I've been reading the chosen selection.
That doesn't sound like a good beginning, does it? It's funny how much sentiment may or may not be conveyed through lines on paper. Or a screen. Oh communication. But isn't that what writing is all about?
I am enjoying it.
But. Yes, there is a but. First I should clarify that I have never read one of Mr. King's books. Never. I know, that makes me a terrible person, or a lousy book-club member or humanitarian, or whatever. Even I, given my natural propensity to things dark and twisted, view it as an oddity. And perhaps I shall pick one up and read it (suggestions? What is the best, or most important fictional work of Little Stevie King?).
Until then, I have only this nonfiction piece to go on - which is, no doubt, different than a writer's fictional work - and thus I wonder about your comment, Jennie, that Lisa was correct about the author's nonfiction writing. Please explain, if you don't mind.
Back to the but. But, I find I like his accounts of the actual writing experience best. Perhaps that's what I'm most interested in, given it is a book by a writer about writing. Some of the early accounts of his childhood experiences seem a little... derived.
I mean yes, children certainly do stupid things. Everyone has tales of their ridiculous childhood (at least most boys do, I'm not sure about the female population). But some of the moments were predictable and contrived to me. The poison ivy, for example. Every boy scout has a tale of someone they knew doing some such, true or not. It's a childhood urban legend, and I saw it coming a mile off. Perhaps these moments are completely true, but I also have to guess at the nature of a writer, who is by definition, a liar. Writers might like to pretend that they're achieving truth through recombination of experience, of art, of ideas - and in a metaphysical sort of manner, yeah that may be accurate. But life doesn't make for great art, great story arcs, or encapsulated themes. That's why it requires recombination by someone with a sense of the desperation innate in humankind to search for meaning in the chaos. And so, writers lie. It works better on paper. And the best of them stab something close to truth, and others... don't.
My point here is, I really like his moments about his ideas, his writing, his creation because to me, those bits feel real. Some of the others that emerge from his foggy childhood read a bit like stories one tells at dinner parties to provoke a reaction, and nobody really cares whether the details are intact since everyone's had a bit too much to drink anyhow.
There. That said, I am enjoying the book. Comments?