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A Letter to An Author (Cannonball Read 2 #22 - Song of Susannah by Stephen King)

Dear Stephen,

I have been a huge fan of your work for many years (not your "number one fan"...ha ha...but a fan, nonetheless.) I've read nearly all of your books, and I've enjoyed the majority of them. In fact, IT is probably my favorite book ever, and I think I've read it upwards of twenty times. Many of your other books have also warranted being read multiple times. Please don't think I'm just some hater who doesn't know what she's talking about.

I have always defended your work. When people have complained about your over-verbosity, I have countered by pointing out your excellent descriptions. When people have noted your tendency toward cliche, I have countered with your gripping characters. I have defended you against charges of repetition, overindulgence, and lack of editing. I've argued against those who said you had lost it after you got run over. I have even defended you regarding your near total inability to properly end a story (A giant spider? Alien children? Nuclear explosion?) despite the fact that it's almost totally true. I have even defended you regarding Dreamcatcher, and that thing was a complete disaster (Assweasels. That's all I have to say about that. Assweasels.)

However, you have finally lost me. Oh, I'm not saying I'm not going to read your writing again, nor am I saying that I am going to throw out my rather extensive collection of your work. I am just saying you've finally done something I find completely indefensible, and I am PISSED THE FUCK OFF about it. You WROTE YOURSELF INTO THE GUNSLINGER SAGA! That is inexcusable. I was thoroughly loving those damn books, and then you committed the worst authorial sin--the sin of arrogance. This is not like your penchant for taking on cameo roles in films of your work--I find that more endearing than arrogant. But making yourself (and your past self, so you are piling slightly self-righteous hindsight onto the pile of things that are wrong with it) an integral character in a world I was so utterly enjoying is just WRONG. I loved the characters--Roland, Susannah, Jake, and especially Eddie, as well as being happy to see Father Callahan--and was digging the story and then "Ha ha! It is I, your author Stephen King! I am here to point out how awesome I am and how this story is all about ME! Bet you didn't realize it, but I am the AUTHOR and CREATOR and LOOK AT ME HERE I AM LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME!"

Damn it. It's indefensible, I tell you.

I am going to forgive you, because I truly do enjoy most of your work and think you are a great talent. However, this letter is to let you know that you are ON NOTICE, BUSTER. Shanannigans of this nature will not be tolerated a second time.

Yours sincerely,

Caustic Critic


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