Stephen King talks about his new novel, The Institute

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I’m actually surprised that King and yourself even have heard of Tom Brown’s Schooldays, myself. It’s not exactly a commonly read book in America. But maybe the popularity of Harry Potter has gotten people to read was was probably the start of the “boarding school adventures” genre?


Remember when King announced he was retiring from writing novels back in January 2002? And then he wrote 24 more novels? That we know of?

I’m starting to think that guy really sucks at not writing novels.


Maybe everything he’s written since 2002 isn’t a novel - he’s actually started writing from life (shades of Pickman’s Model).


I’m not surprised at all that King would be aware of it.

When King was coming up, 19th century British novels were likely still a staple in the school and public library, even more obscures ones like this. Plus, it’s been made into a movie at least 4 or 5 times, the most recent one being 2005, I believe. Plus, of course, novelists tend to be incredibly well read people, probably much more than even your average bibliophile, in part because story telling is their job, and that implies being familiar with their craft as others practice it.

I think people were aware of this genre well before Harry Potter. I’m sure that Rowling was likely influenced by King rather than the other way around. He’s kind of a giant in speculative fiction, after all.


Also, King’s got a BA in English and used to work as an English teacher. I don’t find it at all surprising he’s familiar with a book as historically important and popular as Tom Brown’s Schooldays.


Yes! I had forgotten this!


Masterpiece Theatre exposed the hoi polloi in the US to English literature for decades. :wink:


i hate these interviews with King; i’m sure he does as well. they feel so scripted and repetitive. i wish he would team up with Neil Gaiman and produce something fantastic but also maybe take some of Gaiman’s advice to value his time more and not do these boring waste of time pr interviews. If King is in fact charging an arm and a leg to answer dumb questions on national television I say ‘More power to ya!’

actually, i wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t written anything since january 2002. if i recall somewhere in The Dark Tower series he writes himself as a character during the time he was almost killed while out on a walk he was saved by the gunslinger characters and they find a box of unfinished novels at his house. if you were to write down every idea you’ve ever had you would have enough material to write stories forever without actually doing much writing at all. every couple of years he can just pull out a manuscript and send it to the publisher.

Disagree. The “idea” is the easy part. Turning it into a novel (or a movie, or whatever) is where the work comes in. Even if he had a stack of partial manuscripts squirreled away back in 2002 it’s pretty clear he’s been doing a LOT of writing over the last 17 years.


As I recall he had slowed down a lot and then announced his retirement, talking about how when he was younger stories flowed from him, flowed so fast that he had to invent pen names to avoid flooding the market, and now it has left him.

I suspect retiring took a huge amount of pressure off him, and the pressure is what was keeping him from writing :slight_smile:

(or maybe all my times are off & this just isn’t what happened, it wouldn’t be the first time a good theory has been demolished by facts)

Upvoted your post though, because: hilarious


But when is getting around to Maximum Overdrive II?!


I’m not sure he’d even be the most qualified person to write a Maximum Overdrive sequel since he was so coked up the first time around that he apparently has no functional memory of doing it.


I’m looking forward to the spooky lamp monster book

I remember that one. Headmaster (?) pulling bully off of Tom and yelling “VILLAIN!!”

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Sorry to piss on this parade, but I read all 1100 pages of The Stand for some reason, and it was a humongous piece of crap. Of course I can’t, but if I could I would delete it from my memory. I would un-see the words and forget the overweening and hackneyed religious storyline. He could have ended that book at 300 pages just as easily and not inflicted the gigantic waste of ink on the scifi-reading public as a service to humanity.

Why did I stick it out through the whole messy bucket of pig entrails? At the time, I had a “policy” of never leaving a book unfinished. The Stand cured me of that folly forever.

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" “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.” Hmmmm,how many kids in 2019 would know that phrase?