(January 25, 1943 – August 26, 2017)
Iconic horror film director Tobe Hooper passed away yesterday at the age of 74 from natural causes. He is best known for the classics Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist and the television adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. A highly respected director, Hooper also worked in television, directing episodes of Freddy’s Nightmares, Tales from the Crypt, and Masters of Horror, as well as the music video for Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.”
The horror community took to Twitter to remember the genius that was Tobe Hooper…
So sad to say goodbye to TOBE Hooper, the man who took a chance on me and gave me my career in film’s greatest genre.
— Bill Moseley (@choptopmoseley) August 27, 2017
The chainsaw is now quiet, but it will forever be heard.
RIP Tobe Hooper.
— Clive Barker (@RealCliveBarker) August 27, 2017
Sorry to hear Tobe Hooper passed. He did a terrific job directing the ‘SALEM’S LOT miniseries, back in the day. He will be missed.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 27, 2017
One of the kindest souls I’ve ever known and a wicked sense of humor pic.twitter.com/wr60mfo0np
— Tom Holland (@RealTomHolland) August 27, 2017
Tobe Hooper directed THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, a seminal work in horror cinema. He was a kind, decent man and my friend. A sad day.
— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) August 27, 2017
Tobe Hooper was a maverick a rebel and gentle, kind soul. An unlikely combination and a great loss. He changed genre films forever.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) August 27, 2017
Just woken up to news that my friend Tobe Hooper has passed away. A great director, yes, but also the kindest, sweetest man. I am so sad.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 27, 2017
Very few people were as generous, kind and encouraging as Tobe Hooper. I will miss him deeply and feel lucky for the time I had with him. pic.twitter.com/8dOGHGvdK4
— Eli Roth (@eliroth) August 27, 2017
Tobe Hooper, architect of the original ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ is dead
TCM was SO impactful. Safe travels, Tobe. https://t.co/NRgVBjM1QG
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) August 27, 2017
Tobe Hooper, a kind, warm-hearted man
Who made the most terrifying film ever.
A good friend I will never forget
— William Friedkin (@WilliamFriedkin) August 27, 2017
— Tom Savini (@THETomSavini) August 27, 2017
Had the pleasure of breaking bread with #TobeHooper and discussing his unique vision and horror process. Important film legend
— Tony Todd (@TonyTodd54) August 27, 2017
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 27, 2017
I just heard about the death of Tobe Hooper. This is really sad. I first met Tobe at the… https://t.co/z73xYnjgLe
— Rob Zombie (@RobZombie) August 27, 2017
Very sad to hear of the passing of Tobe Hooper, another master of horror. He conjured some truly shattering, unforgettable moments in film. pic.twitter.com/6Kxw0gURzF
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 27, 2017
Another hero gone. So sad to wake up to the news about Tobe. Farewell, maestro. pic.twitter.com/3EtDo04hZz
— Adam Green (@Adam_Fn_Green) August 27, 2017
Thank you, Tobe Hooper. (1943-2017) pic.twitter.com/0Tcxlf9zMt
— Aesthetic Horror (@AestheticHorror) August 27, 2017
Sad to learn that we’ve lost another horror icon this year. Rest easy, Tobe Hooper. pic.twitter.com/wBI3TQjOXv
— Fangoria (@FANGORIA) August 27, 2017
— MONDO (@MondoNews) August 27, 2017
We mustn’t ever lose this image. pic.twitter.com/HFD1Y69e9T
— BBB Miska (@bradmiska) August 27, 2017
A writer writes, right? If you’re going to be a writer (or better yet, an author), you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. Want to write a novel? You need some idea of how many words you need to put on the page. As John Knowles wrote in A Separate Peace, “There was no harm in taking aim, even if the target was a dream.”
What follows is a list of fairly well-known books and word counts, from least to most. Some are classics, others are more recent productions. Make of it what you will.
|George Orwell||Animal Farm||29,060|
|John Steinbeck||Of Mice and Men||29,572|
|Ray Bradbury||Fahrenheit 451||46,118|
|F Scott Fitzgerald||The Great Gatsby||47,094|
|John Knowles||A Separate Peace||56,787|
|William Golding||Lord of the Flies||59,900|
|Nathaniel Hawthorne||The Scarlet Letter||63,604|
|Aldous Huxley||Brave New World||63,766|
|Alice Walker||The Color Purple||66,556|
|John Green||The Fault in Our Stars||67,203|
|John Green||Looking for Alaska||69,023|
|Mark Twain||The Adventures of Tom Sawyer||69,066|
|JK Rowling||Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone||77,508|
|Ransom Riggs||Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children||84,898|
|Rick Riordan||The Lightning Thief||87,223|
|George Orwell||Nineteen Eighty-Four||88,942|
|Harper Lee||To Kill a Mockingbird||100,388|
|Mark Twain||The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn||109,571|
|Henry David Thoreau||Walden||114,634|
|Charles Dickens||A Tale of Two Cities||135,420|
|Stephen King||Pet Sematary||141,912|
|John Steinbeck||The Grapes of Wrath||169,481|
|JK Rowling||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows||198,227|
|JK Rowling||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||257,154|
- The David W. Niven Collection of Early Jazz Legends, 1921-1991 [Internet Archive]
- Fun with Junk Wax & Bubble Gum [Tan Man Baseball Fan]
- The 12 genres of baseball photos from Photo Day [SB Nation]
- 2016 Royals Spring Training: Edinson Volquez [A Hair Off Square]
- Unearthed: Killer Photos from Van Halen’s ‘1980 Invasion’ Tour! [Van Halen News Desk]
- 13 Writing Lessons From Stephen King’s On Writing [Writers Write]
- Every 1970’s Topps Reds Base Card [Red Cardboard]
The Stephen King Companion
by George Beahm
Thomas Dunne Books, 2015
There are few modern authors whose names are immediately recognizable to such a broad audience as Stephen King. Widely considered the greatest horror writer of this generation, King’s novels are eagerly devoured by fans young and old, and the movies based on his books are always among the most anticipated. In The Stephen King Companion, George Beahm chronicles King’s life from his very early, pre-published years, all the way up to his most recent release, Revival. Before getting to King’s first published novel, Carrie, Beahm examines his family life, his early influences, his time as a student at the University of Maine, and his initial career as a teacher. While the meat of the volume is the review of King’s output as a writer, these early chapters give readers a fuller understanding of the horror master’s themes and influences.
