Stephen King: Twilight is “Tweenager Porn”

As Stephen King’s 56th novel, Doctor Sleep, reaches a King-hungry audience, the master storyteller talks to The Guardian about, among other things, the work of some of his peers.

Stephen King, the prolific and best-selling patriarch of the horror novel, has used a rare interview to express disdain for modern pretenders to his title, dismissing the Twilight franchise as “tweenager porn” and calling The Hunger Games dull and derivative.

More predictably, King, who is about to release his 56th novel, is less than impressed by Fifty Shades of Grey, although he does have praise for JK Rowling’s “fabulous” non-Harry Potter debut, The Casual Vacancy and compared her style to that of the late Tom Sharpe.

In an interview in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine, the 65-year-old author said he had read Twilight, among other modern titles, out of professional interest, and had been underwhelmed. “They’re really not about vampires and werewolves. They’re about how the love of a girl can turn a bad boy good.”

“I read Twilight and didn’t feel any urge to go on with her. I read The Hunger Games and didn’t feel an urge to go on. It’s not unlike The Running Man, which is about a game where people are actually killed and people are watching: a satire on reality TV.

So that’s some of what he didn’t much care for. But what does he like?

King declared himself a fan of the “amazingly good” Donna Tartt, but criticised her workrate. “She’s dense, she’s allusive. She’s a gorgeous storyteller,” he said. “But three books in 30 years? That makes me want to go to that person and grab her by the shoulders and look into her face and say: ‘Do you realise how little time you have in the scheme of things?’ ”

Scribner published Doctor Sleep on Tuesday. The long-awaited sequel to The Shining has largely drawn glowing reviews. In her New York Times review of the book, Margaret Atwood began:

“Doctor Sleep” is Stephen King’s latest novel, and it’s a very good specimen of the quintessential King blend. According to Vladimir Nabokov, Salvador Dalí was “really Norman Rockwell’s twin brother kidnapped by gypsies in babyhood.” But actually there were triplets: the third one is Stephen King.

News Reporter

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