Tag Archives: Stephen King

Firestarter Review

Adaptations of prolific writer Stephen King go one of two ways. Either they are critically lauded and culturally savoured for years to come, or they’re The Dark Tower. Big, effects-driven movies that capture a grey palette of what King’s writing could be, but probably aren’t. Firestarter enlists the big-budget mentality, more for its cast and modernisation of the text than anything else, and pulls one of the weaker King adaptations out of the bag. Not as unforgivable as his worse works, but there is still constant boredom to this Keith Thomas-directed feature, which has the unsavoury task of trying to bring to life an extremely plain story. Thankfully, Thomas is wise enough to leave The Prodigy off of his soundtrack. Some choices are just too on the nose.

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Ewan Gleadow’s 20 Books to Read in Your 20s

Twitter makes the rounds once again with a good idea rightfully mocked by people posting gags and wind-ups almost immediately.

20 books for your 20s. Controversially, as a 22-year-old and part of the target audience for these many varied and often dullard social media posts, there are only so many books that can truly be helpful. The collected works of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of the Wimpy Kid series, while hilarious, is not helpful.

But books are helpful to those that wish to seek help from them. Knowledge is porridge. Only to those that wish to read are they helpful, and only those that want to read a certain topic or writer will benefit.

There is no universal setlist of 20 books to choose from, deliberate over or study. Important books, yes, but books are personable experiences, so it would be futile to pick out 20 books and recommend them to everyone.

What that opens, though, is the possibility to reminisce and explain the 20 books that shaped the early years of decade number three (or four, as my birthday rests on the dying days of 1999). Unfortunately, that does mean putting up with personal encounters, first-person writing and gushing recommendations of books that will not affect you as they did me.

10 books of fiction, and another 10 of non-fiction, for good measure and balance.

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Later by Stephen King Review

“As I said at the beginning, this is a horror story.” – Jamie Conklin.

You’ve been playing this game a very long time, Stephen King, you needn’t remind us of what you write. Later is a horror story. It’s also a horror to read. “Books are a portable magic,” King once wrote. That they are. To remind us of that, he filters that and many of his life lessons in On Writing into Later, either intentionally or subconsciously. Either way, the outcome is poor. But how much can King really impose on his tales? His real-world experiences bleed into Later, for he writes of a young man early on in his life. King attempts to reflect and adapt that throughout Later, but his definition of youth is far from admirable.

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The Shining Review

While the cultural impact of The Shining is one of pure infamy, it is why it has such a long-lasting impact that is of interest to me. Would it not be easier to say that it is the direction and vivid, influential work of Stanley Kubrick that makes it so? Possibly, yes, as that is such a huge part of what makes The Shining so engaging as a thriller. But it stretches to far more than direction, which is incredible through and through. What this adaptation of the Stephen King classic manages to do, though, is make itself far removed from the literary text, something that Kubrick was no stranger to. He would often meddle with the prose of original texts to suit his image better, take 2001: A Space Odyssey or Traumnovelle, which would eventually become Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. Is such flagrant dismissal of the author a great championing trait or a spit in the face of the creatives that aided Kubrick, years later, to success? 

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The Green Mile Review

I was savouring the final few pages of The Green Mile, my first and favourite Stephen King book, for a few days before I plunged into the Tom Hanks led adaptation. It wasn’t that I didn’t have faith in the work of Frank Darabont, who had done a fine job of adapting The Shawshank Redemption, but because I knew immediately that whatever the film looked to achieve, it could come nowhere close to the power and exceptional perfection the book had offered me. Still, it was an inevitable moment, to sit down and power through The Green Mile, a film that released the same year I was born, and considered to be one of the finest movies of its generation.

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