The Master of the Macabre does not care for your glittery vampires. Nor does he share your enthusiasm for strapping young werewolves, Ben Wa balls, or teenage bloodsport. In an interview with the Guardian's Weekend magazine, Stephen King, the ne plus ultra of living horror writers, obliterated nearly a decade's worth of popular fantasy fiction in just a few short sentences. He dismissed the Twilight franchise as nothing but "tweenager porn." He called The Hunger Games derivative of his own work. And he said he couldn't even get through 50 Shades of Grey.
"I read Twilight and didn't feel any urge to go on with her," he tells the Guardian, referring to author Stephenie Meyer. "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. 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. 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 King wasn't all vinegar. He's in the midst of reading J.K. Rowling's new non-Harry Potter novel, The Casual Vacancy, and gives it a solid thumbs up. "The fact that she set it around this little election that nobody cares about in a s*** little town is fabulous," he says. "She's a wonderful storyteller and the writing is better than in any of the Harry Potter books, because it's sharper."
For his part, King is about to release his 56th novel, Doctor Sleep, which centers on a grown-up version of The Shining's Danny Torrence, now an aloof alcoholic based loosely on King's own experience as a drunk dad. And the first season of Under the Dome, based on his 2009 novel, wrapped up last week, with a second season given the green-light over the summer. So if anyone's earned the right to blast the biggest pop fantasy-horror titles of the past eight years, it's King. (The Guardian)
Photo: Via The Guardian.