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- Apt Pupil
- Breathing Method
- Cycle Of The Werewolf
- Dark Tower
- Different Seasons
- Drawing Of The Three
- Eyes Of The Dragon
- Night Shift
- Pet Sematary
- Richard Bachman
- Salem's Lot
- Shawshank Redemption
- Skeleton Crew
- The Body
- The Constant Reader
- The Dark Tower
- The Dead Zone
- The Gunslinger
- The Gunslinger
- The Langoliers
- The Long Walk
- The Mist
- The Readers
- The Running Man
- The Shining
- The Stand
- The Talisman
- The Tommyknockers
- The Writer
Hey kids! It’s been a while. Soon there will be posts a-plenty, but for now, let’s see how your Constant Readers are tracking in the key demographic of bozos from Santa Fe, New Mexico. “Hackare Annoying” writes:
LOL. What IS this page? Ignoramus hacks debate Stephen King? Get jobs, you losers. Or something. This is pathetic. You WISH you had any talent at all! Bitter losers are the saddest. Just face reality and go sell insurance sooner rather than later.
This is from June 15th, and I know what you’re thinking, but no: Donald Trump was in Atlantic on June 15th, so this wasn’t our first dressing-down at the hands of our next president. And also, no: the mercury only got up to 90 degrees in Santa Fe, so it couldn’t have been heat stroke. So, then: somebody in the great (?) state (??) of New Mexico was very angry at us at 9:52 in the morning (7:52am their time—yikes!). To be fair, it is stated right off the bat that they’re confused about what this website is about and who we are. For the record, we are not ignoramus hacks. One of us is an ignoramus, the other is a hack. But neither of us is both. “Get jobs or something” is definitely one of the all-time greatest put-downs, but “bitter losers”? We’re not bitter—we’re very sweet. The sweetest losers you could ever wish to meet. Like you’d find in a Stephen King book, even!
But we see something here that’s very unusual: no one ever has a follow-up to “Get a job!” Ever notice that? Sure, they can identify the problem, but can they solve it? Almost never! But here comes the Santa Ana Winds blowing an actual career suggestion across our desks. It’s uncommon, it’s genius, it’s helpful!
Since we’re both editors for a living, we made some changes to Hacksare’s comment, just like we fix the conversations to make Andrea funnier and Pat nicer:
“There are monsters in the mountains outside Santa Fe! Help me, I have no arms THEN HOW IS TYPING???”
That’s right, Hacksare! IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE. Take this!
Oh, brother, not even four minutes later, and on the same page:
“Never go full retard. You went full retard.
In this day and age of loans and rich Daddys’, college degrees have nothing to do with intelligence and EVERYTHING to do with fear and unoriginality. No talent is required for admission to most, only a sucker and an open checkbook. Nowadays, everyone gets a participation tropy! So it’s okay if you have never held a job or done anything useful or interesting in life. Three gender studies classes will make you an expert in everything and a TOTAL asset to society!”
First of all, there’s no way it took four minutes to write that, not with that number of typos. Second, is Hacksare an actual character from a Stephen King story? Because this is exactly the HEY COLLEGE BOY redneck shit Uncle Stevie’s always writing about! Why are people so angry about college? Because it’s not free? It’s hard to imagine someone saying, “HEY! HIGH SCHOOL BOY!” with a tone that indicates high school is for only the fanciest of pants.
Also, and this is probably critical: only one of us graduated from college. If we correlated college degrees with intelligence, that would make Andrea the smart one here, and that can’t be right. Also, if talent were a prerequisite for admission to college, a very small number of people would ever get in, and the academic industrial complex would lose their collective but ineffective minds.
