Archive for the STEPHEN KING Category

Stephen King’s back with the hard cases

Posted in STEPHEN KING on 09/20/2012 by vincentstark

Thanks to those nice people at Hard Case Crime we can reveal the cover art for the new Stephen King thriller, Joyland.

 

Feast you eyes on this retro style image.

 

NEW STEPHEN KING NOVEL COMING
FROM HARD CASE CRIME

JOYLAND to be published in June 2013New York, NY; London, UK—Hard Case Crime, the award-winning line of pulp-styled crime novels published by Titan Books, announced it will publish JOYLAND, a new novel by Stephen King, in June 2013. Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, JOYLAND tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. JOYLAND is a brand-new book and has never previously been published. One of the most beloved storytellers of all time, Stephen King is the world’s best-selling novelist, with more than 300 million books in print.

Called “the best new American publisher to appear in the last decade” by Neal Pollack in The Stranger, Hard Case Crime revives the storytelling and visual style of the pulp paperbacks of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. The line features an exciting mix of lost pulp masterpieces from some of the most acclaimed crime writers of all time and gripping new novels from the next generation of great hardboiled authors, all with new painted covers in the grand pulp style. Authors range from modern-day bestsellers such as Pete Hamill, Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block and Ed McBain to Golden Age stars like Mickey Spillane (creator of “Mike Hammer”), Erle Stanley Gardner (creator of “Perry Mason”), Wade Miller (author of Touch of Evil), and Cornell Woolrich (author of Rear Window).

Stephen King commented, “I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.”

King’s previous Hard Case Crime novel, The Colorado Kid, became a national bestseller and inspired the television series “Haven,” now going into its third season on SyFy.

“Joyland is a breathtaking, beautiful, heartbreaking book,” said Charles Ardai, Edgar- and Shamus Award-winning editor of Hard Case Crime. “It’s a whodunit, it’s a carny novel, it’s a story about growing up and growing old, and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time. Even the most hardboiled readers will find themselves moved. When I finished it, I sent a note saying, ‘Goddamn it, Steve, you made me cry.’ ”

Nick Landau, Titan Publisher, added: “Stephen King is one of the fiction greats, and I am tremendously proud and excited to be publishing a brand-new book of his under the Hard Case Crime imprint.”

JOYLAND will feature new painted cover art by the legendary Robert McGinnis, the artist behind the posters for the original Sean Connery James Bond movies and “Breakfast At Tiffany’s,” and by Glen Orbik, the painter of more than a dozen of Hard Case Crime’s most popular covers, including the cover for The Colorado Kid.

Since its debut in 2004, Hard Case Crime has been the subject of enthusiastic coverage by a wide range of publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Time, Playboy, U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Houston Chronicle, New York magazine, the New York Post and Daily News, Salon, Reader’s Digest, Parade and USA Weekend, as well as numerous other magazines, newspapers, and online media outlets. The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “Hard Case Crime is doing a wonderful job publishing both classic and contemporary ‘pulp’ novels in a crisp new format with beautiful, period-style covers. These modern ‘penny dreadfuls’ are worth every dime.” Playboy praised Hard Case Crime’s “lost masterpieces,” writing “They put to shame the work of modern mystery writers whose plots rely on cell phones and terrorists.” And the Philadelphia City Paper wrote, “Tired of overblown, doorstop-sized thrillers…? You’ve come to the right place. Hard Case novels are as spare and as honest as a sock in the jaw.”

Other recent Hard Case Crime titles include THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS, a never-before-published novel by James M. Cain, author of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, MILDRED PIERCE, and DOUBLE INDEMNITY, and an epic first novel called THE TWENTY-YEAR DEATH by Ariel S. Winter that won advance raves from authors such as Peter Straub, James Frey, Alice Sebold, John Banville, David Morrell and Stephen King.

About Hard Case Crime

Founded in 2004 by award-winning novelists Charles Ardai and Max Phillips, Hard Case Crime has been nominated for or won numerous honors since its inception including the Edgar, the Shamus, the Anthony, the Barry, and the Spinetingler Award. The series’ books have been adapted for television and film, with two features currently in development at Universal Pictures and the TV series “Haven” going into its third season this week on SyFy. Hard Case Crime is published through a collaboration between Winterfall LLC and Titan Publishing Group.

About Titan Publishing Group

Titan Publishing Group is an independently owned publishing company, established in 1981, comprising three divisions: Titan Books, Titan Magazines/Comics and Titan Merchandise. Titan Books, recently nominated as Independent Publisher of the Year 2011, has a rapidly growing fiction list encompassing original fiction and reissues, primarily in the areas of science fiction, fantasy, horror, steampunk and crime. Recent crime and thriller acquisitions include Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins’ all-new Mike Hammer novels, the Matt Helm series by Donald Hamilton and the entire backlist of the Queen of Spy Writers, Helen MacInnes. Titan Books also has an extensive line of media and pop culture-related non-fiction, graphic novels, art and music books. The company is based at offices in London, but operates worldwide, with sales and distribution in the US and Canada being handled by Random House. www.titanbooks.com

