I wish I could tell you that I have been a lifelong Stephen King fan, but I can't. Now don't get me wrong, I have never read a Stephen King novel I didn't like--although there have been a few I was mildly disappointed with: Hearts in Atlantis (the first 2/3rds was awesome, the last third unfulfilled), and his endings can be a little dicky at times.
My problem with Stephen King hasn't been his work, but rather his popularity--anything as popular as he is can't possibly be any good, can it? As evidence, think about the big blockbuster films of the last several years: Independence Day, Star Wars (the new trilogy), Pearl Harbor, and the rash of really shitty comic book movies (i.e. The Hulk, Sin City, etc.) Not to mention that dog of a movie, The Return of the King.
It's not surprising that somehow, somewhere, this relationship of popular equals crummy was ingrained in my mind not as post hoc, but as truth. So, I avoided Stephen King for years--popular is bad, so Stephen king must be awful. Then one day I picked up his novel, The Stand, and I have been a fan ever since. Hell, I even liked his much maligned, The Colorado Kid. So it is with some anticipation that I await his next novel, Lisey's Story.
It's long (528 pages), do we expect anything less from King? It is about love and violence with a touch of the paranormal thown in to keep it, well, different. It is due out in October--the end of October--from Scribner in hardcover. I already have a hold on it at my local library. What, you think I can afford 28 bucks? Yeah, right.