Horror maestro Stephen King is no stranger to politics.
King routinely flexes his progressive positions on social media, echoing the Democrats’ talking points du jour.
Ted. Please be quiet for a little while. Even three or four days would be a relief. https://t.co/ihZEZA1XTa
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 29, 2023
He also brings his political musings to his stories.
“Under the Dome” mocked President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. “Insomnia” touched on anti-abortion protesters, with a clear nod toward a woman’s right to abort their unborn babies.
Christians are one of King’s favorite targets, from “Carrie” to “The Mist.”
His latest novel, “Holly,” pushes that practice to the limit. NPR calls it one of his most political novels to date.
The book showcases a character first introduced in his novel “Mr. Mercedes” – Holly Gibney. Our heroine is hire to find a client’s missing daughter, a hunt that intersects with a pair of respected professors who harbor some deep, dastardly secrets.
X user Ben Sixsmith shared a snippet from the new novel
From the latest Stephen King. Were people always this insufferably unsubtle? You'd think an experienced, bestselling novelist could cleverly allude to his politics rather than beating you over the head with them like a crowbar. pic.twitter.com/nCJKuKT39b
— Ben Sixsmith (@BDSixsmith) September 9, 2023
The snippets read as if Rob Reiner, who may have the worst case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, took over King’s laptop. The teaser ties into King’s rage against so-called “anti-vaxxers,” MAGA nation and more.
The term “on the nose” rushes to mind. Here’s the far-Left NPR describing the story’s themes:
The Covid-19 pandemic, racism and homophobia, the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Donald Trump’s effect on the country’s zeitgeist and political discourse are all very present in the narrative…
Why buy the book when you can read King’s Tweets?
The tiny sample suggests the author’s Trump obsession is bleeding into his prose in ways that hurt the experience.
Show, don’t tell. Try a feather, not a sledgehammer.
it’s one of the dangers of creating art based on current events. The news is too raw, too recent, and the artist’s emotions can run hotter than necessary. For example, some of the best Vietnam War movies came out in the 1980s, more than a decade after the war ended.
Filmmakers routinely wrap political themes into their art, and the same holds for novels. You don’t have to agree with the points of view in play to cheer their inclusion.
Art often soars by adding complexity to the narrative.
What those “Holly” snippets suggest, sadly, is that King’s TDS is overlapping his considerable gifts.
The conservative American Thinker excoriated both King and “Holly.”
King, America’s premier storyteller of the past 50 years, has never hidden his left-wing political bias. But before the mess that is Holly, King kept himself in check, never making politics central to his story nor demonizing those who do not share his ideology by using fact patterns unmoored from any sort of reality … Since King’s novel Carrie in 1974, I have purchased and read every novel King has written. I will never purchase another.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Holly’s ties to the missing daughter.