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hate_mail t1_j8w61ac wrote

I thought I read somewhere that he wanted to prove he was a good writer, and would be able to sell books based purely on his storytelling ability, not just because of his name. I could be completely wrong though


Mr_Mons_of_Nibiru t1_j8wfa34 wrote

And ironically, a major newspaper wrote in review of these books, "This is how Stephen King would write if Stephen King knew how to write."


KoeiNL t1_j8yrvav wrote

For real? That's fantastic and immediately shows how biased reviews can be.


IHaveANotSoHotTake t1_j8z1fxc wrote

> For real?

No. I can only trace this quote back to this article written by the guy who discovered that King was Bachman. The original quote itself isn't from a major newspaper review. It's a quote from King himself, quoting what he claims he'd heard a reader for the Literary Guild, a sort of mailed book-of-the-month club, had said.


GustavVA t1_j8xk5zy wrote

On Writing, is good. Stephen King knows he’ll never be a great writer. He works his ass off getting to good and as far as story structure he is. Readability? Everyone reads him. He makes a compelling case.


KoeiNL t1_j8ys74u wrote

It really doesn't matter that your prose isn't the best of the best if your stories are great. A lot better than the reverse, that's for sure.


psykotedy t1_j8w729b wrote

I’m with you. As I recall, that’s what Stephen King himself wrote in the foreword of The Bachman Books compilation I had as a teenager. Or it was something akin to that, anyway.


crazydave333 t1_j90kgku wrote

If OP wants the explanation of why Stephen King wrote as Richard Bachman, it's easiest to just read the intro to that collection.


hatersaurusrex t1_j8zassh wrote

You're not wrong - he did say that somewhere, either in his memoir or in the foreword to The Bachman Books. I distinctly remember him saying his agent told him 'Steve, you could publish your grocery list and it would sell a million copies' and King wanted to prove him wrong.

All the copies of the books got remaindered and sent back, so his agent was right in the end. He formed a band at some point with some other authors called 'The Rock Bottom Remainders' and I think maybe the bit about the Bachman bet was in that.

I don't remember where I read it, but I definitely did.


GhostMug t1_j8ztrno wrote

This is actually kind of interesting because you don't get to the point where your grocery list would sell a million copies without being a good writer who people love. So the fact that he was at that level and still wanted to "prove" he was a good writer just goes to show how even the greats aren't immune to imposter syndrome.


FoodBabyBaby t1_j94r2pc wrote

The band was great. I was a huge Stephen King fan in elementary school and got to go see his band and watch him sing ‘Stand by Me’ with the likes of Amy Tan, Dave Barry, Ann Rice & some others I can’t remember/didn’t know.

Saw him perform a few times over the years with different writers. He was decent and very nice.


mmmmpisghetti t1_j903htl wrote

JK Rowling did this as well, only in that case it was dogshit.


SenlinDescends t1_j9am8jj wrote

Actually the Strike novels were great until she used them as a platform for her bigotry :/


BurnieTheBrony t1_j90gemv wrote

Yeah, that's my understanding as well.

Then I read The Long Walk. It's an immediately engaging, yet horrifying, story of a kid from Maine going through something awful but with a shitty ending.

I was like, god damn you published the most Stephen King story ever as "Not Stephen King"


UnspentTx t1_j8wre96 wrote

Off topic: I see this all the time when I'm browsing Reddit... The title of a post asks a question, and the post itself links to an outside article that answers the question... Meaning the OP wasn't actually looking for an answer, yet all the comments are people giving answers, because of course they are! When you see someone ask a question, your instinct is to be helpful and answer it... Nobody IRL ever just walks up to other people, asks them all a question, and then answers it themselves*, so why does it happen so dang often online...?

I know I can't stop this trend, it's too common and happens in basically every subreddit I visit... But I feel like expressing my frustration about it rn, so here we are... 🤷

Is it just me, or does this frustrate other people too?

^(* The exception being teachers, I guess... But in a classroom or seminar, etc, you understand the context... You're all there to learn from the person asking the questions and giving the answers...)


forsakenwombat t1_j8wyo2u wrote

Welcome to karma farming. Fake internet points are a way of life.


Nodbot t1_j8xhvjb wrote

The title of the post is the title of the article


UnspentTx t1_j8xjt0s wrote

Sure, which makes far more sense when you're reading articles on a website called 'Bit of Trivia' ... But on a social media platform, where discussion happens between people, a post where the title is a question heavily implies that the OP is actually asking said question, and wants / is expecting people to answer ... Which, we can argue that that's just my opinion/interpretation of what's happening, but I'd say the shear number of comments giving answers -- and the fact that not a single comment is discussing the article OP linked to -- means I'm not in the minority here...

IDK, I know my account is new, but I've been browsing reddit for years now, and I still get tripped-up on these kinds of posts... I click through to see people's answers only to realize the OP wasn't really asking, they were telling...


jojomott t1_j8y7afx wrote

Do worry son, you are correct. It is just that a large part of humanity doesn’t care for the nuance of language and how to use it effectively especially on line. Few think about the consequences of wording in their inconsequential posts. All OP had to say was: This article answers the question: why did...

But I’d have shit myself if they then started their post by say: As the title say... because yeah, I know what the title says. Get to you point.

Anyway, there is a lot of shut unthinking people do that will bother the thoughtful. I do t know where you are in age, but as an old man you realize your only option is to enduring and suffer ignorance.


Deathbyhours t1_j8xe5dj wrote

Upvoting you and downvoting the OP. The answer is an interesting story, but it’s widely known, and for those who don’t know the answer to the question, it’s easy to discover.


IAmThePonch t1_j8y4u3c wrote

It was to

A. Not flood the market with his books

B. Write pulpier stuff as opposed to horror. It’s why most of the Bachman books (apart from thinner) are more sci-fi/ crime


hatersaurusrex t1_j8zbeiw wrote

>B. Write pulpier stuff as opposed to horror. It’s why most of the Bachman books (apart from thinner) are more sci-fi/ crime

They're also some of his best work. When he writes about things other than horror, he really shines. The Shawshank Redemption and The Running Man are two of my favorites.

Stand By Me was also really good, and many people still don't know that the movie was based on a Stephen King story even though his signature 'Group of adolescents going on an adventure and learning about dark things, one of whom has glasses and a smart mouth just like King' is all over it.


IAmThePonch t1_j8zcfr3 wrote

Bachman was hit or miss with me. I loved the month walk, liked running man, appreciated roadwork but that one was definitely too long, and didn’t much care for rage. Honestly apart from conpletionism I don’t know how much is lost by it being out of print. Thinner is just total trash but kind of entertaining, blaze I read when I was pretty young and remember liking, and I’m one of the few people that likes The Regulators for how fucking bananas it can be.


glittrxbarf t1_j901u52 wrote

The Regulators might be my favorite Stephen King book. It's definitely my favorite "deep cut."


hatersaurusrex t1_j8zj8b4 wrote

I think King overall is hit or miss - and lots of people who love one thing will hate another, and vice versa.

I really liked his takes on Fantasy - The Dark Tower and it's tie ins to The Regulators/Desperation and others is sort of fascinating and really unlike any of his other work. I personally really enjoyed The Talisman as well, but it seems to be on the 'most hated' list. The book also opens on a young boy whose mother is dying of cancer, and I was a young boy whose mother was dying at the time I read it, so it probably has more personal impact for me.


lostshadow78 t1_j8w6ait wrote

He wanted to prove he could write well. His early writings are a reflection of his coke/addiction days.


AlanMorlock t1_j8xfqpf wrote

Most of thr Bachman booms are from those coke days.


HugoNebula t1_j8xkqsx wrote

All of the original four Bachman books were written before King was even published, much less got into coke.


HugoNebula t1_j90rzje wrote

Downvoting doesn't make you any less wrong.


someoneelsesaidit t1_j91s4qb wrote

I picked up Thinner not knowing that Bachman was a pseudonym. A few pages in I rolled my eyes at this asshole shamelessly aping Stephen King’s style. Then there was a joke about how the events were like something out of a Stephen King novel and I gave the author credit for being self-aware and having a sense of humor about what they were doing.

I felt pretty stupid when I found out the truth.


aceh40 t1_j8wr03j wrote

Usually authors do this because it gives them creative freedom. They are not burdened by the brand name they have created. I think King said something in those lines.


RussMantooth t1_j8x8d82 wrote

The desired name Steve McQueen was already taken


darklining t1_j8weps4 wrote

Because he was writing alot early in his career but publishing houses weren't convinced that someone can write more than one great book a year, thus he needed to publish some of the books under a different name.

At least this is what I read few years back.


lucia-pacciola t1_j8wq4ck wrote

The Wikipedia article explains the whole thing, and cites Stephen King's own official explanation. You might want to start there.


Koolest_Kat t1_j8zuqm0 wrote

Was Richard Bachman the Sentient Pile of Cocaine?


Opening_Meaning2693 t1_j8y0pcr wrote

I think those were also a break from his usual genre weren't they?


Zodep t1_j91lugl wrote

TIL he Usual Suspects’d it:

> When the publisher called about it, King had no idea, so he started looking around the room. The music of the band Bachman Turner Overdrive was playing from the stereo and a Richard Stark novel was lying on the desk.


MissAnthropoid t1_j9363oj wrote

I think he wrote that the Bachman books were trashy and at one point he wanted to be a "serious" author who was known for literature.


HugoNebula t1_j95c06w wrote

No, he didn't write that. He wanted to be known for his writing, not his name, but he never denigrated the works he published under the Bachman name.


Any_Kaleidoscope_574 t1_j8zm2q4 wrote

It was because he was releasing more than 1 book per year and the publisher was afraid that readers would get tired of his stories.


Xendeus12 t1_j8z4vzs wrote

King answered the question in the collection of his Bachman books.


pattiemcfattie t1_j8zu895 wrote

Lol all the books are like IN MAINE X HAPPENED - he didn’t exactly mask himself very well


Adocron t1_j931fwh wrote

I know I’m in the minority here and you all will rip me apart. BUT, I still don’t believe they are the same author. It just doesn’t make sense. Stephen King was already well-known. So why would he write under a pseudonym?! He’d just make less money and get less exposure by doing so. Does that make any sense?!


HugoNebula t1_j95c1y3 wrote

I don't know, but I wonder if reading the linked article would answer your questions?


Beneficial_Daikon886 OP t1_j936v1y wrote

So who do you think it was?


Adocron t1_j938n37 wrote

I don’t know. Maybe Dean Koontz?


Beneficial_Daikon886 OP t1_j93ckiy wrote

Not far fetched. Koontz used many aliases:


Leigh Nichols

K.R. Dwyer

Deanna Dwyer

John Hill

Owen West

David Axton

Brian Coffey

Anthony North

Aaron Wolfe

Richard Paige

Leonard Chris


Adocron t1_j93e1hc wrote

I didn’t know that. And if you rearrange those letters, it spells Stephen King! Good God!


Hadochiel t1_j8ws7gz wrote

Because he thought hearing people refer to one "Dick bag man" would be funny


PorkloinMaster t1_j8xty7h wrote

This article was written by a drunk AI.


ExodusRex t1_j8xrlt2 wrote

Tax evasion


boognickrising t1_j8wx3zl wrote

It’s cuz he squeezed out so many books that no one cared anymore, if you write enough subpar books one is bound to be decent just no one cares anymore