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The 7 - Random - My Summer of King! Register and log in to post!
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Captain_12_Pack
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#1 Posted on 1.7.03 0119.41
Reposted on: 1.7.10 0123.07
Hey All,

I don't know who even pays attention to me around here anymore, but I decided to get your opinions on this:

I've decided that this summer, in between three jobs, trying to write some more, and getting ready for the coming school year (I'm just a kid...aw, shucks!), I'm going to try and read as many Stephen King books as I possibly can. Just to clarify early, I've already read:

The Shining (though I might again, 'cause it rules, you know)
The Stand
Cujo
Pet Semetary
The Long Walk
Dreamcatcher
From a Buick 8
The Tommyknockers

I also tried to get through Insomnia, made it to about 1/2-3/4 of the book, and couldn't finish it. Maybe I'm dense, but after the conversation between Ralph and his lady friend and the little "doctors" on the rooftop, I just thought it was stupid.

Anyway, any suggestions on what to tackle next would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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Mild Mannered Madman
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#2 Posted on 1.7.03 0213.47
Reposted on: 1.7.10 0214.11
You haven't read MISERY yet?

The compilation books are great too.
David Adams
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#3 Posted on 1.7.03 0927.29
Reposted on: 1.7.10 0929.06
Read all the Bachman books aside from Roadwork. That one bored me to hell.

And check out The Dead Zone.
OlFuzzyBastard
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#4 Posted on 1.7.03 1049.33
Reposted on: 1.7.10 1053.18
What's interesting is, unintentionally, I'm sure, aside from "The Shining" and "The Stand", you've really read a lot of his "lesser" novels. I mean, I suppose "Pet Semetary" and "Cujo" are good, but nowhere in the league of some of his other work. That's a good thing - you haven't spoiled yourself yet.

First and foremost, he's just re-released the first four Dark Tower novels - including a re-written version of "The Gunslinger". You absolutely should read those and, once you get to the third one, they start tying in damn near everything else he's ever written. (If you go this route, you should finish Insomnia at some point - something that happens towards the end of that book is going to be important in the Dark Tower later. Same with Hearts In Atlantis - at least the "Low Men In Yellow Coats" story.)

If you do go for The Dark Tower - don't make the same mistake I (and many others) have made. Finish "The Gunslinger". I know a lot of people who stopped in the first chapter because they didn't like the tone of the story. No matter how it seems at first - this is not a Western. Most of the second novel takes place in modern day New York City.

Otherwise...

"It" is probably my favorite thing he's written. Long as a motherfucker, but I wish it went on another 1,000 pages. You owe it to yourself to read this one, just steer clear of the TV-movie. Very very bad. Tim Curry as a child-killing shape-shifting clown living in the sewers couldn't make that film decent. It's got John Ritter and the judge from Night Court in it. 'Nuff said.

Needful Things is very cool, too, but you want to make sure you read The Dark Half and The Sun Dog story from Four Past Midnight first. It's not *imperative* - most of the storyline makes sense regardless outside of a few dream sequences - but it'll difinitely improve it.

Salem's Lot is damn scary. The only one of his novels that ever actually *scared* me. I'd pick that one up, too.

Aside from that, most of the short stories in Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, Nightmares and Dreamscapes and Everything's Eventual are pretty damned good - same with the stories in Different Seasons.

I really loved The Green Mile when I read it, but it was written as six seperate volumes, each released one month apart from each other. I don't know if it would be as gripping if you didn't have to wait through five month-long cliffhangers - especially since everyone kinda knows what happens now, thanks to the movie.

Personally, I think Carrie and Firestarter are both really overrated, and I'd steer clear of the both of them, but that's just me, I suppose.

EDIT: Oh, and the Talisman novels he wrote with Peter Straub are very good, too. And the second one, Black House, is pretty much a Dark Tower novel, so, again, if you go that route - more required reading.

