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LitEditor
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Stephen King's Universe

Readers of King's recently completed Dark Tower series not only discovered that the author of Carrie could also create an epic-length work of high fantasy; they watched as the author knit together strands of fictional worlds between his various novels and tales.

This interweaving of King's various realities brought characters from tales like Salem's Lot into contact with more recent creations, and created a sense of vast, secret interconnectedness. Why do you think Stephen King decided to take the effort to make this network of fictional links?

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Sensorymoments
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

I haven't read any of the Dark Tower Series, but Having read the Stand, I noticed he really likes to mention other books in his works. I read somewhere that Stephen King had been a High School Teacher, or studyed for it, or something of the sort, and it would make sense that someone like that would want to focus on more than just the plot of his book, but perhaps secretely get people interested in the other books as well.

I also think that by mentioning his own stories in his work, and connecting them, he does one of two things: 1) satisfies the avid stephen king reader who understands and searches for these references, and 2) get's new stephen king readers interested in his other works...

the only complaint i ever had with stephen kings books, is thier epic proportion! :smileyhappy: they are sooooooooooo long. the stand took me a month....with a broken leg!
Owy

*Taking everyday, one book at a time*
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Stephanie
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

[ Edited ]
It's a funny thing, reader's reactions to novel length - I often purposely seek out the fattest book in the store! I truly enjoy being able to totally submerge myself in the story, and short novels make me sad to have to give up the characters too soon.

Stephanie

Message Edited by Stephanie on 10-25-200605:37 PM

Stephanie
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Sensorymoments
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

I agree with that, if I have the time to read- However, if I am busy-sometimes a Short book is just what I need (although most books I read are about 300 pages)

When I'm pressed for time like during the school year- I find I have trouble getting lost in a really long book because I can only read for maybe 20 minutes on a given day ...and not everyday-so I end up forgetting important details-and Stephen King has tons of them :smileyhappy: (which. yes...are really great).


It would be nice if there was an option to leave a comment with a rating- Someone gave me 2 stars for my previous post and I'm just curious as to why- I feel like it's because someone disagrees with my statement that his books are epic length- but yet they failed to engage in a conversation with me to see how I really feel?

Ah well- Perhaps that's the nature of this voting system :smileyhappy: Grr :smileyhappy:
Owy

*Taking everyday, one book at a time*
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Stephanie
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

I'm not entirely sure I understand the "voting" or "rating" system either- I don't think it's terribly important though! No worries, yes?

Stephanie
Stephanie
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Sensorymoments
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

Perhaps they are hoping to have an option at a later date to filter through messages by "star" rating? ....maybe maybe not :smileyhappy: ..I'm ok, it just had me perturbed for a moment!
Owy

*Taking everyday, one book at a time*
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cosmotrotter
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

I have read quite a few King novels, and enjoy his 'universe' as B&N puts it. But I think that there are several 'universes' that he has created. One is the densely populated, time-and-space confounding universe that is developed in the Dark Tower series and with which many of his other novels play - The Stand, Insomnia, etc.

There is another universe, however, of more straight-forward storytelling, good old campfire-scare stuff that CAN be connected to the more complex world of the Dark Tower, but also can be maintained as its own world, settled comfortably in the horror genre. A lof of his short stories and books like Cujo and Christine would fit into this area.

Finally, if you take any of these worlds too far, you are squeezing too much out of King. I've always found him a bit flat and preachy when he tries to moralize (admittedly, it's light when it happens, but his asides on race or sexual orientation or gender, while I may agree with them, are silly when they appear during a fast-moving plot) - I make the same critique of Tom Clancy's fiction, where Jack Ryan and friends pontificate frequently from another side of the political spectrum (in that case, I disagree with the author's viewpoints, but don't care - it's the moralizing itself during an entertainment that I find silly). King is a fun diversion from matters of greater concern, but not much more than that, in my opinion.
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Kathy
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Registered: ‎10-28-2006
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

I read the first book of the Dark Tower series and did not like it. I've liked almost all the the single, stand alone books of King's that I've read, but I could never get into the Dark Tower books.

I highly recommend King's non-fiction book "On Writing". It was very auto-biographical as well as on how to write.
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Stephanie
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

[ Edited ]
Kathy,

I second the recommendation of King's On Writing - it feels as if a friend/mentor is sharing thoughts on a profession you'd like to break into, doesn't it?

