Book Talk with Kealan Patrick Burke discussion

Stephen King
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The Best & Worst of Stephen King

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message 1: by Kealan (last edited Jan 05, 2015 11:45AM) (new)

Kealan Burke (KealanPatrickBurke) | 1375 comments Mod
Okay, so as we're discussing this quite a bit elsewhere, I think it deserves it's own topic.

So, what do you consider the best & worst books Stephen King has written? I'm a fan, so my list of favorites will be longer, and I'm ommitting books I either haven't read or don't fit in either best or worst. Here goes:

BEST (in no particular order):

THE SHINING
SALEM'S LOT
THE DEAD ZONE
IT
PET SEMETARY
CUJO
MISERY
THE DARK HALF
NEEDFUL THINGS
DOLORES CLAIBORNE
THE GREEN MILE
FULL DARK, NO STARS
11/22/63

WORST

DREAMCATCHER
CELL
ROSE MADDER
INSOMNIA
THE TOMMYKNOCKERS

SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN

REVIVAL
MR. MERCEDES
DOCTOR SLEEP


message 2: by Jon Recluse (last edited Aug 08, 2012 12:21PM) (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments BEST:


'SALEM"S LOT
THE SHINING
THE DEAD ZONE
IT
PET SEMATARY
MISERY
NEEDFUL THINGS
DOLORES CLAIBORNE
THE GREEN MILE
FULL DARK, NO STARS
THE NIGHT SHIFT
DIFFERENT SEASONS
BAG OF BONES
FROM A BUICK 8
CHRISTINE


WORST:

DREAMCATCHER
THE CELL
ROSE MADDER
INSOMNIA
THE TOMMYKNOCKERS
GERALD'S GAME
LISEY' STORY


message 3: by C. (new)

C. (CDennisMoore) | 2 comments I agree with every one of those worsts. I also hated BAG OF BONES when I first read it, but loved it when I heard the audio.


message 4: by Chris (new)

Chris (ChrisMcCaffrey) | 302 comments "The Stand" is missing from the best of list. I would also throw all the short story collections with the exception of "Everything's Eventual" into the best of list.

I haven't read the Dark Tower books so I don't know where to place them.


message 5: by Gatorman (new)

Gatorman | 192 comments BEST (NOVELS ONLY):

PET SEMATARY
THE DEAD ZONE
THE STAND
IT
MISERY
DARK TOWER SERIES
THE GREEN MILE
CHRISTINE
UNDER THE DOME
BAG OF BONES
DUMA KEY
THE TALISMAN

WORST:

11/22/63
NEEDFUL THINGS
CUJO
ROSE MADDER
EVERYTHING'S EVENTUAL
JUST AFTER SUNSET


message 6: by Chris (new)

Chris (ChrisMcCaffrey) | 302 comments The Good

SALEM'S LOT
CARRIE
THE SHINING
PET SEMATARY
THE DEAD ZONE
THE STAND
CHRISTINE
IT
MISERY
THE GREEN MILE
THE TALISMAN
CUJO
DOLORES CLAIBORNE
NIGHTSHIFT
FULL DARK NO STARS
4 PAST MIDNIGHT
DIFFERENT SEASONS
SILVER BULLET
THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON

The bad

ROSE MADDER
DREAMCATCHER
INSOMNIA
THE TOMMYKNOCKERS
JUST AFTER SUNSET
EVERYTHING'S EVENTUAL
BAG OF BONES
DUMA KEY
FROM A BUICK 8
CELL
11/22/63 (my opinion of the books just keeps dropping as time passes)


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris (ChrisMcCaffrey) | 302 comments Gatorman, hove you not read "Salem's Lot?" It is probably my all time favorite King book.


message 8: by Gatorman (new)

Gatorman | 192 comments Chris wrote: "Gatorman, hove you not read "Salem's Lot?" It is probably my all time favorite King book."

