Category Archives: stephen king
Thursday night, in front of 1,100 excited and devoted fans gathered in Toronto’s Koerner Hall, Stephen King and his son Owen King read from their new collaboration, Sleeping Beauties.
Published by Simon & Schuster Canada, the novel, about a sleeping epidemic that affects women around the world, is the first time the two have worked together, thought they did do a book tour back in 2013, when Stephen was promoting Doctor Sleep and Owen his first novel, Double Feature. I was in the middle of a battle with pneumonia that had actually sent me to the hospital, but that didn’t hold me back from making the event when it hit Toronto. That night, I had the chance to talk to the elder King, probably my greatest inspiration as a writer. He signed my Marvel Comics Dark Tower Omnibus, and I showed him the outline of the Michael Whelan-inspired art that would soon become my second tattoo.
This night at Koerner Hall had no autograph session, but it was still exciting to be in the room with both Kings. Owen was noticeably more comfortable in front of a crowd than he was back in 2013. He started the evening reading from Sleeping Beauties, a book that’s humour becomes surprisingly evident when voiced by its authors. As expected, while Owen received a great ovation, the audience was clearly there for his legendary father, who was clad in a shirt that he gleefully informed us carried a caption that read “If you go home with someone and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”
Today, Thursday, September 21st, 2017 marks Stephen King’s 70th birthday. I think it’s fair to say that for many of us at Biff Bam Pop!, we wouldn’t be writing words regularly if not for the inspiration of King and his incredible work. To celebrate the monumental occasion, the writers of Biff Bam Pop! have banded together to share our favourite books from Stephen King’s catalogue, and say thank you to the man for all the nightmares.
Name: Andy Burns
Favourite Stephen King Book: The Stand
Why: The Stand is epic storytelling, full of wonderful characters and stunning set pieces. It was the first apocalyptic novel I can remember reading, and I was thoroughly gripped by the end of the world scenario King crafted. Though The Dark Tower as a whole is my favourite work by King, as a standalone novel, The Stand is the author at his finest. The Complete and Uncut version also contains my favourite King moment from any of his books – Stu Redman’s recollection of meeting the long dead Jim Morrison at a gas station. Happy birthday, Stephen King!
Name: Glenn Walker
Favourite Stephen King Book: The Stand
Why: It was his first magnum opus, his first truly epic novel, with a huge cast of characters – characters that on multiple readings became more and more real. Everyone in the book lived and breathed in my head as I read, and I followed them all from their lives in the old world to the reconstruction of the post-Captain Trips world. It was a tale of ultimate good and evil, introducing concepts like the Walkin’ Dude that would resonate with later works, and a story of survival and seduction, and at times unspeakable horror, touching on everything available to the writer at that moment. It’s not perfect. It was also the first of King’s disappointing cop-out endings, in my opinion, the rest of the book was so good I didn’t care. I love this book so much, it’s one of my top five favorite books ever, and I have revisited it dozens of times since first reading it in paperback fresh off the shelf. Like a good vinyl album (yeah, I’m that old), you play it so much, you have to replace it because it’s so worn down – I have been through three copies of The Stand, I love it that much. Read the rest of this entry
Without It, we wouldn’t have Stranger Things, but without Stranger Things we wouldn’t have It – at least not quite the version of the film that hits theatres today. The Duffer Brothers, creators of Stranger Things, have cited both the Stephen King novel and the 1990 TV miniseries adaptation of it as major influences on their hit Netflix show – “probably the biggest,” noted Ross Duffer in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Years ago, before It helmer Andy Muschietti took over from Cary Fukunaga in 2015, the Duffers approached Warner Brothers about mounting the remake but were turned down because they weren’t considered established enough to take on King’s epic tale of children banding together to take on the evil, sewer-dwelling, child-eating clown-entity Pennywise. So the siblings created Stranger Things instead, which also features a close-knit group of small town misfit kids (one of them played by Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard) facing an incredible supernatural evil.
Will an adaptation of a cult favourite series from one of the most popular writers on the planet be able to stave off fan skepticism and critical blows to debut at the top of the box office? Here’s our prediction:
Let’s just get this out of the way: I loved The Dark Tower books. I’m a massive Stephen King fan. I am predisposed to enjoy the film that arrives in theaters this weekend, regardless of its quality. But, realistically, this is a hard road for The Dark Tower, based on the scathing reviews its receiving and a fan base that feels let down by many of the decisions that surrounded bringing Roland and the Man in Black to life. There was so much working against this film prior to the horrible reviews, and it appears so many fears are actually being realized. Regardless of how good or bad the performances from stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are, neither actor can open a film, let alone one that was supposed to be the beginnings of a brand new franchise. While there are die-hard fans of The Dark Tower who will venture out this weekend to see the film, reviews be damned, the crossover appeal is going to be limited, and unless there’s a severe difference between critical and audience response a la Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Tower is going to underperform below even the initial light projections. Look for a first place debut with $26 million.
For me the release of The Dark Tower as a major motion picture is a countdown. I’m on the clock, literally, as I want to finish the book series before the film comes out on Friday. I don’t know if I’ll make it. While you wish me hopeless luck, meet me after the jump to find out why I’m doing it, and my re-read thoughts.
To say that reading The Dark Tower changed my life is far from an understatement. It’s a fact. I never read Lord of the Rings. I haven’t gotten into Game of Thrones. No, for me, it’s only been Roland Deschain and his quest to get to the tower that holds all worlds together.
Seven years ago, I was commuting from my home in Toronto to a crappy job about 90 minutes via subway away. What kept me going through the first few months of 2010 was reading The Dark Tower on my little Sony e-reader. While I had picked up the original trade paperback edition of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger when it was released back in 1988 (and I was just 11 years old), and read subsequent instalments including The Drawing of the Three and The Waste Lands, the wait time between novels had killed my interest in the series, and it lay unfinished. However, in that winter of 2010, I was determined to read the books I’d already started, and finish the series.
You’ll float too, in the new trailer for Stephen King’s IT, which is due in theaters September 8th. And yes, it looks damn frightening.
The trailer for The Dark Tower is here. As an acolyte of the series, which changed my life, I have to say I am far more impressed than I thought I would be. Changes from the series are clear, but it still feels like the story I love. Just a different take. we’ll discover how it all turns out in August.
We all float down here. The first official trailer for Stephen King’s It is here…and it is scary.
It arrives in theaters September 8th, 2017.
Being literate is especially important in our current post-truth, post-facts world. And it’s especially significant when you need to take a break from reality, look into the roots of current affairs, or just expand your horizons a little.
Here are six books that fit the bill.
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