Friday, September 5, 2008

Things I'm Not Sure About

I just finished 'salem's Lot. Stephen King is the God of Horror, right? I loved the first section of the book. Truly terrifying stuff--subtle paranoia, growing fear, corruption and rot from the inside. Once we turn to traditional vampire staking, I'm done--not because the book is dated or traditional vampire staking is bad, but something else. Something I can't quite put my finger on...

(blushes) I have to admit this is the first novel by King I've read from start to finish, and it is a fine work of classic horror. Maybe I like my horror a little "blenderized"? (crossing genres much?)

The other thing I'm not so sure about...flash horror fiction. I'm okay with writing flash (although not that good at it yet), but I really don't like reading flash. I like subtlty. I like slow, building fear and growing discomfort. I don't like "little girl standing in the doorway holding a bloody skull". Boo! It doesn't work. I'm numb to the sudden shock; I want the real, lingering dred. I want a fear that makes me worry about the real shadows, the real monsters. They're under my bed, right?

5 comments:

Jamie Eyberg said...

congrats on your first King novel. I think I have read most of them and, admittedly, many of them stunk, especially the 80's into the early 90's. I really enjoy his short stories myself and Duma Key was pretty good although I thought he rushed the ending.

The best piece of flash I have ever read is the namesake of my blog, A Continuity of Parks, by Julio Cortezar. You can locate the story online for free. It is truly a rounded story. Much flash is an acquired taste I have found and good flash is really hard to find. Sometimes I think they butcher the story just to fit the guidelines or are just plain lazy.

Catherine J Gardner said...

This is a terrible thing for a horror writer to say - I loved the movie of Salem's Lot but haven't read the book. I'm not a great fan of King's fiction. There are a couple of stories I love (I highly recommend 'Desperation' and the short 'The Langoliers' and list them amongst my favourite ever stories by anyone), some I liked, and some I've given up on half way through.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Salems Lot was good, but not my favorite. In my opinion, IT was the best, after that it's hard to tell. His short story collections are like crack.

Aaron said...

I love Cortezar. My favorite of his short tales-"House Taken Over"-is chilling and brilliant.

Carrie Harris said...

Funny, I just reread Salem's Lot last week. And I'm with you; once the mystery of What's Going On is revealed, the tension kind of goes pfft! (This is supposed to approximate the air going out of a tire but falls flat, I think. Get it? Flat? Snarf.)

I'm with Natalie in that I liked It. I also enjoyed The Stand. Salem's Lot might be worth it for the tension at the beginning, I guess. But otherwise, it's kind of meh.