So in case the picture didn’t give you a clue, today I want to talk about the King.
And no, I don’t mean Elvis Presley and the conspiracy theories about him still being alive and well.
I’m talking about Stephen King. The name that immediately comes to mind when horror fiction is mentioned. In a way, the very epitome of horror fiction.
Recently, I joined a discussion on FB where the initiator wanted to know what horror books we’d read and at the end wished we hadn’t. The books that equaled hours of our lives we couldn’t get back. As I read through the numerous comments, and succeeding debates, I was amazed at how much discord there was regarding S. King and his works.
This person thought “It” was King’s worst piece, needing a hack-n-slash job by an editor. Another person heartily disagreed, claiming “It” was King’s most genius work. This type of disagreement was held about a slew of his works:
Christine, The Stand, Misery, The Renegades, Firestarter, The Running Man, The Dark Tower Series, The Tommyknockers.
You get the point.
One of the things I noticed was people tended to like certain types of King’s works over others. Some loved the longer works while hating the shorter; others the exact opposite. Some preferred King’s earlier works to his newer works. Some were major haters on King’s tendency to kill children. Others found that to be what made his work so scary.
It was an interesting conversation, and one I’d like to continue, as I’m expanding my reading experience with King. I’m still fairly new to the horror genre, both reading and writing, and so I’m doing my research. I think we can all agree that while there are legions of excellent horror writers out there–and I’ll get to them, they’re on my list–having a fairly well-rounded King library can’t be discredited.
As of now, I have read: It, Christine, Dreamcatcher, Gerald’s Game, and I’m currently reading Pet Semetary. I adored “It,” enjoyed “Christine,” tolerated “Dreamcatcher,” and will never grace the pages of “Gerald’s Game” again (and will be happy to discuss my reasons why with anyone who is curious).
So, how do you feel about King? What’s worth reading? What isn’t? And most importantly, WHY? What is it that makes one of his books special, or garbage?
Can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say!