… this post is a blast from the past. I haven’t stopped by in quite some time and here’s Mr. Philbin flogging his brokedown hobbyhorse again. You figure a man would like to change the record every, oh, decade or so. There’s something ineffably sad about a man accepting a gauntlet in order to challenge himself to a task nobody seems to properly care about. Taking up arms to fight a battle against the bugaboos that only exist in a man’s skullcase. Tilt at those windmills! Tilt away! Anyway, Mike, it’ll be a terribly short gauntlet you’ll end up running, considering your readership. I actually clicked onto this thread because, as usual, I disagree with the primary poster. IT is my favorite King book. A bit messy, yes, but the finest evocation of childhood and friendship that I can recall. Even sitting here now, having read that book 15 years ago, I can recall every main characters’ name, specific scenes and incidents with a clarity that eludes me in other books by equally fine, if different, writers I read about that same time. Clive Barker’s one of my favorite writers, horror or otherwise, but none of his characters—excepting perhaps Harry D’Amour—stick with me as Ben and Stan and Beverly and Mike and Bill and Eddie do. This is one of the only things I’ve learned in my on-and-off writing career: memorable, humane characters are key. To me, as a reader, and to many readers. Not gobs or semen or whatever it is Philbin seems to think ‘the masses’ are missing out on. His undiscovered genius. It’s sad, really, because Mike’s been bleating the same thing for nearly a decade. At least it seems. You’re what, Mike? are you 50 yet? How many good writing years do you have left before your brain turns to cellular tapioca? Same as mine will in time. How long will you keep barking up this tree before realizing it’s the wrong tree, you’re miserable or at least artistically wrongheaded doing so, and change? You see, you’ve got the greatest opportunity for an artistic aboutface since De Sade, maybe. A 180-degree turn! From bukkakke to bucolic tales! Write something with humanity, for God’s sake, stop raging against shit you’re never going to change anyway, get out of your atrophied mindset, embark on a different path altogether. Or do both. A little this, a little that. Or keep being an antagonist on message boards, where whatever time you invest will be erased or deleted. It’s just a little upsetting to see you still flogging that same horse. It’s fucking dead, Mike! You horsewhipped the poor sad nag to death. Its’ blood all over your hands! Ye Gods, man, go find another drayhorse to beat. Try something different. I know you must lead a rich full life, richer than mine I’m sure, but from your message board persona you come off as a cripplingly dull, emotionally stunted man-child with unnatural