Posts Tagged ‘richard bachman’
In Part 2 of my thoughts about the role of isolation and confinement, I take a slightly deeper dive into a few of King’s works that center on isolation and confinement: Gerald’s Game, Misery, and The Long Walk.
These three works, perhaps more than anything else in the King canon, use isolation — mostly physical, but really psychological and spiritual — as the mechanism of character development and to drive the action.
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This episode is about confinement and isolation. From Carrie White’s closet to Under the Dome, there’s a LOOONG list of works that use the concept of physical, geographical, or psychological isolation as a fundamental factor in the characters and action of King’s fiction. Enjoy! There will be more next week.
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- Dolores Claiborne
- Gerald’s Game
- “Home Delivery” (Nightmares and Dreamscapes)
- “Jerusalem’s Lot” (Night Shift)
- The Long Walk
- “The Mist” (Skeleton Crew)
- “Rainy Season” (Nightmares and Dreamscapes)
- The Regulators
- Salem’s Lot
- The Tommyknockers
- Under the Dome
- “You know they got a hell of a band” (Nightmares and Dreamscapes)
Earlier this month, a thoughtful essay on Stephen King’s Richard Bachman novel Roadwork appeared on the Gawker Review of Books.
It’s a bit unusual to find a thoughtful essay on King, and doubly unusual to find it on Gawker, a site more known for snark than seriousness. But appear it did, and it’s well worth the time it will take to read its 2600 words.
The author of the essay, David Obuchowski, joined me recently for a chat about the Bachman books and his thoughts about King. Here’s an edited version that fits in the new Kingcast weekly 30-minute format.
But … if you want the whole 68-minute conversation, here it is. And while the Kingcast has never claimed to be lily-white, just a note that there are some dirty words in the chat. But if you can’t handle a dirty word or two, how are you reading Stephen King anyway?
- White Noise by Don Delillo
- A postmodernism primer by Martin Irvine of Georgetown University
- The book Stephen King as a postmodern author by Clotilde Landais of Purdue University
- Facebook page for PublicistUK, David’s band
Rage is one of Stephen King’s most mysterious books. Written the summer after he graduated from high school, it was published 11 years later as a book under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, and removed from publication two decades later by the author himself.
He spoke to a library conference about that in 1999:
I can’t say for sure that Michael Carneal, the boy from Kentucky who shot three of his classmates dead as they prayed before school, had read my novel, Rage, but news stories following the incident reported that a copy of it had been found in his locker. It seems likely to me that he did. Rage had been mentioned in at least one other school shooting, and in the wake of that one an FBI agent asked if he could interview me on the subject, with an eye to setting up a computer profile that would help identify potentially dangerous adolescents. The Carneal incident was enough for me. I asked my publisher to take the damned thing out of print. They concurred. Are there still copies of Rage available? Yes, of course, some in libraries where you ladies and gentlemen ply your trade. Because, like the guns and the explosives and the Ninja throwing-stars you can buy over the Internet, all that stuff is just lying around and waiting for someone to pick it up.
This book of adolescence — in terms of the author and the protagonist, took on a mystique for me, and when I finally had the chance to get a copy, thanks to a trivia contest on the Stephen King Message Board, I leapt at the chance to read it.
Episode 14 of the Kingcast is 20 minutes of my thoughts on reading Rage, as well as some teasers about upcoming episodes. Enjoy.
As always, your comments are welcome. If you send me a comment at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to include it in a future episode.