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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Misery(or the horror of Stephen King)

A literary item.  I’ve been reading American Gothic literature for the past several months.  I wrote one post about the early American Gothic novel, Edgar Huntly a few months ago.  Thereafter, I’ve read novels and short stories by Poe (the master), Hawthorne, Lovecraft, Wharton, Faulkner, Levin and Budnitz.  All of these works are carefully crafted and well written, often with subtleties and nuances. And then came Stephen King.
King uses a hammer, an axe, and a bulldozer to make his points.  His novel, Misery, is so horrific, so filled with epic violence, that it loses its effect ––– it literally numbs the reader.  It is so graphically brutal and savage that it begins to resemble a bad comic book.
King is a highly successful writer.  Misery can be interpreted as a metaphor for the pain and torture of writing, since the protagonist is a writer who must write a novel to save his life, and the reader can critique King’s novel as well as the protagonist’s novel ––– a clever device.
Despite the success of Misery (it made the New York Times best-seller list), I think King’s literary talent based on this novel is inferior to those writers I mentioned earlier.

What do you think?

4 Responses to “Misery(or the horror of Stephen King)”

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