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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #651
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Secret of the Lost Race, by Andre Norton. Normally I like how rapidly Norton novels move, but this one was absurd. We go from the mean streets of Terran slums, to surviving an ice planet, to conducting raids against a corporation, to escaping from the grasp of a governmental agency, all within the span of 150 pages. The secret, by the way, is that aliens are down to fuck.

    Pet Sematary, by Stephen King. There's a hidden cemetery the locals know about, which can bring back pets... and more. I found this to be one of his more brutal novels, even though nothing supernatural happens for the first half of the book. Rather, the first half makes you care about the characters, without providing any cushioning for the horrendous final third. "There are only thirty pages left, it can't get much worse," I told myself. It got much worse.

  2. #652
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Ah, poor Gage. I thought Sematary was an interesting genre exercise, but really King's gift is his ability to make characters feel real, which Sematary was more successful in. The horror trappings are an extension of his ability to illustrate what ordinary people do when terrible or extraordinary things happen to them, and that's why he can craft stories just as good even without anything particularly malefic happening - he's a great observer of life simply being lived.

  3. #653
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Yeah, you're right. King's eye for detail is on par with Dickens'. In the back half of the novel, where Louis goes gravedigging, King still provides such convincing detail that you wonder he went climbing fences, carrying tools and digging holes as research for his novel.

    There do seem to be two broad archetypes for his novels, though. One (which includes Pet Sematary, The Shining, Carrie, Thinner, Gerald's Game) is a character study. The other (Needful Things, The Stand, Under the Dome, It) is a petri dish; instead of a person, it's an entire community subjected to this detail. The petri dish tends to catch fire two-thirds of the way through the book. I find the former category much more harrowing, despite the lower body count, because I care about the characters that much more.

  4. #654
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    True. I liked The Stand as well as anyone could, but it's still Carrie that hefts itself with more weight inside my head. Part of that is at least because we're built to feel empathy more strongly for individuals than groups of people, I'd think.

  5. #655
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    I'm not sure about that... tribalism is a known human attribute. I think it's that King has more insight into individuals than communities. Something like "Lord of the Flies" or "The Grapes of Wrath" shows the opposite strength.

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