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Stephen King Comments on JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer

Celebs on HP
Posted by: sue
February 03, 2009, 07:52 PM

Scores of readers let us know about a new interview with acclaimed author Stephen King, who has made some new comments regarding Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. Speaking with USA Weekend, Mr. King compared the two authors and had some blunt things to say about the Twilight author Meyer. Quotage as follows:

Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. ... The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good."

"Somebody who’s a terrific writer who’s been very, very successful is Jodi Picoult. You’ve got Dean Koontz, who can write like hell. And then sometimes he’s just awful. It varies. James Patterson is a terrible writer but he’s very very successful. People are attracted by the stories, by the pace and in the case of Stephenie Meyer, it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books. It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it's not particularly threatening because they’re not overtly sexual. A lot of the physical side of it is conveyed in things like the vampire will touch her forearm or run a hand over skin, and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that’s a shorthand for all the feelings that they’re not ready to deal with yet."

Thanks to everyone who emailed!

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28 Points

I did read all of the Twilight series and the 1st book keeps you wanting to read it and there is a great fascination with the relationship of the vampires. The problem for me with her books is that while Jo’s writing got better and better, Meyers’ writing just seemed to get more outlandish and irritating. By the 4th book I knew this series could never hope to attain the quality as far as excellent writing and storytelling that Harry Potter series has accomplished. No comparison. But the Twilight stories are great for teenage girls and that is who her audience really is.

Posted by zimmie02 on February 04, 2009, 05:26 AM report to moderator
2840 Points


Posted by scionofslytherin [FTC!] on February 04, 2009, 05:28 AM report to moderator
224 Points

I have to agree with Stephen King although he was a little blunt…I’ve read the Twilight books but I wouldn’t read them twice,that’s how I tell good books from not so good ones apart,it’s been so many years and I can’t grow tired of any Harry Potter book,I just read them over and over again!!!

Posted by scarymissmary28[WBM!] on February 04, 2009, 05:32 AM report to moderator
516 Points

This is probably spot on.
Stephanie Meyer has gained heaps of readers because she specifically targets a particular audience, in this case stupid teenage girls, and caters the themes to suit this audience.
However JK’s huge reading audiences come largely because of the high quality of her writing <3

Posted by Emily on February 04, 2009, 05:52 AM report to moderator

What’s with all these ‘points’ boxes that obscure half of people’s text?

I agree that JKR is a terrific writer. I can’t comment on Meyer as I have not read her work, but from what I’ve read of reviews and film it does look like her books appeal to girls in a romancy kind of way,which puts me off instantly.The thing about JKR is that her boks are so good that they appeal to all ages, even though they are written for children.

Posted by anne1 on February 04, 2009, 05:57 AM report to moderator
749 Points

Wow, Stephen opens up the bag of worms! Well, I’ve read all the Twilight books – nice fluffy read for the holidays – but I will never obsess about them. My daughter on the other hand… I am not showing this to her, her 13 year old brain might explode. ;-)

Posted by TarsieS (FTC) on February 04, 2009, 06:12 AM report to moderator
993 Points


Posted by DobbyandWinky WBM!!! on February 04, 2009, 06:20 AM report to moderator
85 Points

I hate to bring it up, but J.K. Rowling wasn’t that great in PS.

Posted by Prof_Tofty on February 04, 2009, 06:23 AM report to moderator
2482 Points

I LOVE Stephen King.. god, if a writer so famous says that about Meyer…
Well, I completely agree with him. LOL

Posted by ele0206 -ROAR- on February 04, 2009, 06:28 AM report to moderator
40 Points

Considering nearly 20% of Americans are illiterate, Meyer could be a reletively good writer. The point is, her stories are extremely shallow and superficial. That dont have the substance that Jo’s stories have. Thank you Stephen King for saying it finally!! By the way, Harry Potter, is not a childrens story!!

Posted by NoxNiveus on February 04, 2009, 06:37 AM report to moderator
285 Points

I don’t think he really did anything wrong here. In terms of pure and honest criticism, he, as an incredibly successful writer, has the right to perhaps comment on his peers. If his synopsis of Stephanie Mayer is that she’s not a very good writer (A fact that she openly admits to), then why is it such a big deal? There were people who thought that Tolkien couldn’t write worth a darn either, because of his heavy emphasis on description.

I’m in no way comparing Stephanie Mayer to Tolkien, but I’m saying that he has a write to criticize whoever he likes.

Posted by Brad Ausrotas on February 04, 2009, 06:44 AM report to moderator
2702 Points

Thank You, Mr.King, you saved my day too! :D

Posted by Mairéad on February 04, 2009, 06:44 AM report to moderator
544 Points

I think it’s a bit harsh. I read the books and they were ok, I liked the first one a lot, the rest not that much. But I think that “can’t write worth a darn” bit is a bit harsh.

Posted by Alatarielle on February 04, 2009, 06:58 AM report to moderator
598 Points

Alex Carpenter said it well when he commented that Twilight was like pop music – catchy and fun but not the artistic craftsmanship and literary worthy of Potter. I enjoyed the Twilight books but i agree that they are not nearly as well-written as scores of other books out there.

Posted by Sally_Zaar on February 04, 2009, 07:03 AM report to moderator
131 Points

Oh, this is wonderful. The books are a good quick read if you can get into the swing of it and follow the storyline, but if you start actually looking at the writing, it can get pretty bad. I’m glad that i’m not the only one that thinks this.

Posted by HannahLongbottom on February 04, 2009, 07:09 AM report to moderator
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