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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Discussion of...    Books  ›  Stephen King Books Moderators: Old Time Wesley, Chris_MacGuffin
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  Author    Stephen King Books  (currently 19611 views)
Dreamlogic
Posted: May 23rd, 2008, 2:00pm Report to Moderator
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Has anyone read 'On Writing' ?

I found the biography section fascinating. I think it would translate into a film better than anything else he's ever written.
I also found the second half ( the section on writing) to be an excellent resource and influence on my writing. Even though its not really aimed at screenwriting, I think theres many elements that cross over.  


THE LONG ROAD NORTH
A bestselling author makes a chilling discovery as he searches for inspiration.

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-short/m-1213640432/
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HomeRun
Posted: July 9th, 2008, 5:07am Report to Moderator
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I have read "On Writing" and found it a fascinating and interesting read.  It was a mix of memoir and resource and I liked it very much.

I have read quite a few of the Dark Tower series, but had to take a break.  I will return to them someday.  In the meantime...

Lisey's Story was the first "different" King book I read.  On his promo appearances, he touted it as being more on the 'romantic' side of things and less on the 'horror'.  I remember liking it, but not being thrilled by it.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, another one I liked a great deal.

I've read many many more of his works, the most recent being Cell and Duma Key, and I've been disappointed on more than one point.  As others have said, they seem rushed.  The endings just seem like he sat down, started a timer and tried to see how fast he could wrap it up.  Awful.  He is brilliant at storytelling, character development, and surprising us with incredible notions of possibilities, but he seems to have a hard time with writing the ending.  Duma Key ends on page 609...in that many pages, surely he could come up with a more satisfying conclusion.
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James Ceja
Posted: July 10th, 2008, 12:02am Report to Moderator
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Dreamcatcher was kind of weak for Stephen, but I think he redeemed himself with books such as Cell and Duma Key. (I really recommend Duma Key). And I agree with you, he is the KING. hehe
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MacDuff
Posted: July 10th, 2008, 12:43am Report to Moderator
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I read 'On Writing' once a year. It's a great way for writers of all skill levels to understand the process of writing.

I thought Cell started off a little slowly, but really started to gain moment at about 100 pages in and was excellent for the remainder. It reminded me of classic King work.

Actually, King's work has changed since his horrible accident and his on and off again retirement. I think he writes differently and it's taken a while to get used to it, but I still appreciate his work.

I've started 'From a Buick 8' a couple of times and have not stuck with it, which is surprising for me. Lisey's Story was good, but not excellent and Duma Key was very good, but not really excellent either.

Right now, I'm reading The Bachman Books - a collection of 4 stories that King published under Bachman's name. The first 2 are classic King: Rage and The Long Walk. There's some fantastic writing in there.


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James Ceja
Posted: July 10th, 2008, 1:39am Report to Moderator
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Bag of Bones was excellent as well.

The Stand was pretty good. I think that the movie was better for some reason, but the book is still a classic to me.

-James
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Dreamlogic
Posted: July 13th, 2008, 9:09pm Report to Moderator
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I really enjoyed Duma Key, but I think some of the supernatural elements actually let it down. I preffered the story about Edgar becoming an artist.

One of the things I love about Stephen King is that he kills off central characters in the most sudden and brutal ways. The characters in his books all seem completely vulnerable. He doesn't save the gory details for the bad guys either. I remember how shocked I was by the gory descriptions in Bag of Bones when the main lady got shot, and in Regulators when the boy died.


THE LONG ROAD NORTH
A bestselling author makes a chilling discovery as he searches for inspiration.

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-short/m-1213640432/
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Michael Myers
Posted: July 15th, 2008, 5:18pm Report to Moderator
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"Cell" is my favorite book.
The Shawshank Redemption is definately my favorite Stephen King movie and my favorite movie in general.


http://www.youtube.com/reddragonproductions

COMPLETE: "Rose Haven"
WRITING: Modern Western
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Cirrus
Posted: July 30th, 2008, 11:10am Report to Moderator
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I've only really read "Carrie" which I loved. After watching The Shining the other day I thought I might give the book a read but then when I went down to the bookstore they had loads of Stephen King books but no Shining.
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seamus19382
Posted: August 4th, 2008, 3:04pm Report to Moderator
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From A Buick 8 starts great with the sort of small town stuff, but the supernatural stuff is just so unbelievably stupid that ultimately it's not worth reading.  I reread The Stand last fall, and it wasn't as good as I remember it.

I don't think I'll be reading anymore new Stephen King, unless he ditches the supernatural/horror.  If he does, I'll be one of the first in line to buy it.
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Takeshi
Posted: October 5th, 2009, 8:00am Report to Moderator
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I'm reading a book at the moment called "Stephen King on the Big Screen" by Mark Browning. Browning is a Film Studies lecturer in the UK and in this book he discusses   31 of the Stephen books that have been adapted for the big screen. His analysis of The Shawshank Redemption is particularly interesting and impressive. He rates Shawshank and the Green Mile as the best movies adapted from King's novels.

