Short translations may be better

We all know that Stephen King can’t end a book. Ooh, I can hear the hisses of outrage from here. But it’s true. Stephen King is an excellent storyteller, a fantastic yarn spinner. He develops characters better than most in the business and his writing style is so fluid and easy to read that it almost makes me sick. But he can’t end a good tale. Just about every novel tends to fall a bit flat and the ending is ultimately something of an anti-climax. However, the journey to get there is usually so good that it doesn’t really matter too much and we can forgive him his fatal flaw.

Stephen King – he’s not weird at all

When movies are made of King’s novels, they rarely turn out to be any good. The depth of characterisation and story development can’t be translated to film and the schlock and scares are always over-emphasised. So, it’s good to know that a new movie based on a Stephen King short story is garnering a lot of good pre-release press.

The story is about one Mike Enslin who tours supposedly haunted places, stays the night, then writes about the experience, ostensibly to debunk the haunting theory. When he gets a missive telling him not to visit room 1408 in Dolphin Hotel in New York, as it has claimed over sixty lives, he obviously can’t resist. The pre-release reviews thus far are overwhelmingly positive and apparently John Cusak is excellent in the lead role.

Maybe the Stephen King short story is a far better thing to adapt to film than the Stephen King novel. Here’s hoping. The movie is set to open here in Australia in October.

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2 thoughts on “Short translations may be better

  1. I can’t comment on the quality of film adaptations of Stephen King novels – I haven’t seen enough of them – however in support of your short story theory, I offer Stand by Me.

  2. Good call. Stand By Me was based on the “The Body”, a novella (shorter than a novel and longer than a short story) originally published as one of four novellas in the collection “Different Seasons” (1982). The book “Different Seasons” contains one story for each season, and “The Body” is subtitled “Fall from Innocence”.

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