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Old 07-29-2017, 08:43 PM
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Default What Are Your Favorite Works by Stephen King?

I was just casting around for something new to read and I realized that, though I have some fond memories of Stephen King's works, I haven't read of any of his books in a long, long time. I remember thinking that The Stand was amazing but I don't remember anything else, really. So I turn to you, Talking Time. Tell me, what are your favorite books by Stephen King?
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:45 AM
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Presented in no order;

The Gunslinger is not only the first entry in a series, it's also the only one that works perfectly well as a standalone if you don't feel like reading the rest of the story. It's a spaghetti western set on Middle Earth, as the last cowboy hunts down the guy who ruined his life.

The Shining is King at his Kingliest and the book is juuuuust different enough from the movie that you could start a hundred arguments saying one is better than the other. Comes for the horrifying ghosts, stay for the horrifying depiction of alcoholism and domestic abuse. You can probably skip the sequel though.

The Tommyknockers, speaking of depictions of alcoholism! This one is kind of tonally weird, veering from goofy to genuinely unsettling at the drop of a hat, but it's a fun romp and the weird magnetic effect that even bad King stories have seemed even stronger here. A spaceship is dug up in a small town and starts turning everyone into really stupid aliens. Hijinx and body horror ensue.

Everything's Eventual is a short story collection that is, pound for pound, probably my favorite one he's ever published. Don't think there was a weak story in the bunch.
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:54 AM
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IT, The Stand, The Shining, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:57 AM
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It's been years, but I also really loved The Stand when I read it in high school, and respected its TV adaptation for giving Laura San Giacomo a fun villain to play. I remember the story about the library policeman in Four past Midnight being verrrrry scary, too.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:08 AM
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Library Policeman is kind of weird because it definitely started off as a comedy and grew less and less so with exponential speed.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:51 AM
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Was The Tommyknockers the one that got made into a really bad Sci-Fi* Channel made-for-TV film? I seem to have this vague recollection of really bad cgi monster floating mouths flying around and eating things.


* My memory is from long enough ago that it would have been when it was still known as the Sci-Fi Channel and before the abominable SyFy name change came into place.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:05 AM
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That's Langoliers. I think I own both, but can't remember watching them. My sense (worthless) is that Tommyknockers was a more upscale production. No flying critter orbs.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:08 AM
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They were both on ABC. Langoliers came later and was written and directed by who I would consider the third most relevant Tom Holland now. But perhaps there even more Tom Hollands than I know~
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:13 AM
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Langoliers is another one that winds up in a very different place than where it begins. First half is creepy and unsettling, and every sense of dread quickly and completely evaporates when giant flying mouths show up.

The theme of Four After Midnight is an inability to stick the landing...
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:02 PM
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His Twitter posts about how much Trump sucks are some of his best writing.
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:55 AM
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I haven't read a lot of his stuff, but I think my favourite is still The Dead Zone, which is a great thriller that, for some reason, a lot of people classify as horror. Because it isn't.

I also liked his novella 1922. It occurred to me that this might be the only Stephen King story that would make for a great Coen Brothers film. I feel like there's an overlap with quirky characters and quirkier turns of phrase (Stephen King characters love weird old-fashioned phrases, don't they?). But there's something about this very bleak story about a guy who turns his own life to shit through his own greed, stubbornness and assumed sense of entitlement that would work for one of the Coens darker works.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:43 AM
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I've seen over a dozen film adaptations of his work, but I've never actually read any of his writing. I'll probably change that at some point.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:27 AM
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I've always thought King does his best work in short form writing, whether short stories or novellas. Many of his doorstopper novels are also good, but the man is in dire need of an editor with a backbone. I'm bad at remembering which stories are which when their titles aren't particularly descriptive, but here are some favorites that jump out at me from scrolling through Wikipedia:

Night Shift
"I Am the Doorway"

Skeleton Crew
"The Mist," "The Jaunt," "The Raft"

Different Seasons
"The Body"

Nightmares and Dreamscapes
"The Ten O'Clock People"

Everything's Eventual
"1408"

I've also got unread copies of Full Dark, No Stars and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams squirreled away for a rainy day. Hm, is it getting cloudy out there...?
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:16 AM
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It is possibly my favorite novel.

I'll also pile in recommendations for Skeleton Crew, Night Shift, and Four Past Midnight.

I read The Gunslinger many moons ago and never managed to finish the second in the series.

