March 16, 2008

Duma(ss) Key

I just finished Stephen King's latest novel, Duma Key. It occurred to me partway through that I've always wished Peter Straub wrote a little more like King, and the King wrote a little more like Straub. In spite of their collaborations in the past, I think it's just now starting to take. This might be King's best recent novel, if its awful cover can be forgiven (to be fair, the cover actually has something to do with the novel).

The NY Times review was clearly phoned in by somebody who read no farther than the dust jacket. I'll paraphrase his(?) deathless words: "Stephen King is popular, so I have to write about him even though I'm a snob. King was in an accident and so was the protagonist. This is a novel by Stephen King. It is a Stephen King novel." I want YOUR job, buddy. But not your attitude. Hey, Duma Key is not Henry James; it's not even Shirley Jackson. But it was a pretty good read, even if it took a while to get going.

I feel bad for people whose tastes are so refined that they can't enjoy most stuff. Beer snobs who can't enjoy a cheap beer in its time and place (sorry, after mowing the lawn, I'll take a Miller High Life over Sam Adams). I like being able to appreciate the good stuff and the great stuff, but I also like a lot of the other stuff.

1 comment:

NNH said...

I am a beer snob. I would not take a Miller High Life under virtually any circumstance and haven't since I was about twenty-two years old. I've heard the argument that it tastes great if it's cold enough; so it tastes great if it numbs your taste buds into not tasting.

But by commenting on the line about beer and not the rest, I am properly excused from ever being considered a real snob. "I am Beer Snob." That's how I'm supposed to say it, right?