 

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Modern Classics – Christine

Posted in christine, HORROR MOVIES, HORROR WRITERS, modern classics, STEPHEN KING on 09/08/2012 by vincentstark

I think I’d only ever seen this movie once before, and that would have been on VHS back in the 80’s when I was watching pretty much ever horror movie, good, bad or indifferent, that I could get my hands on. During this period the levels of gore that could be gotten convincingly on the screen had improved leaps and bounds – gone were the days when a splash of vivid red blood could get the viewer’s stomach churning and now with the relaxation of censorship rules and improvement in special effects horror was booming. Christine is not heavy on gore, in fact it’s fairly tame in those terms, but it was based on a book written by Stephen King and for a teenage horror fan King was the dogs bollocks.

My memory of the movie was that I don’t think I liked it that much, maybe I thought it was too slow and maybe I was disappointed with the lack of the gruesome stuff – hey, remember that yucky stuff matters when the viewer at a certain age. And so when I saw the film on a budget DVD, I thought I’d like to see it again. After all, I’d loved the original novel and these days, as an older film viewer, I find that story, acting and all those other little things matter to me far more than a few splatters of gore.

And you know what – I enjoyed the movie a heck of a lot more this time around.

The rock and roll soundtrack for one thing is excellent and the nuances of the movie are far clearer to me now that I watch films in a more mature way. Take Keith Gordon for a start – although the film is set in the Eighties, he transforms from a nerd into a super cool dude when he gets ownership of Christine – the cherry red Plymouth Fury that looks sleeker than any car – and when he becomes this super cool dude there is something of a Fifties vibe to the style he adopts. It’s not obvious and in your face but is a subtle hint of his possession by the car named Christine. It is also apparent now how timeless the 50’s period was – the kids dressed in the 80’s styles look incredibly dated but there is something contemporary, even now, of the way Arnie dresses and looks. The music was much better too – I’d much rather hear Chuck Berry than another 80’s power ballad.

And what a performance from Keith Gordon – Ok maybe the transformation from hopeless nerd to super cat happens a little too quickly, but when he turns nasty, being all of nine stone soaking wet, he really pulls it off and not for a moment do we doubt him. It’s an incredible performance and although the supporting cast are decent, he steals the entire show. Some of the more touching character scenes come when Arnie is alone with Christine and, although touching, these are incredibly creepy.

Director, John Carpenter really understands suspense – think of his original Halloween or Thing re-make – and he moves the movie forward at pace, dropping hints as he goes along but never allowing the viewer to get the whole picture until the end, and even then we don’t have the full picture. One thing I did miss was the ghost of Christine’s former owner – Carpenter ejects this character from the movie. The character was such an important element of the book, but when watching the movie I found myself sucked in and nothing mattered other than the story itself.

Christine then is a pretty good horror thriller – it riffs on the teenage love affair with cars and for anyone who has ever projected a personality onto a car, Christine is one sexy but scary bitch. Stephen King’s nostalgia for the 50’s which often shows up in his books, is running through the DNA of this movie, and  it’s all the better for it. The way Christine’s period radio always seems to tune to a rock and roll station really works in the framework of this picture and enhances the feel of the piece – as Christine knows, the devil’s got all the best tunes.

If you’ve never seen Christine then take her for a spin, and if you’ve seen it before then it’s maybe time for another ride.

Stephen King Flowchart

Posted in STEPHEN KING on 06/25/2012 by vincentstark

I found this handy flowchart that details the Stephen King characters that have appeared or been mentioned in various novels.

Stephen King goes hardboiled

Posted in STEPHEN KING on 05/30/2012 by vincentstark

Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid may have not been the best thing he’d ever written, but I enjoyed it greatly and I was pleased to receive a press release from  pulp revivalists,  Hard Case Crime which announced that King had penned a second novel for the imprint. The novel is titled, Joyland and is set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, and tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever

 

“I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.” Stephen King

Joyland is a breathtaking, beautiful, heartbreaking book,” said Charles Ardai, Edgar- and Shamus Award-winning editor of Hard Case Crime.  “It’s a whodunit, it’s a carny novel, it’s a story about growing up and growing old, and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time.  Even the most hardboiled readers will find themselves moved. When I finished it, I sent a note saying, ‘Goddamn it, Steve, you made me cry.’ ”

Robert McGinnis, the man responsible for the early Sean Connery James Bond posters, will provide the cover art which is another reason to get excited about this book.

 

Since its debut in 2004, Hard Case Crime has been the subject of enthusiastic coverage by a wide range of publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Time, Playboy, U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Houston Chronicle, New York magazine,the New York Post and Daily News, Salon, Reader’s Digest, Parade and USA Weekend,as well as numerous other magazines, newspapers, and online media outlets.  The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “Hard Case Crime is doing a wonderful job publishing both classic and contemporary ‘pulp’ novels in a crisp new format with beautiful, period-style covers.  These modern ‘penny dreadfuls’ are worth every dime.”  Playboy praised Hard Case Crime’s “lost masterpieces,” writing “They put to shame the work of modern mystery writers whose plots rely on cell phones and terrorists.”  And the Philadelphia City Paper wrote, “Tired of overblown, doorstop-sized thrillers…?  You’ve come to the right place.  Hard Case novels are as spare and as honest as a sock in the jaw.”

