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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Great Wednesday Compare #1: Stephen King VERSUS J. K. Rowling

Since summer is just around the corner and all we want are popsicles, I'm going to try something fun. Though, unless I get more readers it won't really work (read: invite your friends). All you have to do is add a comment telling me who you think is the better author. Base it on whatever suits your fancy; better books, better looks, more copies sold, more awards won, haven't a sweet clue who one of them is, etc. Some weeks I will feature very different style authors, some weeks I will have very similar authors. The voting will end on midnight of the following Tuesday and on Wednesday I'll have a second opponent ready to go up against the winner from the preceding week. Got it?

This week's contenders:





Stephen King Vs. J. K. Rowling

28 comments:

Allison said...

I was planning to write about Stephen King tonight...weird.

Although I love JK Rowling and think she's done a fantastic job with the HP series, my vote goes with King here. It took me 5 years to read Misery because it scared me, yet I kept going back, that's a good author to me.

John Mutford said...

Thanks for participating Allison. I'm withholding voting myself. I figure I'll count in my own two cents in the event of a tie.

Hope you still post about King. I'd love to read it.

Sam Houston said...

Stephen King by a mile. I see JK Rowling as a one-hit wonder at this point because she's been working with the same set of characters, in the same setting, and with basically the same plot line since the beginning of her career. King, on the other hand, is a master at creating new worlds and new characters. He writes novels, short stories, and novellas with equal success. Some of his best work is much different than the horror novels for which he is best known. He has a body of work that Rowling will likely never match. No contest, IMO.

John Mutford said...

Thanks Sam.

I've added a pretty shoddy "Great Wednesday Compare" button to the sidebar. If anyone wishes to copy it or design your own to link here, I'd appreciate it. Anything more aesthetically pleasing would also be appreciated. Also, I know that that grammatically it should probably be "comparison" - should anyone feel the need to point that out.

Matt said...

I'm going to have to vote for Stephen King as well even though I've only read a couple of his books. I think that J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series are overrated. I don't quite understand there appeal, no offense to fans (my wife is one of them). I also just realized they both have a 7 book fantasy series, and I'd much rather read King's.

John, sorry you couldn't find an email for me, I've neglected to post one. I need to get on that...

fearless said...

King - The Dark Tower, 'nuff said.

Rebecca said...

King - Rowling is good, but all of her books (so far) are the same. It will be interesting to see what else she can write when HP is over.

King, on the other hand, has been prolific for the last twenty-odd years, and every book is scary and twisted in a new and facinating way.

Siew Cooper said...

Great game idea!

I vote for Stephen King as well. I've read extensively of both (well, all of the HP series to date, anyhow), and while Rowling does have an enjoyable style, it only goes so far, and I don't know if it can translate well into future books without us thinking 'Oh, but this is just another Harry Potter'.

On the other hand, King is a master of his craft (whether horror or fantasy), and sometimes writes thought-provoking non-fiction as well. He's been around for so long precisely because he can write such varied books.

Both have become grounded in our cultural consciousness, however King wins hands down for style, longevity, and creativity.

Dale said...

I'm going with Stephen King although at times, his infuriating need to describe a leaf falling over 20 pages irks me, Carrie would make little Harry Potter's scar burn a lot brighter than whathisname could.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Stephen King is responsible for my decades-long fear that I will one day plunge my arm into a running garburator. He get my vote.

Gentle Reader said...

I'll have to go with King. He's just so darned prolific, and he's done so many different styles and genres. I like Harry Potter, but let's see if Rowling comes up with anything else down the road.

I like the Great Wednesday Compare, keep 'em coming!

John Mutford said...

I'm glad people seem to be enjoying this, even if there doesn't seem to be any suspense at this point. And I was worried about a tie!

I suspect though that my results probably say more about the demographics of my readers. Oh well, it's not over yet. Who knows if a swarm of Potterites will stumble their way here in the meantime.

stefanie said...

My vote goes to King too. Since Rowling has only written Harry Potter it's hard to say if she can write anything else. King on the other hand has proven he can write just about anything.

