Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Question

Okay, since most of you are readers: do I spend a couple of weeks reading UNDER THE DOME (because that's how long it would probably take me) or do I read the four or five other books I could read in the same amount of time? I'm not getting any younger, you know! I'm not putting it to a vote or anything, but I'd appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

16 comments:

David Cranmer said...

I'm a big King fan but if you're asking the question, I would go with the four or five other books.

Nathan Cain said...

Life is short, and Stephen King sucks.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I'd go with the other books, mostly because I lost interest in King's work (except for the excellent ON WRITING) about twenty years ago.

Todd Mason said...

I find myself in the rare position of almost defending King, whom I think is talented, and lazy as hell (as much as someone can be who puts works into any kind of finished form). His published works tend to be derivative and prolix, and he's been getting by with publishing just about anything for so long that it seems like it's second nature, but he also will publish good to excellent work in the course of the flood of the unworthy (and eagerly devoured). ON WRITING being the latest example I'm aware of (aside from a few bits here and there of his EW column), and such as "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut," "The Night Flier" (for the most part), "The Children of the Corn," and CARRIE being among the more more memorable examples from the past. And then there's the direst of stuff, going back at least as far as "The Cat from Hell" and "The Gunslinger" (Gordon Van Gelder's inclusion of it in the recent BEST FROM F&SF notwithstanding). That said, this one doesn't look too promising to me in any way. But, as you can see, I'm not one of most satisfied customers.

Randy Johnson said...

I happen to be in the middle of Under The Dome right now. I decided to give it a chance. Other than his recent collection of short stories, most of his books have been less than memorable. CELL was an exception.

That all said, I would suggest you go with the four or five books. I have the time to spare and still get in a significant amount of others.

You don't.

Steve M said...

The four or five. More variety adds spice and all that :-)

Brian Drake said...

I picked up King's latest doorstop in the grocery store the other night, looked at the price, saw absolutely no description of the book anywhere on the jacket, and put it back down. For the cost of that book you can get the four or five others and probably enjoy yourself more.

Frank Loose said...

I have no problem suggesting (along with most of the folks who answered your blog question) that you read the four or five short books. I think you'll be happier.

I must confess, I have a selfish motivation at work here, too: I want to read your reviews so i can continue to find great SHORT books to add to my TBR pile.

Bill Crider said...

You know me, James. I'm a short-book guy, mostly. I gave up on the long King novels with IT and haven't regretted it.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I add my vote to the short books. If nothing else, it'll inflate your year end count of books read. I've read a few big books this year and even when they're good I regret using up the time I could have spent on one or two other, smaller books.

James Reasoner said...

The response so far pretty much confirms my own feeling, but I have to admit that every so often I get the urge to read a really long book, based probably on my memories of enjoying some of them I read as a kid. But when you're young, you never really think that much about running out of time to read . . .

I probably will read UNDER THE DOME eventually. King is very hit-and-miss for me, but I've really liked some of his books.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

As someone who has mostly been disappointed with King's novels over the last 20 years(Green Mile being the exception)but liking his short fiction I started Under the Dome with low expectations, but am enjoying it a lot. Maybe his best novel(I'm about half way thru-it reads very quickly). Janet Maslin at the NYTimes gave it a great review. And mazon has it for $9 as a loss leader.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I'm with David. Too long and he's said it all before. And I am sick of the NYT reviewing books like this twice and so many books not at all. Like he needs the publicity and help. Or like his book is an important contribution to the genre.
For instance, there have been three reviews of THE HUMBLING by Roth in the NYT, and all fairly negative. Why? With so little print space, let's give other writers a chance.

Mark Terry said...

I like King, but I haven't read too many of his more recent books. Every few years I pick up "Bag of Bones" and re-read it. I'm tempted with Under The Dome, but I figure I'll have a second chance when the paperback comes out and it'll probably cost a third. I might be so inclined then. Right now I'm buried in books so there's no rush. For some reason I don't think King's book's going to go out of print any time soon.

If you want something really interesting and unusual, check out "Boneshaker" by Cherie Priest. It's SF of a particular variety, steampunk, and it takes place in a slightly alternate history of 1879 and has zombies and airships and all sorts of other weirdness. It's my first steampunk and although the pace is a bit slow, it has the advantage of being pretty much unlike anything else I've read.

Todd Mason said...

Patti--you're acting as if the NYTBR exists as other than a means of drawing book advertising to the TIMES. Even negative press of a "leading" title for a major publisher is still press, and therefore pleasing to the advertiser...while your in-law's book was fortunate enough to have some champion somewhere along the way to get mentioned (and praised) in a squib.

Juri said...

Get it from the library and stop reading the minute you get bored. Read four of fourty short books interim.