I had some friends in high school who were all about his fantasy novel, Eyes of the Dragon, but I never read it myself.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:16 PM
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The entire Dark Tower series is great (seven books, plus a novella entitled The Little Witches of Eluria and another novel entitled The Wind Through the Keyhole). I "read" them via audiobook, and if you go that route, do not listen to anyone other than Frank Muller for the first 4 (he passed away so couldn't read the rest). I'm currently reading them in print now.

The Eyes of the Dragon is a wonderful book, if you like fantasy.

After reading The Dark Tower, I used an online guide to read Stephen King books that had Dark Tower references in them. Most were just okay, but I very much enjoyed Black House and The Talisman (note: these were co-written with Peter Straub).

Finally, completely unrelated to The Dark Tower: The Shawshank Redemption (real name: Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption) is wonderful (and also read by Frank Muller). Stephen King highly praised Muller's narration, and it's fantastic. Highly recommended.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:22 PM
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Talisman is related to Dark Tower?

I mean, they're very, very similar books, but I didn't think there was a concrete connection beyond that.
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:53 PM
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There are references that relate to the Dark Tower. The story itself doesn't really relate.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:00 PM
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I finished reading The Long Walk today (in audiobook form). It was entertaining but not really a classic. But per wikipedia King this was the first book King wrote as a teenage freshman at the University of Maine so that's mighty impressive.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:45 PM
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I'll chip in with the usual suspects that have already been mentioned: Gunslinger, Shawshank, and The Stand.

Needful Things is overwhelmingly and bizarrely sexual, to the point that I wonder if King wasn't dealing with some childhood trauma at the time (he followed up with the justifiably forgotten BDSM/child abuse/body horror combo meal Gerald's Game,) but is a good exploration of how much rising action you can take before you lose your dang mind.

Different Seasons is by far my favorite of his short fiction collections, and I think The Breathing Method is criminally underrated. It's successful tribute to Tales from the Crypt: Frame story with mild horror elements, two warm-up horror stories (neither one longer than a paragraph,) and finally a main event that keeps EC's tradition of a tragic-but-sympathetic ending.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaeran View Post
I've always thought King does his best work in short form writing, whether short stories or novellas. Many of his doorstopper novels are also good, but the man is in dire need of an editor with a backbone.
Agreed on both counts. I consider The Shining to be his scariest novel and The Stand to be his best (the original, not the bloated extended edition). Other novels I dig include: Wizard and Glass, Misery, The Dead Zone
Short fiction: "The Mist", "The Raft", "The Jaunt", "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption", "The Langoliers"
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:45 AM
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It's not a novel, but I love On Writing.

Otherwise, I've read The Shining and The Dark Tower series. Both are great.
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Old 08-01-2017, 01:32 PM
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Short story collection: Different Seasons

Novel: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
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  #23  
Old 08-01-2017, 01:54 PM
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The Shining, The Stand, The Dead Zone, Pet Semetary and Misery.
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Old 08-01-2017, 04:47 PM
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Wow! I just put a hold at the library on the audio book of The Gunslinger and it popped up saying I was the 101st person in line for that item. I guess having a movie forthcoming really surged the demand for that book!
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:48 PM
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I'll second Eye of the Dragon even if it's not a horror thing.

I also adored my illustrated edition of Cycle of the Werewolf when I was a kid. I guess that's kind of horror? And almost a short story?
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:44 AM
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All of Tower cycle, but Wizard and Glass especially.

The Last Rung on the Ladder from Night Shift is great and fairly atypical for a King story. The Jaunt from Skeleton Crew is one of the only King stories I find genuinely frightening, although my wife tells me that Gerald's Game is gloriously fucked up as well.

The Talisman is related to The Dark Tower (as most of King's work is) but you get more direct Tower references from Black House.

On Writing is comfort food. I usually read it every few years. I'm also a big fan of his short story collections but I enjoy short stories far more than novels, in general.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:32 PM
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The Jaunt always stuck with me as it's the only story I've ever read where someone is literally bored to death.

It's also a cautionary tale of why you shouldn't tone down things to make them more palatable for children.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:05 AM
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Cross-posting for Stephen King relevance:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meditative_Zebra View Post
Finished Cujo. After a very slow first half the scariness factor did finally start to come into play in the second half. Still, I was looking for a really terrifying book to read and Cujo only managed to get my spine tingling in two brief places.
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