Steven's Notebook

Look Ma - No Hands!

Recommendations That Ended Well

We may have our differences of opinion but Dave‘s still the Blogfather, having gotten many of us – including me – interested in weblogging with his writing, his offer of EditThisPage, the development of Radio and his enthusiasm in general.

His writing also inspired me to give the Grateful Dead a listen. I’d heard of them of course, and had seen the mobs of fans as they came through Columbia (the Dead often played at Merriweather Post Pavilion) but I never bothered listening to them. My musical taste at the time ran more toward Eddie Van Halen. Today I’m glad to have found that I can visit some of those old concerts that I bypassed years ago. Here’s June 30th, 1985 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD.

Thanks, Dave.

This week, another friend of mine led me to to yet another late discovery. Several years ago, having never read any of Stephen King‘s books, I asked Diane (a big King fan) which book I should start with; she pointed me to The Shining. I couldn’t get through even the second chapter. It hadn’t yet gotten spooky, but I could tell where it was heading and just couldn’t keep going – my own imagination was giving me the heebee-jeebies. I don’t know, maybe I could now. That experience turned me off from trying any other King books.

Anyway… Bryant got me interested in a (to me, anyway) lesser-known work of King’s, the Dark Tower series. I started volume 1, The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book 1), last night. I couldn’t tell where it was heading and just couldn’t not keep going. Those are both good things, the not knowing and the not being able to stop. Fascinating story.

By the way, even if the story itself was crap – which it’s certainly not – King’s introduction, in the ‘revised and expanded’ edition, is something I’d recommend reading anyway. It’s a great look into the mind of a writer who’s been through a lot and who’s smart enough to know that a young writer can’t just avoid their own share of trials.

Thanks, Bryant.

later: see The Dark Tower and Beyond

much later: I did finally read The Shining in 2012, after seeing the movie (can you believe it took me over 30 years to see The Shining?). It was good; much different from the movie. I think I actually prefer Kubrick’s story to King’s. Heresy, I know.

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