Friday, 22 March 2013

Bag of Bones



King, Stephen. Bag of Bones. 1998


One of Stephen King's thrillers. As usual I find King's ruminations a little overdone. I enjoy many of his novels, but one needs tremendous patience to get over the words to find the story, sort of like eating a gigantic steamed artichoke; after a while, you wonder if you shouldn't have ordered a dish with only the artichoke hearts instead.

Here are the passages on Maugham:
Yet the writer who had bound us closest together was no college-friendly poet or essayist but W. Somerset Maugham, that elderly globetrotting novelist-playwright with the reptile's face (always obscured by cigarette smoke in his photographs, it seems) and the romantic heart.
So it did not surprise me much to find that the book under the bed was The Moon and Sixpence. I had read it myself as a late teenager, not once but twice, identifying passionately with the character of Charles Strickland. (It was writing I wanted to do in the South Seas, of course, not painting.)
[...]
"A hundred years from now," she had said, "the shame of the mid-twentieth-century literary critics will be that they embraced Lawrence and ignored Maugham." This was greeted with contemptuously good-natured laughter (they all knew Women in Love was one of the greatest damn book ever written), but I didn't laugh.
That was supposed to be in 1980. We still have to wait to see if the prediction is correct. There are more references to The Moon and Sixpence throughout the book, especially the line from Strickland to Stroeve, "You funny little man," which the narrator keeps hearing in his head. 

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