Skip to main content

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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…

CBR9 #5 Borgin Keep by Ron Ripley

I've read the entire Berkeley Street series, as well as the Haunted series, and I think this was definitely one of the better offerings. This time, former Marine Shane and his slowly growing band of willing (and unwilling) ghost hunting allies face their biggest challenge yet. While the ghosts of Borgin Keep are both very dangerous and very evil, Shane also must keep one step ahead of The Watchers, a ruthless and powerful organization who find him to be a threat to their shadowy goals.

As always, for me the best part are the characters. Shane and his ghost-hunting partner Frank (a former soldier/former monk) are joined once again by police detective Marie LaFontaine, who is a very tough woman determined to avenge a dead friend. I'm not as fond of Shane's girlfriend Courtney, but I understand her uses as far as character development.

The plot moves along quickly, and I found this book a little better fleshed out than a few of the previous ones in the series -- while I enjoye…

CBR9 #3: Missing Wives, Missing Lives by JJ Slate

There's a lot of discussion these days about things that are dangerous to women--is it heart disease? Is it stress? Car accidents? Drugs? Serial killers? Trans women in bathrooms?--but it seems like one of the biggest hazards to women are the men in their lives.

This book details the cases of thirty women who vanished. Stretching back to 1976, and with cases as recent as 2007, the women featured in this book seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. For some, the legal system was able to prove a case against the men in their lives, but for others, the search for justice may never be resolved.

The amazing thing to me was the stories that the husbands gave upon their wives' disappearances. "So, you had a fight, and she just left the house--at 3am. In her pajamas. Barefoot. Without her purse, or her glasses, or her car, or her TEETH? Leaving her small dependent children behind. And you decided to say nothing for three weeks? And while she was gon…