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Stephen King Comments on JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer

Celebs on HP
Posted by: sue
February 03, 2009, 07:52 PM

Scores of readers let us know about a new interview with acclaimed author Stephen King, who has made some new comments regarding Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. Speaking with USA Weekend, Mr. King compared the two authors and had some blunt things to say about the Twilight author Meyer. Quotage as follows:

Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. ... The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good."

"Somebody who’s a terrific writer who’s been very, very successful is Jodi Picoult. You’ve got Dean Koontz, who can write like hell. And then sometimes he’s just awful. It varies. James Patterson is a terrible writer but he’s very very successful. People are attracted by the stories, by the pace and in the case of Stephenie Meyer, it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books. It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it's not particularly threatening because they’re not overtly sexual. A lot of the physical side of it is conveyed in things like the vampire will touch her forearm or run a hand over skin, and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that’s a shorthand for all the feelings that they’re not ready to deal with yet."

Thanks to everyone who emailed!

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318 Comments

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4366 Points

You can’t argue with Stephen King <3

Posted by Sophie on February 04, 2009, 12:57 PM report to moderator
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51 Points

I read the first 3 books in the “Twilight” series (I have an 11-year old daughter who wanted to read them). I love a good love story as much as anyone, but found them boring after the 1st book. It was just a lot of teen girly stuff over and over and over again. I know she was aiming for the teen girl audience, but they deserved a better story line.

Posted by julisara on February 04, 2009, 12:58 PM report to moderator
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51 Points

I read the first 3 books in the “Twilight” series (I have an 11-year old daughter who wanted to read them). I love a good love story as much as anyone, but found them boring after the 1st book. It was just a lot of teen girly stuff over and over and over again. I know she was aiming for the teen girl audience, but they deserved a better story line.

Posted by julisara on February 04, 2009, 12:58 PM report to moderator
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242 Points

I’ve never read Stephenie Mayer, but I’ve heard it’s horroble… I do read James Patterson but he writes what I call “dessert books” aka, books that you read late at night for a simple little story, not something that I actually would think about for hours on end and hypothesize about theory and all of that…

Posted by LassieLupin on February 04, 2009, 01:18 PM report to moderator
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242 Points

I’ve never read Stephenie Mayer, but I’ve heard it’s horrible… I do read James Patterson but he writes what I call “dessert books” aka, books that you read late at night for a simple little story, not something that I actually would think about for hours on end and hypothesize about theory and all of that…

Posted by LassieLupin on February 04, 2009, 01:19 PM report to moderator
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39 Points

I like Twilight as well as HP. And I mean I really really like the stories, but King is right… people aren’t attracted to the work because it’s great literary work. It’s a good story. I find that’s true with a lot of the teen fiction I read. I like it cause the story is compelling, not because it was written well. But that doesn’t really matter. I still like it. A person cannot read shakespeare quality everyday.

Posted by Muggleborn1184 on February 04, 2009, 01:21 PM report to moderator
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356 Points

Yes, that is so true! It’s not neccesarily great because lots of people read it. My sister loves Jodi Picoult. I should try her out too.

Posted by *H*ROAR Mudblood Proud on February 04, 2009, 01:36 PM report to moderator
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108 Points

Wow. I enjoyed the Twilight books. I agree that Meyer’s books are not on the same level as Rowling’s. I think that Rowling’s books qualify as literature. Meyer’s books are just books. They are light and fluffy and fun. That doesn’t mean they are bad, just different.

I do think King could have handled it with more tact. It’s hard to judge without seeing the full interview and understanding its context, but I think he could have expressed his opinion of her books without being so harsh. (Without the “can’t write worth a darn” line.) That kind of criticism of others’ work belongs more in formal book reviews, not in random newspaper interviews. She is a person with feelings after all.

Posted by Autumnmoon on February 04, 2009, 01:44 PM report to moderator
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8069 Points

I agree, wow! I love the Twilight books, but in no way are they the same caliber as Harry Potter. I wish they would stop comparing the two.

Posted by Melinae ♥Squee♥/Professor Truffle on February 04, 2009, 01:46 PM report to moderator
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147 Points

I enjoyed the Twilight books as well, but I dont think they were well written. Same with James Patterson (tho he’s a bit better – he flushes out has characters a little better). Regardless, they are still enjoyable stories. I would definitely consider JKR a much better writer (and a better story teller) then SM.

Someone mentioned Jodi Picoult. Is she considered teen/young fiction? I just finished reading “19 Minutes”. I really enjoyed it (although I’m a little WTF with the twist at the end). I wouldnt have considered that book to be geared towards younger readers. Yes, it centers around highschool characters, but I thought there were some very mature themes there.

Posted by heartless_wench on February 04, 2009, 01:48 PM report to moderator
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261 Points

Not all that familair with Meyers or Kings work so really can’t pass comment on this.

Posted by nimbus xl on February 04, 2009, 01:57 PM report to moderator
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579 Points

Yes! While I enjoyed the Twilight saga as a quick easy read, Meyers is NOT the Jo! And I’m glad the distinctions been made. But I’m going to miss reading new Stephan King books here after the Twilighters get him.

Posted by Mirdan on February 04, 2009, 02:17 PM report to moderator
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139 Points

Oh, that’s hilarious. I love Stephen King. I’ve read both the HP books (obviously, since I’m here) and all of the Twilight novels + SMeyer’s other book and she really isn’t a good author. Her books are all the same. The stories themselves are interesting, but the substance isn’t what it could be if she’d take chances, which is what I think he’s saying. shrug

Posted by halcyon /roar/ on February 04, 2009, 02:34 PM report to moderator
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351 Points

I think it’s good that some literature authority finally said out loud that Twilight books are poorly written.

Posted by cztery on February 04, 2009, 02:43 PM report to moderator
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726 Points

Jo is definitely a better author than Stephenie. No doubt about that. But I don’t agree with King. I think Stephenie is a good writer, but she writes a lot differently than Jo. I personally like Jo’s writing better and there are things about Stephenie’s writing that bugs me. I dislike how in all of her books, it takes a while for the plot to really get started. I found my eyes glazing over as I read the first few chapters of The Host, but by the end I was hooked. Same thing happened with Twilight.

Posted by MagicDucks [ROAR!] on February 04, 2009, 02:49 PM report to moderator
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