Beahm leaves no stone unturned in this massive tome of Stephen King’s work. Every novel is cataloged, with plot synopses and critical reactions, along with the enduring legacy of the stories. While The Stephen King Companion’s focus is the literary output, Beahm does not ignore the screen adaptations of King’s writings. They are generally mentioned in passing, unless there is a juicy story attached to it (as in The Shining and King’s distaste for Stanley Kubrick’s interpretation); there are also about fifty pages are devoted to the “Screamplays” in part six of the book.
The Stephen King Companion was undoubtedly a labor of love for Beahm, and it stands as the definitive look at one of horror’s greatest writers. Fantastic illustrations by Michael Whelan and Glenn Chadbourne are included throughout, making it even more enjoyable. Stephen King and horror fiction fans will absolutely love The Stephen King Companion for it thorough treatment of “America’s best-love bogeyman.”
Revival: A Novel
by Stephen King
No horror author has enjoyed as much success as Stephen King in modern times. His classic novels—many of which have been adapted for Hollywood—are regarded as the benchmark for horror of the late twentieth century. It is good to see that King has not lost his touch with his latest release, Revival: A Novel.
The story starts off a bit slow, beginning in the protagonist Jamie Morton’s childhood and his first meeting with the minister Charles Jacobs. The story tells of the minister’s interest—intense interest—in electricity as a science, and a tragedy that shakes Jacobs’ faith, leading to his departure from the small town where the Morton family lives. King proceeds to follow Jamie’s story, his love for the guitar and various bands he played with, his descent into drug abuse, and his next meeting with Jacobs several years later at a state fair. After this encounter, the two separate again, only to meet again many years later. Jacobs is convinced that Jamie is a part of his destiny, and his obsession with electricity leads him to perform experiments that makes Jamie (and others who encounter Jacobs) very nervous.
By the time the reader reaches the climax, the pages can’t be turned fast enough. Jamie’s curiosity in Jacobs’ experiments feed the reader’s curiosity, and the ultimate experiment gives a nod to both Mary Shelley and H.P. Lovecraft. Although it starts slow and takes a while to build, the bizarre payoff is well worth it. Revival is a fine addition to Stephen King’s already impressive bibliography.
Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural
edited by Rick Wilber
Night Shade Books, 2014
Baseball is an important part of America’s imagination. Some of the most popular baseball tales weave fact with fiction, presenting historical figures in a fictitious settings, and vice versa. Field of Fantasies, an anthology edited by Rick Wilber, presents twenty-three supernatural baseball stories culled from the past seven decades and includes a handful that appear for the first time in print.
A number of literary heavyweights are included in this collection, from Jack Kerouac to W.P. Kinsella to Ray Bradbury. The modern-day master of horror himself, Stephen King, co-wrote a story with Stewart O’Nan called “A Face in the Crowd” that was previously only available digitally. Bradbury’s “Ahab At The Helm” marries Moby Dick with the classic poem “Casey At The Bat” in a brilliant mash-up. Casey also appears in Robert Coover’s “McDuff on the Mound,” a re-telling of Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s poem from the pitcher’s perspective.
Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling also wrote a story entitled “The Mighty Casey,” but it has nothing to do with the Mudville legend. The story originally aired on the program in 1960, and was re-written for Serling’s Stories From The Twilight Zone anthology prior to its inclusion here.
Most baseball fans are familiar with W.P. Kinsella as the inspiration for the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams. The short story here, “How I Got My Nickname,” follows the exploits of a teenager who plays for the New York Giants during the pennant stretch of 1951, and his debates with teammates and opponents about whether The Great Gatsby is an allegory.
The editor, Rick Wilber, is a journalism professor at the University of South Florida, and his father Del Wilber played for the Cardinals, Phillies, and Red Sox in the 1940s and 1950s. This book is a great tribute to the game and provides some comfort to those who just can’t wait for the season to begin in April.
Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.