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  1. #1
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    Best Stephen King Books

    For some reason I've never read a single book by Stephen King. I figure it's high time I at least give him a try. Any recommendations on where to start?

  2. #2
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    For me, I've found that SK is a stellar short story writer. Every short story collection of his that I've read is solid.

    I'd start with something like:

    Night Shift
    Skeleton Crew
    Everything's Eventual (I just read this about a month ago and it's a solid collection; there's not a stinker amongst the 14 stories included).

    As for novels, I've only read a few of his early ones, but the ones I read were good (although I read all of the below listed titles back when they originally came out, so have no clue how they hold up today):

    Christine
    Dead Zone
    Cujo

    I don't know why I never read any of his other novels, guess I just lost interest. Again, the ones I did read I enjoyed.

    That said, I think he's a masterful short story writer and would recommend the aforementioned short story collections as a good starting point.
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  3. #3
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    I agree with Dookey. He's a great short story writer. His longer books tend to be really long and filled with a lot of crap. That being said, I liked The Stand and It, but I remember skimming a bunch to get through the BS. The Dome is one you shoud skip, IMO...The Simpson's did a better job with the topic.

  4. #4
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    What about The Green Mile, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (also known as Shawshank Redemption) and Stand by Me?
    These are his best works...
    Quote Originally Posted by SpinalTap View Post
    I'm really troubled by whatever pictures the Don had to search through to arrive at that one...

  5. #5
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    I'd avoid any SK novels written within the past 10 years, maybe more. I decided to give him a pass with Under The Dome, and regretted it. His older books are solid, and worth reading.

    I really liked Hearts in Atlantis. It's a mix of two novellas and several short stories, all based around the same characters. You basically get a sort of disjointed novel where King does what he does best (setup, character development), without fucking it up with 300 pages of story ruining bullshit ending.

    King goes through phases, but be prepared for the supernatural, religious zealoutry or aliens, or some mix of the three.
    Last edited by bagtagley; 11-02-2012 at 09:49 AM.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  6. #6
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    the dark tower series is pretty sick. not for everyone but if you can get through the second book you will be hooked. the gunslinger is a fucking bad ass.

  7. #7
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    I used to read a ton of Stephen King back in high school (c. 20 years ago) but hadn't read anything by him in years and years; I got his latest, "11/22/63" earlier this year as a gift. Really, really fantastic and as good--if not better--as anything I remember reading by him. (I like to think I'm pretty discriminating about what I read/like, FWIW.)

    "Rita Heyworth" and "Stand By Me" (not the actual name of the story) and a couple others are in a collection called "The Bachman Books"--King originally wrote them under a pseudonym ("Richard Bachman"). "Night Shift" is a good suggestion--lots of the stories are pretty quick reads.

  8. #8
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    The Stand .

  9. #9
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    BTW/FWIW, once you've gotten your Stephen King fix, check out Clive Barker, specifically The Books of Blood 1, 2, and 3. His short stories make King's early, visceral work look like child's play.
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  10. #10
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    x2 on the Stand, Shawshank and Green Mile.

    I also enjoyed 11/23/63 and have recommended it to many people.

  11. #11
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    2x on Hearts in Atlantis.

    It, was decent although starting to become more SK formula.

    The Stand, was excellent.

    The Body [Different Seasons] (Stand By Me) was probably one of my favorites (really a Short story but a long one).

    Probably because I am an arrested adolescent.
    Ooof!

  12. #12
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    X3 on the Stand
    Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.

  13. #13
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    I am a fan of The Bachman Books, written by Stephen King under the pseudonym Richard Bachman
    -a compilation of 4 novellas written in the late 70's and early 80's

    *Rage
    *The Long Walk
    *Roadwork
    *The Running Man

  14. #14
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    I think I'll start with "The Stand." That seems to be the consensus choice as his best book.

  15. #15
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    m o o n spells the Stand

  16. #16
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    I think I have read every book he has written. Quite a few clunkers (please don't read Under the Dome), but I enjoy most of his stuff for what it is.

    The Dark Tower series is his best work. 7 books long, but awesome stuff.
    The Stand is great
    The Long Walk is also good

    Start with those and if you are still interested, It is a good read.

  17. #17
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    I've heard 11/22/63 is good, but I've been hesitant to invest that much time into another recent King novel after Dome. TGR has rarely steered me wrong in the book department, so I'll give it a go.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  18. #18
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    I'll third the long walk, its even better if you're from the northeast, in my opinion.

  19. #19
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    Best single book: The Stand. I have an uncle that read both the abridged & unabridged versions & he swears that the abridged version is the best.
    Best series: The Dark Tower. The 1st 4 books collectively are my favorite works of Kings. The last 3, besides Song of Susannah=meh. I guess Ron Howard has been pushing for these to be made into movies for awhile now.
    Best short story: The Long Walk. I am surprised to see it mentioned here already. I have recommended it to other readers of Stephen King before & usually get a look of bewilderment. Very good.

  20. #20
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    I've only read one thing from SK, it was the short story "Quitters, Inc."

    and I highly recommend it. won't take you longer than 30 minutes to read and is quite interesting/intense.

  21. #21
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    Well, I started "The Stand" last week and I'm about 1/4 of the way through. I'm hooked. This thing is keeping me up late reading. Good stuff!

  22. #22
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    In terms of complex structure, character buildimg and setting development I favor these novels:

    It; The Stand; Shawshank Redemption; The Green Mile

    In terms of just a decent read still good, but less character development, I go wwith :.........The Shining; Christine, Pet Cemetary; Misery.


    I agree that his real gift is the short story. ....so Nightshift and Skeleton Crew are excellent choices.


    My absolute favorite King story is The Body...which is the story the great movie "Stand by me" was based upon.

    --
    "The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity - it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it; a jealous, possesive love that grabs at what it can." by Yann Martel from Life of Pi



    Posted by DJSapp:
    "Squirrels are rats with good PR."

  23. #23
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    "Thinner". Really good and it's got a hot gypsy bitch in it.
    "You damn colonials and your herds of tax write off dressage ponies". PNWBrit

  24. #24
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    Huh. I liked "The Shining" the best.

    Misery" and "Dolores Claiborne" are fantastic non-supernatural books of his.

    If you have ever thought of getting into Creative Writing then Steven King's "On Writing" is a must.

  25. #25
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    Half way through 'The Shining' now and really digging it. At times I'm finding it hard to put down.

    Also, I'm a fan of Kubrick's film and it has been fun trying to figure out why he made the decisions he did, and why King ultimately disliked it.

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