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Old 09-20-07, 10:35 PM   #1
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Stephen King

Well, we need this thread.

I'll admit to being an enormous Stephen King fan. He gets a lot of snobby nay-saying because he's a "horror writer" and best-seller, but this is one dude who can seriously write well. Some of his books (especially the shorter ones) can be kind of trashy and make you cringe, but when he's good, he's very, very good. The Stand. It. Insomnia. The Dark Half. Rose Madder. Dolores Claiborne. Of course, the Dark Tower books-- the common thread that ties all of them together.

So, um, here's a thread. I'm a Dark Tower fan. Anyone else ever read "Eyes of the Dragon"?
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Old 09-20-07, 10:40 PM   #2
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Re: Stephen King

Pet Sematary. Scariest book ever.
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Old 09-21-07, 06:57 PM   #3
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Re: Stephen King

Vonne, I love you.

I am a huge Stephen King fan (as in, he is the only author I have read for the last year+). I'm still kind of a newbie, but I'm dedicated to getting through all of his books. I am currently about 2/3 of the way through Insomnia, and then I have Carrie and Everything's Eventual lined up after that.

Current favorites.... The Stand, Gerald's Game, The Green Mile, The Shining, Pet Semetary....

Pretty much every book I've read by him is tied for my favorite.
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Old 09-21-07, 07:04 PM   #4
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Re: Stephen King

*needs to bump some King closer to the top of her reading list*

I've never read anything of his.
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Old 09-21-07, 07:50 PM   #5
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Re: Stephen King

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Originally Posted by ILoveEko View Post
*needs to bump some King closer to the top of her reading list*

I've never read anything of his.
What do you normally gravitate towards, so that we can give recommendations?

Off the top of my head:

1) Dark Tower. Dark Tower. Dark Tower. It's kind of fantasy/sci-fi with a Western motif, in a LotR type saga. Some of the best books I've ever read. The first one is rough, you can tell his inexperience (he's released a "revised" version of it, 20-some years after he wrote it, which flows smoother and is less contradictary to the later books, you may like that better-- although I'll always prefer the original, too close to my heart). It gains steam as he goes on-- by the time you get to Book Three, you will be in love.

2) The Stand. Well, duh. His post-apocalyptic epic. DO NOT get the "short" or original version for this-- get the expanded version. When he first wrote it, he was forced to cut a good few hundred pages. He re-did it later with some of the cut material, and it actually is a better product in the long version. Incredible book on many levels. You will enjoy.

3) IT. More of a "horror story" than the first two, but still one of his best works, the kind of thing that sets him apart from other "horror novelists" like Dean Koontz. A beautifully crafted story from beginning to end. It will freak you out, though.

4) Insomnia. I wouldn't class this as horror, either. Supernatural, maybe. Extremely interesting and well-written, one of my personal favorites.

5) Pet Semetary. (thanks for reminding me of this one, LS). If you want straight-out horror story, this one is incredible. You'll have nightmares if you have any sense of literary empathy. Just about the creepiest stuff imaginable, but not cheap horror. He can be a very crude writer sometimes, but this is fine stuff.

6) Eyes of the Dragon. Is it obvious that I like him best when he strays from the "horror story" genre? This is straight-out fantasy-- kings in a distant land, dragons, evil wizards, etc. But one of the best stories, plot-wise, that he's ever written. Classic fairy-tale stuff, timeless, an excellent read.

7) Different Seasons. This is a collection of four novellas-- somewhere between short stories and novels. I hate him in short story form, I love him in novel form, but when he hits it with novellas, he REALLY hits it. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, obviously, is the jewel here-- I actually read this BEFORE I saw the movie, and I'm glad I did. The story is much better than the movie. One of his absolute best. Apt Pupil is pretty sick and twisted, but with him, sometimes you get that. The Body is standard King good writing (I think they made a movie out of that one, too), and The Breathing Method is chilling. If you like him in this format, another book he did was "Four Past Midnight," which has the novella "The Langoliers"-- see if you can spot the LOST theories there

8) Dolores Claiborne. The more I think of King, the more I like this one. It's a strange departure for him-- for one, he's writing from only one perspective (which he does often, but not as often as third person), but it's the actual STYLE that is interesting-- it's not even first person, it's a dialogue (and a female one, although he's done that before-- Rose Madder, for instance). The entire book is a story being narrated by one voice in an "interview" type setting. It's really kind of unusual and interesting.

