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YMMV / Stephen King

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  • Acceptable Political Targets: When referencing real-life politicians, he tends to hold up Republicans as demons in human flesh. In one such case, he wrote 'Salem's Lot during the Watergate scandal and makes one character a Richard Nixon supporter to mark him as an Asshole Victim. With his fictional politicians, he tends to go either way, usually with No Party Given, but making it obvious regardless which way each one leans. He uses fake left-leaning politicians to expose issues within his own party (such as Susan Day of Insomnia) but generally uses right-leaning politicians when he just needs a government villain (such as Greg Stillson).
  • Acceptable Targets:
  • Archive Panic: He believes in trying to get at least one book a year out, and it shows. He's been writing for decades, and still putting out books today. Said books are well-known to be Door Stoppers on their own. Anyone who wants to read, or even collect all of his works will find their work cut out for them.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Ending Aversion: A very common complaint involving many of his novels is that King has a hard time concluding the story in a satisfying way that doesn't result in an Ass Pull, Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, and/or Shocking Swerve, a criticism which he himself has acknowledged (although there are certainly numerous exceptions).
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In Danse Macabre, he describes A New Hope as "an outer space western just overflowing with PIONEER SPIRIT."
  • Magnificent Bastard: Andre Linoge and Dwight Renfield.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • More like not given credit when he should. To this day there are people who refuse to believe he wrote the stories that Stand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption were based on, for the simple reason that they're not horror and actually pretty heart-warming. They'll "prove" it by taking a cursory glance at his bibliography and saying "See, not there!", since both of them were from a collection called Different Seasons and both of them had their names changed when translated to film.
    • According to King, this even happened to his face. Upon finding out that he was that Stephen King, a woman scolded him soundly about his awful scary books...and then asked him why he didn't tell more uplifting stories, like that nice movie The Shawshank Redemption. When King told her that he did write that nice story, the woman refused to believe him.
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    • Part of the reason he created the Richard Bachman Pen Name was due to the fact that nobody would believe they weren't just horror if he'd written them under his own name.
  • Narm:
    • Many of King's works contain this. Even some scenes that were intended to be scary or heart-warming can come off this way.
    • His movies really bring this to light. Scenes that might even have been scary in the books turn out to be pure narm on camera.
  • Narm Charm: That said, some people feel that this is part of the fun. Others even suggest that much, or at least some of the narm is intentional, a hearkening back to B-movies that intended to scare but provoked laughs instead.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: This trope could have been called "Stephen King is Unscary". King's works have been hugely influential for the last two generations of horror writers, and many of the cliches of the genre were originally invented, or at least popularized by King.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Inverted; King admitted he was stoned out of his mind when he wrote works like Cujo and directed Maximum Overdrive, to the point to where he doesn't remember writing Cujo at all. He did later admit that this put him in the unique position of being able to read one of his novels like an unspoiled reader, admitting he enjoyed it, and even wishes he could remember the writing process.
    • Knowing about the cocaine habit King had in the '80s makes a lot of things about his output in the period make a lot more sense. It, The Tommyknockers, and particularly the unabridged version of The Stand are very much "cocaine ideas" in how long, complex, and prone to digression they are. It's not an accident that while King kept writing substantial novels after he sobered up, they have gotten markedly shorter and more focused.


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