I never "got" Bradbury, really, and I can't figure out whether I should have done so naturally or not, since I'm not American. I do suspect it may be a failing on my part, as is so much else.
The odd thing is that I think the closest cultural equivalent we have here in England is actually Chetwynd-Hayes, and it took me until I was well into my late 30s before I appreciated his (early, at least, and imo best) work.
I think there's some truth in that rather startling comparison! Karl E Wagner and Charles L. Grant ran some of RCH's shorts in Years Best Horror and Shadows respectively, but his weird horror fiction doesn't seem to have travelled too well (in the case of his later work, it barely made it out of the front door). Stephen Jones has been touting a 'Best Of' as a forthcoming publication for seemingly ages, but personally, i reckon a far more fitting tribute would be the reissue of The Unbidden, Cold Terror, Terror By Night, The Monster Club and Tales Of Fear & Fantasy, the latter if only 'cause i still ain't turned up a copy.
i've a lot of time for King, too, though, as with James Herbert, haven't really felt inclined to pick up anything he's had published this side of the millenium (think the last two i read were Dolores Clairbourne and Gerald's Game). Pet Sematary is my personal favourite, with Salem's Lot, Carrie, The Shining and the non-fiction Danse Macabre - his sprawling love letter to horror in all it's guises - not so far behind. The Night Shift, [/i]Skeleton Crew[/i] and Nightmares & Dreamscapes collections are perhaps on the patchy side, but when they're good (whatever that is) they sure keep me entertained. i've made a few attempts on The Stand and just ran out of stamina, and Christine goes wobbly in the middle with that jarring change of perspective, but then he's been the first to take the piss out of his own work (the schoolkid befriends/ blackmails former SS officer novella, Apt Pupil - which i liked - is, according to him, a particularly hideous manifestation of his "literary elephantiasis").
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
i've a lot of time for King, too, though, as with James Herbert, haven't really felt inclined to pick up anything he's had published this side of the millenium ... i've made a few attempts on The Stand and just ran out of stamina, and Christine goes wobbly in the middle with that jarring change of perspective, .
Couldn´t have said it better. Have exactley the same experience. The last one I bought - and never read - was Bag of Bones. I have a beautiful hardcover edition of The Stand, but this isn´t a novel you can read often, and I already had it years ago as a paperback. And saw the tv-adaption. I got stuck after 100 pages.
I was a huge fan, adored things like Danse macabre or The Shining, but somehow I fell out of love, and I don´t know why. It just happened. I guess it is me and not him
On the other hand, things like Rose Red just annoy me; no other writer could have done this Best of Haunted Houses tour. If you spend half the time mentally ticking off where he "hommaged" other haunted house movies something isn´t right. The credits should have read "based on concepts by Richard Matheson, Shirly Jackson and other".
And don´t get me started on the rest of his Dark Tower