I read it and liked it. It's just not in my top 10-12.


message 9: by Jon Recluse (last edited Aug 08, 2012 01:05PM) (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments Anybody read BLACK HOUSE?


message 10: by Chris (new)

Chris (ChrisMcCaffrey) | 302 comments Not me.


message 11: by Charlene (last edited Aug 08, 2012 01:22PM) (new)

Charlene | 1080 comments Yeah, I read it. It was a huge disappointment for me.
Really big disappointment.
I don't see how two guys can create a masterpiece of a horror/fantasy story like The Talisman and then come back years later with Black House. I just don't get it.


message 12: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments Your expectations were too high......


message 13: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 1080 comments GOOD:

THE STAND
SALEM'S LOT
IT
CARRIE
THE SHINING
THE GREEN MILE
THE TALISMAN
PET SEMATARY
THE DEAD ZONE
MISERY
FULL DARK NO STARS
CHRISTINE
CUJO
11/22/63
DOLORES CLAIBORNE
NIGHTSHIFT
4 PAST MIDNIGHT
DIFFERENT SEASONS
SILVER BULLET
THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON
FROM A BUICK 8
DUMA KEY
UNDER THE DOME

NOT SO GOOD

THE TOMMYKNOCKERS
ROSE MADDER
DREAMCATCHER
INSOMNIA
JUST AFTER SUNSET
EVERYTHING'S EVENTUAL
BAG OF BONES


message 14: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 1080 comments Jon Recluse wrote: "Your expectations were too high......"

My expectations were very high. To this day, whenever I think about Wolf, I tear up. : )


message 15: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments You would. ;)


message 16: by Gatorman (new)

Gatorman | 192 comments Jon Recluse wrote: "Anybody read BLACK HOUSE?"

I read it and liked it. It wasn't The Talisman but I didn't expect it to be. From comments I've read, I think a lot of people dislike it because it didn't compare. I took it for what it was.


message 17: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments Thanks, Gator.


message 18: by Kealan (new)

Kealan Burke (KealanPatrickBurke) | 1375 comments Mod
Forgot about DUMA KEY and UNDER THE DOME, both of which I really liked, DUMA KEY especially. It was for me, a return to form for him after a few duds.

I didn't mention THE STAND because I haven't read it, and likely never will.

As for collections, I loved most of them. EVERYTHING's EVENTUAL and JUST AFTER SUNSET were disappointing.


message 19: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments What about BAG OF BONES, Kealan?


message 20: by Chris (new)

Chris Bowsman | 191 comments Best:

BAG OF BONES
PET SEMETARY
IT
CUJO
SKELETON CREW
DIFFERENT SEASONS
UNDER THE DOME
DUMA KEY
MISERY
DESPERATION

Worst:

DREAMCATCHER
FROM A BUICK 8
DREAMCATCHER
ROSE MADDER
DREAMCATCHER
INSOMNIA


message 21: by Kealan (new)

Kealan Burke (KealanPatrickBurke) | 1375 comments Mod
I liked BAG OF BONES too, Recluse.


message 22: by Jon Recluse (last edited Aug 08, 2012 03:24PM) (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments Not enough to rank?


message 23: by Kealan (new)

Kealan Burke (KealanPatrickBurke) | 1375 comments Mod
It's not one that really stayed with me. I enjoyed it, but up until I watched the recent miniseries, I couldn't remember a thing about it.


message 24: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments Watching the miniseries was a mistake.


message 25: by Kealan (new)

Kealan Burke (KealanPatrickBurke) | 1375 comments Mod
It was not good.


message 26: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments The fact that it starred Pierce Brosnan wasn't warning enough?


message 27: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 1080 comments I don't really remember much about that book, except for the refrigerator magnets.
I wonder why they stick in my head? ; )

*hands the ball off to Jon*


message 28: by Chris (new)

