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Thread: King writing a new Holly Gibney book

  1. #26
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    Right. And King was making political jabs at political figures as far back in The Shining.

    On top of that King has always been political. Thereís a lengthy chapter in It detailing the homophobia in Maine culminating in a hate crime that was based off a real incident at the time. The abortion debate was a huge part of Insomnia with the climax involving terrorists attacking a womanís clinic. These are just what come to mind off the top of my head.

    The idea of King that King inserting politics into his work as just something he did recently to hop on the Ďwokeí bandwagon is unfounded.


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  2. #27
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    While I won't know what's in a particular King novel until I read it, and my hope is that I'm wrong, I think it comes down to how successfully he can keep his Twitter feed out of his work, and based on bits of Elevation, The Institute, and the Hodges trilogy, I'm concerned that he might not.

    For the record, I would find it just as dull if I shared his positions (I don't want characters to slap each other on the back and compliment each other's MAGA hats).

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunchback Jack View Post
    Im about 75% through Billy Summers, and hasn't been much of that, if any. It's set in 2019, so some of his characters make passing references to Trump - pro and con.
    Normally I wouldnít expect passing references to be obtrusive, but Iíve heard from someone who started Billy Summers that the 5 Trump references he noted in the first 57 pages caused him to stop reading it (at least temporarily).

    I would be very happy to be proved wrong about Billy Summers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunchback Jack View Post
    I'm not at all concerned about COVID being a plot point of the new book. Our entire society was changed for 18 months - it stands to reason that writers are going to write about it.
    I agree it stands to reason that writers will tackle it, but I doubt his ability (or willingness) to do so without politicizing it (he almost certainly will pick a bone with someone, and it ain't going to be China).

    I would be very happy to be proved wrong about this future novel.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    ÖKing was making political jabs at political figures as far back in The Shining.
    Specific occasional jabs are one thing; ongoing fixation with the specific individual about whom his side of the political spectrum has obsessed for 6 years is another.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    Thereís a lengthy chapter in It detailing the homophobia in Maine culminating in a hate crime that was based off a real incident at the time.
    Homophobia isnít political (those who disagree on gay marriage agree that violence against gay people is unacceptable); it only becomes political if/when one side tars the other with imagined support for it.

    The Mellon incident was notable and informative in the context of It because of what it said about Derry (willingness to ignore witnessed horror, primarily the widespread disappearance of children - also apolitical, unless some thought conservative readers rooted for Pennywise) and what it said about those who attacked Mellon (who acted on behalf of their twisted ideas about, and their insecurity with, their masculinity - not on behalf of the Reagan agenda).

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    The abortion debate was a huge part of Insomnia with the climax involving terrorists attacking a womanís clinic.
    While abortion battle lines do tend to follow political positions, as you note, those that attacked the clinic didnít do so because they were conservative, they did so because they were terrorists (not to mention under the influence of "higher level beings" that manipulated characters in order to ensure the death of a particular character).

    All of which is to say: while King has done a good job involving and examining social currents in America through things like Mellon, Susan Day, and others, this isn't what readers like myself are referring to.
    I'll settle for long hair and a smile.

  3. #28
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    ...and I still like Holly.
    I'll settle for long hair and a smile.

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    ...to take another crack at the dead horse, I suppose everything comes down to the delivery: I found Barlow's anti-capitalist/anti-American rant positively hilarious (Salem's Lot).
    I'll settle for long hair and a smile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by St. Troy View Post
    Normally I wouldnít expect passing references to be obtrusive, but Iíve heard from someone who started Billy Summers that the 5 Trump references he noted in the first 57 pages caused him to stop reading it (at least temporarily).

    I would be very happy to be proved wrong about Billy Summers.
    Five references in 50 pages is hardly a manifesto, and the references themselves are (if I recall correctly) more talking about whether a character supports Trump or not, rather than jabs or snide remarks at Trump himself. And the characters aren't divided into good and evil, or into smart and dumb, based on that preference, either. I'm not 100% sure I recall correctly, honestly, because the Trump references barely registered with me. They are not relevant to the story or characters. Anyone offended by those references is looking for a reason to get offended, in my opinion.

    But you should read the book for yourself.

    HBJ
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    Under The Dome is SK's most overtly political book with Big Jim Rennie and Peter Randolph as thinly disguised caricatures of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.

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    For my own interest, I looked up the first five references to Trump in Billy Summers.

