I've been enjoying King novels for almost two decades, but I don't actually know that many other hardcore fans, and I've never delved into the online fan community, so I'm wondering: is there anything like a consensus that King's work fell off drastically in the late 90's? I love pretty much everything I've read up through wizard and glass ('97), but a lot of what I've read that was published after that point has been pretty disappointing. The dark tower books after wizard and hearts in atlantis in particular were real low points for me. I enjoyed From a Buick 8 and Dreamcatcher, but for the most part I'd strongly hesitate to pick up a new King novel at this point. That said, I sorely miss the enjoyment of discovering another new favorite and I've been tempted by 11/22 and Under the Dome.
If this a dumb question that has been debated to death already I apologize. I know there is a similar sentiment in the Simpsons fan community that the show started falling apart before it got to double-digit seasons, and I've always wondering if there was a similar feeling here.
I think his work has had some tremendous highs in more recent years. Lisey's Story is a triumph, Duma Key is a great thriller, and I think Full Dark No Stars is a superb collection of novellas (but dark, oh so dark). He's also written some great short stories (for example the "Just After Sunset" collection.
I have to disagree with you on Hearts in Atlantis. I think it was superb. I can't recommend Under the Dome, however. I think its sprawl gets the best of it.
Have you tried to read "Cell" yet? That is the Stephen King book I read most recently and I just took "Little Green God of Agony" out of the library but haven't started it yet. I thought Under the Dome and 11/22/63 were both very good. Maybe his writing changed after almost dying is that accident where the numpty dang near killed him while he was out walking. I think it has actually improved. Try some of the nonfiction stuff like "On Writing" or even a Stephen King biography for a change... Happy reading!
Unhorse the conquistador, you've got to go your own way, as the song has it. If there is a lemming-rush to the sea then where is the appeal to join the fray? But yeah, I believe there's a bunch over in the corner sans-slurpees, murmuring, murmuring, crowd noises. A leader has yet to emerge, however. If a crowd doesn't want to eat Big Macs, does that mean one should not cross their picket line? I dunno. Try Blaze...that's an oldie.
...I can't buy into the "work fell off" camp....not every piece is going to cause women to faint and strong men to weep...but I've said it scores of times...on any given day-I'd rather read his worst piece of dreck-than 95% of anything else out there...
There is a theory floating 'round here that maybe a book does not particularly appeal because the reader is distracted by something in his/her life. Don't discount the later books just yet, wait, and then pick up one and give it another go. I know when 11/22/63 came out, I was at B&N when it opened to buy it, got it home and could not get past page 3. Picked up 6 months later and sailed through it! Don't you miss Mr. King's wonderful characters? Don't give up, give it another go! Spend some time here too.
Have to disagree that his work fell off dramatically in the late 90's. The recent addition to the Dark Tower series, The Wind Through The Keyhole, has the aspect of a story within a story within a story within a story. Full Dark No Stars reaches the depths of darkness I have not seen in many years. Just After Sunset brings together the short stories . 11/22/63 has fictional history and time travel. A great love story, Liseys Story, is equal to if not better than Bags of Bones.
As Haunted said, different times in your life will bring about different feelings/ meaning of a particular book. When the mood is right, pick up another SK book and enjoy.
It just may be that you need a break from reading SK. That's happened to me over the 30+ years I have been reading him. Also, as an author who is always trying to stretch his "writing muscles" some of SK's novels just seem off at the time they are published because you are expecting XXX novel to be like the last few. I find these are the books you have to put aside for a while and come back to. They are much more appreciated in the context of all his writing and sometimes we cannot see the forest for the trees. And of course, there is no law that says you have to love everything SK has written. I certainly do not, but I have stayed a Constant Reader throughout the years and it has been well worth the ride.
Last edited by carrie's younger brother; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:23 AM.
Reason: To fix punctuation