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King Disses Twilight Author

King thinks she is no Rowling.

By Jarrod Sarafin     February 05, 2009
Source: AP, Usa Weekend

Iconic pop culture author Stephen King
© N/A

When it comes to opinion between fellow authors, the feedback can sometimes be brutal. Stephen King, a pop culture phenomenon himself, knows all about it as he was under fire from well known authors of the day when his first works were hitting book shelves. Cut to the present day and those roles seem reversed with King giving criticism to the up and coming authors. In what should have been a controversy-free interview with USA Weekend to promote his latest book, the horror master has slammed Twilight creator Stephenie Meyer's writing flat-out saying she has none.

What started with an innocent question on the recent juggernaut success of fellow mainstream writers Meyer and J.K. Rowling quickly devolved into a full-scale denouncement of the former's skills.

"The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephanie Meyer can't write worth a darn," he said. "She's not very good."

Leave it to an author not to mince his words.

Possibly sensing the worldwide fallout from inflaming millions of Twilight loyalists, King went on to say that while Meyere's writing may bite the big one, her storytelling is least to a certain, less experienced segment of the population.

"People are attracted by the stories, by the pace and in the case of Stephenie Meyer, it's very clear that she's writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books. It's very exciting and it's thrilling and it's not particularly threatening because they're not overtly sexual.

"A lot of the physical side of it is conveyed in things like the vampire will touch her forearm or run a hand over skin, and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that's a shorthand for all the feelings that they're not ready to deal with yet."

While King seemed to reserve his choicest words for Meyer, she wasn't the only best-selling author eviscerated by him. On the contrary, King declared Perry Mason author Erle Stanley Gardner "terrible," Dean Koontz "sometimes…just awful," and James Patterson "a terrible writer" who is nonetheless "very very successful."



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StarlightGuard 2/5/2009 7:32:34 AM

Well, (though I haven't read the remaining 3 books) I'll say yeah, Meyer isn't Rowling.

But only Rowling can be Rowling.

And only Douglas Adams should be writing "Hitchhiker."

I don't think Meyer's terrible (from just the one book) but I will say she did run out of ways of describing Edward, his "adonis" form, his "marble" statuesque body\skin, etc.

That, and the first person narrative form of the book is all I'll complain about.

Writer's always complain about each other - I've done it openly with Cathie The Fat And Evil, and Curt Collier (who not only cannot write, but he cannot see his feet.)

And Douglas Adams did it with Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings, considering she had the very worst poetry of all.

We're all prima donnas. We can't help it.

monkeyfoot 2/5/2009 7:38:14 AM

This is why when everybody came off the assembly line the manufacturer breaks the mold. That way everybody's unique and have their own point of view and opinions. As long as you don't interfere with any body else's fun, it's all fine. I know alot of people who think King's work sucks. It's not stopping him from writing or any of his fans enjoying his stuff.

Hobbs 2/5/2009 8:48:09 AM

Hmmm....I don't think writers always complain about other writers all the time.  They might think their work is better but King isn't saying that.  He is saying her writing sucks.  I personally can't comment on that because the chick books don't interest me but I can attest to Kings writing which is top notch.  Some of his work does suck, don't care at all for a lot of his stories over the last decade but you can't ever knock the mans ability to write. 

It's easy to misconstrue what King is trying to say here.  I can tell you that he is actually very generous to a lot of writers with comments or recommendations about their books so he's not trying to be "I am a God" here.  I understand what he is trying to say.  Just because a story is popular doesn't mean its written very well. 

And yeah, he probably could have been more diplomatic about the other writers mentioned but except for Gardner (who I haven't read) he is dead on with Koontz (Sometimes very good sometimes very bad) and Patterson but Pattersons STORIES are entertaining.

larkcall_home 2/6/2009 6:37:22 AM

Dean Koontz "sometimes…just awful,"

Well you know who else is "sometimes…just awful"? Steven King! I like some of his stuff. Most of his short stories are very good. I find most of his longer novels to be great stuff interstrune (made up word) with crap. Anyone out there remember "The Stand"? Great book, but there are huge parts of it that most of the nation skimmed over just to get through it.

I think most authors are like that, and for one author to criticize another just because they are successful, well...


Tzar 2/22/2009 4:37:33 PM

I don't normally comment on news items or anyone's opinions but I had to on this one.  King has long been the most overrated author in some time.  Koontz may never be known as the Great American Author but at least his books will entertain and, for the most part, I think that is the point.  What has King been known for lately?  Commenting on baseball and rock n roll songs because it sure hasn't been anything remotely scary in his books.  I won't even go into all his books/stories that have been made into "cheesier than SciFi channel" movies.   I have never been a Harry Potter or Twilite fan but then again, I don't like rap music.  Should I diss a whole generation of rap fans simply because I don't "get it"?  Again this sounds all like jealousy on King's part.  I can't remember the last time I really enjoyed a King book including his overrated, bloated and incredibly dull Dark Tower books.  If you are that jealous King, then write the Great American Novel or retire but don't spew hate just because you are losing out on the top ten list.

TayDor 2/24/2009 5:26:43 AM

Koontz is a one trick pony.  His storys are ok, but the problem I have is his characters.  It's like he has a pool of character traits that he puts into a bowl and randomly attributes to characters.  Read enough of his books and you see the same traits (ie: someone is always into jazz in his books).

King can get longwinded, but he builds solid characters.

gensosuikoden2 3/16/2009 8:46:26 AM

I have to agree with King on Dean Koontz and James Patterson they are awful. As for The Twilight books, they are targeted at preteen girls (the same dumbasses that make garbage like The Jonas brothers and Highschool musical so popular) and teen girls (who go waste money to see Titanic 12 times in the theater) so of course they are going to be insipid peices of crap. I like King, but I'm wondering why he was even reading them?

plasticfruit 7/8/2009 6:18:53 AM

I agree with King, the Twilight books are just bad literature. It's one big metaphor for sexual tension and it appeals to the emotions of many girls. And vampires can't go into sunlight because their skin sparkles? Is Meyer taking bong rips between writing?



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