There are some authors who can take up to five or six years before their next book is out, and it’s usually time well spent to. When I first gave novel writing a try, I could go over the same few pages about fifty times before I felt satisfied, and even then I might decide to go back and make changes to them all over again. Then you have authors like Stephen King, whose hands you would swear move as quickly as his thoughts based on the shear volume of books he has published. You would think that he would run out of ideas eventually, and yet every tale of horror and mystery is completely unique from one book to the next.
The other day, I purchased a collection of his work which had been adapted into several short movies, partly because they were on sale at a decent price, and party because I find his work to be fascinating. After all, not every author has the ability to take a seemingly normal situation and turn it into a mind-bending, fear provoking, psychological horror story. The movies were based on the short stories in the Stephen King novel “Nightmares and Dreamscapes”.
After watching only the first one, my reaction was as follows …. WHAT DID I JUST WATCH! I mean that in the most literal sense. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to laugh, scream or cry in reaction to what I had just seen; all of the above seemed like appropriate responses to me. The first story was called “Battleground“, and that’s exactly what it was; a guy trapped on the battleground, fighting for his life. The twist? He is a full grown man being attacked by little green plastic soldiers that kids play with. He may be known for his ability to harness the elements of horror, but I was honestly splitting my sides laughing at how ridiculous that scenario was. The next story, “Crouch End“, was a little more what I had been expecting. An American couple travel to London , where they end up becoming terribly lost, wandering into the evil neighborhood of Crouch End. I still found myself in a state of mild confusion, but if anything it was interesting to see how King’s mind works.
Since the original stories were kept short and a little more ‘to the point’, it facilitated the transition from book to movie by allowing more time to cover all of the details. This is how book-to-movie adaptations should be done; you just end up disappointing more people than you please when you neglect certain details or delete minor parts. If there is no time or room for it, then perhaps that book was not meant to be seen on the big screen. This is just my opinion, though. If you have your own thoughts on the matter, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
That’s all for today. One day, I hope to get my hands on every Stephen King book in existence and grace each and every one of them with my undivided attention. It may take a lifetime, but sometimes it’s worth it if it means experiencing the joy which comes from immersing ourselves in someone elses world. Now that I have imparted my wisdom unto you all, a bid you adieu, and until next time, happy reading!