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Stephen King: It

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Horror Books' started by Ian Sanders, Aug 25, 2002.

  1. Ian Sanders

    Ian Sanders kickbox

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    Here I am trying out some of the features in the new "Library" that Darren will be introducing soon.
    I am currently "wading" through "IT" and I am finding it rather hard going. The children in the book would be at the same age as Stephen King in 1958. It would therefore, not be too presumptuous to assume that Stephen is drawing upon his own childhood memories at that age, in order to describe what Bill Denbrough, Mike Hanlon, Ben Hanscom, Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, Beverly Marsh and Stan Uris, collectively known as "The Losers Club" got up to, way back in 1958. Although I was the same age some time before this, I cannot help but notice the cultural differences, in particular, the language used by the "Losers Club" and their enemies. I also noticed the deliberate mistake made by Stephen when he writes about Audra Denbrough deciding to follow her husband from the UK to Derry. She books a flight by British Airways from Heathrow to Bangor, Maine. During this booking conversation, the woman consults her computer terminal and then asks Audra,
    Ma'am? Are you still holding the wire?"
    I think that she would have actually asked Audra if she was still holding the line.
    This leads me onto the subject for discussion. Do UK and USA readers find any problems in reading books written by authors from opposite sides of the Atlantic?

    Ian
     
  2. Ell

    Ell Well-Known Member

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    US/UK words and phrases

    Being from neither the UK nor the US, I can only give you my opinion as a Canuck.

    We're kind of caught "betwixt and between" here in Canada. For everyday usage, I'd say the words used here are closer to the US than UK. Our spelling used to be that of the UK (ie. what we were taught in school), but I notice more and more Americanised spelling around. Generally, I'm familiar with most common idioms on both sides of the Atlantic (though I had some trouble with "bangers and mash" in an Elizabeth George nove)l.

    I can't recall consciously learning UK terms (maybe from late night TV of old English movies?), but seem to always have known terms like: boot = trunk, bonnet=hood, lift=elevator, tube=metro=subway, pram=buggy, nappy=diaper, etc.

    But, don't know how familiar US readers are to these terms. So this doesn't really answer your question, does it? ;)

    Comments from American readers?
     
  3. Dawn

    Dawn kickbox

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    "
    Ian, can you elaborate? It's been a long time (at least 12 years) since I read IT.

    I don't remember King's mistake with the phone call you mentioned. It would bother me as well.
     
  4. Ian Sanders

    Ian Sanders kickbox

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    I think the main thing that struck me was the kids use of obscene language. I don't remember me and my mates using it in the school playground, but then again I suppose ten years further down the line things had changed.

    Ian
     
  5. Dawn

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    You're probably on track there. I doubt that blatantly obscene language was in use by kids that age at that time (1960s?) At least I don't remember anyone cursing when I was a schoolgirl. I would have been shocking if they did.

    That's not the case today. I know for a fact that obscene language is used by today's elementary school kids. If the setting for the earlier scenes were in the year 2002, it would seem appropriate.

    Was King mistaken in his portrayal, or going to the extreme to set up the differences between the two groups? I can't remember if he did the same thing in Stand By Me.
     
  6. Ian Sanders

    Ian Sanders kickbox

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    It is a great pity that we cannot enroll some of the authors into the book forum. The question "Was King mistaken in his portrayal" might then be answered.

    I don't know how we could get some of the current authors, whose books are given a mention, interested in joining.

    Do any forum members have any ideas?

    Ian.
     
  7. Mike Jackson

    Mike Jackson New Member

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    I noticed that there is a lot more obscene language in some of his later books which was when I gave up reading them. I'm not a prude in any sense but I found that the language got in the way of the plot and , to me, appeared to be totally gratuitous.

    Mike
     

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