Stephen King Was So High In The 1980s That He Can't Remember Half His Work
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
Stephen King has written so many novels that you'd probably imagine he can't even remember some of them, and you'd be right. Cujo, for example, is one of King's personal favorite works, despite the fact that he can't remember writing it at all, because the part of his brain that contained those memories was killed off by enough alcohol to power a Saturn V rocket.
Making him one of the few people whose brilliant drunken ideas are in fact brilliant.
Stephen King's alcohol abuse is pretty well-known, as it's a strong theme in much of his early work. Perhaps less known is how, after he finally quit drinking, he dove headlong into coke, and not the kind that you mix with bourbon.
If King's entire 1970s repertoire came from the bottom of the bottle, then his '80s body of work was snorted off a mirror. For example, The Tommyknockers is a novel about a mysterious force that makes people more powerful, intelligent, and creative, but gradually transforms them into monsters the more they indulge in it. This is an appropriate theme for a book that was written by a guy with pupils the size of Spanish olives and tissues stuffed up both nostrils to stem the voluminous bleeding caused by all the "inspiration dust" he was snorting.
That's how you know it's working!
Coke might have been the fuel behind some of King's most celebrated work -- Misery, for example, was written at the height of his addiction -- but it also produced some amazing garbage. The Tommyknockers is one of his most critically panned books. And his first and only effort as a film director, 1986's Maximum Overdrive, about trucks that come to life and try to flatten Emilio Estevez, has gone down in notoriety as something you'd less expect from the master of the American novel and more like a movie based on the transcript of a maladjusted six-year-old playing with his Hot Wheels collection.