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October 14, 1979 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-14
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily-Sunday

Page 2-Sunday, October 14, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Hard

Nox

Books

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Z6A&Y r. v #e-

Stephen King, paperback vN

In 'The Dead Zone,' a promising
story is smothered in the banality of King's
prose.
By Anne Sharp

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A CR OS TIC PUZZLE

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117 K 118

N 119 Q 120 G 121
Q 142 D 143 X 144
V 165 0 166
R 187 .1 18 U 189

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SC 146 G 47 1148

A 145
E 167
B 190

K 103 R 104 105
M 126 B 127 W 128 K 129
V 149 J 150 L 151
172 E 173 I 174
B 194 C 195 P 196

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U - urn

A Venerate
B. Source; root

M. Determined; crooked

5 48 107 67 145 87
7 194 38 127 203 190

59 137 126 25

C. Spanish Civil War (1936-39)
insurgents
D. Growing political philosophy in
Spain after World War I
E. Writing stationery that forms its
own envelope (2 words)
F. Frustrates: losses
G. Leader of the army mutiny that
began the Spanish Civil War
(First and last name)
H. General survey: critically
examine
. Desire; inclination;
disposition
1. Site of the army mutiny of Clue G
(2 words)
K. Personified; incorporated

1 34 46 72 81 102 146 179 160 45 195 206
12 109 89 82 32 47 74 143 63
35 4 10 17 27 70 111 163 167 173 183

42 20 192 56 180 154 161

."

22
136

37
147

49
168

73 61 83 99 79 105 112 121 125

N. Pier; embankment
0. Pathological bony outgrowth
P. In another place
Q. Gillis of TV series fame
R. Supervision; inadvertence
S. Spanish fascist
T. Oppressively overworked and
underpaid
U. Spanish government at outbreak
of civil war (2 words)
V. Purple violet precious stone
W. Famous Brigade involved in the
siege of Madrid
X. Almost; very nearly
(2 words)

BY
STEPHEN J.
POZSGA I
Copyright1977
INSTRUCTIONS
Guess the words defined at the
left and write them in over
their numbered dashes. Then,
transfer each letter to the cor-
responding numbered square
in the grid above. The letters
printed in the upper-right-hand
corners of the squares indi-
cate from what clue-word a
particular square's letter
comes from. The grid, when
filled in, should read as a -
quotation from a published
work. The darkened squares
are the spaces between words.
Some words may carry over
to the next line. Meanwhile,
the first letter of each guessed
word at the left, reading down,
forms an acrostic, giving the
author's name anc the title of
the work from which the quote
is extracted. As words and
phrases begin to form in the
grid, you can work back and
forth from clues to grid until
the puzzle is complete.
Answer to last week's puzzle:
There is no doubt that the
Urals disaster was the
biggest nuclear tragedy in
peacetime that the world
has known. It produced the
largest radioactively con-
taminated ecological zone
in the world. It will not be
gone even a hundred years
from now.
(Zhores A.) Medvedev
Nuclear Disaster
(in the Urals)

95 64 119 69 108
21 41 50 60 93 166 184 90 159 197
31 68 86 92 97 117 196 131 140 171
66 113 142 158 120
43 3 9 187 182 132 76 55 104
77 155 170 176 123 186 33 53 110
39 88 58 200 133 139 178

THE DEAD ZONE
By Stephen King
The Viking Press, 426
pp., $11.95
WHEN I was a mere slip of a
girl, my main ambition in life
was to be a writer - a real
one, with an IBM Selectric and articles
in Esquire and Harper's and a New
York apartment with ferns and cats. Of
course, I had no intention of becoming
some cheap hack novelist who has a few
fleeting weeks of glory on the bestseller
list before plummeting into obscurity; I
wanted to create lasting, innovative
works of art, as James Joyce and Franz
Kafka did, ,to be misunderstood,
perhaps, but never to compromise my
art for public approval. What an insuf-
ferable snob I was!
I knew a couple of other aspiring
writers, both nice boys but with an
orientation towards the world of letters
which differed greatly from mine. They
made plans, in a greedy, calculating
way which I found disgusting, to get
published any way they could, as often
as possible, and for as much money as
they could get, using whatever formula
would appeal to the biggest possible
slice of the reading public (i.e., the
same sort of people who enjoy hours in
front of the tube watching un-
Kafkaesque drivel like The Love Boat.)
My friends, who unlike me, thought
about things like paying bills and sup-
porting a family on their earnings,
decided that the best way to start a
career of jockeying for a spot on
supermarket bookracks was to copy the
pros. So, they carefully modeled their
own writing styles after that of an
author who shall remain nameless, a
writer of certain lurid, immensely
popular mass-market paperback
thrillers full of lust and gore and
ridiculously awkward prose. A writer
who has come to epitomize in my mind
that most shameless and calculating of
all small businesspersons - the
professional hack writer. Oh, what the
hell, I might as well tell you: it's
Stephen King.
There's no use saying that Stephen
King doesn't have talent. Yes, he has
talent, but not as a writer, not as
someone who creates characters and
dialogue and situations in a way that is
skillful or aesthetically pleasing or
Anne Sharp writes about music
and film for the DailyArts page..

