Oh, Stephen, you make this so hard on me. I’m a big fan, a HUGE fan, but we have to face facts-you’re not the fiction writer you once were. Cell is just another recent Stephen King book. I compare it to kettle corn-taste great, really look forward to it and enjoy it immensely, but there isn’t a whole lot substance.
I’ll give you this: Cell started with a COMPLETELY original premise. This was it! This was a King book! Whoo-hoo! Sadly, however, it quickly dissipated into what I would call “zombie” standard fare. Even your characters, once rich and deep as an undiscovered chasm in the ocean depths, now simply skim the surface of who they are and what they stand for. In fact, that’s how I’d further describe your latest novel-skimming the surface.
Steve, I feel like such a jerk saying this to you. I mean, you are THE most successful American author of our time! Who am I to criticize you? I’m nobody; I know that. But, I’m just being honest. I know you appreciate honestly, so I’m trying to hold up my end of the bargain.
Here’s my advice, Stephen: You’ve finished the Dark Tower Series-some of your best work, might I add-how about you hold off on fiction for a time? I read you’re memoir On Writing, it was excellent! You’ve had such a full life, a near death experience, you’ve got loads the public would love to hear! To get to the point, I’m suggesting you move into primarily non-fiction. I think your accessible style and life stories would really invigorate both you and your readers. I’m concerned if you keep writing lackluster fiction like Cell and The Colorado Kid, you’re going to tarnish your impeccable reputation. Non-fiction is the key.
So, Stephen, I hope these words from a thirty-year-old high school English teacher and struggling author haven’t left too acrid of a taste in your mouth. Your worst work continues to outshine my best, so please bear in mind I’m holding you against your own standards, not the average writer’s. Thanks for listening.