42 Comments

  1. The Stand is probably in my top ten books.

    Stephen King is a great Story teller and has an amazing sense of being in a familiar place even within one novel , let alone accross them.

    The post-apocalyptic Captain Trips story is very 21st Century. In the seventies we were pretty sure we’d all be blown up by an atomic bomb, now we’re pretty sure we don’t know what will kill us. But it still will.

  2. I haven’t read his early stuff since I was back in high school. I picked up a compilation from the library that consisted of Carrie, Salem’s Lot and The Shining. About halfway through Carrie now. It’s really good. I can definitely see Lovecraft’s influence on it now.

  3. The last thing I read from him was “IT”. Like everyone else, I read most of his earlier stuff in H.S., but “IT” was where I hopped off the King Train. When I initially moved into our new home, and Mrs. Cornjob lived in the other “still on the market home”, I bought “The Cell” at the local grocer as there was no cable/satellite TV yet. I made it about 90 pages in before throwing it aside, and broke into the paperbacks in the garage. I did get to see the filming of “The Langoliers” when I was in the Bangor airport many moons ago. Had a really nice chat with Dean Stockwell. That was fun.

  4. It has always been a favorite of mine. So epic and insane.
    I think Misery is his best overall work, though. No “horror.” No supernatural stuff. Only the perfect kind of psychological terror. It helps that Kathy Bates was absolutely perfect for the role of Annie in the movie, too.

  5. Lawnmower Man

    Okay I haven’t actually read it, but judging by the movie it must be awesome, right? As long as the story was about some…uh…handi-capable guy becoming a genius through the power of virtual reality I’m happy. Or if it’s at least about virtual reality in some way. Or if it even mentions a computer in at least one sentence somewhere.

    Incidentally, I wonder why ole SK took his name off that movie. I’m sure it was for a good reason.

      1. Actually I think it was a Pan like creature (possibly Pan himself?) and he was eating the lawn. But to be fair, it’s not really all that much of a stretch to get from that to what was shown in the movie. I know I had to check the book cover repeatedly because I kept forgetting that I wasn’t reading “Flowers For Algernon.”

  6. But seriously, Gerald’s Game was probably my favorite, at least from what I remember. To be fair though, it’s been a long time since I’ve read SK, and even longer since I read Gerald’s Game.

  7. The Shining, Thinner and Misery. I might add that Kubrick made me more freaked out than the novel Shining ever did. Begs the question what is the scariest film you have seen – mine is The Changeling.

  8. I’ve got two. The Stand is the obvious choice, but my other one isn’t one of his popular books. It’s “Hearts in Atlantis.” The reason being is that it’s pretty much about growing up a baby boomer. The books is in a couple parts, the first is the early 60s when the kids are preteens, then college/Vietnam in the late 60s, then finally adults.

    But this book really helped me grasp my parents, in a way, especially my mother, as the characters in the book are close to the same age. I’ve never read anything else that really made me understand what it was like to grow up at that time, and for that I’m grateful. You can ignore the movie.

  9. My vote is for The Talisman, which was a joint novel with Peter Straub. Wolf is my favorite character.

    Other than that, I really enjoyed Christine and Misery.

  10. IT – On rereading, it still makes me keep the lights on for 2-3 nights, and still makes me cry like a baby at the end. Best book ever.

  11. I’m probably remembering it as being better than it was, but the second Dark Tower book really grabbed me.

    I also really liked Dolores Claiborne. Never saw the movie.

    1. I just read the second Dark Tower book recently. I really think that series is either love or hate. I just couldn’t get into it. I gave up in the middle of books three.

      1. I gave up on King altogether after I finished book 1. A friend of mine finished the series and tells me I made the right call.

  12. I have never read a single King book. The closest i have come is watching Kingdom Hospital.

    It is only in the last two years that I discovered he was a respected author. Having never read any of his stuff and hearing his name as much as I do (as well as the number of novels he’s written) I’d always assumed he was some cheap Goosebumps-style book factory.

  13. I really like his novellas. “Different Seasons” (which includes “the Body”, “Shawshank Redemption” and “Apt Pupil” was particularly good.

    “The Long Walk” is one of the most chilling stories I have ever read. I stumbled across it years ago and some of the images haunt me to this day. For those of you who haven’t read it, it’s about a game show where a group of children walk across America. If they walk less than 2 miles an hour, they get shot. Last one standing wins.

  14. Bag of Bones is one of my consistent favorites. I’ve enjoyed most of his work though, only a few things hit off key for me. Reread Insomnia a lot, especially when I am going through a bad patch of sleeplessness.

  15. The Stand, especially the extra long illustrated one. King is right; “The Kid” is a great character, and is only available in the outsized edition.

  16. It’s a tough call because while I love “The Stand”, the ending is just so blah. I’m going to go with “Carrie” and “Different Seasons”.
    “Different Seasons” was the fourth King thing I had read (“Carrie” was the third), and it was my first non-supernatural King. It made me realize that, at the end of the day, the man is a great story teller and not just a super popular horror writer.
    And “Carrie” is just badass.

  17. I agree with Aman. My favorite novel of King’s is “Carrie.” I particularly like it because of the epistolary structure. The news clippings, magazine articles, and book excerpts contained within lend it an air of authenticity.

    As for my favorite novella, that would have to be “Apt Pupil” from “Different Seasons” (which was already an awesome collection). It really brings home the Nietzsche line about the danger of staring into the abyss.

    I also agree with some the posters who’ve said that his early work was best, although I think he’s still a greater wrier of short stories.

    1. I agree with all that but there’s another thing I liked about Carrie that made it different. Carrie isn’t a book that tries to jump out in front of you wearing a sheet and yelling, “BOO!” to try to scare you. Carrie tells you right from the start what’s going to happen, then reminds you every so often as to the inevitable outcome. It’s like an abusive parent that terrifies a child by telling that child they’re going to be beaten in one hour, then says the same thing in 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 5 minutes and 2 minutes. It’s also interesting that every character had the chance to avoid their fate and questioned their actions but none of them did.

  18. Cycle of the Werewolf had a great impact on me as a kid – likely due the the great artwork. But the stand certainly makes the list of my favourite books.

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