    I assume these five passages were the five mentioned; I am reading these on Kindle so I don't know the page numbers, but the last one is 12% in which would be about 50 pages.

    Spoiler tags, as I don't want to beat the dead horse even deader:
    Spoiler:

    Nick wants to know how Billyís trip in was. Billy says it was fine but doesnít say where he flew in from and Nick doesnít ask. Nick says how about that fuckin Trump and Billy says how about him. Thatís about all theyíve got, but itís okay because by then Macintosh is back with two tall glasses on a tray, and once he leaves, Nick gets down to business.
    - A generic snide comment about Trump from one character, with a non-committal response from the protagonist. There's literally no follow-up.

    ĎThat building across the street is mine,í Hoff says. ĎOnly twenty-two stories, but good enough to make it the second highest in Red Bluff. Itíll be the third highest when the Higgins Center goes up. Thatís gonna be thirty stories high. With a mall. Iíve got a piece of that one, too, but this one? Strictly my baby. They laughed at Trump when he said he was gonna fix the economy, but itís working. Itís working.í Billy has no interest in Trump or Trumpís economy, but he studies the building with professional interest.
    - three references: a pro-Trump statement from a supporting character, with no interest from the main character. "Hoff" is cast as a somewhat negative character, but not because of his politics - he is an inexperienced participant adding risk to a dangerous endeavour involving more experienced characters. But he is not depicted as being stupid nor nefarious; he's just a "civilian" in a professional enterprise.

    And he doesnít like what Hoff is doing in this. Aside from Hoff being too out front after the deal goes down, thereís something Nickís not telling him. Maybe that doesnít matter. Maybe it does. As Trump says at least once a day, Who knows?
    - Could be interpreted as snide, but it's pretty weak. This one did stand out to me as gratuitous, I concede.

    Before bed, he unboxes his AllTech laptop, powers it up, and googles Ken Hoff. Heís quite the mover and shaker in Red Bluff. Heís an Elk. Heís in Rotary. He was president of the local Jaycees chapter. Chairman of the local Republican Party during the 2016 election cycle, and thereís a picture of pre-beard scruff Ken wearing a red MAGA hat. He was on the city planning board but stepped down in 2018 after accusations of conflict of interest. He owns half a dozen downtown buildings, including the Gerard Tower, which Billy supposes makes him a kind of Donald Trump Mini-Me. He owns three TV stations, one here in Red Bluff and two in Alabama.
    - Reference to the same character, mostly just adding a bit of color to a flatly descriptive paragraph.

    He is stunned to discover that Paul and Denise Ragland voted for Hillary Clinton and canít stand Trump, who they call ĎPresident Crybaby.í Proving once more, Billy supposes as he walks home, that you canít judge a man by his wifebeater.
    - Okay, this one I can see as snarky. I'm not sure it's aimed at Trump supporters or Trump directly, but it's definitely a swipe in that direction. But there's no follow-up. The next Trump reference is 100 pages further in the book.


    All I can say is: judge for yourself. If I were particularly sensitive to criticisms about Trump or Trump supporters, I might take offense at one of the five references; my own reaction would most likely be to snort derisively and keep reading, though.

    HBJ
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  8. #33
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    I like Holly, but find the investigate crimes, supernatural tendencies, find and kill a little formulaic, but I like Kings writing so I will read.

    Someone mentioned Roland, and Iím not sure why I went to this thought, but wouldnít surprise me that one day, she may end up a gunslinger of sorts.

    Iíd like her stories to be a little less frequent, but heís the boss.
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by St. Troy View Post
    Specific occasional jabs are one thing; ongoing fixation with the specific individual about whom his side of the political spectrum has obsessed for 6 years is another.
    People are always fixated on whoever the president is. King has done a few digs at Trump but he hasn't written an entire novel with a Trump analogue yet like he did with Bush and Cheney.

    Quote Originally Posted by St. Troy View Post
    Homophobia isnít political (those who disagree on gay marriage agree that violence against gay people is unacceptable); it only becomes political if/when one side tars the other with imagined support for it.
    Having gay characters experiencing homophobia period has been deemed political. I.E. it's with the Christian Right it's "the gay agenda". People were writing negative reviews for Elevation because it was "political" even though it was probably the most softball thing King ever wrote with as much edge as a butterknife. But hey, it's a lesbian couple experiencing prejudice, why does King have to go 'woke' etc,

    Quote Originally Posted by St. Troy View Post
    While abortion battle lines do tend to follow political positions, as you note, those that attacked the clinic didnít do so because they were conservative, they did so because they were terrorists (not to mention under the influence of "higher level beings" that manipulated characters in order to ensure the death of a particular character).
    Even if you are looking at it from as neutral perspective positive (I.e. they're being influenced by a cosmic force to kill someone) you still have pro-life activists attacking an abortion center. One of the main antagonists beats the crap out of his wife because she signed a pro-abortion petition.