Dewey said...

I love both of them, but I have to vote for King. I like Rowling's characters and storytelling and the world she's created. But she's a bad writer when you look at the details. Every person speaks _____________ly nearly every time. Hermione snapped impatiently, Harry asked urgently, Ron shouted defiantly. And she frequently loses track of who is talking, so that you get "he" and "she" and you really don't know who's saying what. She could get a lot better later, but for now, she's a question mark, as Sam pointed out.

King on the other hand, is a master at his craft. And he has the best dialogue ever. Plus he has all the qualities I named in Rowling above: plotting, characters and setting.

Q said...

Okay, I'll be the devil's advocate and vote for Rowling. I agree she's untested, since she's only done HP books, and King has been around decades longer. However, I find both of their writing to be at times a bit - what's the word - easy? cheesy? cliche? And I find that quality, however you want to define it, much more acceptable in YA books than adult fiction.

And I think the detailed creation of her wizarding world is every bit as intricate and compelling as any of King's.

kookiejar said...

King. No contest. I've read all of his and only one of hers. She's overrated. I'll be linking to your blog, this is a great idea for the summer!

John Mutford said...

Glad to hear from a few new voices here. Looks like Q has prevented a shutout! Dewey, I want to check out the "-ly" thing now- I hadn't noticed before. Kookiejar, which of your kazillion blogs will you be adding you link on- I just clicked on your profile ;)

teabird said...

King, no doubt. He's such an underrated writer - much more going on than mayhem and things becoming animated and running amok!

kookiejar said...

Ha! Fraternity of Dreamers is my main blog.

cj said...

Hope it's not too late to add my two sense.

I'll go with whoever it was that voted for Rowling.

Yes, King is prolific, but Rowling created thousands of new readers with her series, and it will continue to add readers for years to come.

Besides, I don't remember the debut of anything by King creating the stir of the Harry Potter books.

Stephanie said...

I am a fan of Harry Potter. But Stephen King is probably my all-time favorite author!! He has spent many nights scaring the bejesus out of me! So he gets my vote!

John Mutford said...

Good to hear from the latest comments, the final tally will not be until 11:59 Tuesday, June 19. So, no cj it's not too late.

Literary Feline said...

I'm casting my vote for Rowling too. Stephen King may be prolific and a more known name, but J.K. Rowling deserves kudos for getting so many young people to read. And frankly, its her books I rush out to buy as soon as they come out. I've only actually read one of King's books. And although I plan to read more by him one day, I he's not a must read author for me. Yet.

Bybee said...

I haven't read anyone's comments yet on purpose. I'm voting for Stephen King.

Jill said...

Clearly in the minority, I'm voting for Rowling. I think she's better at developing her characters. I've never understood the devotion to Stephen King's books. To me, they really lack depth.

Ted said...

Fun idea, John.
It's stating the obvious to say, wow - these writers are soooo different - particularly since we're judging King's breadth of creations with someone who has written but a single series. He has had more opportunity to dazzle us, we can judge his skill with a greater variety of subjects and types of characters and Rowling could turn out to be a one horse wonder, but there is something to be said for how she has stayed with her theme, deepened the plot,added complication to her characters over time, brought us over and over to the same places (hogwarts and under the stairs) and never bored us (me, I should say). She has taken on renown, the death of parents, jealousy, the experience of the outsider, and burgeoning love for readers who are kids and not bored them while still succeeding in interesting adults too. King is a remarkable creator, who takes on topics we would rather not look at, but I don't enjoy being scared. I don't wait for King's next book - I can't wait for the final Harry P. I simply love reading them. I am a romantic reader at heart. I'm voting for Rowling.

John Mutford said...

Hey this is interesting...Stephen King's thoughts on Rowling.

Anonymous said...

I believe Stephen King is the better writer of the two, even though the Harry Potter series was pretty good.
I read the uncut version of the Stand and knew it was much better than Harry Potter. I enjoyed King's Desperation and I'm currently reading The Dream Catcher, which is great too.