(edited by OlFuzzyBastard on 1.7.03 1151)
PalpatineW
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#5 Posted on 1.7.03 1249.21
Reposted on: 1.7.10 1251.10
I'll second Salem's Lot. Incredibly spooky book.
HrdCoreJoe
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#6 Posted on 1.7.03 1410.03
Reposted on: 1.7.10 1412.36
After reading "It" I'm still scared of clowns to this day. I can't be the only one!
I thought Insomnia was a great book, but your mileage might, and obviously does, vary.
Big Bad
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#7 Posted on 1.7.03 1430.14
Reposted on: 1.7.10 1432.13
It made me scared of clowns as well, though that might also be because a clown killed my father.

Misery is a must-read.
dunkndollaz
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#8 Posted on 1.7.03 1451.28
Reposted on: 1.7.10 1451.55
Misery was so much better in print than on film and I loved the movie

as an aside, Steven King walked right past me and the kids in the lobby of the Carlyle Hotel in NYC about a week ago - he looked intense
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#9 Posted on 1.7.03 1503.34
Reposted on: 1.7.10 1511.23
Were the Red Sox in town? Huge fan.

He's really not doing much right now, just relaxing in the spook house up here in Maine. So, he shouldn't be too intense about anything since he's not writing. Maybe that's why he's intense..
Dagent913
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#10 Posted on 1.7.03 2012.56
Reposted on: 1.7.10 2022.34

    Originally posted by Big Bad
    It made me scared of clowns as well, though that might also be because a clown killed my father.


This is the greatest reference ever!

Anyway, I actually haven't read much King, but Skeleton Crew really stands out in my mind (I dig anthology-type books), even though I read it a really long time ago.
A Fan
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#11 Posted on 1.7.03 2159.40
Reposted on: 1.7.10 2200.50
Yes, the Stand, the best book of the 80s. Still, my favorite book of all time even though its Bible big. I made it through Insomina, but it was me picking it up reading to the middle, returning it the library and giving it one last go. The One Ring thing at the end made it worth it. No, Carrie. Bad fan boy, its still one of his best books out there. Dead Zone is also a great read as is Misery. Bag of Bones is ok, it has a twist middle like all his books, but its not a difficult read. There is a great scene in the book that if they ever did a movie or mini-series it would come off perfectly. The Regulators was eh.

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The King of Keith
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#12 Posted on 2.7.03 0036.02
Reposted on: 2.7.10 0036.46
Insomnia is fabulous, easily the best he's done in the last ten years (aside from any Dark Tower book).

Out of all the King books, though, I've got to go with Salem's Lot as the scariest. On a side note, did you know they are remaking the movie for TV? They have Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer cast as Barlow and Straker. They also have my guaranteed attention when it comes on!
astrobstrd
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#13 Posted on 2.7.03 0154.00
Reposted on: 2.7.10 0154.23
I like King too, but if you are going to start writing (even in a specific genre) I'd read more than one author. Other good horror off the top of my head would be:

Most of Clive Barker, especially Great and Secret Show and The Books of Blood.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Matheson was King's favorite horror writer. Also check out Stir of Echoes (movie and book are different, but both are great)

Ghost Story by Peter Straub. Read why King collaborated with the guy.

House of Leaves by Mark Danielsky. Not just my favorite horror book ever, my favorite book ever. Strikingly original, literary, funny, puzzling, and REALLY fucking scary.

Splatterpunks I and II. Two over-the-top, controversial, surprisingly well-written anthologies that push the envelope and then do terrible things with said envelope.

Of the King books, I'd recommend Skeleton Crew and Graveyard Shift. I really dug the short story "Survivor Type".

Koontz usually bores me, but I did really enjoy Midnight.
Karlos the Jackal
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#14 Posted on 2.7.03 0458.44
Reposted on: 2.7.10 0459.01
12 Pack, I'd recommend "Different Seasons," definitely.

And...wait, does everyone here hate "Christine"? I don't see anyone mentioning it. I enjoyed it; read it a couple of times. It's no "The Stand," of course.

