Stephen King is definitely still not a Twi-hard.
The genre fiction legend has never been shy about saying how unimpressed he is with author Stephenie Meyer's mega-bestselling vampire romance novels, and in a lengthy new interview at The Guardian reflecting on his career and promoting his new novel -- Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining -- he was asked once again about Twilight, specifically if he thinks it can at least be partially credited with ushering in a new "golden age of horror."
As usual, King wasn't shy with his opinion, and it hasn't changed much.
"I agree with [a character in Doctor Sleep] who calls Twilight and books like it tweenager porn," King said. "They're really not about vampires and werewolves. They're about how the love of a girl can turn a bad boy good."
From there, the discussion expanded to included other recent publishing blockbusters, including the dystopian hit The Hunger Games and the Twilight-inspired erotic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey. According to King, he read at least the first book of each series, including Twilight, and found none of them compelling enough to continue. He also saw a connection between the themes of The Hunger Games and a novel he published more than three decades ago.
"I read Twilight and didn't feel any urge to go on with her. I read The Hunger Games and didn't feel an urge to go on. It's not unlike The Running Man, which is about a game where people are actually killed and people are watching: a satire on reality TV," he said. "I read Fifty Shades Of Grey and felt no urge to go on. They call it mommy porn, but it's not really mommy porn. It is highly charged, sexually driven fiction for women who are, say, between 18 and 25. But a golden age of horror? I wouldn't say it is. I can't think of any books right now that would be comparable to The Exorcist."
So did King have any praise for fellow writers amid all that criticism? Well, he's still a fan of J.K. Rowling, and her decidely non-Harry Potter adult fiction debut, The Casual Vacancy, which was published last year.
"She's a wonderful storyteller and the writing is better than in any of the Harry Potter books, because it's sharper," King said.
At 65, it seems King still has plenty of energy to talk about books and genre fiction as a whole, and he's still got the presence and genre street cred to make what he says matter. What do you think? Is he wrong about any of these judgements, or did he nail them?
Doctor Sleep hits bookstores tomorrow.
(Via The Guardian)