- Even masters have flaws. It’s what makes them human
Man, I love Stephen King. He’s not my favorite horror writer (that would go to Clive Barker), but he’s still a no-doubt-about-it master of storytelling. I think what King is better at than some may realize is his ability to make storytelling look so deceptively easy. King spills forth stories like rivers run; it’s just the way both are meant to be.
I just finished reading his Kindle Single “Mile 81” in one sitting, and it was a blast. How can you not love a story about a car that eats people? If you have submitted your imagination and sense of wonder to the confines of adulthood, then I’m quite sure you can find plenty that’s not to love. A car that eats people? Oh pleeeease.
But for those of us who optioned out of adulthood long ago in favor of extending our lease on childhood, this is cool as all hell. And it’s fun. An extremely dirty car gets run off the side of the road by a pissed off trucker who isn’t too thrilled with the driving habits of whoever is behind the wheel. Except that there isn’t anybody behind the wheel. And as people drive by and see what looks to be an accident by the side of the road, they get curious.
So you remember what happened to the curious cat, right?
Admittedly, King has his definite drawbacks that can (to me) be somewhat irritating. He shifts in and out of points of view – practically within the same paragraph sometimes – like a drunk behind the wheel. One minute you think the story is being told by John Doe, only to get whiplash when you realize the story was just handed over to Fred. I’m not one of those who believes an entire novel has to be told from one point of view, but there does have to be some advance markers on the road that a change is coming. Maybe the change happens in the next chapter and holds throughout the chapter. Or even throughout a scene. But damn, Stephen, warn a brother already.
King also just can’t turn loose his too-cute literary tricks that he has been using ever since …yeah. Those snide, semi-humorous little quips in italics that he loves to insert showing some piece of a thought that just flitted across the character’s mind. That might have been interesting back around the time of The Stand, but now? Really?
But oh well. It is what it is. Either accept that this is the way he is and deal with it, or move on to more conventional practitioners. As for me, I feel I can accept a few flaws from a master.
Lets me know that even the masters suffer from humanity.