Stephanie

Message Edited by Stephanie on 10-30-200608:14 PM

Stephanie
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TeresaF
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

After reading King's On Writing, I am more willing to give his fiction a try. His novels are less scarey now that I know a bit about the storyteller behind them.
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Eliza
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

I love it when I find a reference to a previous book in King's writing. To me it's a prize. I really liked Sensorymoment's ideas about it, I think he probably intends it to be fun for him and the reader. I also think that it makes the books more "real". I read that somewhere in The Stand a character finds a notice posted on a bulletin board for someone selling St.Bernard puppies (the puppy that will grow up to be Cujo). It's like living in a small town where you run into someone at the grociery store that you went to junior high with. Or having lunch with friends and some one mentions that their mom's friend that you also know is doing this or that. I think it connects all of the books and puts you into this universe that he's created. It's like some one saying "it's a small world, isn't it"
And about short books versus long books, it's just personal preference. Personally, I'm with Stephanie. I love long books because I hate it if a book is over to soon. I want to devour my book and spend long hours with it and have it go on for days. Now my husband is more of the instant gratification type, he likes small books and collections of short stories.
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Eliza
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

I just had an interesting thought while reading the thread on King's movies. He almost always has a small bit part in all of his movies as well. He was the preacher at the funeral in Pet Semetary for example. Do you think that's him wanting to participate in this universe he's created? In Red Rose he was the pizza delivery guy, In Sleepwalkers he was a police officer for two seconds.
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Stephanie
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

Eliza,

It's a funny thing about "meeting" other characters (or scenes) from other novels- I like the way you described it. It's that touch of the familiar that makes us feel at home, isn't it?

As to the long books- Glad I'm not the only one out here! I'm pretty greedy when it comes to the characters I read about, I want to know everything there is to know, and then some.

Stephanie
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Eliza
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

Speaking of long books! I just started The Stand. I can't explain why I've never read it, but I became convinced after 98% of you appointed it your all time favorite. I researched a little first, and went with the new unedited & unabridged updated version. I'm on page 98 and I'm completely engrossed. Can't wait to see what happens. I'm a little creeped out because two girls at work went home with terrible colds yesterday while I was sitting on the couch reading about Captain Trips. Creeeeepy
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Luminalfire5
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

The longer the book, the better, IMO. It's bittersweet when I come to an ending of a great story. Kind of like parting ways. Although, it's nice to have quick reads also, here and there.

I loved the fact SK interwove his stories into one great epic length story. Someone above mentioned it was like coming home. ITA agree with that sentiment.
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AStarr225
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

I had a hard time getting into the first Dark Tower book. I tried 3 or 4 different times and could not finish it. Then when I heard that the Dark Tower books have so much to do with the entire Stephen King universe I made myself finish the first and start reading the second. To me each book gets better and better...by the time I was reading the 3rd one I was thinking I knew the character personally. When I finished the 7th Dark Tower book I wanted to start all over again. They are worth reading.
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Leprechaun72
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

Enjoying all of your posts. As to the original question at hand, I believe that I heard Mr. King tell the audience at the recent Radio City reading that all of his books are one universe. They all exist in the same place and time in his head. I could be wrong about that. Did anyone else see any of the readings from that night? He read, JK Rowling read, and another author read. But I don't know how to find the original broadcasting. I originally watched it as a podcast on AOL (I think).

Thanks for any help clarifying this,
Erin
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alfprof212
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

Hi everyone! Really enjoying reading everyone's posts. I was just wondering about one of his newer novels "The Cell." I've been a fan of Steven King for a while, but I've only read a few of his books. "The Cell" rekindled my love of his style. As a self-described novice in King's universe, I was wondering if anyone else has read "The Cell" and how you thought this novel fits into King's entire spectrum of work. To me, it seems quite a bit different from most of his other work, but like I said, I'm still beginning to explore King's novels. (I have seen MANY of the movie adaptations, though!)
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talemaker
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

I am not sure about the Cell. When I stared to read it I was excited about the concept but, I am not sure I came away with a full understanding of the cause of problem that killed so many. This book seemed a combination of The Stand with its doomday situation and mankind having to start over. Not one of his best. When I finished I felt, that at best, I read an average book.
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Vampyre
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Re: Stephen King's Universe

I can say one thing about Cell. I am vaery happy to not own or use a cell phone. :smileyhappy:
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