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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

Fuowls_thumb
104 Points

My observation of Twilight is that it reads like mediocre fanfiction of itself. Like someone wanted to mix Anne Rice with the OC. That said, I can see its appeal. It’s essentially fantasy pulp romance. It doesn’t have the depth and tact of the Harry Potter series, but it has all the elements of previous successes and there’s nothing new to challenge it so the beast roams on. Days of our lives with fangs… And glistening skin…

Personally I’d be surprised if Meyers writes anything after she finishes the Twilight series. I apologize if my opinion offends Twilight fans, I’m just making an observation as someone outside the target audience.

Posted by Nearly-headless on February 04, 2009, 01:56 AM report to moderator
Mollyfied_thumb
302 Points

Wow. I’ve been rereading the Dark Tower series the last two weeks, so when it comes to people who can write worth a darn, I can say Stephen King is definitely one with some ground on which to stand on the issue. On the other hand, the few excerpts I’ve encountered of those Twilight books have been disappointing enough that I haven’t bothered trying to read a whole book of the same.
The only ‘sparkling’ a vampire needs to be doing in the sunlight is a prelude to bursting into flames, people.

Posted by Whisperwing*ROAR!* on February 04, 2009, 02:01 AM report to moderator
Neil_gaiman_sex_god_thumb
566 Points

Finally someone who is realistic about Stephenie Meyer! She cannot write to save her life, but she did come up with a story that appeals to a target audience. That is her only talent. There is no complexity to her books. Whereas JK Rowling has, as we all know, created a world so realistic and complete that all comparisons between the two are totally ridiculous.

Posted by Lady Carli Black on February 04, 2009, 02:25 AM report to moderator
Neil_gaiman_sex_god_thumb
566 Points

Finally someone who is realistic about Stephenie Meyer! She cannot write to save her life, but she did come up with a story that appeals to a target audience. That is her only talent. There is no complexity to her books. Whereas JK Rowling has, as we all know, created a world so realistic and complete that all comparisons between the two are totally ridiculous.

Posted by Lady Carli Black on February 04, 2009, 02:25 AM report to moderator
Da_copy_thumb
1141 Points

Ooh, that was quite scathing from the usually eloquent King. I totally agree with everything King says on all the authors except Meyer who I have not read any of her books and to be honest dont intend to. Just not my cup of tea, that all. But I am surprised King took this tone. He must have got really worked up on something to unleash such a critic attack on Meyer! I have always loved reading Kings musings as he he writes so beautifully and deserves his rank as one of our greatest authors. But methinks he was in a particularly bad mood here, lol.

Posted by Professor Potter on February 04, 2009, 02:39 AM report to moderator
Badgers_thumb
439 Points

I read twilight and enjoyed it. Its got nowhere near the intricacy and enthrallment power that HP has. I don’t think it is fair for one person to completely and publicly condemn a writer. But I guess at the same time Stephen King has every right to state his opinion.

A difficult thing to judge but I think the only real way to know is to read a book and make your own opinion.

Posted by Tiahn on February 04, 2009, 02:39 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
126 Points

So true, Mr King! Thanks for that. The “problem” with Meyer’s books is they are like a bad car crash or a bad TV soap – you just can’t help looking, i.e. reading. But in terms of quality, they’re just plain crap.

Posted by JuleBule on February 04, 2009, 03:18 AM report to moderator
Icon_-_me2_thumb
301 Points

That’s actually a very good way of putting it. Some writers are absolute wordsmiths, some are fantastic storytellers, some are able to speak to their target audience so well that it makes them successful.

Posted by elfinblaze on February 04, 2009, 03:56 AM report to moderator
Dare-to-be-clever_thumb
714 Points

LOL! I agree but my gosh does Robert Pattinson look sexy in the movie! If you look at the story without being critical of the writing style or you don’t analyse it then it is a nice read. I read them all just so I could keep up with my sister who had read them all prior to watching the movie. I read them after I watched the movie and I understand the story a lot better. But yes the books aren’t great.

Posted by foxyredalpha {WBM} on February 04, 2009, 04:05 AM report to moderator
Fly_away_avatar_thumb
6215 Points

He’s definitely right. Stephenie Meyer’s writing style is not very good at all, but her story idea was pretty fantastic, and so she became massively successful. JKR had a great story idea and has a great writing style. She appeals to everyone.

Posted by Flying_Away [WBM!]*[Ravenvlog <3 's me] on February 04, 2009, 04:33 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
51 Points

Stephen King … thank you, sir, thank you.

You gotta love that man – he speaks his mind no matter what.

Posted by kumarhk on February 04, 2009, 04:33 AM report to moderator
Untitled-3_thumb
109 Points

Ahh, yeaah, I saw this earlier. So funny!

Posted by Snuffbox on February 04, 2009, 04:37 AM report to moderator
Picture_181-1_thumb
259 Points

LOL! That is it, right there— both honest and true! Thank you, Stephen King.

Posted by DePillow on February 04, 2009, 04:54 AM report to moderator
Cat_001_thumb
767 Points

First I love both Harry Potter (else I probably wouldn’t be on this site) and Twilight. However I found Twilight to be badly written but that never stopped me from enjoying the stories (apart from the occassional hrumph over the writing) and if it starts more people reading I think that’s a good thing. I loved Enid Blyton too as a kid and her writing has left much to be desired at times but I was also reading other better written books too. Criticism can help an author to grow if it’s taken the right way.

Posted by Kneazle1 on February 04, 2009, 05:17 AM report to moderator
Rh7_thumb
1046 Points

I loved the twilight series, but I definitely recognize that Stephenie Meyer is not all that talented a writer compared to a lot of the authors out there.

Posted by bec majec *roar* on February 04, 2009, 05:21 AM report to moderator
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