Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Reading Stephen King's The Cell currently. Incredible writing once again. But what stands out more than that is his characterisation. And that includes people who just disappear in a flash as the story progresses.

For example, the protagonist chances upon this scene where the mother has killed her daughter. This is what King writes:
And had her mother stopped to consider before popping the gun from its clip between the TV and the can-opener, where it had been waiting who knew how long for a burglar or rapist to appear in this clean, well-lighted kitchen? Clay thought not. Clay thought there would have been no pause, that she would have wanted to catch up with her daughter's fleeting soul while the explanation for what she had done was still fresh on her lips.
Genius. We do not know the mother. We do not know the daughter. We know the reason for the killing. And with those last lines, you are exposed to an image of the final thoughts of the daughter (who gets killed), and the mother (who kills herself).

Every book has a mood. In the case of The Cell, it is almost a fatalistic view that SK seems to have taken. In a few ways, it is almost similar to his Black House (co-written by Peter Straub). BH dealt with a very common thread of thought running through all our minds, "things can go wrong...but never to me...it always happens to the others..." And here Cell speaks about what sets in once that wrong-that-can-never-happen-to-me actually does.

A totally different kind of mood can be seen in The Shining. The characters, their lives, dispositions, environment, etc goes steadily downhill. And the beauty of the whole book is the inevitability of this slide. You can pray all you want...but the brakes aren't going to work.

Speaking of downhill always brings to mind Rand al'Thor's character in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. You would have to wonder about his status as a hero...especially after all that RJ seems to be doing to him. I actually find a few similarities between Roland of SK's Dark Tower, and Rand. And after Knife of Dreams, the bond seems to be stronger.

Hmm...how cool would that be? Roland and Rand meeting each other in a story. SK intersected a lot of characters from a lot of his books in the Dark Tower. Ok...that's hoping for too much.

But what is not hoping for too much is a Dark Tower comic...coz that is going to happen soon...ok...2007! Marvel Comics & SK are working on it. Expected to be shipped in Feb 2007.

Ok, let me hold my horses and get back to The Cell.


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