Suckers, yes, but who the fuck still has a checkbook? Don’t answer that—it was a joke. We’re still writing “WHO STILL USES CHECKS IN 2015???” on all our checks. It’s good to know that this howling maw of the Many-Headed Internet is, in the end, not actually mad at us—they’re mad at college, for whatever reason. This website is run by two people who feel about college the way we felt about high school: it’s as good a place as any to be in your teens. But then, if you want to talk about suckers and their open checkbooks: Pat smokes, so if you think he wasted money not getting a college degree, boy howdy are you bringing up a serial killer on a loitering charge! And he didn’t even get the “participation tropy” for college! There is no participation trophy! You kind of have to graduate to get anything approaching a trophy. Unless you play sports, which: come on, Pat smokes.
For the record, we haven’t even taken three Gender Studies classes between the two of us. Tops, we’ve taken one, and half of us weren’t even in the class. We took half of a Gender Studies class, tops. Also, two people debating Stephen King with degrees in Gender Studies? Have you ever been to co—oh, oh, we get it. Right.
Also, Tropic Thunder was not a good movie. We can all agree on that, right? More and more of us, anyway, as the species evolves at its snail’s pace? It’s certainly not very quotable, since that’s the only line anyone ever quotes. It’s certainly the only one anyone quotes here.
Since we’ve both been solidly employed in editorial for most of our adult lives, we’re very glad to fix up this comment, too:
“Sometimes I wake up cranky because Santa Fe is very hot It’s a dry heat but it still gives me the dry heaves :(”
We feel you, buddy. And way up there in those hills? Must be pretty thin air, too! Thin, hot, dry air, now that’s a horror story.
If you’d like to email Hacksare Annoying, their email address is email@example.com, which has a non-zero chance of being a real address.
Who would we be if we were Stranger Things characters?
Pat: You would be a cross between Barb and the obnoxious sister.
I would be Ben Hanscom.
Pardon our appearance while we recover from a near-total data loss here at Constant Readers. Pat has been unemployed for a very long time, and apparently, the technofascists at Bluehost delete all backups after 14 days of non-payment. Also, Pat hasn’t backed up the site since 2013. Wheeeeeeeee!
Roberta “Bobbi” Andersen is a poet and novelist living on a wide tract of land in rural Massachusetts. She’s got an aging dog named Peter, and apparently only one friend, another poet by the name of James “Gard” Gardener. She lives the typical life of a poet, which, shit, this isn’t going to be very interesting. Oh wait, she’s just unearthed something way out in her backyard!
Pat: We were robbed of the eventually realization that this metal thing she’s found is a motherfucking UFO.
Andrea: Until the buried saucer of menstrual blood rears it’s ugly head.
Pat: I mean, since we already knew going into this book that it’s about a flying saucer.
Andrea: I kind of envy her solitary life in the woods. It sounds pretty peaceful. Even though I wouldn’t really like it.
Pat: “It sounds pretty peaceful, except for the humongous flying saucer buried in the woods. And the anti-aging effect it has. And that it makes her dog evil.” (more…)
Andrea: Once upon a time, there was a man named Paul Sheldon who was a very famous writer, about as famous as, IDK, one Stephen King.
Andrea: Do you ever not disagree? Cause that would be novel.
Pat: As famous as Charlotte Whatshername, maybe.
Pat: The True Blood hack.
Yeah, the famous Bronte sister that wrote True Blood. That one.
Andrea: I started typing before you said True Blood, you douche.
I think that lady is named Charlaine.
Paul Sheldon is a novelist who rose to fame with his Misery series of books. Misery being the improbably name of the main character, who he recently killed off to his own personal delight. He is currently celebrating in an unknown bed in an extraordinary amount of pain, which he imagines as a bunch of pilings off of a beach that are periodically submerged by the tide.
Pat: I’m not a huge fan of books starting off with extraordinarily vague details.
Andrea: No. If I was reading this now for the first time I’d be like, OH MY GOD NO. STOP SUCKING.
Pat: That’s PRECISELY what I was saying to the book.
Andrea: Right. I remember because I was telling you how awesome it was, and you said it sucked for like, 24 hours.
Pat: It sucked for the first day I was reading it. Things can suck and then not suck. Apart from you, who has always sucked and will ever suck.
