This last weekend I figured I’d finally get to my work place to do some ghost hunting, as I’ve talked about doing here before. Friday night wouldn’t work because the concierge and cleaning crews are still around. But Saturday and Sunday nights were open.
That, however, was before the snow and ice and frigid temperatures came swooping in over Denver like a mean-spirited grinch. Hell, I didn’t even drive ANYWHERE this weekend because too many neighborhood roads looked like ice skating rinks, and if you listened you could hear spinning tires just about anywhere.
At least I got some reading and writing done, and I tried to study French (a Layla thing), but that seemed too relaxing and I can’t relax these days because I’m supposed to be figuring out ways to promote The Compass Master on the cheap.
Happily, thanks to Stephen King, I’ve got one interesting topic for you today: a “letter” the length of a full editorial that King wrote a few days ago for The New York Times. In it, he rebuts someone for giving a negative appraisal of the Kennedy presidency. But what would be striking to any writer is King’s analysis of Lee Harvey Oswald. He begins with a quote that grabbed and held me: “Mr. Douthat has concentrated on Oswald’s political actions and statements, and ignored the man’s severely damaged personality.” Then this: “Lone gunmen like Oswald act for other reasons [than political], regardless of what they may say in an effort to look rational.” For several more paragraphs, he puts Oswald under the microscope and does a fascinating dissection.
Now I’ll ‘fess up and admit that while I’ve read several of King’s books, I haven’t come close to reading his entire, phenomenal oeuvre (fancy French word). But one reason I keep going back to him is 1) his writing style and descriptions can be spot-on, and 2) this man brilliantly understands characters and their motivations.
As for those snootier “literary” writers or critics who opine that King is just another “commercial” (i.e., inferior) writer, then they should take a look at The New York Times list for the best books of 2011. King’s 11/22/63 is in the top five novels.
Here’s the link to King’s editorial: