I recently just finished reading NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, who just happens to be Stephen King’s son. I read it partly because of that, but I wouldn’t have picked it up if the premise didn’t also intrigue me.
It was interesting to read NOS4A2 because it was pretty clear where Hill developed his writing style. I believe NOS4A2 is his fourth novel, so he’s definitely not as mature as a writer as Stephen King is, but I’m confident he’ll get better. And I did really like NOS4A2! It did seem a bit slow at times, but more or less kept my attention all the way through.
I also read the short story e-book In The Tall Grass about a year ago, which was written by Joe Hill and Stephen King. It was a great little story, and now that I’ve read more of Hill’s work, I would say he actually had more influence on In The Tall Grass than King did, based purely on what I remember of the style.
Anyway, my point here is that I’m glad I picked up NOS4A2, and it’s probably not something that would have caught my eye if I didn’t know that Joe Hill was Stephen King’s son. I have to wonder, though, how much of Hill’s success is owed to his father’s fame. He’s definitely a very good writer, but there are plenty of very good writers who are overlooked and plenty of terrible writers who sell millions of books every year (James Patterson, anyone?).
It’s also interesting to me to see how similarly some related people can write, like Stephen King and Joe Hill, and how differently some related people can write, like Emily and Charlotte Bronte. (I’ve never read Anne Bronte, though I’ve been meaning to—those who have read all three, is there a big difference between Anne and the other two as well?) I’m not a big fan of Emily Bronte, but I loooove Charlotte Bronte. You’d think their styles would be a lot more similar than they actually are!
Has anyone else picked up a book specifically because it was by someone who was related to one of your favorite authors? I’ve been meaning to pick up something by Tabitha King (Stephen King’s wife), but I think she writes mostly poetry, which I’m not really interested in. And of course Anne Bronte. Other than that, though, I’ve never picked up a book just because it was by someone who was related to an author I already liked. Based on my experience with NOS4A2, though, it might not be a bad way to start expanding my horizons!
What do you think?