Almost a decade has passed since literary critic Harold Bloom called the men and women of the National Book Foundation idiots for choosing to honor author Stephen King with a medal for distinguished contribution. Bloom criticized King for his pop horror and sci-fi genre affiliation, which he deemed without literary value.
So we wonder what Bloom would make of the New York Times’ “Best Books of 2011,” which, for the first time ever, includes a work by King: “11/22/63,” his alternate take on the John F. Kennedy assassination, released in November. It’s King’s 52nd book, following up a continuous line of creepy, compelling novels going back to 1974’s “Carrie,” long considered a horror classic. Known for his prolific output, King has also been working on a sequel to his 1977 opus “The Shining” called “Dr. Sleep.”
Have you read “11/22/63”? Do you think it deserves a New York Times “Best Books of 2011” honor? What are your favorite books by King? Why does he merit appreciation, or not?
David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times book critic