October 25, 2007 — During the spring of 1991, a man broke into Stephen King’s house, making a news item of himself for the benefit of us and a danger of himself to the detriment of the horror author. Based solely on the sheer number of them out there, odds are the intruder was a fan. Judging by his homemade bomb of calculator parts and cardboard, he was deranged. And while I don't at all condone the action, of course, I can understand it to a degree...because King's house is a really cool one. The rest I don't get, including both the crazy bit and the fan bit.
Despite the conflicted feelings toward his work that I will soon elucidate, he’s still a modern icon of horror, a genre of which I’ve been an appreciator long enough and to a degree that it often makes me doubt my place in civilized society. For that mere reason, I do have an interest in him. Mark me, interest and appreciation can be—and are in this case—on the opposite brims of a very wide punch bowl.
I want to like Stephen King’s work in a defensible way. I want to back anybody that pushes the horror cause forward as much as he has. Plus I just like spooky tales. I can't, though. I definitely don’t hate him. Not in the way I hate most New York Times best-selling authors and certainly not to the point of bombs made of cardboard and calculator parts. But even though I still don’t really like his work, I do love his house. That’s some consolation for me.
Read about my visit to some Stephen King movie filming sites in Maine...after you drop a comment below about how much both this article and my taste in literature suck, of course.