The only specifics we get are that someone with godawful breath resuscitated him, and he’s in a bed in the home of his “number one fan.”
“…raped back into life by the woman’s stinking breath.”
Andrea: Gag. I don’t know if there is anything worse than bad breath. It is DECAYING FOOD IN SOMEONE’S MOUTH.
Pat: I’m thinking AIDS is probably worse. And the Holocaust.
Andrea: I’m just talking smells. Not genocide. (more…)
Prologue: The Sailor
When we left Roland of Dechain, noted Last of the Gunslingers and all-around grizzled dude, he had finally caught up with the Man In Black, whose name turned out to be Marten, and learned more about the next step in his quest for the Dark Tower, the point upon which all possible universes turn. He was told that he’d have to draw three people to help him in his quest, right before the universe exploded in a dazzling Pink Floyd laser show and Marten drank from the wrong Holy Grail. He wakes up on the Western Sea, where lobster-like monsters quickly take him from ten fingers to eight.
Andrea: I REALLY enjoyed this book. The structure of the three sections with meeting the three people worked really well.
Pat: What is this, an Amazon review?
Also, what do sentences end in, Andrea?
Andrea: Your mom?
WHICH I HAVE TO PUT IN IF YOU DON’T.
You are Paul Sheldon’s broken typewriter.
Andrea: OK. SO. THOSE FUCKING LOBSTER CREATURES and their inquisitive squawking. What is it with him and grotesque bug-like creatures making weird, sorta cutesy noises?
Pat: Dad-a-chack? Dud-a-chum?
To be fair, pretty much everything in the ocean is about as alien as anything that could ever land in a UFO. There’s no way lobsters are from this world originally.
Andrea: Agreed. I still don’t want them to rip my fingers off. Can you imagine the first person who was like, “Hey, lemme cook that thing up”?
Pat: I’ve often wondered about that. And Roland eats them raw at first.
That’s how you get diarrhea, Roland.
Andrea: And parasites.
In the kingdom of Delain, there lived a king named Roland. The details beyond that are a little fuzzy, mostly because everything is a jumbled version of Roland’s life in the Dark Tower. But: he’s a warrior king who kind of doesn’t like chicks. But: he finds a nice girl to settle down with who he can only bang when he’s drunk on magic potions from the court conjurer, Flagg. And: yes, that Flagg.
Pat: I guess this wasn’t that confusing for you, since you haven’t be exposed to much of Roland’s backstory yet.
Andrea: Nah, not really
Pat: He’s totally gay though, right?
Andrea: Yeah, it would seem so. There were all kinds of indications that he had “demons.”
Pat: The “demons” being “thoughts about huntin’ naked dudes”?
Andrea: Well, yeah.
So everyone loved King Roland’s wife, Queen Sasha, and they had two sons, Peter and Thomas, one who was pretty much awesome and the other who was a bit of a whiney cunt and killed his mother in childbirth.
Pat: “It is King’s Iron,” he said.
“It doesn’t look like iron,” said Sasha, doubtfully.
“It is before the forge,” he said.
“Ali!” said she. “And where is the forge?”
“If you will trust me,” said he, getting into bed with her, “I will show you, for you have brought it from the Western Barony with you but did not know it.”
I wish she had just been like, “Oh, you mean my VAGINA? I thought you were talking about some blacksmith shit, ya great big Queen.”
Andrea: There is NO WAY people talked like that.
Pat: It’s a fantasy novel. A little suspension of disbelief is probably warranted. (more…)
The Ritual Of Chüd begins with In The Watches Of The Night
As if it wasn’t already on shaky ground, time starts flipping around a lot.
Pat: But let us assure readers that it is a most BOSS and EFFECTIVE use of alternating time periods!
Right? Am I right? I’m right, aren’t I?
Andrea: You are right, although I am still not sold on any of the rituals: CHUD, SMOKE, and BANGING.
But perhaps that is because I am not a child living in Derry.
