Down on Stephen King

Posted by Jason Diamond

Why do people who like Stephen King always seem to have to take a defensive stance?  A recent Guardian post made me wonder that.

So I’m somewhat concerned to learn that Stephen King, up there as one of my favourite authors (and bring it on, all you literary snobs who have taken me to task for this in the past – I’m still not ashamed and you are still missing out), is planning to tackle the subject in his forthcoming novel, 11.22.63.

I read a lot of King’s books as a kid and I’m not ashamed to admit that.  While I haven’t picked up anything by him in at least fifteen years, I don’t remember any of it being that especially bad to merit such strong reactions.  Something I’ve always respected about the guy is that even though his net worth is probably the same as a small country, he still keeps a foot planted in the actual world of literature that most mass market types wouldn’t dare go slumming in.  (For example: Stephen King, the McSweeney’s contributor.)

So why are some people so down on King?  Is it because he churns out a book or two a year, and makes a shit ton of money off his writing?  Is it due to sheer overexposure, or do you really just not like his writing?