Stephen King is without a doubt one of the most important authors of the last 30 years, if only due to the virtue of having sold several million copies of his books. On the eve of the release of his latest tome, the semi-sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, King is talking about other books with a pretty wide sphere of influence, particularly Twilight and The Hunger Games.
While doing an interview the newspaper, The Guardian, King shared his opinion on the so-called Twilight Saga:
“I agree with [a character in Doctor Sleep] who calls Twilight and books like it tweenager porn,” King said. “They’re really not about vampires and werewolves. They’re about how the love of a girl can turn a bad boy good.”
To be fair, I don’t think any of the characters in Twilight are bad necessarily, except for the ones who are obviously, and unrepentantly bad of course, but Twilight has got all kinds of problems aside from who’s good and who’s bad. But let’s pause here and see what King thinks of another big book franchise, The Hunger Games:
“I read Twilight and didn’t feel any urge to go on with her. I read The Hunger Games and didn’t feel an urge to go on. It’s not unlike The Running Man, which is about a game where people are actually killed and people are watching: a satire on reality TV,” he said.
Maybe King should be flattered. On the other hand King finds nothing redeemable, even comparisons to his own work, about Fifty Shades of Grey:
“I read Fifty Shades Of Grey and felt no urge to go on. They call it mommy porn, but it’s not really mommy porn. It is highly charged, sexually driven fiction for women who are, say, between 18 and 25.
In other words, King doesn’t think it’s such a great time for literature, specifically horror literature:
But a golden age of horror? I wouldn’t say it is. I can’t think of any books right now that would be comparable to The Exorcist.”
But there’s got to be something he likes, right? Actually there is, King, as it turns out, is a big appreciator of J.K. Rowling’s recent work:
“She’s a wonderful storyteller and the writing is better than in any of the Harry Potter books, because it’s sharper,” King said.
So I guess it’s not all doom and gloom in the book world, although I’d say that King should be careful with his criticism. Twilight may have been badly written from beginning to end, but I haven’t read a King book yet where he didn’t fumble the ball in the end zone. But maybe that’s just me.
Doctor Sleep is available in book stores tomorrow.