Having already thoroughly exhausted the topic of movies and their bad sequels it gets us thinking about books and their sequels. I am not referring to books that are part of a series of books — such as the Harry Potter series. Rather, I mean books where the author does not intend a second book from the beginning and then opts to do so years later. This is especially the case when the second book doesn’t seem to have anything in common with the first other than its name or a good public relations firm.
Having said this, I would like to remind us of a time long ago when Stephen King’s book The Shining was a newly published book. Stephen King was an up and coming author and the book, about a writer struggling to get some writing done despite a full assault from spirits and the hotel in which he is staying with his family. This was thirty four years ago — the year I was born.
Fast forward to today. There have been thirty four beautiful years of having nothing but the original novel, The Shining, in print for fans of Stephen King’s work, specifically for fans of the fantastic novel itself. I have no idea what it was — the success of such books as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — itself an insult to the brilliant Pride and Prejudice — or something else, but suddenly, the need for a sequel to The Shining must have arisen because Stephen King is currently writing not just a sequel but one that involves vampires.
It is quite true that lately, vampires have been extremely popular thanks to the Sookie Stackhouse book series as well as the Twilight book series. I would not have thought this would have influenced the extremely creative King to want to take a perfectly good book and make another book that has little to no hope of being any good — not to mention little to no connection to the book for which it is allegedly a sequel.
I feel that it is really too bad that there are sequels like this being written — the only thing that I can think to suggest is to just not buy bad sequels.
I love the argument, Gordon, but Stephen King is notorious for fiddling with his work. He had the original movie adaptation of The Shining — even though it was a brilliant adaptation — and in 1997 he pushed for a TV mini-series remake with Steven Weber in the Jack Nicholson role so King could finally be happy with the adaptation… because he wrote the teleplay himself:
The remake of The Shining was just awful and unwatchable.
That makes sense, David — I wonder why he tries to fix what isn’t broken?
I haven’t enjoyed Kings work over the last couple of years so I will admit I am a little wary of this book. Hopefully he is doing it for the right reasons & has a great idea that will make this a return to form for him.
Good point — but what would you consider to be the right reasons?