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I love Stephen King. When I was young he was the first writer I got totally hooked on, I read Carrie when I was 14 or 15 and as soon as I’d finished it I had to track down as much King as I could find. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have one of his books on the go or when I was planning to re-read one them.

So, let’s talk about his best books. These are some of my favourites.

The Stand Apocalypse now.

The greatest American novel ever written (well, it’s the greatest American novel I’ve ever read. The Big Nowhere is a close second.) The first 800+ pages when we’re introduced to the characters, see how they re-act to the plague and meet Flagg for the first time is the best thing I’ve ever read. Every character is so well drawn, even the bad guys are deserving of sympathy. A modern classic that everyone should read.

Christine Possessed car terrorises Maine.

A brilliant slice of American high-school life, but a bit of a slow-burner. We don’t get into the horrific stuff until the second half of the story. It’s a great book about obsession but it’s much more subtle than a lot of SK’s books. We never get to learn the full history of Christine or her owners and the book is the better for it.

The Girl who loved Tom Gordon

Child characters feature in loads of SK’s books and Trisha McFarland is one of my favorites. TGWLTG doesn’t get enough love from King fans, but I think it’s a cracker. I loved the insect faced villain and the way Trisha defeats him. SK’s best book of the nineties.

Different Seasons 4 stories, 3 movies.

The book that the films Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption and Apt Pupil where adapted from. Not a standard SK book, but each of the 4 stories is fantastic. I really like Apt Pupil and its bleak ending. It’s a story about a young lad who discovers his elderly neighbour is a former Concentration Camp guard.

He’s written so many brilliant books this post could go on forever but honourable mentions to: The Dark Half, Rage, ‘Salems Lot, The Shining and Children of The Corn. COTC scared the be-jesus out of me the first time I read it, the loneliness and isolation of the town and the bit when they find the book with the list of names and dates of death *shudder*.

He’s also written some lemons. From a Buick 8 is terrible, I don’t know what he thinking. I’ve only read the first 2 Dark Tower books so maybe it ties in with those stories but as a stand alone novel I just didn’t think it worked.

So, any fans of The King out there let’s share the love.

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A timely thread for me, haven't read any Stephen King since I was pretty young but I bought the first volume of The Dark Tower from a charity shop yesterday. Only got through the introduction, preface and start of the first chapter so I haven't made my mind up yet, but there is no doubt he is a fantastic storyteller. I was thinking of starting a Dark Tower thread to post my thoughts, as the other one is probably full of spoilers, but I'll put them in here, when I have some.

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IT is such a fantastic book. The whole period with the children playing speaks a lot about human nautre in an indirect way. I couldn't put it down.

Also a big fan of the Tommyknockers, as it's actually scary and completely intriguing, even past the last page. The 'revelation' about how a certain thing is powered... gives me the shivers even now, a decade after reading it for the first time.

Never read the Dark Tower series. Always planned to, and will get around to it at some point.

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Actually, one of my all time favourite Stephen King stories of all time is 'The Mist'.

Tis very good, i have the audiobook on my MP3 player. I love the part where the lady go mads and starts to demand a sacrifice to appease the "demon".

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Actually, one of my all time favourite Stephen King stories of all time is 'The Mist'.

High five! I'm a big fan of King, for some reason it's the short story collections I like (and re-read) the most.

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Actually, one of my all time favourite Stephen King stories of all time is 'The Mist'.

Good call. That and " The Jaunt" (think that's the name; the teleport one) are his best short stories IMO.

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I really like most of the King I've read. Particularly The Stand. I read it whilst travelling around the US so imagining it without people and everything was really incredible. I've found that I can't reread any of his novels though, even after really enjoying them the first time, I find his style really grates on a second run through :lol:

I've read Dark Tower 1&2 so far, didnt enjoy 1 but 2 was excellent...

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Good shout on those short stories, especially The Mist. My favourite is actually from his most recent collection Everythings Eventual - 1408. It's a haunted room story, made my fucking skin crawl.

Stephen King at his best just blows everyone else out of the water: It, Salems Lot, Pet Sematary, Needful Things - full of great setpieces and fantastic dialogue.

I love the way he rambles on a bit in that laid fashion of his, like an old timer sitting on his front porch

For me, he's got loads of rereadability, I've just finished The Tommyknockers for the third time, some of the ideas in that book just had me shaking my head in awe, the imagination of the guy is phenomenal.

Long may he continue.

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Pet Sematary is still the only book that's managed to seriously give me the creeps.

The main character's journey through the forest to and from the cemetary itself become, just, horribly, nightmarishly intense the more he does it. The final one (where something silent and huge is stalking him) was almost too much; I think it's because this 'creature,' or presence, or whatever it is, isn't the focus of the story. You never see it, or find out what it was. It was just a thing, in the forest.