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Vonne, I love you.
Je sais.
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Old 09-21-07, 07:56 PM   #6
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Re: Stephen King

Skeleton Crew.....King is at his best with short stories...and The Mist (the first story of the book I think) should just be required reading
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Old 09-21-07, 08:04 PM   #7
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Re: Stephen King

Ugh. See, I disagree. I can't STAND King's short stories. His main flaw as a writer is that he's very crude and not all that eloquent-- his strengths are character development, long-term plot development, immersion. I don't think he has time in short story format to really show those strengths, so what happens is just generic shock-value with mediocre word-play. If I'm going to read horror in short-story format, I stick with someone like Bradbury or Lovecraft.
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Old 09-21-07, 10:43 PM   #8
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Re: Stephen King

The Stand is, far and away, my favorite King book as of this moment. It is an absolute epic work. It created an entire world for me, and I feel like I actually left the real world and joined The Stand world for the entire time I was reading it. Just some of the best stuff I've ever read....

Pet Semetary is a tricky one for me. I'll start by saying that I loved it, just so theres no doubts about that. But all I heard about it prior to reading (and since then as well) was that it was one of the most "shocking" or "gruesome" or "terrifying" novels of all time. What? I loved the gruesome aspects as much as the next reader, but terrifying? I didn't think there were really any moments that were scary. Now, granted, I am about as macho as a man can get, but I was really looking forward to finally being scared by a book, and it was a let down.

After I finish the books I have lined up, I'm not sure if I want to start the Dark Tower series or keep reading the stand-alone novels. I am very excited to read Dark Tower, but I feel like that will be an extremely lengthy time investment, and there are so many other King novels I want to read as well. We'll see.

And as for his short stories, I'll let you know what I think after reading a chunk of "Everything's Eventual." I am quite excited to read some of his short works. I also need to find a copy of The Mist.
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Old 09-21-07, 10:59 PM   #9
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Re: Stephen King

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Originally Posted by MrSocko54 View Post
Pet Semetary is a tricky one for me. I'll start by saying that I loved it, just so theres no doubts about that. But all I heard about it prior to reading (and since then as well) was that it was one of the most "shocking" or "gruesome" or "terrifying" novels of all time. What? I loved the gruesome aspects as much as the next reader, but terrifying? I didn't think there were really any moments that were scary. Now, granted, I am about as macho as a man can get, but I was really looking forward to finally being scared by a book, and it was a let down.
Spoiler: Pet Semetary spoilers


Are you frickin kidding me? If not the whole Monkey's Paw imagery-- the dead people, "changed," coming back to life-- if not even the path to the MicMac burial ground, and the huge thing that passed so close by him-- or, damn, how Ellie had a dream about "Paxcow"... I think the freakiest part of the book, is when he is sitting by Gage's grave, thinking, and finds himself drawing a spiral in the dirt. It's horror on a different level, I guess. The ending-- how he sits and plays solitaire, until a hand falls on his shoulder, and Rachel's dirt-stained voice says "darling," is one of the most terrifying things I've ever read. Just thinking about it and typing it, I have goosebumps over my entire body. I'm trying to think of something scarier than the premises that support the plot of Pet Semetary, and I can't think of anything. I guess that's personal preference there-- what the hell scares you, if that doesn't?

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Old 09-21-07, 11:00 PM   #10
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Re: Stephen King

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Originally Posted by MrSocko54 View Post
After I finish the books I have lined up, I'm not sure if I want to start the Dark Tower series or keep reading the stand-alone novels.
You want to read the Dark Tower series. Really. Not joking. You really want to read those books. You'll see.
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