Wednesday, August 22, 2007

They don't call him "King" for nothin'

Books don't usually make me cry. Not even The Notebook or A Walk to Remember. So why does Stephen King make me tear up in Taco Bueno? This is why:

Maybe he was as mad as he said he was, but she could see only a species of miserable fright. Suddenly, like the thud of a boxing glove on her mouth, she saw how close to the edge of everything he was. The agency was tottering, that was bad enough, and now, on top of that, like a grisly dessert following a putrid main course, his marriage was tottering too. She felt a rush of warmth for him, for this man she had sometimes hated and had, for the last three hours, at least, feared. A kind of epiphany filled her. Most of all, she hoped he would always think he had been as mad as hell, and not . . . not the way his face said he felt.
Stephen King, Cujo 88 (1981). It got me thinking: maybe the most beautiful images, the most spectacularly, stunningly, disarmingly awe-inspiring images, are hidden away in stories that seem to have nothing beautiful about them. Maybe it's the juxtaposition itself that draws out the beauty so richly.

Stephen King isn't the best-selling author since Jesus because of his backcover mugshot.

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