Stephen King isn’t afraid to speak his mind. The horror meister did that and then some during an appearance in Stratham on Saturday night, offering his thoughts on everyone from Chris Christie to the Weinstein brothers to James Patterson.
King was in town for a talk at the Cooperative Middle School as part of a series organized by Algonquin Books where one author interviews another. King interviewed New Jersey author Lauren Grodstein about her latest book, “A Friend of the Family.” The discussion was hosted by Exeter’s Water Street Bookstore.
Though most of the night focused on Grodstein, many of the 150 people in the audience were there to see King. And he didn’t disappoint, answering a few questions about his own work, cracking jokes, and even offering a few of his opinions on pop culture and current events.
In between talking about Grodstein’s book, King got in a few quick jabs at Christie’s girth, Patterson’s writing ability, and the Weinstein brothers’ filmmaking prowess, although he later said he was joking about that last dig.
“I’ll be driving home in tinted windows tonight,” Grodstein joked after King’s Patterson crack.
King also answered a question from a fan who wanted to know how difficult it was for the author to see his books made into movies.
“I don’t care,” King said, noting that you have to “give yourself over to the process,” and allow the filmmaker to run the show. “It’s a team sport,” he said, and “sometimes there’s a good result.”
King had the crowd laughing throughout the hour-long chat as he grilled Grodstein on her book.
At one point, he asked Grodstein to describe her thinking behind a particularly racy scene in her book.
“I don’t know if I want to talk about it,” Grostein said, blushing.
“These people came out on a cold, slushy night – so let’s get hot in here,” King replied, drawing laughs from the crowd.
The two authors also talked a bit about the writing process, with Grodstein saying she gets up at 5 each morning to write. She said she loves teaching at Rutgers University because it gives her something else to do besides listen to the voices in her head.
“Geez, that’s all I do,” King cracked. “I guess I’m a bad person.”