Thursday, May 20

Open letter to Stephen King

It's not you; it's me.

Really...I hate to let you go, after all, you were my first author-love. At age 13 I picked up Nightmares and Dreamscapes and I was hooked. You drew me into a completely new world. A dangerous one that I hid from my parents. My first "secrets."

As soon as I had the money, I began collecting your books (and I'm embarrassed to say, stealing the older ones in paperback from the library). Over the years I was obsessed with reading everything your pen put to paper. My friends gave me crap about my single-mindedness, but I knew you and I were connected. We had something special they just didn't understand.

As in all relationships, we had our ups and downs -- you had some greats (The Stand, The Dead Zone, Hearts in Atlantis) and some serious stinkers (Insomnia, Regulators/Desperation). I didn't let it bother me - I knew that everyone has their faults, and I forgave you.

I saw you once in person when I was in college - you drove your Harley onto the stage and I knew what it was to get hot for someone I admired and respected. You did not disappoint. Totally the highlight of my Freshman year. I'll never forget that moment.

This is so hard for me to say, but we've grown apart. I'm sure you've noticed it too - how could you not? I've gotten older, found more interests. I've come to realize that death is no laughing matter and we're all too close to it as it is; I just don't want to read about gratuitous violence, no matter how creative and slightly amusing. I no longer carry a vision of my own immortality. I know death can be ugly. I don't need the adjectives from you to draw the pictures for me.

We just don't have anything in common! I thought I'd give it one last try and I picked up "Under the Dome." I tried to read it, I swear. I really, really did! But I have to confess, I only made it to into the 70s...I even scanned ahead, hoping to get drawn back in...and I was so disappointed when all I saw was more of the same. (Misunderstood, outsider hero. Large, mean, stupid bad guy, who I assume later is discovered to be just the little bad guy and there is a much worse one in the plot. Oodles of know. The usual.)

I'm sorry, but I just can't do it anymore. I need authors with more meat in their stories than just appendages being cleaved off. I need more emotion than fear, hate and loathing. When you write well, it's a dream come true. I miss the feelings you gave me when I first picked up "Nightmares." Maybe it's not fair of me to put that on you, but it's for the best that I move on.

I packed up your things. What I didn't sell or donate, I left in a box in my basement. Feel free to come pick them up.

Just call first.


Penguins Can Be So Sensitive said...

Steve and I had a similar breakup last year, after Dream...whatever it was. Just couldn't get into it, and realized I'd not been able to get into his books since, oh, Misery or so. I collected the hardbacks when I worked at Waldenbooks, and those have been taking up a great amount of space on my shelf for 15 years. They're now all (with the exception of well-tattered copies of The Stand, Different Seasons, The Shining and It) in a box destined for the UMKC Friends of the Library.

The Words Crafter said...

What a sad posting! It makes me think of my own troubled relationship with Dean Koontz...I've loved his books for years....but lately, they all seem the same...I don't rush out to buy them anymore. I haven't even read the last 3 or 4 releases, not even the last Odd Thomas...isn't it sad when you grow apart that way? *Sigh*