Even if you’re Stephen King, you’re not safe from the flippant fan criticism every now and then. Recently, crime novelist Alafair Burke jokingly tweeted about how overhearing someone at Thrillerfest saying they “definitely don’t need to hear” her interview with Lisa Unger. King replied, sympathizing author to author about an early review he received from a fan about Carrie. Here’s the Tweet:
Early in my career, I spotted a woman reading CARRIE on an airplane. I made the mistake of asking her if she liked it. She thought it over and gave her 2-word critique: “Shitty read.” https://t.co/ldN7IMgMhA— Stephen King (@StephenKing) June 13, 2022
If you’re a prolific author like Stephen King, it’s fair to say that not everyone is going to love your work. However, it probably stung a bit for King to get this review so early in his career. Carrie was the first novel King wrote that was published, so he was probably feeling a little sensitive toward fan reaction at the time. Clearly, things worked out for King and many people would surely disagree with that woman King talked to on an airplane.
This review is especially funny because Carrie ended up getting not just one, not two, but three movie adaptations. Clearly, it was a bit more than just a “shitty read.” Stephen King has obviously gone on to have an incredible career since then, so it just goes to show that not every critique should throw you off your game. King has now published 64 novels and written over 200 short stories. Many of his works have been adapted for TV and film.
The most recent book from Stephen King is Gwendy’s Final Task, the capper to a trilogy that King wrote with Richard Chizmar. There was also a very recent film adaptation of King’s Firestarter. Firestarter tells the story of a young girl with the ability to control fire and use it as a weapon. Her family tries to protect her from operatives who want to seize her, as her powers continue to grow and become harder to control. The movie stars Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon, Kurtwood Smith, John Beasley, Michael Greyeyes, and Gloria Reuben.
Of course, there are plenty more Stephen King adaptations coming in the near future. Many are direct adaptations, while others are based on his works, building on the worlds he created. One of the more notable adaptations will be Overlook, which is based on The Shining. Arguably, The Shining film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick is one of the best adaptations of any of King’s works (though King himself famously disagrees). It’ll be interesting to return to the world of the Overlook hotel. Overlook is set to be a ten-episode series on Netflix, telling the story of the Overlook Hotel before Jack Torrance and his family arrive. The series is produced by J.J. Abrams through his Bad Robot production company. Presumably, this will skew a little closer to the source material, which would make King a little happier than he was with the Kubrick take.
Some other Stephen King adaptations in the works are The Institute, The Jaunt, Joyland, Revelations, Sleeping Beauties, The Talisman, The Ten O’Clock People, and a Pet Semetary prequel. We’ll have to see if these adaptions can live up to the quality of the books.