The Great Stephen King Reread: Just After Sunset

It wasn’t just novels. In the early 2000s, Stephen King seemed existentially exhausted. He’d started the decade with two books about the limitations and failures of storytelling (From a Buick 8 and The Colorado Kid), gone back into the hospital for surgery still dealing with his 1999 accident, emerged with memory problems, then turned in one of his least popular novels (Cell), before getting his groove back with Lisey’s Story and Duma Key in 2006 and 2008. During that low point, he’d also turned in one of his least interesting short story collections, Everything’s Eventual, which felt like it was mostly made up of recycled ideas. There were some good stories in there, but the ones that just lay there, barely breathing, far outnumbered them.

But in 2006, King edited the 2007 Best American Short Stories collection and something clicked. Confessing that he’d lost his ...

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The Great Stephen King Reread: Duma Key

You can’t write as many books as Stephen King without returning to the same well from time to time. Whether it’s evil cars (Christine, 1983; From a Buick 8, 2002), life after death (Pet Sematary, 1983; Revival, 2014), an image of a rat in someone’s mouth cut from ‘Salem’s Lot showing up 36 years later in a story from Full Dark, No Stars (“1923”), or an abandoned manuscript from 1981 (The Cannibals) getting repurposed as Under the Dome in 2009, King believes in recycling. But it still delivers a shiver of deja vu to read Duma Key (2008) which could basically share jacket copy with Bag of Bones (1998):

“After suffering a life-altering trauma, an artist goes to a vacation destination to heal. There he befriends locals, becomes embroiled in an old mystery involving drowning deaths and a wealthy family, and his ...

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The Great Stephen King Reread: Lisey’s Story

By the time he got to Lisey’s Story, King had written himself into a dead end. His Dark Tower series was finished. He had been in so much pain from his accident that he announced his retirement in 2002 and his books since then felt increasingly exhausted. From a Buick 8 was about the limitations of fiction, and The Colorado Kid was about the failure of stories to actually solve anything. Cell was a dark book about the old world dying, and a new world of constant struggle being born that destroyed everything King found worthwhile — from schools to language. He was also physically exhausted. The 1999 van accident had caused previously undetected damage to his right lung that turned into walking pneumonia in mid-November, 2003. Nevertheless, he attended the National Book Awards on Nov. 19, 2003 to receive his Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and ...
best-friends-exorcism-thumbnail

The Great Stephen King Reread: Lisey’s Story

By the time he got to Lisey’s Story, King had written himself into a dead end. His Dark Tower series was finished. He had been in so much pain from his accident that he announced his retirement in 2002 and his books since then felt increasingly exhausted. From a Buick 8 was about the limitations of fiction, and The Colorado Kid was about the failure of stories to actually solve anything. Cell was a dark book about the old world dying, and a new world of constant struggle being born that destroyed everything King found worthwhile — from schools to language. He was also physically exhausted. The 1999 van accident had caused previously undetected damage to his right lung that turned into walking pneumonia in mid-November, 2003. Nevertheless, he attended the National Book Awards on Nov. 19, 2003 to receive his Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and ...
best-friends-exorcism-thumbnail

The Great Stephen King Reread: Lisey’s Story

By the time he got to Lisey’s Story, King had written himself into a dead end. His Dark Tower series was finished. He had been in so much pain from his accident that he announced his retirement in 2002 and his books since then felt increasingly exhausted. From a Buick 8 was about the limitations of fiction, and The Colorado Kid was about the failure of stories to actually solve anything. Cell was a dark book about the old world dying, and a new world of constant struggle being born that destroyed everything King found worthwhile — from schools to language. He was also physically exhausted. The 1999 van accident had caused previously undetected damage to his right lung that turned into walking pneumonia in mid-November, 2003. Nevertheless, he attended the National Book Awards on Nov. 19, 2003 to receive his Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and ...
best-friends-exorcism-thumbnail

The Great Stephen King Reread: Lisey’s Story

By the time he got to Lisey’s Story, King had written himself into a dead end. His Dark Tower series was finished. He had been in so much pain from his accident that he announced his retirement in 2002 and his books since then felt increasingly exhausted. From a Buick 8 was about the limitations of fiction, and The Colorado Kid was about the failure of stories to actually solve anything. Cell was a dark book about the old world dying, and a new world of constant struggle being born that destroyed everything King found worthwhile — from schools to language. He was also physically exhausted. The 1999 van accident had caused previously undetected damage to his right lung that turned into walking pneumonia in mid-November, 2003. Nevertheless, he attended the National Book Awards on Nov. 19, 2003 to receive his Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and ...
best-friends-exorcism-thumbnail

The Great Stephen King Reread: Lisey’s Story

By the time he got to Lisey’s Story, King had written himself into a dead end. His Dark Tower series was finished. He had been in so much pain from his accident that he announced his retirement in 2002 and his books since then felt increasingly exhausted. From a Buick 8 was about the limitations of fiction, and The Colorado Kid was about the failure of stories to actually solve anything. Cell was a dark book about the old world dying, and a new world of constant struggle being born that destroyed everything King found worthwhile — from schools to language. He was also physically exhausted. The 1999 van accident had caused previously undetected damage to his right lung that turned into walking pneumonia in mid-November, 2003. Nevertheless, he attended the National Book Awards on Nov. 19, 2003 to receive his Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and ...
best-friends-exorcism-thumbnail