Review: ‘Hearts in Suspension’ by Stephen King and Others

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

Hearts in Suspension, by Stephen King.
Stephen King: Hearts in Suspension.

Hearts in Suspension by Stephen King
University of Maine Press (November 7, 2016)
370 pages; $30.00 hardcover
Reviewed by Bev Vincent

In his new introduction to “Hearts in Atlantis,” included in Hearts in Suspension from the University of Maine Press, Stephen King says that the sixties were probably the most crucial and formative period of his life. This collection of essays (and the one piece of fiction) focuses primarily on a four-year period starting in the fall of 1966 and ending in 1970, shortly after the shootings at Kent State. These were turbulent times in America, and influential years for the students attending the University of Maine in Orono (UMO).Continue Reading

What I Learned from Stephen King: 'The Long Walk' of Life

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The Long Walk of Life

longwalkart1BEFORE THE WALK

I was having brunch with a friend of mine on a recent Sunday, a horror film actress in fact, who asked: Do you really think there’s anything spiritual about Stephen King’s books?

The question was served cold with a heaping side of skepticism, and it took me slightly off guard. It’s not the first time I have been asked the question since starting this column three short months ago, and I’m always somewhat alarmed by it.

When asked, the first thing that springs to my mind is self-doubt: What if I’m wrong? What if there really is nothing spiritual about Stephen King’s stories and I’m just grasping at straws here? What if I’ve doomed myself to write a monthly column about… nothing? The writer’s worst nightmare.  Continue Reading

News From The Dead Zone #86

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Stephen King will appear on ABC’s Nightline tonight at 11:35 P.M. (EST). If you miss it, the full interview transcript will be at  ABCNEWS.com after the show airs. “If I can make you feel for my characters, and if you worry that something will happen to them instead of rooting for something to happen to them, for their head to be blown off, or for Freddy to get them with his nails, then I got something going,” King tells Jake Tapper.

Publisher Donald M. Grant posted an updated last week about their new edition of the revised version of The Gunslinger combined with Little Sisters of Eluria. “We have now received from Michael all the additional art for the book and can start working on design and production. Price, schedule and other details have not been set and when further information is available it will be posted on our website and published in our newsletter. We expect that this will be announced in the beginning of 2008.” This book will be called Little Sisters of Eluria.

TMZ.com posted a video of King greeting fans before the New York premiere of The Mist when someone asks him to autograph their daughter’s diaper. Saying he had “changed a few” in his day, King happily obliges, but the kid throws a fit. Here are some video highlights from the press conference where King and Darabont field questions about The Mist, a quick text recap of the high points and a link where you can listen to the interview. Fangoria magazine says “not only is The Mist intelligent, thoughtful and empathetic toward its characters, it is proudly and unashamedly a horror movie through and through. Darabont has scored his third successful King adaptation in a row, and there’s nothing hazy about his intention this time to scare the hell out of all of us.” Wandering through the Mist is an interview with Darabont and Marcia Gay Harden. Here is the third trailer.

Darabont tells MTV about his hopes to adapt The Long Walk. “It’s a hard story to pitch to a studio. Because they say ‘well what’s it about?’ Well it is about a bunch of kids walking and talking – uh okay. The thing I keep thinking about is that these guys never stop moving. So, I how do you get a really good close up. It would be an interesting challenge to not have people get just sick of watching the image because of all the movements. So, I think that there are certain rigs that stabilize the image even more so than a steady cam,” he revealed. “But [overall] I think a lot of run and gun, a lot of the guerrilla approach that I applied on The Mist. It will again be letting those ragged edges show.”

Hodder & Stoughton are offering you a unique opportunity to design the advertising for Duma Key. “The winning designer will see their work in print on the London Underground and in city centres and have a hand in promoting a fantastic book by an internationally-renowned author.” The competition is open to anyone. Further information on the competition is available at www.stephenking.co.uk. Deadline for entry is December 7, 2007.

News From The Dead Zone #74

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

It’s been a couple of weeks since the last update, partly because I was away at NECON and partly because there hasn’t been a lot of news to warrant an update. Since today is the release day of the final installation of Gunslinger Born, I thought I’d catch you up on all the little things that have arisen in the interim.

King introduces three of the page-turners he selected for The Best American Short Stories 2007 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre in NY on October 10 at 7:30 pm. Each story delivers what King says he wants all stories to convey: a “sense of emotional involvement, of flipped-out amazement…like a big hot meteor screaming down from the Kansas sky.” Tickets available here.

John Mellencamp was in New York last week to attend workshop performances of The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the musical play he’s written with King.

Here’s a new description of Duma Key, due out Jan 22, 2008:

Duma Key is the engaging, fascinating story of a man who discovers an incredible talent for painting after a freak accident in which he loses an arm. He moves to a ‘new life’ in Duma Key, off Florida’s West Coast; a deserted strip, part beach, part weed-tangled, owned by a patroness of the arts whose twin sisters went missing in the 1920s.Duma Key is where out-of-season hurricanes tears lives apart and a powerful undertow lures lost and tormented souls. Here Freemantle is inspired to paint the amazing sunsets. But soon the paintings become predictive, even dangerous. Freemantle knows the only way forward is to discover what happened to the twin sisters — and what is the secret of the strange old lady who holds the key?

The story is about friendship, about the bond between a father and his daughter. And about memory, truth and art. It is also is a metaphor for the life and inspiration of a writer, and an exploration of the nature, power and influence of fiction.

If you haven’t had a chance to get to the comic shop yet, here’s a preview of Issue 7 of Gunslinger Born. The Gunslinger’s Guidebook is also supposed to come out today, but I’ve heard rumors that a binding error might delay its delivery. Lilja reports that the title of the second story arc is The Long Road Home. The first issue in that arc will be released in February 2008.

Here is an audio recording of The Mist presentation done at Comic-Con last week. Director Frank Darabont revealed that he plans to adapt The Long Walk once he has completed Fahrenheit 451. Since he doesn’t have a script for The Long Walk yet, I think it’s a safe bet we’re a couple of years away from production on that movie.

Eli Roth told Comic-Con that his adaptation of Cell is on hold. The script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski has yet to be completed and he is currently at work on a movie full of fake movie trailers. Roth hopes to enlist King’s help in a cameo role when he finally gets around to making Cell.

Ghost Hunters: Live From the Shining Hotel, which originally aired on SciFi last May, will be released on DVD on October 9, 2007 and is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com. Jason, Grant and the Ghost Hunters team revisit the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado for a live Halloween-night investigation.

Yet another King movie is getting the “special edition” DVD treatment. On October 2, a new Collector’s Edition DVD of Misery is coming from MGM Home Video through Fox Home Video. The disc will include a new audio commentary by director Rob Reiner and scripter William Goldman, plus additional behind-the-scenes material.

Rocky Wood warns about a new book showing up that is written by Stephen King…just not that Stephen King. The book is A Master Class in Brand Planning.

Have you been keeping up with The Dead Zone on USA? Season 6 has taken a number of interesting twists and I’m enjoying it. The new sheriff is a handful and Johnny and Sarah are finally getting to pick up where they left off over a decade earlier. Production moved to Montreal, and I’m seeing some influences from that move in the scenery and guest actors.