Even though 2017 was arguably the biggest year in Stephen King’s illustrious career, 2018 wasn’t far behind for Bangor’s most famous resident in terms of the sheer volume of content released. Whether it was national news, or something much more local to Maine, 2018 was plenty full of King things.
The year started off with some great Stephen King news, and some bad Stephen King news.
The good: It was announced that King was to receive the PEN America Literary Service Award, which he received in May.
The bad: A devastating basement flood hit Stephen King-themed bookstore Gerald Winters & Son in downtown Bangor in January, destroying much of owner Winters’ inventory, including some priceless King manuscripts. Luckily for Winters, he recovered a number of items — and a famous friend helped restore many other books.
King published two books this year. In May, he published “The Outsider,” a novel that combines the pulpy, noir-ish crime writing he’s focused on in more recent years with a classic King-style supernatural villain. In October, he released “Elevation,” a charming but melancholy novella set in our beloved Castle Rock. Both books debuted on The New York Times bestseller list, of course, and HBO has already picked up “The Outsider” as a TV series.
Speaking of Castle Rock, in July, streaming network Hulu premiered the show of the same name — a 10-episode series set in the fictional Maine town starring Andre Holland, Sissy Spacek, Scott Glenn, Melanie Lynsky and Bill Skarsgard (the guy who played Pennywise in “IT”). The show was a big hit among King fans and horror fans alike, and has been renewed for a second season, which will premiere sometime in 2019. We recapped all 10 episodes over the summer.
Here at the Bangor Daily News, we reached back into the archives to dig up some fun old Stephen King nuggets from years past. Our favorites? An assortment of letters to the editor King sent to the BDN throughout the 1980s and 90s, and a beautiful essay King wrote about Bangor way back in 1983 for the Bangor Historical Society, and republished this year with the society’s permission. We also compiled a Spotify playlist featuring songs King has written about or professed his love for over the years.
All things King remained just as popular in Maine this year as it did last year or in any other year.
Need proof? The Stephen King-themed Fright at the Fort in Prospect held up Route 1 traffic for hours around Halloween this year, after an unprecedented jump in attendance for the annual event over the weekend of Oct. 19 and 20.
Next year is already set to bring even more King films and series, including the remake of “Pet Sematery,” which opens on April 5; new seasons of “Castle Rock” and “Mr. Mercedes”; and, of course, the hotly anticipated sequel to the 2017 blockbuster, “IT.”
Who’s ready to see Derry — a.k.a. Bizarro Bangor — on the screen again?