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S. King And R. Bachman - Why The Charade
(lechiagurom)

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Between 1977 and 1984 Stephen King, young but already accomplished and bestselling writer, had published five novels under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman. Why? It was the time when the newly crown ?king of horror? kept ?producing? one novel after another, all of them extremely successful. So, why, seemingly at the peak of his career, he decided to hide behind a penname? Was it because he tried to turn the heat down? Or, maybe to avoid being typecast as a horror writer? ?I don?t give a shit what people call me as long as I can go to sleep at night.? ? says King, as always eloquently.
To answer why he did it, he tells a little anecdote. In the late 60s, Paul McCartney came up with an idea that The Beatles should go out on the road as a bar band Randy and The Rockets. They would wear masks and hockey capes and just ?have a rave?up like in the old days?! Of course, nothing came out of it, they didn?t predict how easily they?d be recognized by their voices?
OK, so King wanted ?to go out and have fun? writing incognito, but what he published as Bachman was his old stuff, novels he wrote before Carrie. Rage, e.g., which he started while still at college (it was called Getting It On), was finished in 1971. The Long Walk had been written in the years 1966 and 67, also at college. Only the last, fifth novel, Thinner was written after Carrie made King who he is now, and it proved to be the only ?Bachman?s book? that was somewhat successful. That probably answers the question why the previous four didn?t make ?Dicky? a successful writer. And this was King?s plan, to make also Bachman a bestselling author! Actually, he was on the right track, Thinner sold a respectful 28 000 copies, 4000 more than, signed by King, Night Shift! And the next project, that was supposed to put Bachman in a bestselling league, was another horror called Misery? In the meantime, however, King?s ?cover was blown?, and Thinner was published as another Stephen King?s work. It sold 280 000 copies?



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