The coronavirus pandemic has many people around the world comparing the situation to a number of Stephen King stories, whether it be due to the deadly virus mirroring the events of The Stand or the idea of being trapped in your house resembling the events of The Shining, with the author himself recently confirming that, of all of his horrifying creations, he would least want to be stuck with Annie Wilkes from Misery. With that novel's narrative focusing on Wilkes keeping her favorite author captive, it's easy to see why King would be wary to be trapped in an isolated location with her.
"It's not even close," King revealed to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert about the question. "I wouldn't want to be quarantined with Annie Wilkes because she would think that I was a cockadoodie brat and then she would say, 'Stephen, I have a wonderful idea for a book and I want you to write it our I'll cut off your foot.' So I wouldn't want to be quarantined with her."
The author also admitted that he wouldn't want to be trapped with fellow "writer" Jack Torrance, confessing, "I wouldn't be okay to be quarantined with Jack Torrance either, because I'd be afraid that he'd start writing 'all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,' I'd be worried about that. But I'd be quarantined with Holly Gibney from If It Bleeds, she's got her OCD bells and whistles and ticks and tocks, but she's pretty good."
Despite the similarities between our current situation and the events of The Stand, the weaponized influenza in the latter was much more catastrophic, wiping out nearly the entire planet. The author recalled the inspiration for the storyline and what makes him nervous about the future of the coronavirus.
"I wrote a book called 'The Stand' in 1975-76, and I'm still apologizing for it, 40-50 years later," King joked. "People will come along and say through their little masks, 'I feel like I'm living in a Stephen King story,' and my response is, 'I'm sorry for that.' But when I wrote that, back in the '70s, I had this idea based on a chemical spill in Utah and I went to a doctor that I knew and I said, 'Could you give me a scenario for a pandemic that wipes out 99% of the earth's population?' and his eyes lit up. I mean, they love that sort of apocalyptic 'what if?' scenario. And he said, 'Well, the flu would be the best thing. It's a virus, it's not dead, it's not alive, nobody really knows what it is. But the thing about the flu is that it's the gift that keeps on giving because, every year, it comes back but it comes back in a different form so that you need a different shot for it.'"
He added, "And my fear, Stephen, about the coronavirus, is that we may get things back to normal and then the virus mutates and it comes back, which leaves two possibilities. One is that it comes back much weaker and it's not much of a problem but the nightmare scenario, which, of course, is where my mind goes, I'm sorry, but it does, is that it comes back more lethal than ever."
While some King fans might want to avoid diving into any terrifying stories at the moment, the author revealed that horror stories can be the perfect escape from our situation.
"Well I think that people do gravitate towards horror stories when times are tough and times are scary and that's certainly true now, because when you go to a horror story, like If It Bleeds or Gerald's Game or any of the stuff I've written, all of which are available by mail order or curb service from your local book store, you read it and the situations are even more horrible than being under house arrest with no toilet paper and when you finish, you close the book and you had a place to put your fears for a little while," King pointed out. "You've been able to say, 'These problems are much worse than my problems,' and then you close the book and then you can go to bed and sleep like a baby. At least, that's the theory."0comments
The author's latest book, If It Bleeds, is now available.
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