This reminds of something I've been meaning to ask -- I picked up "Desperation" and "The Regulators" from a used bookstore. I gather that they're connected in some way, but I haven't really perused them. Is there one that I should read first? Does it matter?

--K

The King of Keith
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#15 Posted on 2.7.03 0720.37
Reposted on: 2.7.10 0723.06
Desperation is a very good book. I'd go with that one first. Regulators has a neat concept, but it's nowhere near as good as Desperation.
DarkRenegade
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#16 Posted on 2.7.03 2017.51
Reposted on: 2.7.10 2023.27
I liked Desperation a lot as well. If you want something that isn't scary, The Green Mile was excellent.

Oh, and just to warn you, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordan sucked...at least in my humble opinion.
CxMorgado
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#17 Posted on 2.7.03 2043.29
Reposted on: 2.7.10 2045.03
    Originally posted by astrobstrd
    Ghost Story by Peter Straub. Read why King collaborated with the guy.


YES. I will put Ghost Story up against anything King has written, and I guarentee it's just as good, if not better.

I've read everything King's written, starting with IT when I was in the 7th grade (it's still my personal favorite), and pretty much everything up to and including Needful Things I thought was great. Everything that came after... eh. With a few notable exceptions, I found them hard to get into. I admire the way everything goes into the Dark Tower series now, but some of those books would have been better off left in their own universe (see below)...

The Talisman is just plain incredible, but the Black House was just eh. Too much Dark Tower universe and not enough of the reality and characters created in the original.

A lot of people ignore Christine, but I think its cuz theres a bad association with John Carpenter's cheesy movie version; in actuality it's an excellent read, and very scary. Tommyknockers is really good too, tho it also had a HORRIBLY bad movie version that I think hurt it's reputation.

Even though there's some stuff I'm not into, I still own and read all of them regularly, so I'd say read them all...

...but ESPECIALLY read friggin' DANSE MACABRE. If you have any love for horror and science fiction as a genre and not just as "junk food for the brain" (my Dad's term for horror, sci fi, and pretty much all other things fictional), you'll love & appreciate this. It's not fiction, but it doesn't matter.

(edited by CxMorgado on 2.7.03 2144)
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#18 Posted on 3.7.03 1504.25
Reposted on: 3.7.10 1507.25

    Originally posted by Karlos the Jackal
    12 Pack, I'd recommend "Different Seasons," definitely.
My favorite of them all. "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" is in my opinion the best King anything with The Stand. The Body is great, Apt Pupil is totally freaky and awesome, and Breathing Method is slow, but at the end, you hear chants of "HOLY SHIT" break out. If you crack open Skeleton Crew, make sure you read at least "The Mist", a longer short story, "The Jaunt" (more like a Bradbury story) and "Word Processor of the Gods", which I have read at least 150 times.

I guess the one that is most un-King like that no one has mentioned, but I always loved was Eye of the Dragon. A really good tale, kinda medievil. Agreeing with CxMorgado, the Talisman is indeed just plain incredible. Even if you don't bother with Black House, which was good but not great, and certainly not anywhere close to the Talisman, read it. What a great one that is.
Captain_12_Pack
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#19 Posted on 5.7.03 0028.47
Reposted on: 5.7.10 0029.01
Thanks for the feedback, everybody. I had forgotten that I'd already tackled Roadwork and The Green Mile before, so to those who suggested those two (or reccommended that I avoid them), apologies.

I picked up The Gunslinger (the original, 'cause the reissue was a little pricey for the poor college student),and I've been reading 'Salem's Lot progressively at Borders and Barnes and Noble for a bit. I'll take all the suggestions to heart, and let everyone know how it turns out! Thanks again!
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#20 Posted on 6.7.03 0534.54
Reposted on: 6.7.10 0534.55
King is my favorite author for pure short stories. Pick up Nightmares and Dreamscapes and read "Dolan's Cadillac" before anything else in the book ;)
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