Edit: film, though. Rubbish.

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imho

Essential King

It

The Tommyknockers

Hearts in Atlantis

The Green Mile

Misery

The Eyes of the Dragon

Rage

The Running Man

Rose Madder

Good King

The Shining

Bag of Bones

Dreamcatcher

Carrie

Christine

The Stand

The Dead Zone

The Regulators

The Dark Tower

Pet Sematary

Shit King

Insomnia

Talisman

Black House

Thinner

Desperation

Dolores Claiborne

Salems Lot

Needful Things

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imho

Essential King

It

The Tommyknockers

Hearts in Atlantis

The Green Mile

Misery

The Eyes of the Dragon

Rage

The Running Man

Rose Madder

Good King

The Shining

Bag of Bones

Dreamcatcher

Carrie

Christine

The Stand

The Dead Zone

The Regulators

The Dark Tower

Pet Sematary

Shit King

Insomnia

Talisman

Black House

Thinner

Desperation

Dolores Claiborne

Salems Lot

Needful Things

Swap out Dreamcatcher with ALL the books in your Shit King list and we're talking :lol:

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I quite like King's work that isn't all-out horror. Lately though he seems to have fallen into that John Grisham trap where all his books appear to be written for easy translation into movies.

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Pet Sematary is still the only book that's managed to seriously give me the creeps.

The stuff about his wifes sisters spinal disease really shit me up :lol:

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I haven't read *that* much King but what I have I've really enjoyed. Some of it I've loved (the Dark Tower, except the last part which I STILL haven't got, Salem's Lot, The Green Mile), and some of it, despite not being up there with his classics, I've still found to be a great read. So something like Dreamcatcher, although a bit confused, was still a good page-turner and had some fantastic moments (mainly heart-tugging ones involving Duddits).

I might be the only person ever whos first King book was The Regulators (under the Bachman pseudonym) followed by its counterpart Desperation. I was intrigued by the way the two fitted together and the transparently fictional but still audacious explanation given for this. And from that moment I was a King fan.

I'm slowly but surely working my way through his entire catalogue.

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I've not read much King, but the stuff I have read I love.

The Stand and The Dark Tower are both brilliant stories I could read again and again.

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I love Stephen King. When I was young he was the first writer I got totally hooked on, I read Carrie when I was 14 or 15 and as soon as I’d finished it I had to track down as much King as I could find. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have one of his books on the go or when I was planning to re-read one them.

So, let’s talk about his best books. These are some of my favourites.

The Stand Apocalypse now.

The greatest American novel ever written (well, it’s the greatest American novel I’ve ever read. The Big Nowhere is a close second.) The first 800+ pages when we’re introduced to the characters, see how they re-act to the plague and meet Flagg for the first time is the best thing I’ve ever read. Every character is so well drawn, even the bad guys are deserving of sympathy. A modern classic that everyone should read.

Christine Possessed car terrorises Maine.

A brilliant slice of American high-school life, but a bit of a slow-burner. We don’t get into the horrific stuff until the second half of the story. It’s a great book about obsession but it’s much more subtle than a lot of SK’s books. We never get to learn the full history of Christine or her owners and the book is the better for it.

The Girl who loved Tom Gordon

Child characters feature in loads of SK’s books and Trisha McFarland is one of my favorites. TGWLTG doesn’t get enough love from King fans, but I think it’s a cracker. I loved the insect faced villain and the way Trisha defeats him. SK’s best book of the nineties.

Different Seasons 4 stories, 3 movies.

The book that the films Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption and Apt Pupil where adapted from. Not a standard SK book, but each of the 4 stories is fantastic. I really like Apt Pupil and its bleak ending. It’s a story about a young lad who discovers his elderly neighbour is a former Concentration Camp guard. 

He’s written so many brilliant books this post could go on forever but honourable mentions to: The Dark Half, Rage, ‘Salems Lot, The Shining and Children of The Corn. COTC scared the be-jesus out of me the first time I read it, the loneliness and isolation of the town and the bit when they find the book with the list of names and dates of death *shudder*.

He’s also written some lemons. From a Buick 8 is terrible, I don’t know what he thinking.  I’ve only read the first 2 Dark Tower books so maybe it ties in with those stories but as a stand alone novel I just didn’t think it worked.

So, any fans of The King out there let’s share the love.

Man, From a Buick 8 is beautiful.

Admittedly, maybe you need a bit of a Dark Tower eye to get the most out of it...

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I've not read any of his books, and haven't really felt the inclination, seeing as he was such a stupid cunt to reject Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining and praise the shite version over it.

Yeah.

Except he actually said Kubrick's movie was a great horror movie.

He just didn't like the casting of Nicholson.

And he was right.

