King included quite a writeup on "Something Wicked This Way Comes" in his book "Danse Macabre." However Ray's influence may have taken effect on King, it's obvious there was some. What else they have in common: Stephen King was born in 1947, same year as publication of Ray's first book, and: I've been to both their houses. Okay, at King's house I just stood out on the sidewalk and wasn't asked in...but...I was there! They both have unusual color houses. Ray's is yellow and King's is red!
Posts: 2694 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001
There is no doubt that King is an admirer of Ray - even if his work is not really in the same vein. DANSE MACABRE makes many praising references to Ray. "My first experience of real horror came at the hands of Ray Bradbury," King writes, and describes how as a boy he listened with delightful terror to a radio play of 'Mars is Heaven'. King also comments on how Bradbury is peerless: "But for me, Bradbury lives and works alone in his own country, and his remarkable, iconoclastic style has never been successfully imitated. Vulgarly put, when God made Ray Bradbury, He broke the mold." Elements of Bradbury's work (especially of the earlier, darker stories) can be seen in King's work - sometimes in theme (eg. the dark flipside of human nature, the way that evil is sometimes the victor), and sometimes in style (eg. black humour, eerie & surreal landsapes). To anyone who reads both authors, the influence is clear. Though King is undoubtedly a talented storyteller, however, he certainly is not the stylist, the magician, the linguistic acrobat that Bradbury is.
Posts: 79 | Location: Tomerong, NSW, Australia | Registered: 16 February 2002
I agree with crumley somewhat. I recall reading Danse Macabre and some of King's comments. He seemed to be interested in the wrong things such as what Jim was looking at when up in the tree. I think this speaks volumes of how incredibly different these authors are. King would most likely focus more on the details of the scene rather than the reactions of the kids to it. King squeezes all the rottenness out of life, raises it like a dope with a dead skunk, and runs at you. I haven't read anything of King's that has any redeeming value. I have a hard time remembering anything than how the stories had potential and end to my dismay. Again, I turn to Mr. Bradbury for his tales of morality. This topic has been raised constantly. Most probably because it is true.
all of king's work is not the "pet cemetery" type horror stuff. some of it is completely opposite - look at "Shawshank Redemption", "Stand By Me" and "The Green Mile" - all of which have major moralistic undertones in them. and then there are some that are just old fashioned creepy like "The Mist". while the majority of king's well-known work is the horror stories, he writes other things too and it is quite enjoyable. i think it's nice when a writer can write more than one genre and still be effective.
[This message has been edited by tammy (edited 09-10-2003).]
Posts: 24 | Location: Enid, OK, USA | Registered: 02 May 2002
Today, I was re-reading portions of my copy of Stephen King's fine non-fiction study of horror, DANSE MACABRE, a book I had not looked at for some time. As noted above, there is a lengthy discussion of Ray Bradbury's SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES in King's book. Here is what King wrote as that discussion came to an end: [SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES] succeeds wonderfully and becomes one of those books about childhood...that adults should take down once in a while...not just to give to their own children, but in order to touch base again themselves with childhood's brighter perspectives and darker dreams."