I'm as big a stephen king fan as anyone else, but I find myself asking the same question a lot.
He seems to slip it in even when there's no need.
Even when the book isn't about racism.
And it's not just the dialogue, it's in the narratives as well.
And it's not just his old books, it's his new ones as well. I read duma key last year...which i believe is a 2007-8 novel and it had the word in it a few times. along with some other books.
It frustrates me at times i see it so much. Like dude...you're smart as hell so...can't you bring up a black person without referring to him as an n word?
Like i said...big fan of stephen king but come on...in almost every book?
Original poster has a point.