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imho

Essential King

It

The Tommyknockers

Hearts in Atlantis

The Green Mile

Misery

The Eyes of the Dragon

Rage

The Running Man

Rose Madder

Good King

The Shining

Bag of Bones

Dreamcatcher

Carrie

Christine

The Stand

The Dead Zone

The Regulators

The Dark Tower

Pet Sematary

Shit King

Insomnia

Talisman

Black House

Thinner

Desperation

Dolores Claiborne

Salems Lot

Needful Things

That list is incredible.

The Talisman shit?

Salem's Lot shit?

The TOMMYKNOCKERS ESSENTIAL?!?!?!?!

And The Dark Tower, arguable the best fantasy epic of all time, only "good?"

Man, just goes to show that the guy is all things to all people.

He's a genius.

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Essential King

It

The Shining

Desperation

The Regulators

The Green Mile

Misery

Rage

The Running Man

The Stand

Pet Sematary

Four Past Midnight (Langoliers mainly)

Different Seasons (The Body, Shawshank Redemption mainly)

The Green Mile

Danse Macabre

Good King

Hearts in Atlantis

The Tommyknockers

The Eyes of the Dragon

Dreamcatcher

Carrie

Children of the Corn

Cujo

Christine

The Dead Zone

The Dark Tower

Talisman

Salems Lot

Dolan's Cadillac

From a Buick 8

Silver Bullet

Rose Madder

Shit King

Everything's Eventual

The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon

Gerald's Game

Insomnia

Dolores Clayborne

Bag of Bones

Black House

Thinner

Dolores Claiborne

Needful Things

Shuffled it up and added a few as I see it.

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Geralds Game I fucking loved, some beautiful writing in there and he fair ratchets the tension up throughout as well.

It's funny how his books divide people, Black House took a lot of flak but I thought it was up there with The Talisman.

Out of interest Biglime, did you dislike The Tommyknockers, or just not rate it very highly?

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That list is incredible.

The Talisman shit?

Salem's Lot shit?

The TOMMYKNOCKERS ESSENTIAL?!?!?!?!

And The Dark Tower, arguable the best fantasy epic of all time, only "good?"

Man, just goes to show that the guy is all things to all people.

He's a genius.

I've only managed the first two volumes of DT so far, Part 2 was brilliant, amongst Kings best work. But I just couldn't get into Part 3 and have never got any further.

I must go back to it (in fact I picked up Wolves of The Calla for £4 at the weekend and was planning this anyway. Wizard and Glass is in the loft somewhere.

EDIT

I always thought I was the only person in the world who thought Rose Madder was amongst Kings best. Does anyone agree? (I'm not really expecting anyone to).

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He's my most read author. I was totally obsessed with him as a kid; he was all I'd read. But he's inconsistent, and by his own admission sometimes compromises a good book by sticking a load of tacky B-Movie gore where it doesn't belong in place of tension. So I've found him to be a mixed bag in general; epics like "IT" pretty much summarise the entire experience of childhood and are equal parts poignant and terrifying. But then he's also written plodding New Age drivel like "Insomnia" that's neither interesting nor frightening. And come on, two books about haunted cars? It was a shit idea the first time. But I think you can forgive a writer as prolific as King for repeating himself.

I'm coming to the end of the first "Dark Tower" book now, the first King I've read in years, and I can't wait to get into the second. I really need to read "The Stand" eventually, too. I always meant to when I was a kid, but I'm a slow reader and it would have taken me the better part of three months to get through.

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Hmmmn. Thats interesting. I generally agree with what people have said. IT, Misery, Running man, the stand all brilliant. But...

Everyone seems to think needful things is poor. What? The devil incarnate coming along to earth setting up a curio shop and using everyones greed to turn the whole town against each other ending with a gigantic blood bath and the devil chuckling and rubbing his hands with glee as he moves on to the next town? Bad?

I got it when it was released, I was an adolescent at the time so perhaps the gory bits didn't seem as out of place as they might have done if I had read it when a little older.

I found the portrayal of people being manipulated into doing things they knew were wrong out of greed was very convincing and the characterisation convincing enough to make it work. He took the things they wanted most and dangled them in front of them until they really felt they needed them. Then asked for a little favour...

I also like the fact that the devil creates such carnage in such a polite manner and always had a smile on his face. Awesome book. One of his best I would have said and certainly much better than stuff like christine.

I haven't read it in a while though and I am prepared to concede that perhaps the characterisation which in my view is what gave the book its atmosphere and made it work might only have been convincing to a teenager.

Anyone read it recently enough to give a critique slightly more sophisticated than, 'It's shit'?

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Hey, I loved it. The cocaine-addicted character (it's been a few years, can't remember his name) with the fast car was ace, as was that women who NEEDED a carnival lamp.

The ending was ridiculous and over-the-top, which is just what I like.

So... not a more sophisticated critique then :(

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