Monday, January 18, 2016

Good news for Stephen King fans (Maybe)

A long-awaited video version of Stephen King's fantastic book, "11/22/63" is coming out in February. This is something I have been awaiting since I read the book a few years ago. The book was so good (in my opinion) that I shared it with my wife. Now, Linda and I have very diverse reading tastes. While she prefers softer, more romantic fare, I prefer the more action-oriented stuff. So far, we have read about half of "11/22/63" together while walking. She reads to me while I'm on the treadmill and and vice versa. "11/22/63", if you haven't heard, is a time travel novel about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. Only King could tell a tale about a time traveling school teacher with so many personal, psychological demons going back to Dallas in 1963 to attempt to stop the assassination of Kennedy. "11/22/63" is one of those books that I will read more than once. However, like Jamie Rubin, who wrote about the miniseries, I won't be watching it when it premieres next month. Why? I started to watch a made-for-TV version of another of King's books, "The Stand." I was about a third of the way through the book at the time. I prefer stories that are more gritty than the typical network TV fare. Unfortunately, the video version of "The Stand" I saw was so different from the book that I never finished watching it. One example: In the book, one of the characters becomes pregnant and then has to face her judgmental mother and find comfort from her loving father. In the video version, the mother does not appear, the girl is not pregnant and the parts of the miniseries I saw looked more like a soap opera than an science fiction thriller. If I were King, I would have cashed my royalty checks and then tried to forget I ever let the TV folks have their way with what is, in print, a great, sweeping story. So, that's why I don't want to see "11-22-63" on TV. I hope it is made into a real movie that maintains the integrity of the original story. The Harry Potter movies are a good case in point. They maintain the integrity of the original books, even though it meant dividing "The Deathly Hallows" into two movies that were released months apart. If the Harry Potter books were made for TV, I'm afraid they would more resemble "Sesame Street" than the grand, fantasy stories written by J. K. Rowling. Another reason I probably won't watch the miniseries is that it will be on Hulu. Which is now a pay-service. Yes, I could start my free trial but I just don't think the miniseries will be worth the hassle. Take the advice of this guy who started out in broadcasting and then moved to print media: Pick up "11/22/63" for your Kindle or Kindle app and enjoy.