Thinner is a short story by Stephen King, and is one of his stories I first experienced as a film rather than a book. As usual when I experience a story this way round, I find myself far more receptive to the film version than I usually am. I still prefer the book simply because a book can do more than a film can, but the film for this story was good as well.
It is my opinion that short stories and novella’s turn into films easier than novels do, novels can make amazing tv series’ however. This is all down to the time restrictions though, books have a lot longer to grab you, develop characters, explore themes and plot points than a two-hour film does. Hence why I think short stories, like Thinner, work well when turned into films.
But I digress, Thinner was published in 1984 under King’s pseudonym Richard Bachman. It was inspired by an episode o0f King’s own life when he weighed 236 pounds and felt compelled by his doctor to lose weight. The concept that the weight loss was not his own choice, but rather something forced on him gave King the idea for this story.
Stories can affect us emotionally; most good stories make us feel something. But they can also affect how we see the world, and help us form our opinions on ‘real world’ issues and problems. They can help us relate to people or situations we might not otherwise have ever experienced. As a 30-something year old, white, English woman there are certain things I will never experience myself and absorbing a wide range of stories, told from different viewpoints and by a diverse range of people can help me understand those experiences better. I often find voracious story consumers to have higher levels of empathy.
Stories can also help us get through difficult times via escapism or by giving us the tools to handle our own challenges. As a massive fan of horror, I sometimes get confused looks when I explain to friends and family that I can take real comfort from stories they might find frightening. But any genre can do all of the above.
Stories come in many mediums, that’s why this website looks at books, films, videogames, online mediums etc. Today I want to talk to you about books. In particular my top five books.
There are some spoilers in today’s letter so make sure you are careful if you don’t want certain stories spoiled for you. I have done my very best to keep spoilers to a minimum though and have put warnings throughout.
So, without further delay and in no particular order…
Today I want to talk to you about one of my favourite writers and an adaptation of one of their novellas. I’d like to look at the adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Mist’. The novella was released in 1985 in the collection ‘The skeleton Crew’, while the film came out in 2007.
In my opinion, the main things that changed when the novella got adapted were the atmosphere and tone of the story. I want to focus this blog on the elements that the director changed which I feel has effected these.
The most obvious in my opinion is the pacing, the novella, for all it is short at only 130 pages, is a slow burn. Everything in the novella takes time, the characters are introduced gently and given time to establish themselves before we get to the monsters (the first one doesn’t show up until the second third of the novella). King uses the first third of the story to foreshadow, build tension and most importantly make you care and connect with the characters.
The film jumps almost straight to the action, we get a brief introduction of our main character, his son and his neighbour all before we’re whisked away into the supermarket where the bulk of the film takes place. I understand that films will struggle with pacing compared to novels and novellas, they are a completely different medium so we struggle to spend time in our MC’s head, films also have a limited run time so it’s natural that they might cut some of the ‘fluff’ but the world and character building does suffer for it in my opinion.
Today I am writing to you about Dr Sleep, which is the sequel to Stephen Kings 1977 novel The Shining. Dr Sleep was published in 2013 and one the 2013 Bram Stoker award for best novel.
The book opens with Danny being educated by Dick Hallorann, who is now a benevolent spirit, on how to control the ghosts from the now destroyed Overlook hotel who are pursuing him. Danny is taught to lock the ghosts in imaginary boxes in his mind, which is enough to protect him. We are also introduced to a cult, led by Rose the Hat, this cult effectively feed on people who have the shining ability is this extend their lives.
Today I am writing to discuss one of my all-time favourite King novels, it also happens to be one of his favourites as well. I am, of course, talking about Salem’s Lot.
King’s take on vampires was published in October 1975 by Doubleday and has since been made into an illustrated book, an audio book, a radio drama, and a film/ two-part television miniseries. There was a sequel film, Return to Salem’s Lot, the town was mentioned in the Castle Rock series and lastly, after the success of IT, the two-part miniseries has also been earmarked for a remake, though no release date has been announced, it only got its director in April 2020.
All that aside, this review will focus on the book, released in 1975. Spoilers ahead!
I wanted to write to you with a recommendation today and I wanted that to be a book. Naturally, my mind wondered to one of my favourite horror authors, Stephen King, and that is when I hit a brick wall.
I cannot choose just one.
I genuinely cannot choose my favourite King book. I have multiple favourites, hell even the books that are not my favourite ones I can still find things I really like about them. So, today I have decided to talk about my top five most re-readable King books. These are the books I go back to again and again and again. The ones I must replace because the spines give up or the covers fall off.