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[mythsoc] Gaiman and King (was Serial killer conventions, Gaiman)

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  • dianejoy@earthlink.net
    ... From: Steve Law purpleom@bigfoot.com Date: Sun, 11 May 2003 23:02:52 +0100 (BST) To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Re: Re: Serial killer
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2003
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      Original Message:
      -----------------
      From: Steve Law purpleom@...
      Date: Sun, 11 May 2003 23:02:52 +0100 (BST)
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Re: Re: Serial killer conventions, Gaiman


      "Steve may compare Gaiman's serial-killer convention
      with _American Psycho_, but they're not the same thing
      at all. Ellis glorifies in violence; Steven King
      wallows in it; Gaiman is in this piece remarkably
      restrained, considering his subject, and shows very
      little actual violence."

      << I didn't make any direct parallels between "American
      Psycho" and Gaiman's serial-killer convention, only
      very general ones to do mainly with their mutual
      subject matter/sub-genre. >>

      Even the title of *American Psycho* scares me; I've no interest in Ellis's
      book. However, Gaiman's convention takes place in the context of a much
      larger creation, a multivariate graphic novel about the Endless. And he is
      restrained, given the demands of the medium and the effects he wishes to
      achieve.

      << "American Psycho" was actually written to be a moral
      protest *against* the market for extreme sadistic
      material in popular fiction and the desensitisation it
      represents - although it walked a very fine line.
      Ellis was trying to say "You like this stuff? Well
      consume this!", and make the reader choke on it. >>

      Still not interested.

      << I found with Stephen King (early stuff, I don't read
      him anymore) that I liked his heroes and became
      engaged with his characters, and that makes a
      difference. Characterisation is his big thing. And I
      think there's also a difference between horrible death
      at the hands of a psychopath and horrible death at the
      pistons of a possesed laundry machine. Human monsters
      are much more disturbing. >>

      Some King horror really strikes a chord (*It,* *The Shining,* *Salem's
      Lot,* *Carrie*), but to my mind, the best Stephen King is *The Green Mile.*
      "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" and "The Body," both were good
      short stories which turned into very watchable films because of
      characterization. I also liked *Needful Things.* The monster wasn't human,
      but it's a classic study of temptation and its effects on humans. When
      King goes over the top, that's when things fall apart, as in
      *Tommyknockers.* That was sheer "fulfill the contract" stuff. I'm also
      fond of Dean Koontz, who creates likeable characters.

      [David's comment snipped

      I read American Gods remember. 'Tweren't very gruesome, just dull. I had no
      idea Gaiman was so highly thought of. I will seek out
      some more of his books. Can you recommend one?


      *Stardust,* *Neverwhere* and an anthology of short stories, which I can't
      recall without leaving my desk. "Snow, Glass, Apples" is in that
      anthology, and is a fine example of Gaiman at his best. ---djb


      PS: If anyone wants to risk some early Stephen King
      I'd particularly recommend "The Dead Zone", "The
      Stand" and "Christine". Anything that came before "It"
      will probably be a good holiday read (except "Pet
      Sematary" or "Cujo").



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