Stephen King Endings (Spoilers!)

Well I don’t know if I’m going to get a smackdown from the mods for two different book threads on the front page, but it’s a different author!

I love Stephen King. In one of his intros, he talks about bad trash and good trash in books, and that’s what King is to me - good trash. It’s not serious books, but I can pick it up and finish it in a couple of days. My hunger for reading is satisfied, and I’ve been entertained.

However, does anyone else feel sometimes his endings are weak? Let’s see:

It. The monster was a spider? How unoriginal! And the gangbang? Made me distinctively uncomfortable. (Don’t get me wrong, I like sex in books, but this seemed so inappropriate). I thought I was the only one until I noticed someone else on this message board comment on it. The whole forgetting home wasn’t great, either.

The Stand. What a godamn unbelievable ending to an otherwise great book. After all the heroism, the strength, the faith the good guys exhibit, the bad guy is defeated by what comes down basically to an accident? WTF? Even Nadine was brave and it was all for nothing, if everything was just going to get blown up by the giant God-figure.

Christine. The smashing up of the car was good, but there was a lame-ass attempt to make it seem like Christine might still be out there, somewhere. Searching. She was crushed into a cube, it ain’t happenin’.

The girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. It wasn’t a real monster? It was just a bear?

The Green Mile. An excellent book, but he just gets older, and older, and older…

Hearts in Atlantis. I am willing to acknowledge I didn’t get it because I wasn’t born until '75.

Insomnia. Loved this book - but the ending got VERY confusing.

Salem’s Lot. Altogether stupid ending, I think.

Well I could go through a whole lot more of his collection. I think sometimes he succeeds - Pet Sematary I think was an excellent ending and got me started on him in the first place. But it seems more often than not, he screws it up.

Anyone else with me this far?

(I realized looking at the website, how much of his stuff I really have read, including the short stories. The only thing I haven’t touched is the Dark Tower stuff.)

In Christine, it is assumed that the cube managed to repair itself. At the end of the movie at least, you can see some of the metal shifting around.

Cujo: The baseball bat was lying right there and it took Donna Trenton three days of watching her son die to finally get out of the car and beat the dog to death? She could have done that after day one! Instead she watches a cop die and sees her son convulse on numerous occassions before dehydrating to death.

I’ve only seen parts of the movie for Christine. At least it’s explained better. In the book you just read about him hearing about a death, and he assumes it’s Christine coming for him.

Oh yeah, Cujo. Was that supposed to be scary? It’s rabies! The dog wasn’t possessed, or anything! It was just pathetic.

Rose Madder, for me, was a bit of a letdown, and I am a HUGE King fan.

I didn’t understand where her rage came from, and how it was tied to the pomegrante seeds.

Actually, there were some parts in the book that mentioned the vague possibility that Cujo was possessed by the ghost of Frank Dodd (from The Dead Zone), and that the monster in Tad’s closet was Frank Dodd (I read in The Stephen King Universe that the Trenton’s bought the old Dodd place, but I don’t know if that was ever said in the book). It would have been neat if King had kept going with that theme as an odd sequel to The Dead Zone, but he didn’t.

Or some fool recycled the metal from the cube and made car parts.

That’s because the movie changed method of regeneration. Christine could repair herself without any help but in the book, she had to be pushed.

Dennis assumed it was Christine coming for him because the death he heard about had been the bully who escaped. He was the victim of a hit & run while inside a movie theater.

I agree wholeheartedly - the guy suffers from a particular weakness of the genre, namely that the monster’s always a lot scarier before you get a good look at it. I’ll admit, The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon was scaring the crap out of me until at the end you gotta bring it out into the light, and then it’s going to be “Oh, it was just a bear” or “Oh, it was just a spider” or whatever - even “Oh, it was just a giant radioactive lizard” is lacking, because the giant radioactive lizard in your head was much scarier.

I propose The Shining as another without a weak ending.

But it makes me really, really worried about the Dark Tower books - I’ve been reading them and waiting for him to hurry up since I was 11, and I know the longer you go with these things, how it gets even harder to come up with an ending that dosen’t seem lame. And I fear I see interstellar turtles in my future. <sob>

It was the guy who worked as a security guard in the parking garage Arty left Christine. He allowed the bullies in to vandalize the car.