This is how the chapters break down:
Chapter 1
Mind Over Matter: Telekinesis
Carrie
The Rage: Carrie 2  
The Dead Zone
Firestarter

Chapter 2
Tales From The Darkside: The Portmanteau Film
Creepshow
Creepshow 2
Cat's Eye
Tales from The Darkside: The Movie

Chapter 3
Sometimes Dead is Better
Silver Bullet
Pet Sematary
Pet Sematary 2
Sleepwalkers

Chapter 4
Boys to Men Rites of Passage
Stand by Me
Apt Pupil
Hearts in Atlantis

Chapter 5
The Rise of the Machines 1950's Science-Fiction B-Movie
Christine
Maximum Overdrive
Graveyard Shift
The Lawnmower Man
Dreamcatcher

Chapter 6
The Great Escape: Prison Drama
The Shawshank Redemption
The Green Mile
The Running Man

Chapter 7
Books of Blood; The Writer
Misery
The Dark Half
Secret Window

Chapter 8
The Terror of Everyday Life and Final Girls
Cujo
Dolores Claiborne
The Shinning (Stanley Kubrick 1980)
The Shinning (Mick Garris, 1997)
1408  

I'm not sure why the author analyzed the 1997 mini-series of the Shinning and over looked others like IT and Salemís Lot. Perhaps it was because he wanted to draw comparisons between it and the Kubrick's 1980 version.    

Revision History (1 edits)
Takeshi  -  October 5th, 2009, 8:18am
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Niles_Crane
Posted: October 5th, 2009, 3:12pm Report to Moderator
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I tend to find adapts of King stories for the screen entertaining, even though I recognise (having read a number of his books) that he is far too deep a writer to be wholly successfully translated to the big screen. There seems to be a tendency to view him as a standard horror writer, and his work treated as no better than stalk and slash thrillers, but he is probably one of the major literary figures of the past 30 years, up there with all those award winners and high art novelists the critics fawn over (but nobody actually reads!).

"The Mist", for me, is possibly the best adapt of one of his horror stories, and apparently King rates it highly.
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Murphy
Posted: October 5th, 2009, 5:45pm Report to Moderator
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I probably shouldn't say anything about something I am still working on but my current project is an adaptation of The Running Man, originally a Richard Bachman book.

In fact the whole reason why I started learning how to write scripts was exactly because of this book. It has been my favorite King book since I was a kid and I always thought the film version directed by Starsky was an abomination and have always felt the the original story would make for an excellent and highly marketable movie.

Not that of course I think there is a cats chance of my script being made, that is not my reason for writing it. I have been struggling so much to finish a feature that I think I need to get this out of my system before I can do anything else. It is a great book though, if more than a little tricky to adapt, much has happened in the 25 years since it was written and King's ideas of the future is a handicap.

It is going to end up quite different from the book in many ways but it certainly does stay true to King's original vision, much more so than that Arnie piece of crap.

Chris, I would love to hear more on the Running Man chapter in that book you have, what was the general feeling on that adaptation?
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stevie
Posted: October 5th, 2009, 7:00pm Report to Moderator
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That sounds interesting Murph. I was wondering about your script after you mentioned it on the 6 week thread.
I haven't seen the film for ages but read the book again awhile back. it defintely could be re-made better especially now.
I've always thought 'The Island' was influenced by this book, has a simliar feel to it.

Been a King fan for years but not really iot his recent work. It's like he's already written the best books he'll ever write.
The Stand and It are in my top three books; LOTR is the other.
Some of his best stuff has been not strictly horror, particularly his novellas and shorts.
Shawshank stands out, and the Green Mile.



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Murphy
Posted: October 5th, 2009, 7:19pm Report to Moderator
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If anyone is interested, a preview of the book by Mark Browning that Chris is reading is available to read at Google Books.

http://books.google.com/books?.....e&q=&f=false
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Takeshi
Posted: October 6th, 2009, 7:53am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Murphy

Chris, I would love to hear more on the Running Man chapter in that book you have, what was the general feeling on that adaptation?


Browning wasn't very impressed with it. He thought the action and special effects weren't much chop and that it lacked tension. He also thought it didn't really capitalize on the social commentary aspect of the story very well and as a show that was set in the future it wasn't very ambitious as it was fairly similar in format to the American Gladiators show which was running back in 1989. However, it was interesting to read that Christopher Reeve was originally cast as Ben Richards. The following passage was also interesting:


"Star theory, as developed by academics such as Richard Dyer, posits that the attraction of a star's persona is created by the tension between the delivery of expected items and the possibility of something original. The pleasure lies in the integration of old and new , familiar and unfamiliar. The casting of Schwarzenegger is crucial. Apart from in the apocalyptic End of Days (Peter Hyams, 1999) he has not died in any of his film roles (he has been rebuilt as a Terminator), meaning effectively, that there is little on-screen jeopardy. We know he will be back. How, not whether, he will dispatch his opponents is the viewing pleasure on offer. What we have here is not a serious attempt at social satire or even an action film. The Running Man represents a pivotal point in the crafting of Schwarzenegger's screen image. He certainly is involved in action sequences with car chases and explosions, he strides purposefully as the Terminator in two other sequels but after this film the only running we see him do is for political office."  

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