Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

Haven't you always wanted a monkey?

I must speak as a Stephen King fan that I do indeed recognize that he can write crap. "The Monkey" (in Skeleton Crew) reminded me. What rubbed me the wrong way? The plot pieces aren't just moved into place, it's like they're thrown: we learn information almost too quickly, for a story not meant to be fast-paced the way, say, The Running Man was. The story's plagued with info dumps, narration that conveniently and unsubtly lets us know stuff (This! This is important! This! This too!), much like the clanging JANG of the wind-up monkey's cymbals. Ah, yes, one of King's evil-possessed-whatever stories, which he only rarely stretched out to novel length (ah, Christine, which I actually enjoyed, at least for the this-was-when-King-was-still-using-drugs factor), thrown into a Ray Bradbury-style magical-childhood gone horribly wrong (all those flashbacks, to stuff going to hell because of the evil possessed wind-up monkey)...yeah, King's done the Bradbury-style magical childhood much better in other stories. He's done better, period. (Speaking of better, Skeleton Crew includes "The Mist." Of course I was going to like that one, considering how I felt about Frank Darabont's movie version...)

But "The Monkey" is read (that sounds like spy-thriller code, doesn't it?), and I'll go on to other stories, sure that King won't mind too badly that I didn't like this one. I know I'll like others.
Tags: books
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