    If King wrote, in 2021, the same exact book in response to what's going on right now in Texas and the Supreme Court I have no doubt that the people who think King is too political and riding the woke train would attack him for it.


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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunchback Jack View Post
    For my own interest, I looked up the first five references to Trump in Billy Summers.

    I assume these five passages were the five mentioned; I am reading these on Kindle so I don't know the page numbers, but the last one is 12% in which would be about 50 pages.

    Spoiler tags, as I don't want to beat the dead horse even deader:
    Spoiler:

    Nick wants to know how Billyís trip in was. Billy says it was fine but doesnít say where he flew in from and Nick doesnít ask. Nick says how about that fuckin Trump and Billy says how about him. Thatís about all theyíve got, but itís okay because by then Macintosh is back with two tall glasses on a tray, and once he leaves, Nick gets down to business.
    - A generic snide comment about Trump from one character, with a non-committal response from the protagonist. There's literally no follow-up.

    ĎThat building across the street is mine,í Hoff says. ĎOnly twenty-two stories, but good enough to make it the second highest in Red Bluff. Itíll be the third highest when the Higgins Center goes up. Thatís gonna be thirty stories high. With a mall. Iíve got a piece of that one, too, but this one? Strictly my baby. They laughed at Trump when he said he was gonna fix the economy, but itís working. Itís working.í Billy has no interest in Trump or Trumpís economy, but he studies the building with professional interest.
    - three references: a pro-Trump statement from a supporting character, with no interest from the main character. "Hoff" is cast as a somewhat negative character, but not because of his politics - he is an inexperienced participant adding risk to a dangerous endeavour involving more experienced characters. But he is not depicted as being stupid nor nefarious; he's just a "civilian" in a professional enterprise.

    And he doesnít like what Hoff is doing in this. Aside from Hoff being too out front after the deal goes down, thereís something Nickís not telling him. Maybe that doesnít matter. Maybe it does. As Trump says at least once a day, Who knows?
    - Could be interpreted as snide, but it's pretty weak. This one did stand out to me as gratuitous, I concede.

    Before bed, he unboxes his AllTech laptop, powers it up, and googles Ken Hoff. Heís quite the mover and shaker in Red Bluff. Heís an Elk. Heís in Rotary. He was president of the local Jaycees chapter. Chairman of the local Republican Party during the 2016 election cycle, and thereís a picture of pre-beard scruff Ken wearing a red MAGA hat. He was on the city planning board but stepped down in 2018 after accusations of conflict of interest. He owns half a dozen downtown buildings, including the Gerard Tower, which Billy supposes makes him a kind of Donald Trump Mini-Me. He owns three TV stations, one here in Red Bluff and two in Alabama.
    - Reference to the same character, mostly just adding a bit of color to a flatly descriptive paragraph.

    He is stunned to discover that Paul and Denise Ragland voted for Hillary Clinton and canít stand Trump, who they call ĎPresident Crybaby.í Proving once more, Billy supposes as he walks home, that you canít judge a man by his wifebeater.
    - Okay, this one I can see as snarky. I'm not sure it's aimed at Trump supporters or Trump directly, but it's definitely a swipe in that direction. But there's no follow-up. The next Trump reference is 100 pages further in the book.


    All I can say is: judge for yourself. If I were particularly sensitive to criticisms about Trump or Trump supporters, I might take offense at one of the five references; my own reaction would most likely be to snort derisively and keep reading, though.