Chris Bowsman | 191 comments BAG OF BONES has been my favorite of his for awhile. This is dumb, but what won me over was the "... And the next time he saw her, she'd be dead" line. He hadn't used that for awhile and I'd forgotten how much I missed it.


message 29: by Kealan (new)

Kealan Burke (KealanPatrickBurke) | 1375 comments Mod
How about LISEY'S STORY? What's the verdict? I've tried to read it three times now and each time I get mired at about the 100 page mark.


message 30: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments LISEY'S STORY is a trainwreck.


message 31: by Chris (new)

Chris Bowsman | 191 comments forgot about that one. started and never finished.


message 32: by Gatorman (new)

Gatorman | 192 comments Kealan wrote: "How about LISEY'S STORY? What's the verdict? I've tried to read it three times now and each time I get mired at about the 100 page mark."

I finished it. Liked it, didn't love it.


message 33: by Chris (new)

Chris Bowsman | 191 comments This is a little off, but I'm also going to say that Joe Hill is one of SK's best :) 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS and HORNS were both incredible, and HEART-SHAPED BOX was really good.


message 34: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 1080 comments Chris, have you seen that they are making a film of Horns and it's going to star Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) as Ig?


message 35: by Chris (new)

Chris Bowsman | 191 comments No, I had not heard that, but I'm looking forward to it.


message 36: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments Ick!


message 37: by Glen (new)

Glen Krisch | 36 comments Lisey's Story? I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Have to agree with most of the lists. Bag of Bones is on my great list, however.

Also, I gave up on Under the Dome when the twelve year olds kept saying things like "that's rad."


message 38: by Jon Recluse (last edited Aug 17, 2012 10:18AM) (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments I still haven't started UNDER THE DOME.

And now I won't.

Rad? What decade is it in Maine?


message 39: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 1080 comments Yeah, I'm not seeing Harry Potter as Ig, but who knows, maybe I'll be surprised. : )

I liked UTD. I really did. : )


message 40: by Chris (new)

Chris (ChrisMcCaffrey) | 302 comments I read an interview where King admits that he doesn't get kids right in his stories any more. Mainly because he doesn't have kids in his house to model them after. Joe was a boy when he wrote "The Shining" so he knew what 6 year olds acted like.


message 41: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 1080 comments He certainly used to get them right though. The Body and IT proved that to me.


message 42: by Chris (new)

Chris (ChrisMcCaffrey) | 302 comments And Salem's Lot too. All early works when his kids were young.


message 43: by Glen (new)

Glen Krisch | 36 comments King's kids in Under the Dome, as well as my wife's urging, motivated me to write my coming-of-age novel Nothing Lasting. I wanted to write something definitive in that sub-genre before I got too old.


message 44: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 1080 comments Yep..those are two of them where kids are involved that I forgot about.


message 45: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments Glen wrote: "King's kids in Under the Dome, as well as my wife's urging, motivated me to write my coming-of-age novel Nothing Lasting. I wanted to write something definitive in that sub-genre before I got too ..."

Now that I gotta read!


message 46: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 1080 comments Glen, when is that coming out?

One of my horror group friends just finished reading The Nightmare Within and said she really liked it.


message 47: by Glen (new)

Glen Krisch | 36 comments Charlene, Right now it's with a publisher who wanted to look at it. Kinda up in the air.

Back to King, Full Dark, No Stars is top notch all the way through. Most writers would be lucky to produce the quality of novellas in this collection during a lifetime's work. To put it in context with King's vast body of work... holy crap, he's good.


message 48: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments I always thought novellas are King's strong point.

It's the only time the editor in his head is on duty....


message 49: by Charlene (last edited Aug 17, 2012 04:34PM) (new)

Charlene | 1080 comments Glen, I 100% percent agree with your assessment of Full Dark, No Stars.
I hope the publisher recognizes your greatness. : )

Jon, I have always had a fondness for King's shorts as well.


message 50: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2042 comments Boxers or briefs? :P


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