Best Stephen King to get started with?

(67 Posts)
Slipsliding Sat 19-Jan-13 11:59:44

Never read him as put off by potential gore but loads of MNS recommend him so I must be wrong!?

anonymosity Fri 25-Jan-13 04:33:36

I agree on The Stand. Its the only one I've read. I had a bf who bet me I couldn't get through it in a week - so I did, just to prove him wrong and I quite enjoyed it.

rainbowriver Thu 24-Jan-13 10:07:46

Just ordered Gunslinger and On Writing. Hope I like them!

I nearly always use my Kindle for books now and haven't read a paperback for a while, but for some strange reason felt King should be read on a good old paperback!

RR

CheerfulYank Wed 23-Jan-13 22:54:59

I love, love, LOVE the Stand, but it is a lot to start with.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Dolores Claiborne, and Firestarter are shorter and gripping IMO.

Full Dark, No Stars is a recent short story collection that I really liked.

Different Seasons. I also have a soft spot for Insomnia, it was the first full length one I read.
I love King (but have read nothing recent), sad to read here that his more recent stuff seems to be losing its way sad
Oh, another of my favourites is Gerald's Game. Such a 'simple' storyline but such a frightening situation.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 23-Jan-13 22:37:11
HumphreyCobbler Wed 23-Jan-13 22:35:42

or even star struck

HumphreyCobbler Wed 23-Jan-13 22:35:24

I went to see him talk about it at Cheltenham Festival. I was so startstruck blush. He was amazing.

I have the book, I just have not read it yet. I am waiting until I am alone which is a rare thing in this house.

I find he needs (and deserves) my utmost concentration.

Have you read Thursbitch? That book did my head in, but in a brilliant way

pointythings Wed 23-Jan-13 22:31:19

Humphrey I love Alan Garner! Apparently he has written a sequel to the Weirdstone/Moon of Gomrath sequence - have you read it?

<apologises for hijack>

HumphreyCobbler Wed 23-Jan-13 22:25:01

I don't think THOHH is appalling! I think it is good. Sparse, but good. But then I am obsessed by Alan Garner so I obviously go for sparse.

He does rate the Lottery iirc

pointythings Wed 23-Jan-13 22:20:57

I've kept away from The Wind Through the Keyhole because I felt that the Dark Tower series was finished and didn't need anything adding to it.

But I think that's King - when he is good he is very very good, and when he is bad he is horrid.

Re the film of the Shining - the reason I like Jack Nicholson in it is that I like Jack Nicholson. I think other than the fire hose scene, I've more or less severed it from the book. Although the little boy who plays Danny is fab.

Totally agree with you about the woman who plays Wendy, she is portrayed as a drip and in the book she is most definitely not. What I really resented about the film was the end - it completely lacked the explicit clarification of the hotel as a malevolent and sentient entity in itself, and it also lacked the redemption of Jack Torrance in the way he destroys himself with the roque mallet so that Danny can escape. I also think killing the Hallorann character was unforgivable and unnecessary.

Which is why I think the book is so much better.

Does King like The Lottery? I've always thought that was one of the great horror stories.

Danse Macabre good - but some of the things he raves about are dreadful! The Haunting Of Hill House, for example, is appalling - but it is his favourite book ever, iirc.

I was really, really disappointed with, 'The Wind Through The Keyhole.' I hate being disappointed with a King book but that felt like an absolute waste of time to me.

I've been reading SK since I was 12 (The Shining) so 20-mumbles years now!

Remus yes, liked Blaze with the link to Mice & Men, but it kind of fizzled out imo. The ending was a bit meh and definitely not one of his best.

Apt Pupil is creepy, but very good.

Rainbowriver, you really should read The Dark Tower series. The Gunslinger is good, it took me a while to get into as it's written very differently from any of his other work, but the whole story is amazing. Especially when you see glimpses from some of his other books.

I still have Wind Through the Keyhole to read, waiting for a day on my own to get stuck into it.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 23-Jan-13 19:59:14

I really liked 'On Writing'. But I truly loved Danse Macabre - I re-read this one many times.

Different Seasons is brilliant, I agree.

There are just so many good ones, it is hard to think of them all.

AViewfromtheFridge Wed 23-Jan-13 19:46:26

Different Seasons! How many other collection of novellas can boast that three films have been made from them? The Body (Stand by Me) a lot darker than the film, (Rita Hayworth and the) Shawshank Redemption brilliant, Apt Pupil deliciously dark and The Brething Method actually quite touching.

If not, I really liked the Kennedy one (11.22.63) or whatever it is, it's cleverly done, although a bit slow in places.

Have you read, 'On Writing?' Part bio, part a creative writing guide, all excellent.

rainbowriver Wed 23-Jan-13 19:13:16

I love Stephen King and have been reading his books since the eightees! I loved IT, The Stand, Carrie, The Dome. I've not read anything of him I didn't like so far.

Though definately haven't read all of them, none of the Gunslinger series? Also don't remember Duma Key at all, saw it recommended on this thread but not heard of it, don't know how I missed it!

Are there any Stephen King biographies worth reading?

HumphreyCobbler Wed 23-Jan-13 18:53:32

I have never read the Shining. I wonder why? Perhaps because I loved the film so much?

Noooooooo Jack N totally miscast and the woman even worse. As a film it works but as a representation of the book it is an abberation imho.

pointythings Wed 23-Jan-13 18:40:22

Euro if you are referring to the Stanley Kubrick version of The Shining you are in for a few shocks - he changed a lot of things. Including the ending, in a massive way. I prefer the book, by far, although Jack Nicholson is fabulous in the film, and the scene with the fire hose in the film is brilliantly done and very true to the book.

The Shining is an amazing book.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 23-Jan-13 14:13:25

The Langoliers is a terribly gripping read. YY to Apt Pupil too.

I adore The Dead Zone

EuroShagmore Wed 23-Jan-13 14:02:39

I read my first Stephen King last year (at 36) and started with The Stand. I loved it and nothing else has quite lived up to it, although I did like Under The Dome too. I hated It and was a bit ambivalent about The Dead Zone.

BTW, I find the first third of SK books dull. It's all scene setting and goes on and on for far too long, but just at the point I am really sick of it, it tends to hot up. So stick with it if you are not sure at first. The Stand is particularly long, but a masterpiece.

I must read The Shining. I love the film.

DontHaveAtv Wed 23-Jan-13 11:33:45

The Stand is one of my favourite books ever. Under The Dome was good too. I love Stephen king.

Don't know as I'm an expert but, as far as I know, I have read every novel and story collection he's ever published and most of them several times at least. I haven't read everything only published in magazines or anthologies.

I like 'Blaze' for its links with, 'Of Mice And Men.' As a work of fiction it's good but as a KING work, I don't think it's one of his finest.

The one I find most scary is the novella, 'Apt Pupil.' Horrible and unsettling. And another one that has really stayed with me is another novella, 'The Langoliers.' And what's the vampire-esque one with the Library Policeman? Is that what it's called?

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