    HBJ
    To the extent that any politics needs to be included in King's books (and I'm not advocating that), it would have been somewhat more interesting if Billy Summers, as most military vets, had been portrayed as a Trump supporter instead of detractor. At least more realistic and intellectually honest. But King can't write a book in which a sympathetic main character, even an assassin, is portrayed as having any beliefs that differ from King's own. Thus, only anti-Trump types can ever be the good guy. King is trapped in the woke box and can't get out. The message of Elevation was particularly ironic. Basically that everyone should be more open minded and tolerant of other views. Sounds good. But that only applies when others are deemed to have the "correct" beliefs (i.e. the same as King). So the real message is that conservatives must change their views to be accepted or they are evil and racist. It's kind of humorous to promote tolerance and acceptance while constantly berating and demeaning others who have different views as King has done for years now on Twitter.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardX View Post
    So the real message is that conservatives must change their views to be accepted or they are evil and racist. It's kind of humorous to promote tolerance and acceptance while constantly berating and demeaning others who have different views as King has done for years now on Twitter.
    If someone is racist, that's not a "view" to be open minded about. Tolerance means being intolerant of intolerance.

  12. #37
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    If there were to be any covid related political views expressed in the Holly novel, the year it is set in (2020 or 2021) and the administration in charge at that time should have an impact on those views. If they are intellectually honest, that is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Mears View Post
    If there were to be any covid related political views expressed in the Holly novel, the year it is set in (2020 or 2021) and the administration in charge at that time should have an impact on those views. If they are intellectually honest, that is.
    Sure I imagine King will focus on people refusing to take the vaccine and blocking vaccine mandates as being factors in the ongoing pandemic.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mae View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RichardX View Post
    So the real message is that conservatives must change their views to be accepted or they are evil and racist. It's kind of humorous to promote tolerance and acceptance while constantly berating and demeaning others who have different views as King has done for years now on Twitter.
    If someone is racist, that's not a "view" to be open minded about. Tolerance means being intolerant of intolerance.
    That's not the point obviously. The point is King gives the impression that those who have a differing view of politics from him do so only because they are bad people. For example, there are no good Trump supporters in his world. All 70+ million Americans who voted for Trump are white supremacists or uneducated rural hillbillies. You will never encounter a character in King's books who is a decent person and Trump supporter. They will always be depicted in a negative way (i.e. racist or stupid). Obviously, this does not promote the principle of tolerance when you vilify those with differing opinions. Very decent people can have views on abortion, death penalty, immigration, and many other issues that vary from King's without making them evil people. King's definition of tolerance is that others who disagree with him should change their minds. It doesn't work both ways, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Mears View Post
    If there were to be any covid related political views expressed in the Holly novel, the year it is set in (2020 or 2021) and the administration in charge at that time should have an impact on those views. If they are intellectually honest, that is.
    Sure I imagine King will focus on people refusing to take the vaccine and blocking vaccine mandates as being factors in the ongoing pandemic.
    You might be insane if you think vaccine mandates are a good thing.

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    RichardX, I Wonít requote everything youíve posted, but I will say in response that I didnít see much, if any, of this in Billy summers.

    There is almost no discussion about Trump or Trump policies, and where there are, itís just mentioned in passing with no judgment on it. Some characters are described as being Trump supporters or not, but itís not a reflection on their character, and has no relevance to the story or their role in it. The protagonist himself is ambivalent to Trump altogether. He is not pro or anti-. In the one passage where the protagonist appears to be responding to someone elseís comment about Trump, he seems to be mildly opposing an anti-trump sentiment. But it is left ambiguous.


    The idea that someone would throw a book across the room in disgust because of the Trump references is Mind boggling to me. And concerning; the idea that any references to trump in fiction are considered negative if they are not clearly positive is a troubling position for anyone to hold. About any political leader.

    I tend to agree with you that king would never make a Trump supporter a protagonist. But I disagree that the way youíve characterized his writing is reflected in Billy summers. I think the worst example of what youíre talking about is probably Elevation. But in my opinion heís deliberately avoided any preaching in this novel.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfan24 View Post
    You might be insane if you think vaccine mandates are a good thing.
    I personally don't care whether or not you take a vaccine. You reap what you sow. That's not the point I was making.


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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunchback Jack View Post
    RichardX, I Wonít requote everything youíve posted, but I will say in response that I didnít see much, if any, of this in Billy summers.

    There is almost no discussion about Trump or Trump policies, and where there are, itís just mentioned in passing with no judgment on it. Some characters are described as being Trump supporters or not, but itís not a reflection on their character, and has no relevance to the story or their role in it. The protagonist himself is ambivalent to Trump altogether. He is not pro or anti-. In the one passage where the protagonist appears to be responding to someone elseís comment about Trump, he seems to be mildly opposing an anti-trump sentiment. But it is left ambiguous.


    The idea that someone would throw a book across the room in disgust because of the Trump references is Mind boggling to me. And concerning; the idea that any references to trump in fiction are considered negative if they are not clearly positive is a troubling position for anyone to hold. About any political leader.