even halfway believable. His charac-
ters are discontinuous, half-baked
amalgams of TV stereotypes. They talk
to one another in a bizarre, stilted man-
ner usually reserved for people who
populate soap operas. Witness this bit
of dialogue from King's latest novel,
The Dead Zone:
"What would your mother think if
she knew you were seeing a lapsed
Catholic?"
"Ask me to bring you home,"
Johnny said promptly, "so she could
slip'vou a few tracts."
And, further on:
"Oh, Johnny, I do like you."
"I like you eren more than that,"
he said seriously.
It's easy to pick on King for his dread-
fully clumsy and pedestrian style, but
hardly relevant to the issue. King
writes to please a mass audience, and
few of his readers are out to admire the
beauty of his prose. What excites them
and holds their interest, what made my
friends study his books so closely
(besides the fact that their own em-
bryonic talents bore the mark of King's
malformed syntax), is his capacity -
one could call it a genius - for choosing
and plotting a story. At heart King's
creations are so clever, so juicily
gruesome, so mired in the twilit fantasy
world of Eros and Thanatos, so utterly
marketable that one can overlook his
shortcomings and place him alongside
H. P. Lovecraft, Rod Serling, and
Robert Bloch as one of the best modern-
day practitioners of penny-dreadful
literature.
King, of course, deals in the arcane
and chilling side of existence, in the
seductively mysterious mechanisms of
death and the living body. Scurvy
horror novelist though he is, King has
established quite a following, and his
books have inspired no less than two
major motion pictures by fairly
distinguished directors: Carrie, which
effectively made Brian DePalma's
career, and The Shining, now in the
works, directed by none other than
Stanley (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Kubrick. King's best books (i.e., the
ones that sold the most) have a gut-
level general appeal. Anyone who ever
felt put down during high school can en-
joy Carrie's telekinetic strafing of her
tormenting peers and abominable, em-
barrassing mother. Salem's Lot caught
a wave on the public's recent
fascination with vampirism. Although
his last two or three novels haven't
caused as much of a sensation, and the
new The Dead Zone is nothing to rave
about, one can assume that King still
has his lucrative act together.
F The Dead Zone is hardly up to
scratch, it is at least an honest at-
tempt to go beyond exploitation and
seriously, if ineptly, build a mature
piece of literature. Unfortunately, King
hasn't allowed his stylistic talents to

grow beyond the back-pages-of-Analog
stage, and the book suffers as a result,
but it's a good shot nevertheless. As
usual, King falls back upon a horror-
sci-fi theme: A young man named
Johnny Smith awakens one afternoon
after a bad auto accident to find he has
been in a coma for four years, his new
girlfriend has married another man,
and his mother has become an
hysterical religious fanatic. Most im-
portant, a damaged area of his brain
(the "dead zone" of the title) has been
replaced by a new capacity for mental
telepathy; he also can visualize past
and future events with deadly accuracy
simply by touching a person or object

King

8 106 138 40 185 162
14 100 169 29 80 134 148 174
30 91 65 84 122 135 115 71 101 150 188 36
201 193
2 6 129 52 103 152 118 191
26 198 19 51 98 151

54 62 94 189 130 141 114 1721

to the fri
politician
knows, is
wardheeb
palling n
and Gille
the book
that's hoi
As w{
strangleh,
voters in
recovery
and whe
Stillson's
vision tha
someday
World Wa
grooming
is, for a
Stillson.
nocent pa
uncompl,
himself '
trying to
sci-fi fans
since dea
Machine.
bead on
discussec

199 116 177 202

related to them. His doctors notice this,
and he becomes an instant minor
celebrity.
Johnny is the quintessential innocent
victim of fate. Actually, despite his
exotic powers, he is pretty dull, an am-
biguous cipher without any apparent in-
terests or motivations. His moral sense
makes him indignantly refuse an offer
from a yellow-dog tabloid to exploit his
name, a la Jeanne Dixon, but he isn't
above physically bullying a represen-
tative of the tabloid, or getting it on
with his married girlfriend, or, in the
end, planning to murder a crooked
politician in the vague name of the
common good.
That bit about the politician is the
most pithy stuff in The Dead Zone. This
country has lived through the
traumatic assassinations of several of
its leaders, but seldom has such a thing
been proposed as an ethical alternative

more mol
his accid
and I do
wanted tc
The De
tense; it
doom wit
but its go
of Johnny
interestirn
and King
described
murders
lurid en
recomme
The Dead
at being
exploitati
pulp ficti
consideri
of young
be just li
gqQdjob

16 28 44 124 11 181 153 165
18 75 15 23 57 156 78 85 128 149 205 164
175
13 96 24 144 157 204

L. Bordered; encircled

r.

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