Other upcoming Hard Case Crime titles include The Cocktail Waitress, a never-before-published novel by James M. Cain, author of The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, and Double Indemnity, and an epic first novel called The Twenty-Year Death by Ariel S. Winter that has won advance raves from authors such as Peter Straub, James Frey, Alice Sebold, John Banville, David Morrell and Stephen King.

For information about these and other forthcoming titles, visit www.HardCaseCrime.com.

Stephen King’s best of 2011

Posted in STEPHEN KING on 12/10/2011 by vincentstark

Stephen King’s top twenty list has become a tradition and this year the author has gone for an eclectic selection of books, movies, music and TV. The list is posted below but visit Entertainment Weekly for King’s reasons behind each selection

 

  1. Breaking Bad (television show on AMC)
  2. Margin Call (motion picture)
  3. How Do You Do–Mayer Hawthorne (music)
  4. Sons of Anarchy (television show on FX)
  5. Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (novel)
  6. Sky Full of Holes–Fountains of Wayne (music)
  7. The Debt (motion picture)
  8. Ready for Confetti–Robert Earl Keen (music)
  9. Talk, Talk by T.C. Boyle (novel)
  10. Crossers by Philip Caputo (novel)
  11. Revenge (television show on ABC)
  12. The Accident by Linwood Barclay (novel)
  13. The Tree of Life (motion picture)
  14. The Lincoln Lawyer (motion picture)  *
  15. “Get that Snitch”–Mikis Michaelidis (song from the Attack the Block soundtrack)
  16. The White Devil by Justin Evans (novel)
  17. Final Destination 5 (motion picture)
  18. The Hour (televison show on BBC America)
  19. The Walking Dead (television show on AMC)
  20. “Rumor Has It”–Adele (song from her 21 album)

Lunch at the Gotham Cafe Stephen KIng

Posted in short stories, STEPHEN KING on 12/07/2011 by vincentstark

For someone who regularly churns out door-stop novels, Stephen King is certainly  a master of the short story. In an introduction titled, Practicing the almost lost art, King speaks of his love for the short form and how certain  stories can only be told in this way and, Lunch at the Gotham Cafe is one such beast. It originally appeared in  the 1995 anthology Dark Love which was edited by Nancy A Collins, but is these days more easily obtained as one of the fourteen stories in King’s collection, Everything’ Eventual.

This particular short sharp shock tells of a man called Steve Davies who returns home from work one day to discover that his wife has left him, and the story presents us with a man who has no idea why his marriage has broken down. He tried to contact his wife who is at her mothers, but is told that she doesn’t want to speak to him. Steve quite smoking – hardly the best time to do this, he tells himself, but he does it anyway. Is the smoking the reason his marriage collapsed? Eventually Steve is contacted by his lawyer who has made plans for the two parties, plus lawyers to meet for lunch at The Gotham Cafe in order to start putting things in order. However Steve’s lawyer is unable to attend due to a family crisis but Steve’s decides to go ahead with the meeting beause…well, because he wants to see his wife whom he hasn’t so much as spoken to since she walked out on him.

Of course bedlam follows, but not in the way the reader expects and King introduces a new element into the story in the shape of a manic maitre d’,  named Guy who for some reason seems to have lost his marbles and is intent on murder – think, Basil Fawlty on steroids. King gleefully dispatches the lawyer first (something that had this reader applauding.)  before setting Guy on Steve and his estranged wife, Diane. A great action sequence that is part slasher movie, part black comedy  follows, but at the end of the story just when you think Steve will win his woman back, things take an even darker turn.

The story I guess is somewhere around six thousand words which means it can be read in less than half hour, and it really is a great piece. There just enough characterization to enable the reader to empathize with Steve and by telling the story through his eyes, and keeping Diane from us until the cafe scene she becomes the ideal woman to us. This makes the story all the more powerful and by the end the reader has experienced an emotional roller coaster ride as powerful as anything a full length novel could offer.

This is quality King.

Reread, reread…reread

Posted in STEPHEN KING on 12/04/2011 by vincentstark

Lots of writers reread their favorite books — and not just once or twice. Stephen King, who wears a T-shirt with the slogan Quot libros, quam breve tempus (“So many books, so little time”), has read “Lord of the Flies” eight or nine times, he said via e-mail, and “Lord of the Rings” three or four. King has also read Ian McEwan’s “Enduring Love” and Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men” three or four times each; James M. Cain’s “Double Indemnity” four or five times; and John D. MacDonald’s 1960 thriller “The End of the Night” some half a dozen times. Of that book, about a college dropout’s killing spree, King said: “It’s one of the greatest American novels of the 20th century. This is a novel Émile Zola would have relished.” The above comes from an interesting article at The New York Times Online which you can find HERE