    I tend to agree with you that king would never make a Trump supporter a protagonist. But I disagree that the way youíve characterized his writing is reflected in Billy summers. I think the worst example of what youíre talking about is probably Elevation. But in my opinion heís deliberately avoided any preaching in this novel.
    My primary criticism with Billy Summers is not the predictable anti-Trump references but the fact that the book is not very good. In fact, some parts are so implausible as to defy belief. I won't go through those in case there are folks who haven't read the book but there are some unintentional laugh out loud moments that makes me wonder if King is living in a time capsule. I think politics plays a role in King's books even when it is not overt. King has put himself in a literary noose with his political rants on Twitter. So he can't explore characters that might not fit his preconceived view of the world. As a result, they become predictable. He has also gotten older and lived the last several decades as a wealthy person making him out of touch. It happens. The Rolling Stones once wrote songs like "Street Fighting Man." After decades of being rich and famous, they wrote "I Got a Brand New Car." I'm a big of King's books going back decades. I'll read even his bad books but he has become a predictable bore in many respects. Some of that is not his fault. Some of it is.

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    The ďpredictable anti-trump referencesĒ arenít there though.

    Honestly, I think your reaction to Kingís snide and snarky tweets might be clouding your judgment about his books. Youíre interpreting any reference to Trump that isnít obviously positive as being an anti-trump political statement. It just isnít, regardless of what the author might personally think.

    I agree with you with much of your criticism about other aspects of the book. Iíve spent a good chunk of the last couple of years reading the Parker novels by Richard Stark, and so the position that Billy Summers put himself into is ludicrously risky. So many things could go wrong.

    But viewing Billy Summers as an anti-trump screed Ė or even with an anti-Trump subtext - is seeing some thing that isnít there, I think. If anything, king seems to be avoiding the whole topic.
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Mears View Post
    You might be insane if you think vaccine mandates are a good thing.
    Then I'm insane and proud of it.

    And it's not that Trump supporters have different views - it's that Trump is an anti-American, anti-democracy wannabe authoritarian. My gosh, the idiot is asking for a recount in TEXAS!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfan24 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Mears View Post
    If there were to be any covid related political views expressed in the Holly novel, the year it is set in (2020 or 2021) and the administration in charge at that time should have an impact on those views. If they are intellectually honest, that is.
    Sure I imagine King will focus on people refusing to take the vaccine and blocking vaccine mandates as being factors in the ongoing pandemic.
    You might be insane if you think vaccine mandates are a good thing.
    Like the ones we already have for things like polio, mumps, rubella, etc...?

    How many vaccines are kids required to have before they can even start school? This is not a new thing.
    Hearts are tough, she said, most times hearts don't break, and I'm sure that's right . . . but what about then? What about who we were then? What about hearts in Atlantis?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Mears View Post
    You might be insane if you think vaccine mandates are a good thing.
    Then I'm insane and proud of it.

    And it's not that Trump supporters have different views - it's that Trump is an anti-American, anti-democracy wannabe authoritarian. My gosh, the idiot is asking for a recount in TEXAS!
    How is asking for a recount "anti-American"? Didn't Al Gore ask for a recount and claim the 2000 election was stolen? Doesn't Hillary suggest to this day that the 2016 election was stolen by Russian collusion? An outlandish and baseless conspiracy theory. It's fine to say this is pointless, but "anti-American"? This is a great example of how the concept of "tolerance" for other views only goes one way. Dems insist that others must be open minded or accept their belief system. But it doesn't work the other way. In fact, anyone who has a differing view is deemed anti-American or bigoted. By definition having differences of opinion is a fundamental principle of democracy and America.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunchback Jack View Post
    Five references in 50 pages is hardly a manifesto...
    Agreed, absolutely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunchback Jack View Post
    ...you should read the book for yourself.
    I definitely will (at some point).
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    Sure I imagine King will focus on people refusing to take the vaccine and blocking vaccine mandates as being factors in the ongoing pandemic.
    Sure he'll mention that - as well as China, the CCP, the virology lab, the NIH, and everyone else who helped foster the virus' growth, and everyone who opposed Trump's protective travel restrictions, right?
    I'll settle for long hair and a smile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwritecode View Post
    Like the ones we already have for things like polio, mumps, rubella, etc...?
    No, not like those, actually: COVID vaccines are experimental ones in emergency use; the others are standards.
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