Any other Stephen King fans around here?

Like a lot of people, I first discovered (and fell in love with) Stephen King‘s fiction when I was around 12 years old. I’d read enough Goosebumps, and was ready to get outside of my kid-sized comfort zone. I devoured a bunch of his books back then, but somehow avoided reading any of The Ones You Must Read. In other words, I became a massive fan after reading stuff like The Green Mile, and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. Wild, right?

Fast forward to Halloween of last year, when I read Pet Semetary. As a father of two small children, this book made me weep with pain and horror. Then, earlier this year (right around New Years, in fact), a friend lent me 11/22/63, and it was a rollicking good time, from an author too many people have dismissed as being past his prime. I was blown away.

So now, I'm going back and reading The Classics. I've finished Carrie, and 'Salem's Lot, and am partway through The Shining now. They are as good as people say, despite being painfully dated in certain ways.

Let me tell you something: I've read a lot of authors in my life, both "literary" and "genre" (not that those distinctions mean much to me, personally), and if Stephen King isn't one of the greatest fiction writers who's ever lived, then I've seriously misjudged the human condition on some level.

So, I'm asking you insert credit folks: Anyone interested in talkin' King with me? If not, that's cool too, but it would be fun to share this enthusiasm with someone.

I prefer Richard Bachman over King but he died of cancer in 1985

Shame they never had a chance to collaborate.

Being a 90‘s kid he was a big influence from afar, but mostly for the film adaptations. I never watched his movies/miniseries’ then but boy do I remember the covers at the video store and imagining what twisted awful things must happen in them! Pet Semetary, IT, Thinner, The Shining, Salem's Lot, Carrie - I was even too afraid to touch the box! Flash forward to my twenties and now I enjoy them for their dark humor and social satire. (Except for The Shining - I enjoy that as a Kubrick fan)

I enjoy his short horror stories such as these collections more than his giant tomes though:
Really liked **The Jaunt** and **Survivor Type**

I'm also planning to hop into **The Dark Tower** books one of these day. I just have first one, **The Gunslinger** at the moment.

I‘ve only finished On Writing, which is excellent. I’ve never been able to get through his fiction for whatever reason. Every few years I beat my head against The Stand and The Stand wins

I've read a decent number of Stephen King books and have seen more movies based on his works than I probably should have.

He's a pretty great writer to be sure, I really like his style and some of his books are truly excellent. But a lot of time I find they fall apart at the end, usually when he starts trying to explain the supernatural happenings or link books to the Dark Tower series (which I started but couldn't get through the first book). I feel like the best example of this is Insomnia, which I started absolutely loving it but by the end I was ready to throw it in the trash. The Stand is another one which starts off really strong but once it starts getting supernatural, my interest wanes.

I'd say my favorite book of his is It, which really stands apart from the movie adaptations as a great book.
My favorite movie based on his work is The Shining (which King himself dislikes) but my second pick would be Creepshow, which is a kind of silly delightful throwback to 1950s horror comics.

Oh and I might as well share the dumbest King related thing I have in my collection: the awful movie The Lawnmower Man on laserdisc. Because if you're going to watch The Lawnmower Man, you should watch it on laserdisc!

I've got the lawnmower man on Laserdisc myself!

And the only king book I've read was one of the fantasy ones. The dragon's eye? Dragons tower? I forget. It didn't leave a big impression! For some reason while I love horror movies, I have a hard time getting excited about horror novels. It makes me evaluate whether I really like horror films or just like looking at practical effects, lighting, and makeup (this is likely the case).

Oh yeah. Big fan. On Writing really helped me out when I started writing fiction comics 15 years ago. And as I have introduced more horror elements into my work his thoughts on how to structure stuff has certainly come in handy. I dunno, he is a lot like Lovecraft without the baggage for me. I can't remember all the small details, but the overall scope or the concepts (especially from the short stories) rattle around my brain all the time. I feel like as much as I respect him as a writer, most people would be best served by watching the film and television adaptations of his work (The Shinning, The Stand, The Mist) or just like listening to Night Shift (I love One For The Road) or Skeleton Crew as a book on tape.