Pat: Chud is all fucking metaphorical. The banging is not. The smoke, though, bridges the divide, I think, between the physical and the, uh… cosmic? Astral?
Andrea: I agree, and in that way, it is a neat literary device.
Pat: So suck the critical wind from my literary tailpipe. (more…)
Weclome to Part 4 of our It discussion. To your left, you will see Part 1. To your right, you will see Part 2. Creeping up behind you, with its clammy fingers reaching towards your exposed neck, is Part 3
July Of 1958
The Apocalyptic Rockfight
We find out that Mike Hanlon is black and—despite everyone else each thinking that they’re the one Henry Bowers hates the most—the Loser that Bowers would most like to see dead. Why? Well, being black would be strike one, and being raised by Butch Bowers, who still hates Will Hanlon for the whole you-kill-’em-you-buy-’em chicken fiasco, would be another. By the way, Henry poisoned Mike’s childhood dog, Mr. Chips, who Bowers lovingly called “Niggerdog.” Jesus Christ, Hank. Add to that the time Henry caught Mike unawares and slathered him in mud to make him a “tarbaby.” What the living fuck, Bowers!
Pat: This chapter starts with them meeting up at the library at 7pm, which is when curfew starts in Derry. That has to be intentional, if uninteresting to anyone but me.
Andrea: Yeah, it’s sure not interesting to me.
Pat: It’s strange that at this point, Mike still isn’t a Loser. You read and read and know he’s going to be, and it keeps getting later and later in the day, and he still isn’t.
Andrea: Right. Until you get to the point where he becomes one, and you’re like, “Huh? This didn’t happen already?”
Oh man, the description of Henry covering him in mud, and it getting in his nose. I wanted to cry. And when Henry tells his dad that he poisoned the dog, and he claps him on the back and gives him a beer.
Pat: I know I’m a mid-Atlantic liberal pantywaist, but “Niggerdog”?
What did the goddamn dog ever do to Henry? What did the Hanlons ever do to the Bowerses? Get a fucking grip on yourselves, you fucking yokels.
Andrea: Seriously. I mean, I definitely know plenty of people with prehistoric attitudes on race, but I can’t imagine any of them behaving even close to this way.
Pat: The psychotic streak it takes to slowly win a dog’s trust so you can safely poison it must be astounding. And possibly unnecessary: I’m pretty sure if I had some poisoned chuck meat and gave it to a dog that have never ever seen me in its life, it would wolf it down without batting an eyelash.
Andrea: Um, yeah. I have never known a dog to turn down food. Holly eats paper plates if they have pizza crumbs on them.
Pat: This was the worst of it for me: “When the pains started, Henry produced a piece of clothesline and tied Mr. Chips to a birch so he couldn’t get away and run home.”
Andrea: : ( : ( : ( (more…)
Part 3: Grownups
Bill Denbrough Gets A Cab
Bill arrives back in Derry and is shown around town by a Colorful Cab Driver. He sees how the town has changed, with new developments and, apparently, everything from his childhood being replaced by one bank or another. He arrives at the Fateful Chinese Restaurant where the Losers are all meeting, located where the Ironworks used to be. Who doesn’t want to eat some dim sum on the site of a Easter Egg Massacre?
Andrea: OH GOD THIS FUCKING PART. I swear the first time I read it, it put me off Chinese food for like a year. And I really like Chinese food.
Pat: We’re not there yet. I know you spend way more time more frequently in Williamstown, but do you ever get this when you go home?
Every time I come back it’s like entire swaths of town have been rewritten heavily.
Andrea: Not really, because I go there every week and I pretty much go either directly my parents’ house. I can think offhand of 3-4 new developments. There’s also a new Wal-mart.
Pat: ANOTHER WAL-MART?
Andrea: Yup. According to my mom, it is “less ghetto.”
Pat: Oh man, look at this: Corkery Lane.
Pat: It’s just a goofy name I’d forgotten.
Andrea: You are such a psycho.