For my money, it doesn’t get much better than Stephen King. I read his novels slowly, soaking them in. I try to parcel them out because I know the day will come where I will have read them all.
While King has many fans, he has his fair share of detractors as well. King’s fans can be rabid (I would know), his detractors are often vicious though. The detractors are usually literary book snobs. Literary snobs can’t be bothered with genre fiction, they have Proust and Faulkner to read. Here’s a sampling…..
Harold Bloom on King winning a US National Book Foundation award:
“another low in the shocking process of dumbing down our cultural life. I’ve described King in the past as a writer of penny dreadfuls, but perhaps even that is too kind. He shares nothing with Edgar Allan Poe. What he is is an immensely inadequate writer on a sentence-by-sentence, paragraph-by-paragraph, book-by-book basis.”
Mr. Bloom is certainly entitled to his opinion. Hell, people pay to read it. But everyone is entitled to an opinion. Even a genre reading rube like myself. Here’s mine.
Time will prove us King fans right. In a hundred years, when we are worm food, people will still be reading The Stand. My hope is that the future Harold Blooms are smart enough to realize the mistakes of current Harold Bloom. Hopefully book snobbery is dead and people just enjoy reading.
Recently I read a fantastic post by horror author Jonathan Janz. It was his post on Stephen King that inspired me to write this blog entry. While my blog is basically me venting about book snobs, Jonathan’s is a heartfelt entry about the importance of Stephen King. Check it out. Stephen King: What We Can’t Say Enough