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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

Noavatar-thumb
878 Points

Yeah i agree with some people…with more experience stephenie could have been a whole lot better…say if she had 7 not 4 books. Her writing (to me) is not annoyingly bad like it is with some other authors, perhaps this is due to the captivating plot of her books. i wonder if HP would have been so popular is JK wasnt such a good writer?

Posted by Celtise [TTW] on February 03, 2009, 10:21 PM report to moderator
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460 Points

I like Twilight.
I like Harry Potter.
I refuse to justify why I like them, or the authors.

Posted by qwill on February 03, 2009, 10:29 PM report to moderator
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Hurrah for Stephen King! You just made my night!

Posted by radish_earrings on February 03, 2009, 10:34 PM report to moderator
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367 Points

I’m a Twilight fan, but I know Stephenie’s writing is pretty terrible. I laughed so hard when I saw this article, not gonna lie. Someone I know IRL tried to tell me that he didn’t know what he was talking about by making these comments, which just made me laugh even harder, because that’s absolute lunacy, considering that he’s been one of the best horror writers for the last like thirty years, or however long his career has been. I’m not a fan of the type of novels he writes, so I can’t say that I’ve read any of his work, but even without reading them, I know he’s a damn good author who knows what he’s talking about.

…somehow this comment got very off-topic from what I was originally going to say…

Posted by choirgeek on February 03, 2009, 10:35 PM report to moderator
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1224 Points

OMG! I haven’t read Twilight (but I plan to… best to be informed before I make comments on the integrity of the piece), but I’ve heard a lot like this about the series. Jo really is an amazing writer and I really believe that’s why the series endures. We’ll just have to wait and see if people are still talking about Twilight in ten years… my guess is that they won’t be!

Posted by Ginevra86 on February 03, 2009, 10:40 PM report to moderator
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433 Points

Oh yes, he just mentioned my two least favorite authors in the same sentence: Patterson and Meyer. I was forced to listen to one of James Patterson’s books on tape during a long drive a couple years ago, and I found myself wanting to stick sharp objects in my ears less than an hour in. I’m just glad King had the guts to say it out loud. Now we all get to enjoy the fandom wank.

Posted by mollywobble on February 03, 2009, 10:42 PM report to moderator
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1884 Points

The Twilight series appeal to more than teenagers. I’ve read a lot of books over the years. I like most of Stephen King’s and Dean R. Koontz’s books. While most are good, there are some I just can’t read. The Twilight series caught my attention from the first. I even like The Host . That one was a little slow getting started but when it did, it held your attention. I think it’s wrong of any author to say another one can’t write. She must be doing something right to have written 5 books and all are best sellers. I’m not a teenager, I’m a great grandmother who has read tons of books.

Posted by Cool G on February 03, 2009, 10:43 PM report to moderator
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1884 Points

The Twilight series appeal to more than teenagers. I’ve read a lot of books over the years. I like most of Stephen King’s and Dean R. Koontz’s books. While most are good, there are some I just can’t read. The Twilight series caught my attention from the first. I even like The Host . That one was a little slow getting started but when it did, it held your attention. I think it’s wrong of any author to say another one can’t write. She must be doing something right to have written 5 books and all are best sellers. I’m not a teenager, I’m a great grandmother who has read tons of books.

Posted by Cool G on February 03, 2009, 10:43 PM report to moderator
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463 Points

THANK YOU stephen king.

Posted by silverwings [FTC!] on February 03, 2009, 10:46 PM report to moderator
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931 Points

I don’t know about speaking about anothers work like that. I don’t really want to or plan to read the twilight books, but I don’t think they should be ripped on like that. Imagine what it would be like if a person said this about Rowling. Yes, I agree Rowling is better, but that is a personal choice and preferance, so I will remain neutral on this subject. I don’t kow if King is really in a position to make such statements, who does he think he is?

Posted by wizardinventor on February 03, 2009, 10:48 PM report to moderator
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176 Points

Oh man I love Stephen King!

Posted by Leo_Lovegood on February 03, 2009, 11:04 PM report to moderator
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730 Points

I’ve never read any of Mr. King’s work, but from all I’ve heard and read about him, he’s a master at his craft. That does not, however make him the authority on what constitutes good literature.

As so many people have said so many times, the Harry Potter books and the Twilight books are entirely dissimilar except for the fact that they’re fiction and they’re hugely popular. I happen to love them both, because I can identify with many of the characters in each series in a number of ways, and I just think they’re very enjoyable to read.

A good writer is one who can capture their readers’ attention and admiration by creating characters and situations that speak to many people of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences. That does not mean they have to appeal to everyone. I really, really don’t like “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck and “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, but I hardly think I’d get away with saying they shouldn’t be considered classics. For a more contemporary example, I also really hated “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire, but I know so many people who truly treasure it. Just because I don’t like those books doesn’t mean those authors were/are amateurs or lacked/lack talent.

Talent, and good stories, are in the eye of the beholder.

Posted by RavenclawDancer on February 03, 2009, 11:07 PM report to moderator
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44049 Points

Stephen King rules. He is so right.

Posted by Dolemite [FTC!] on February 03, 2009, 11:09 PM report to moderator
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6176 Points

I have to agree with Stephen King. I thought the Twilight books were an entertaining read. They weren’t bad books, but they certainly weren’t good literature.

“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.”

I totally agree with this, but I think it’s a bit worrisome. Because girls can relate to that feeling even if they’re not ready to deal with it, but the big problem is what Bella ultimately does about it… and I don’t think that’s the best role model for girls to be following, ESPECIALLY when these are feelings they aren’t experienced with. 18 is just too young for certain things in certain situations. (Sorry if this is vague, but I was trying not to post any spoilers!)

Posted by The Silver Doe on February 03, 2009, 11:11 PM report to moderator
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105 Points

This article makes me love him even more! :D

Posted by Caliypsoe on February 03, 2009, 11:19 PM report to moderator
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