Friday, August 11, 2017

Stephen King's New 'Mr. Mercedes' Television Series

Some pictures I found recently of chalk sketches of the great writer himself.

The King residence in Bangor, Maine.

Now, I have been a Stephen King fan for a long time now. It was 20 years ago that my friend introduced me to him, essentially selling me on the notion of purchasing a used hardcover copy of the book, 'Needful Things', which he said was rare and that he had never seen a used copy of it for sale before like that, and which I then read and loved. That was the one that got me hooked, and before long, I was a collector and avid reader of King books. As it turns out, used copies of 'Needful Things' are not especially rare or valuable, or anything, although since it was actually the first King book that I ever read, there is still a special feeling and attachment that I have, much like the first song that you loved from one particular artist or band, which got you hooked on their music. 

Over the years, I got to reading almost all of his books, have seen him several times, and have even gotten and read books from his family members, as well. Hell, I have even taken a few trips up to Bangor, once to see many of the places that serves as inspiration for fictional places in his books, and have gone to his house (outside, not inside) twice. And I have followed his career quite steadily since that time. I remember how shocking it was to hear that he had that accident in 1999, and worried about his health, then rejoiced as he recovered. It was hard not to notice the impact that the accident, and the physical therapy that he had to endure afterward, had on his work. 

I still love almost everything that I have read from this man, and feel that he is truly one of the great and prolific writers of his time, and generally, he seems to be greatly underestimated and/or overlooked. His ability to breathe life into his characters, to make them truly believable and feel like actual people, warts and all, is simply amazing. And his descriptions of the society that we live in, not necessarily restricted to the state of Maine, are equally stunning and revealing, and he often describes it in depth, in between the lines. Someday, hopefully, he will be recognized for all of this, although in this day and age, a lot of people dismiss him as a horror writer only, or think that his work is for kids or teenagers - something that people seem to use against me sometimes when they see me reading his books ("Oh, I used to read him when I was a teenager!"), as if his writing is something like a phase that most normal people get over at some point or other. All part of growing up, right?

Wrong. This man's writing is underrated. Now, let me reveal a little secret: I am not even that big of a horror fan. Oh, sure, I like watching some scary movies every now and then. That said, let me sound really old and complain about many of the more recent horror movies, which tend to focus less on scaring you, and more on grossing you out by showing truly gory scenes in both great detail and length. But a decent, scary flick, especially right around Halloween? Awesome. As for horror books, I tried getting into some horror books other than Stephen King. Tried Anne Rice, but her writing style did not speak to me as immediately as King. It did not have the same kind of grip, and I found myself unable to really get into it. Tried Dean Koontz, and the first book of his that I read, 'Intensity,' was indeed very good! But the other few books that I tried to read felt a lot slower somehow, and frankly, something felt missing in his characters, specifically. It was hard to relate to them, at least in comparison to King's characters. Perhaps I was spoiled by getting into King first, who knows? All I know is that so far, the only other horror writer that I managed to really get into other than King is Joe Hill. And as most of you probably know, Hill is actually Stephen King's son, and his writing style is quite similar, the characters have a very real quality to them, which makes the novels come alive. 

So, there you have it. Perhaps I am just a fan of the King family and how they write. They are not the only writers that I read, of course. Not even close. But by and large, when it comes to horror, or even to descriptions of contemporary American society (the junk food, or Big Mac, side, as King himself might suggest), they are the best at it - at least when it comes to fiction. Plus, they all seem like genuinely good people, the more you get to learn about them.

Wow! Okay, so this was supposed to be about the new television series, 'Mr. Mercedes,' yet I somehow allowed myself to go on a tangent about the qualities of King's writing. Apologies. 

Now, let me focus again. Okay, so here's the thing: I heard about this series, but like an increasing number of things as I grow older, this one kind of snuck up on me. I did not realize it was about to be released on television as a series so soon, and also, I do not have the channel that this aired on (at least, I do not believe that I have it). So, I cannot actually review what I did not see, right?

However, some of you might actually have seen it, or intend to see it. Some day, sooner or later, I intend to see it as well, having read the book (in fact, having read the entire trilogy of these books). So, this article (see link below) might help you to understand it and/or appreciate it more, as it is a guide for what you need to know before you watch the series. Hell, even if you saw an episode or two (not sure how many have aired as of my writing this), this might help to clarify certain things that you might not have known or understood. So, without further ado, here is the link to an article which might help:

7 Things to Know Before Watching ‘Mr. Mercedes’ Posted on August 7, 2017 by Shayna Murphy

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