After Stephen King’s article about whether a novelist can be too prolific, which I posted in the thread of that title, someone has gone and stuck the boot into him.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Michael Conniff has concerns about the quality of Stephen King’s writing – while still liking much about him. My initial reaction is that popular writing is rarely of high literary quality. This makes it easy for elitists to look down their nose at the commercial success of an author who sells books by the million.
Campfire tales, tall stories and yarns are no less worthy than a weighty tome that has been agonised over for style, language and philosophical message. It’s like comparing a hamburger with a haute cuisine dish of beef bourguignon – each has its time, place and purpose. I might read (or eat) something on the move when I’ve got a few minutes to spare that is very different from what I’d consume at my leisure at home.
What do you think? Is Stephen King a nobody novelist who just got lucky? It’s worth remembering that ‘Carrie’, his first novel to be a success, was actually the fourth novel that he wrote. He almost ditched ‘Carrie’, only finishing it at the insistence of his wife who fished the pages out of the garbage. Had she not done so, he could still be languishing on the slush pile.