Round 1: Stephen King vs John Grisham

Stephen King

Special attack: Killer clown. That turns out to be an alien.


  • Has sold over 350 million books worldwide
  • Father of a million childhood nightmares


  • Probably has enough money to build a space station but hasn’t yet built a space station
  • Has probably written more books than he’s read

John Grisham

Special attack: Over-powering legalese


  • Has sold over 275 million books worldwide
  • Your dad’s favourite author 


  • Top of Tom Clancy’s hit list
  • Probably more law-abiding than his opponent


How we think it’d play out…


Stephen King reclines in his chair and looks back at the day’s work. ‘Only written three books today, Stephen,’ he says to the empty room. ‘You’re slacking, you’ve got to get it together.’ It’s late, almost 2am, and he yawns as he walks to the kitchen. There is a knock at the door.
‘Who on Earth is calling at this time?’ King says to himself, already starting to file the events away in his mind in case they’re useful for a story. ‘Maybe someone could be at home alone when there’s a late night banging on their doo…’ His thought is interrupted by another knock. He peers through the window and, instead of a malevolent spirit or hideous creature, all he can see is a regular human man.
‘Alright, this isn’t the end. I could still make this work,’ King thinks. ‘They might just appear to be a regular man. After all, isn’t man the ultimate evil? Besides killer clowns, cell phones, reanimated pets and mist, of course.’
The man outside says something through the door. ‘Stephen? Stephen King? Is that you? My name’s John Grisham. Could you let me in? I know it’s late but, well, it’s important.’
Recognising the name, Stephen King opens the door to his fellow heavyweight of American literature. Grisham takes a few steps forward into King’s house and looks around. It is exactly as you’d imagine Stephen King’s house to look like and, therefore, we don’t need to waste time describing it here.
‘This is a nice place. Not at all like I expected,’ Grisham says, throwing everything into confusion. ‘It’s a shame that my clients are going to have to take it away from you.’
Stephen King takes a moment to register what’s just been said. ‘I’m not moving from my house, Mr Grisham,’ he says. ‘And which client is this?’
‘Wolfram & Hart. They’ve taken a shine to your home. They think it may be a place where dark forces converge. Where certain ideas gather and grow. They want those ideas, Mr King, and technically they already own the land.’


Grisham opens his briefcase on the table which you imagined earlier, remember, and unfurls a long document. He starts to read.


‘The tenant, heretofore referred to as the Author, better known as Stephen King, also known as Richard Bachman, who will be referred to as the owner of the property and tenant, not to be confused with David Tennant, played by Dominic West (Sebastian Larsson), has been found to be living, habitating, occupying, residing and/or sitting and maintaining the property which, thanks to the case of Trurl v. Klapaucius, 1968-1489, allows the client, Wolfram & Hart, to take hold of the land, that is, the area upon which the house, the dwelling, heretofore known as the property, currently stands.’
Stephen King, suffering under the weight of the legalese, sinks to his knees.


‘No!’ he screams. ‘Stop! It’s so boring! It doesn’t mean anything! Please!’


But Grisham continues. King crawls over to his chair, which you didn’t need to imagine as we mentioned it earlier, and hauls himself up to his desk. The words continue, by now utterly incomprehensible, their meaning lost to obfuscating grammar and more commas than any one man would ever need. Stephen grabs at his desk for anything that will help him and finds a thick and heavy copy of It. He throws it blindly at Grisham, hitting him in the stomach. Doubled over, the ex-lawyer tries to continue the contract. Using the small break, King stumbles to his bookcase and starts hurling anything he can, quickly writing new books whenever he runs out of ammo.
After four hours Grisham is buried under a huge pile of books. The occasional moan of defeat comes from the stack. An exhausted Stephen King, back in his writing chair takes a deep breath and picks up his pen. The entire ordeal has given him an idea…



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