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They may be pulling in big bucks, but don’t count Stephen King among the legions of Twilight, Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey fans.
The iconic horror author, whose newest book, Doctor Sleep, is a sequel to 1977’s The Shining, took aim at Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins and EL James and their respective book series in a new interview with the U.K.’s The Guardian.
In his remarks, King calls Twilight “tweenager porn,” implies that The Hunger Games is dull and derivative and disagrees with Fifty Shades‘ “mommy porn” categorization.
Speaking about Twilight, King said that the books are “really not about vampires and werewolves. They’re about how the love of a girl can turn a bad boy good.” Still, the 65-year-old opted to read the latest buzzy titles out of a professional interest.
“I read Twilight and didn’t feel any urge to go on with her. I read The Hunger Games and didn’t feel an urge to go on. It’s not unlike [my novel] The Running Man, which is about a game where people are actually killed and people are watching: a satire on reality TV. I read Fifty Shades of Grey and felt no urge to go on. They call it mommy porn, but it’s not really mommy porn. It is highly charged, sexually driven fiction for women who are, say, between 18 and 25.” he said.
He also rejected the popular opinion that we’re currently in a golden age of horror.
“A golden age of horror? I wouldn’t say it is. I can’t think of any books right now that would be comparable to The Exorcist,” he said.
King did have kind words for Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, calling her non-Potter debut, The Casual Vacancy, “fabulous.”
“Do you remember Tom Sharpe? It’s a bit like that. And it’s a bit like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? It’s f—ing nasty. And I love it,” he said. “The center of the book is a dinner party from hell and you say to yourself, ‘These little people in the town of Pagford are a microcosm not just of British society, but Western society as a whole, of a certain class.’ The fact that she set it around this little election that nobody cares about in a shit little town is fabulous. She’s a wonderful storyteller and the writing is better than in any of the Harry Potter books, because it’s sharper.”
Doctor Sleep, King’s Shining follow-up, is out Tuesday, Sept. 24, and follows Danny Torrance, the boy from The Shining, as an alcoholic adult.
To read King’s full interview with The Guardian, click here.
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