Posts Tagged: Stephen King

The Politics Of The Next Dimension: Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?

An abridged version of this article first appeared in the October 1984 issue of The Atlantic Monthly as the cover story "The Politics of the Next Dimension: Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?" It is republished here, in its entirety, for the first time.

For anyone with insomnia in the New York metro area, the ads have become ubiquitous: three middle-aged men dressed in cornflower blue lab coats, holding mysterious technical equipment, and offering the owners of haunted houses (or haunted anything, really) their unique ghost capture and removal services.

I first saw one after falling asleep to the dulcet drawl of Charles Rose on "CBS News Nightwatch." [...]


Creepy New Orleans Ghost Stories That Were A Lot Scarier At The Time

Part of a series about monsters and other scary things happening here through Halloween.

What makes for a very scary story? It helps to be a child when you're hearing the tale, because you're already terrified of everything after dark. It's also a good idea to be at home alone while you're reading, so that every burp of the water pipes or cough from the weird neighbor in the next apartment sounds like the foretelling of your horrifically slow murder at the hands of THE DERELICT CLOWN. This is due to the power of The Devil, who creates suspense.

Without suspense, the glaring holes in most ghost stories become [...]


Stephen King Film And Television Adaptations (Excluding The Sequels And Remakes), In Order

52. Trucks 51. The Mangler 50. Sleepwalkers 49. Desperation 48. Grey Matter 47. Ghosts 46. Thinner 45. The Mist 44. Dolan’s Cadillac 43. The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer 42. Riding the Bullet 41. 1408 40. The Night Flier 39. Secret Window


Is the Trailer for 'The Shining' the Actual Film?

Stanley Kubrick was, to put it mildly, a meticulous director. On the set of The Shining, he drove poor Shelley Duvall mad. The famous baseball-bat scene was recorded an infamous 127 times. That striking poster of The Shining? Kubrick had Saul Bass draw over 300 versions of it. The director continued to tweak his film until its US opening, May 23, 1980 and even into its initial screenings; when he decided to cut the final hospital scene, Kubrick made bike couriers ride from theater to theater in order to personally remove the sequence. Kubrick's artistic compulsions were a double-edged sword. Not even considering the immaculate texture of his films, [...]


'IT': Seriously, Guys, Get Out Of Maine Before You Die Terribly

What a great labor of love it is to discuss Stephen King's most magnificent octopus (okay, technically, I guess that would be The Stand, but I didn't read it until a year ago, so it didn't make as significant a dent in my psyche) in our august online publication. Let's stick to the novel, but you are free to go bananas about the Tim Curry television movie in the comments. For the record, you'll never watch him as "Rooster" in Annie the same way again (thank the Turtle she wound up with Daddy Warbucks instead). I guess when you have a mouth that looks like a yawning maw of terror, [...]


Scary Bastard Old

Stephen Edwin King turns 65 today. I read his story "The Boogeyman" when I was in 5th grade and to this day I am uneasy around closet doors that are open just a crack in the middle of the night. So screw that guy. Today also marks the centennial of the birth Charles Martin Jones, better known as Chuck, who was responsible for much happier feelings in all of us.


'Pet Sematary': A Reminder That Zombie Cats Make Terrible Pets

You're mad at me. I can tell. But hear me out. Remember how we were going to talk about the original, hairy, musky Joy of Sex? And it was going to be ACE? Well, apparently, when you're in Canada and you attempt to get a used copy of said august tome sent to you, it doesn't really work. People keep sending you the new version, EVEN CLAIMING IT TO BE THE 1972 CLASSIC, which, whatever, I know how to have sex, right? It's pretty endemic in the culture at this point. I want to see sort of unattractive people bringing their 1970s A-game to the table. That's what I [...]


“That was a bad generation of men."

Stephen King's review of Raymond Carver's biography and Collected Stories is a hell of a thing. I am generally of the school that says you separate the art from the artist, but reading this piece made me more than a little uneasy.


Perhaps You Would Like To Listen To "The Stand" During Your 47-Hour Run?

"While it’s true that a Stephen King book can make hearts race, churning through The Shining generally doesn’t qualify as a cardiovascular workout. Not in print, anyway. So what about listening to an audiobook version of the horror classic during a run?"


Becoming Stephen King

“Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors,” Ernest Hemingway once wrote, with typical pugnacity. But are the critics sometimes right? In this occasional series we'll examine the early careers of now-beloved authors to see what the critics first made of them.

Carrie, the high-school revenge fantasy that launched a thousand tampons, started out in Stephen King’s mind as a short story. He intended to place it, according to his memoir On Writing, with the magazine Cavalier. (Cavalier was a Playboy/GQ precursor that is still published today in a slightly less exalted form.) He’d been writing a lot [...]


Eight Great Commercials With Writers As Pitchmen

A recent New York Times Book Review essay on author brand-building cited Ernest Hemingway's and John Steinbeck's stints as a spokespersons for Ballantine Ale. (Not mentioned was The Poseidon Adventure author Paul Gallico, who appeared in the same series of print ads for the beer.) Of course, they weren’t the first or last authors to shill. Mark Twain’s name and likeness were used (not always with his permission) to sell everything from shirt collars to passenger trains. Émile Zola, H.G. Wells, Alexandre Dumas, Henrik Ibsen and Jules Verne all provided testimonials for the cocaine-infused French elixir Vin Mariani. More than a century later, Allen Ginsberg and [...]