Stephen King?
“I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.”
– Stephen King
Answers to Pop Quiz…. bitches….