The review is here, and generally positive--although the reviewer does point out a couple of King's sentence-level clunkers, and makes a reasonable argument: considering the sheer mass of the guy's output, you'd think he'd be a better stylist. Here's the quote:

As for the prose, it’s not all smooth sailing. Given King’s extraordinary career-long dominance, we might expect him at this point to be stylistically complete, turning perfect sentences, as breezily at home in his idiom as P. G. Wodehouse. But he isn’t, quite. “Then it came down on her again, like unpleasant presents raining from a poison piñata: the realization that Howie was dead.” (It’s the accidental rhyme of “unpleasant” and “presents” that makes that one such a stinker.) I felt the clutch of sorrow, too, when I read this: “What you’re planning is terribly dangerous — I doubt if you need me to tell you that — but there may be no other way to save an innocent man’s life.”

The reviewer is forgiving, though--pointing out that "King has always produced at pulp speed," and that "writing flat-out keeps him close to his story, close to his source. It seems to magnetize his imagination..." Still, you'd think that a guy who has publicly expressed his frustration with the "snobbery" of the literary world would take the time to prove them wrong: it's not that hard to clean up the prose before going to press.

On edit: it's worth noting that Wodehouse published 72 novels (three posthumously), 19 short story collections, three autobiographical books, and several plays and libretti. So, no slouch himself on the output front.

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Entertainment Weekly magazine recently published an excerpt from this book that has both awakward phrases and some fantastic stuff. Stephen King's characters often use expressions prefectly - those weird kind of phrasings my grandmother used and more recent ones. He has some incredible insight into these characters.

But 1100 pages?

I guess he really is true to himself, but I get the feeling if he actually wanted to Stephen King could write the American version of Camus' The Plague.

If he wanted to.
I note that this thread began almost a nine months ago, and it has me thinking about "Under the Dome," which I am almost finished and was published about two months after this thread began.

The writing be damned, the fantasy "problem" be damned; the characterization, personal attitudes, and conflicts are as real today in my part of the country as it apparently is in Maine. Interest in King has trailed off, I believe, because many of his readers have flown of to the Vampires, ghouls, and demons that were the pillar of King's earlier work. King is now tackling important stuff ... like our reactions to crisis unreal and real, and the interactions of people in that crisis.

As to King's writing? He gets the feel of reality, which many fail to do with their "fine writing." I doubt that most non-writers react to "style" the way writers do. Non-writing readers react to voice, the voice of the writer and more importantly to the voices of characters.
I used to think that my style is improving, but there are days . . .
It's horribly frustrating, but I still revise and revise and revise. My critique partner just drew my attention to the phrase: "He trembled like a leaf."

My guess is that King doesn't have time to polish that much.
What's his damn hurry?
Contracts and money!
Stephen King has proven them wrong, with every novel and short story he writes. He can't help that they haven't noticed. King does use some corny phrases or dialogue sometimes, but sometimes people speak and think that way. He is a master at creating realistic characters, and King is, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers of our time. He tells stories like nobody else does. And really, if those two sentences are the worst that stand out of 1100 pages (in hardcover, no less), then I think I'll be buying this one on day one.

The part that gets me is the reviewer assuming the rhyme was "accidental". This reminds me of something John Steinbeck wrote in his journal while working on East of Eden:

"Now as you well know, Adam and his family must move down river toward the mouth. They will stop in Salinas for this generation. The last part will be at Moss Landing where the river enters the sea. This was the plan from the beginning and it is going to be followed so that my physical design remains intact and clear. Then it will be considered an accident. I don't know why writers are never given credit for knowing their craft. Years after I have finished a book, someone discovers my design and ascribes it either to a theft or an accident. And now I shall get back to my job."
King does use some corny phrases or dialogue sometimes, but sometimes people speak and think that way.

They do if they're huge cheeseballs, anyway. If a writer characterizes them as cheeseballs and that's how they talk, then fine. But if they're supposed to normally intelligent human beings and their dialogue says "cheeseball," then we've got trouble in River City.

He is a master at creating realistic characters

Would that be the demonically possessed car, or the girl who shoots fire out of her eyes?

The part that gets me is the reviewer assuming the rhyme was "accidental".

I think he does so out of a sense of generosity, John.
King is, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers of our time.

I concur.
What's your take on the sentence-level stuff the reviewer mentions?
I'm planning to get Under the Dome. Michael Crichton's last finished novel is supposed to be released this month too, I think. I'm sure it will be vying for a spot on that list too.
I can't really comment on King. Haven't read any of it. Saw bits of the one where a repulsive woman imprisons a writer and was thoroughly repelled. I did read his book on writing, which made some sense as a sort of autobiography of a writer.
Nope, won't buy any of his books for the foreseeable future (or get them from the library -- a much smarter way to go, since he doesn't need the money.)
I agree that King can tell a story. With a notable exception or two (The Stand) it's hard to beat him for pacing, and of course he's great at coming up with imaginative hooks, although he mostly does the same basic trick over and over (life is Normal--then it's Not! Not Normal divides the world of the book into the Good People vs. capital-E Evil. After a lengthy struggle, and usually through some flukey bit of luck that comes along just when things look their most hopeless, the Good People prevail!)--otherwise known as melodrama.


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