Well, keep in mind, It wasn’t really a spider. That was just the closest that the Loser’s Club’s brains could get to interpreting the creature into something they could comprehend.

What scared me is that It was a she and She was pregnant. What the hell impregnated Her?

Okay, he was an accomplice then; I haven’t read the book in quite a while. I am right about him being killed in an apparent hit & run while he was working at a movie theater refreshment stand, yes?

In The Long Walk, my favorite Stephen King story, what happened at the end? Did he just literally try to run away from the Major, or did he die (as a friend of mine thinks).

How did Stebbins die? He’s walking along with hardly any warning and then just dies of a broken neck. Huh?

Jeff Olsen: Yes, you are right about the drive-in.

ivylass: It just frustrated me that he bought into the idea that everyone is afraid of spiders. In my house, I squash spiders for my boyfriend. Now if it had been a giant centipede with hairy legs and a bitter attitude, I probably would have left the room screaming. Also I have Rose Madder at home now and I am intrigued…pomengranate seeds?

Zsofia, I loved The Shining. man they really ruined the ending in the movie though, huh? I haven’t tried the *Dark Tower * books because I simply couldn’t wait for him to finish writing them. I try really hard not to read works-in-progress for this very reason.

Rabid Child: I did kind of pick up on it, but it seemed almost forced - for us to believe that the dog was more than just a dog.

Dolores Claiborne was one that I didn’t think I’d like when I picked it up but slowly got dragged into it, and ended up really liking it.

Don’t do it. With every fiber of my being, I implore you to not read that book. Give it to charity. Balance that wobbling dining room table with it. Wallpaper the bathroom with it. Pack the 2nd set of china with it. Do anything except read that book.

I believe it was the first book King wrote after he quit using cocaine. It’s horrendous. It suffers from a severe lack of coherency. You’ll finish that book, and be angry at words for the next week.

It. Sucked all the way through if you ask me, and I am a big fan of King’s.

The Stand. I like the Stand. It’s true that everyone in the book is exhibiting bravery or whatnot, then the hand of God just fixes everything up, but couldn’t you think of it as God working through the characters the way some people believe happens in real life?
It reminds me of the end of the Wizard of Oz, when Glenda reveals that Dorothy could have gone home all along. Well, it would have been a short, boring story that way, and Dorothy would never have realized that there’s no place like home.
In the Stand, Glen, Stu, Larry, etc. didn’t just profess faith in Mother Abagail’s God; they had to put their money where their mouth was. I think that was the point.

Christine. The whole thing was weak.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. It would have been better as a straightforward girl-gets-lost-in-the-woods story. I wish Stevie didn’t think supernatural weirdness was required in every book he writes! Cujo likewise.

The Green Mile. An excellent book.

Hearts in Atlantis. Too much weirdness, though parts of it are excellent. Other parts relate to the Dark Tower, so if you aren’t getting something, maybe that’s why.

Insomnia. See Hearts in Atlantis comment.

Dreamcatcher. Suckfest. I don’t even remember how it ended and I’m not likely to put myself through that again to find out! Ditto Rose Madder.

On the other hand, Misery had one of the better denouements that I’ve read in any popular fiction.

I think Stebbins just gave out. I don’t recall anything to do with a broken neck. And Garraty started to run. I think he lived many years after the Walk; what those years were like, I have no idea.

I think the walk may have drove him insane. At the very least, he hallucinated the figure that was beckoning him to continue.

I liked it. I don’t think I’ll read Black House again, but that’s just me.

RM is a good book about a woman who escapes from her abusive husband, albeit via Kingmode. So there’s a lot of weird stuff. But the end with the rage and the fox and her kits and the pomegrante seeds came out of nowhere, and I didn’t understand it.

Another of her species, I imagine. She wasn’t indigenous to this planet, remember. She might also have been autogamous. Hard to tell.

A lot of his books end with everything going up in a big explosion of supernaturality:

Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Stand, Firestarter, It, The Tommyknockers, Needful Things, and Insomnia (not to mention a number of his short stories, like The Mangler, for one) climax with more or less all hell breaking loose. It was kinda cool the first few times, but by Needful Things, where it was particularly egregious, you realized that he just didn’t know how to bring the damn stories to a halt.