@exodus#5658 A lot of the time I feel this pretty actively. Like, Argento's scripts are all pretty garbage and often gross, but the pretty colors keep me coming back. I would be incredibly uninterested in reading Deep Red if it were a novel.

I was a huge King fan as a teenager and have very fond memories spending the summer when I was 16 reading a bunch of his stuff while working in a ticket booth at a Go Kart Track. I actually last year decided to revisit a few things and ended up reading a bunch of short stories and going back through The Stand and Salem‘s Lot. I enjoyed it all but there’s definitely a point where you‘ll burn out on some of his quirks and things like, demons that talk like 1950’s gangsters.

I might love his bad movies even more. Sleepwalkers (guy gets killed with a corn on the cob: "No vegetables, no dessert. Those are the rules.") and Maximum Overdrive terrified me as a kid which is impressive since they're about as high camp as it gets.

I will say I AM interested in reading “on writing” now - also Maximum Overdrive‘s beginning and ending rule, shame about the middle. It’s the only movie he ever directed I guess. It‘s pretty fun when there’s actual stuff going on!


on the topic of The Lawnmower Man, you all probably know that the movie had little to do with the short story it was based on. This short student film was made years before the Hollywood production and is much closer to the [original.](

This thread made me look up more info on Richard Bachman.

Dude had a pretty shitty life, lost his son in a tragic way when the lil boy was only six and he died of cancer of the pseudonym, a rare cancer that claimed only a single victim ever which happened to be Richard.

How much bad luck can a writer get?

@robinhoodie Cool. Nice to meet you, fellow Constant Reader (lol).

@exodus The Eyes of the Dragon?! What a weird and unlikely King book to be the only one you've read. That's awesome. I actually haven't gotten around to it yet, but I would like to see his take on traditional fantasy, so it's on The List.

I do think it's interesting how any discussion of King's work will almost instantly transition to a talk about the (mostly awful) films and TV shows based on his work. Just goes to show that, although his writing style may not be palatable to everyone, he's got a knack for knocking out stories that are At Least Kind Of Interesting.

@ttzop I'd argue that the line between Good King and Bad King is so thin as to be almost non-existent. Everything I've read so far contains both 1) passages that are so effortlessly readable that they transport me to a different time and place, and 2) purple prose that is so hilariously bad that you have to wonder whether King was kind of trying to troll his readers. (Except for The Shining, which I've not yet finished, but seems to be his most solid work and the one I'd feel most comfortable recommending to non-King fans.) Overall, the words he produces suggests to me that he's having a rip-roaring good time at the keyboard, so I'm willing to accept all of it. He's like Suda51 in that regard.

Since nobody asked, here are the reasons why I find him to be a fascinating guy, and worth reading despite his "quirks":

  • - He's published popular and successful work in five (soon to be six!) different decades! How many people can you say that about?
  • - He started out dirt poor and is now about as wealthy as you can ever hope to be. That's an interesting transition to have lived through.
  • - He used to be a drug addict and an alcoholic, and published interesting work. Now he's sober, and still publishing interesting work.
  • - He nearly died after getting hit by a truck. (I have also been hit by a car, so I know how terrifying it is.)
  • - Despite what people say, he's far from just a horror writer. He's proven that he can weave all kinds of genres together.
  • I don't know. I guess that's just an incredible wealth of experience to draw from, and the idea that it can be taken in total with one person's perspective as the through line connecting it all is fascinating to me. It makes reading his work feel like reading one long metanarrative or reflection on a half-century of a certain kind of American life. That's hard to find elsewhere, and makes the peaks and valleys in the quality more forgivable.

    Also, some of his books would make real cool video games :O

    Yeah, he's a real interesting character! I guess he blames part of why Maximum Overdrive is so rough on his cocaine addiction at the time (and also on his own hubris thinking he could do a better job than other directors with his work). He seems pretty honest about/with himself.