Monday, March 15, 2010

Going back to King

I was an avid King reader back in the 80s and 90s. I adore a good supernatural tale and there are nowhere near enough good supernatural story tellers. In the late 90s, King seemed to drift away from horror in order to flex his literary muscles. The thing is, in the days when he was hopelessly gore, I just liked him more.

Anyway, I picked up the Duma Key as I heard it was a return to the style I liked (lots of evil) and he certainly delivers. The book starts out with his excellent characterization, but slowly adds the supernatural to the mix. The main character, a former builder who lost his arm in an accident, moves to Florida and takes up painting. He soon finds he is good, like, impossibly good. You can bet there is a downside. By the end, we have a classic rag tag gang of heroes entering the dark lair. Don't roll your eyes, it works.

On a related note, I traded in a pile of books the other day at Powells. There are few things more exciting than a bunch of credit there. You can go wild. I didn't though, I picked up one of the two Library of America books on supernatural fiction. I went for the post-1940 collection. I was tickled to see that King was included here. He does deserve one of those collected novel volumes (with say, the Shining, Jerusalem's Lot, Pet Sematery and the Stand) but I suppose they will wait until he his dead.

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