Read a Book, Why Don’t You: Under the Dome

by Leonard Pierce

I want to like Stephen King.  I really, really do.

He’s undeniably an important writer, at least insofar as he’s written a ton of books that have sold enormously well, and become virtually synonymous with “contemporary American novelist”.  He’s managed to remain successful even in a terrible downtime for fiction, and even if you’re a detractor, those sales numbers cannot be ignored.  But sales numbers aside, he’s got a lot of respectable, even admirable qualities:  he’s prolific, hard-working and intelligent; he’s generous, politically involved, and very active in a number of worthwhile causes; he tries his best to be socially relevant, which is a positive trait even when it doesn’t pan out; and he seems like a very decent person who it would be worthwhile to know in private life.  He’s an advocate of literacy, and he’s got a lot of opinions about writing — some of them are even good ones, although I often wish he’d follow his own advice, or better yet, the advice of others.  Still, many writers are more attuned to the faults of others than they are their own, and I am certainly no exception, so I can’t throw stones in that regard.

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