I have had less time to read lately since I have been so tired. My brain is tired, my body is tired, and when I get home I just want to “be”. Still, I have found a few minutes here and there to read, and right now I am slowly making my way through The Stand. It’s not the first Stephen King book that I have read, and it probably won’t be my last. I enjoy his stories, but sometimes his style throws me off.
When he references music, I never know what he is talking about. Lyrics and bands that make their way into his work always force me to stop and scroll through my brain to see if I know of them. It’s extremely rare if I do. When he uses those strange and awkward phrases and sayings, I usually don’t even know what they mean. I can get the gist of it, but they aren’t anything that I have heard or read before.
And the characters! There are always so many characters! It’s refreshing, in a way, since we aren’t just focused on one or two people the entire time. It gives us and the characters a little break from each other and it adds to the story by allowing it to be told from multiple (and I mean multiple) viewpoints. I do find it hard sometimes to keep track of them all, even the main ones. I am about halfway through the book and sometimes when I just read a first name in a new chapter I have no idea who that character is from earlier in the book. I can’t always tell if it’s a new character or not.
I believe that Stephen King books (I’m not sure about his short stories, I have a plethora of them on my “to buy” list) require attention and study. They aren’t books that you can read casually. You have to have the time to be fully devoted and interested in order to fully enjoy and appreciate the work. The reason why I have trouble with remembering the characters is that I sometimes go a day or two or three without having the time or the drive to read anything. I spent the last week in the office reading and writing, sometimes I need to get away from the words for a little while.
I know that there are other books like that as well. They aren’t for light reading, and they aren’t for the faint of heart. They require attention, dedication, and effort. I started the latest book when I had less to do. Now I am finding it hard to maintain focus because I have to use so much brain power before I can remember what happened last, which character is doing what, and the general feel of the story.
Do you feel the same about Stephen King? Do you have any other books that you believe require study?