Review by Zack Rosen: Stephen King and The Case of the Psychotic Lesbian
This article courtesy of Zack Rosen, Thenewgay.net
Oh, overused tropes of fiction: Psychotic homosexuals be thy name. High art and low have dipped into the well so often that it’s a miracle Baby Jessica isn’t hanging out in there with Bart Simpson’s tape recorder. Battlestar Galactica, one of the modern age’s best queer allegories, featured two subplots involving the show’s only gay characters proving themselves to be evil, masochistic or murderous. Those characters, though, were fully-formed and perhaps just extensions of BSG’s larger points about identity and hardship. Ramona Norville, villain of Stephen King’s new novella “Big Driver” accepts no such justifications.
“Big Driver,” second in King’s new four-novella collection Full Dark, No Starsis (sucky spoiler alert) the woman who invites mystery author Tess to a speaking engagement in her small town. She is also responsible for giving Tess “shortcut” directions that allow Tess to be raped by Ramona’s equally psychotic sons. Her two salient characteristics are that she is butch and bonkers.Ramona is introduced in the following manner:
“Ramona Norville turned out to be a broad-shouldered, heavy-breasted, jovial woman… with flushed cheeks, a marine haircut and a take-no-prisoners handshake… Instead of wishing Tess a good morning… she asked a man’s question: Had Tess come by [route] 84?
King supplements this four pages later, in case we didn’t get it, that Ramona watches Tess input directions into her GPS with “manly interest” because, of course, only men take a vested interest in a car’s ability to deliver a driver to their destination. That’s why my mom and sisters close their eyes, stomp the pedal and just hope for the best whenever they drive places. Except they don’t because they aren’t in a Stephen King story. But I digress.
To remove any doubt about Ms. Norville’s orientation, King includes a picture of her and her girlfriend in Norville’s living room. And a whole lot of references to her size and quarterback-like strength when Tess eventually stabs her for her involvement in the rape. This is a good time to mention that “Big Driver” is not very good. I’ve read a lot of good Stephen King books (because I used to be a relatively-friendless 11 year-old) and this isn’t one of them. It, The Shining, The Long Walk, Apt Pupil: Those are good. None of the novella’s in Full Dark, No Stars count among King’s best, or are even that much different than one hundred things he’s done before.
Continued at TheNewGay.net