29 comments on “Stephen King in Review

  1. I haven’t read a lot of Stephen King, but I sure am getting some good ideas this month reading all the SK posts that are around. I recently read 11/22/63 and really liked it, although not a typical SK.

    • I’ve been working on reading through some of his more classic books, but 11/22/63 is definitely one I want to get to. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I haven’t read some of these so I need to get going! I really enjoyed 11/22/63 but I’m interested in the Kennedy-era. It’s one of his non-horror books but it still has some dark parts (obviously) and I loved the different, fictional perspective of such a big event. I also enjoyed Dolores Claiborne and from what I understand Gerald’s Game (which I haven’t read) is a different perspective of the same event. It turns out I like to have various perspectives lol.

    One of the King books I really didn’t like was Desperation. It was very graphic and dark but I couldn’t connect with any characters or the story.

    • Hmm, Desperation isn’t one that I’m familiar with. But that’s sort of how I felt about Cujo… normally he writes such full characters, but in that one I couldn’t get myself to care about any of them.

  3. I agree with you on Cujo…not one of my favorites. Just overall too slow for me. I appreciate that King draws out his stories, but that one was a bit egregious with the trickling pace.
    Still never read Green Mile! I have a tendency to not want to read books if I see the movie first, and that is the case here. But it sounds like I should make an exception. :)
    Off the top of my head, I’d say my favorite Kings (in no particular order) would be…Misery, The Shining, Salem’s Lot, Pet Sematary, Under the Dome, The Stand, and Full Dark No Stars. (His short stories are totally worth checking out btw…awesome stuff!)

    • I’ve still never seen The Green Mile so I honestly don’t know how they compare, or if it’s worth it to read the book having seen the movie. And I’m really not much of a short story person but I’ll definitely be giving his a chance at some point!

    • It was so different, from both what he normally writes and what I normally read. I thought it was a really good story though.

  4. I always chuckle when people ask if the level of violence is really necessary in King’s books. He writes horror. Violence happens in horror. The Dark Half wouldn’t have been half as scary without it.

    But I also understand why lots of people don’t really enjoy his books *because* of the amount of violence in them. It makes for truly rough reading sometimes.

    • Maybe my problem is that I don’t find it scary either way. I enjoy the suspense… but the violence, while I’m not totally put off by it, doesn’t exactly enhance it for me either. It seemed like this one was more over the top than a lot of the others I’ve read of his (or maybe it was just the first one that came close to getting 5-star that made me take more notice of it).

  5. Ooh, I should probably do a “favorite King” post too! Yay for stealing good ideas! :) Of the books on your list, I haven’t read The Talisman or The Green Mile, and I know I really should. I love so many of these… but I hated Cujo when I read it. (Granted, it was a very long time ago.) All I could think was, someone get that dog some medical treatment! Stephen King never fails to amaze me. I feel like I’ve read a lot of his books, and yet there are so many still to go! One of my recent favorites is 11/22/63, which I thought was just brilliant. Anyway… terrific post! I love seeing all the great King books!

    • The funny thing about this post is that when I commented on Rory’s, I was all, “I don’t know that I could rank mine…” And then I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I’d done it!

  6. I didn’t enjoy Cujo because there really weren’t any characters I cared about. It’s funny how SK influences (my) popular culture because whenever I see a mean dog I call it (in my head) Cujo.

    The Green Mile is very different from a lot of his other work and one I like to recommend to people who want to try King, but don’t think they’ll enjoy his “typical” books.

    I really need to read Eyes of the Dragon. I *just* started Rage this morning, we’ll see how that goes. At the very least, it’s a short Bachman book.

  7. I have read a lot of King. I enjoy his books that focus the most on characters I can really identify with. I’ve read The Stand several times and IT twice. My favorite of his later books is Duma Key. I think it says really lovely things about the healing power of art while being a really atmospheric ghost story.

  8. My favorite has always been hands down The Eyes of the Dragon! I just LOVE that one. It makes me want to read The Tower Series because if they’re anything like that novel I know I’ll love them – even though I know there is a lot of them. i have been disappointed in a lot of King’s work.. I think some of his style just isn’t for me and that’s why I gravitated to The Eyes of the Dragon because it was DIFFERENT. I DID really love The Shining too (although I wasn’t ever really scared either, but i don’t consider that a failure either) I plan to read Doctor Sleep for sure and perhaps one day read The Stand.

    I found out I love Dean Koontz way more than King, hands down – and it’s not anything I can pinpoint, it’s just something about the style of writing that I can dig into almost any of Koontz’s novels whereas I can’t always connect with King’s. IF you haven’t read Koontz’s book False Memory – read that one! It’s my first Koontz book I read and it’s STILL my favorite! :D

    Great post! I’m always interested in what people connect too – and I’m glad that I’m not the only one who doesn’t always connect with King’s novels. I still think he’s an excellent writer!

    • I want to read The Dark Tower series eventually, but it’s just so intimidating! And I’ve actually never read any Dean Koontz. I’ll have to look up that one.

  9. I haven’t read all of the books on your list, but I have definitely had my share of hits and misses with Stephen King. I tried reading The Stand years ago but I think it also overwhelmed me and I keep hearing people say how much they love it, so a re-read is at the back of my mind. My husband even loves the TV mini-series and I didn’t even know that one existed!

    • I do remember seeing that mini-series. It had a ton of stars in it… Molly Ringwald, Gary Sinese, Rob Low… more I can’t remember…

  10. Eek, I would have definitely given up on King had Under the Dome been my first. I only read it last year. My first was The Shining, which is at the top of my list. :) Have you read 11/22/63? Because that would be on my list, just for being so ambitious.

    • It didn’t exactly inspire confidence… but I had also heard from several readers who loved his older stuff but not his newer stuff. I’m definitely glad I gave him more of a chance. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I loved The Shining!! It was also my first Stephen King read. Would love to read The Green Mile and Doctor Sleep.

  12. Wow! Your list is almost a list of the books I haven’t read by King! I really need to get to those ones!

    My favorite is The Stand. It was one of my first reads by King so many, many years ago and I was amazed at the world building, the ultimate battle between good and evil, and the fantabulous character development. I re-read it again about 3-4 years ago, and I think it only got better the second time around. Loved it!

    Definitely agree that The Shining, Doctor Sleep, and The Green Mile should also be at the top. I remember reading The Green Mile when it came out at the different installments. I would race through the book and then have to wait and wait for the next installment. I really need to re-read this one all the way through at some point. If you decide to re-read The Eyes of the Dragon, I definitely recommend an audio version. It was so good to listen to on the second time around!

    Another favorite that isn’t listed here is It. I’m also a fan of his short story collections (though I haven’t read all of them) and most of his Bachman books. Dark Tower is worth the read because of all the connections for sure, but it would be in the middle for me.

    Now that I’ve written a novella here, I think I need to sit down and write out all his works and figure out what I still need to read and what I may need to re-read. Our read-alongs last year has me wanting more King these days!!

    • Yeah, I didn’t get any of the character development in The Stand. There were just too many of them and trying to keep everything… like I said, I think I’ll get a lot more out of a re-read. But yeah… sooo many books to get through!

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