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how to read Stephen King

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Colton I recently acquired several Stephen King books and was looking for what order in which to read them. I've already read The Long Walk and The Shining, and enjoyed them very much. The books are as follows:

Carrie
Salem's Lot
The Stand
Skeleton Crew
Night Shift
Cujo
Pet Semetary
The Dead Zone
Everything's Eventual
Dolores Claiborne

Just comments on what your favorites are, what order I should read these in, and whether or not I should buy and read other books beforehand. Thanks!


Tiago Regarding other books, I highly recommend "Misery" as an absolute must-read, it's one of my favorite books of all time and it really showcases King's writing talent. Or, if you like big novels with lots of characters, you might try "Under the Dome". For shorter stories, I recommend his great collection of novellas, "Different Seasons". And also, try the Dark Tower series.

Nevertheless, you already have a great – and very diversed – selection on your hands, so just pick a book at random and enjoy the ride!


IUHoosier Pick up It and Misery to round out the list. Otherwise you've got a great selection. I would suggest reading them chronologically in the order he wrote them - you'll get a feel for his progression as a writer that way. Personally, I liked his earliest writing the best, but a lot of people love his later works. Either way - enjoy!


Richard The only thing id say is Delores Claiborne is one of a set, it is directly linked to Gerald's Game. Beyond that though any order is fine, links pop up but none are essential


Christina Woosley I recommend you read them chronologically as well, because the books, I believe, are all equally good in different ways. You should also pick up The Mist because it is another of his that I especially liked.


Jeffery Lee Radatz Colton wrote: "I recently acquired several Stephen King books and was looking for what order in which to read them. I've already read The Long Walk and The Shining, and enjoyed them very much. The books are as fo..."

The only one, in my opinion, that you need to read in order, are the "Dark Tower" series. All the other books you don't necessarily have to read in order.


Scott Jeffery wrote: "The only one, in my opinion, that you need to read in order, are the "Dark Tower" series. All the other books you don't necessarily have to read in order."

And, I guess, The Shining/Doctor Sleep.

Sometimes King references books in other books, but they are just Easter eggs for "constant readers" to pick up; they don't affect the main story. To the OP, I say just read them in whatever order they interest you. Of the listed titles, Carrie, Night Shift and The Dead Zone were my favorites.


message 8: by Papaphilly (last edited Nov 02, 2014 05:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Papaphilly I have been reading Stephen King since 1976. I have read them in the published order from the beginning. I suggest you do the same only because it is how the author published them and there are plenty of Easter eggs for the constant reader (as he calls us) that you will miss other wise (which would be a shame).


Jeffery Lee Radatz Scott wrote: "Jeffery wrote: "The only one, in my opinion, that you need to read in order, are the "Dark Tower" series. All the other books you don't necessarily have to read in order."

And, I guess, The Shinin..."


Yes, thank you, I forgot that he has a sequel to "The Shining"., but other than that yes, there is no particular order to read them.


Jessica One word at a time! I get so caught up in his books, that I sometimes have to go back and reread sections that I skimmed over to get to the end or the next part of the story!


message 11: by Carrie (last edited Oct 01, 2014 07:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carrie You got a good "core" collection going...add It, Misery and Tommyknockers. As far as order, start with Carrie. Happy reading!!


message 12: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Misery is a MUST read!
Also the Dark Tower books.

there are some I haven't read. I think I started in 1979, and read everything up to Insomnia. I started it and never finished.

I thought The Cell was good, and 11-23-63 abt JFK was EPIC!


message 13: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Golden Christina wrote: "You should also pick up The Mist..."

You may as well pick up Skeleton Crew if you choose to read "The Mist," since it's a part of that anthology. Also, get Night Shift and Different Seasons featuring The Shawshank Redemption, as his early short fiction was pretty good (and a bit spooky).

Stay away from The Dark Tower books. It;s the most uneven series you will ever read, and the ending just sucked beyond words to describe it.


Robert Reynolds Few authors I'm aware of have more that one great novel in them. For Steven King, that novel is Carrie. As for all the rest of his work, it's second best to this great classic. But I will say this... King's second best is better than most authors' firsts!


Julian Read his earlier books first, Carrie and Cujo.
Then read the Stand.

Definitely buy It.


Carrie Oh, and for fun once you read all of the "must reads" pick up the short collection Full Dark No Stars. Great stories in there...


C. J. Scurria Carrie wrote: "Oh, and for fun once you read all of the "must reads" pick up the short collection Full Dark No Stars. Great stories in there..."

Wow how many short story collections does he have? It seems every time I tap into a King discussion thread I find word about another one, lol.


Chris IUHoosier wrote: "Pick up It and Misery to round out the list. Otherwise you've got a great selection. I would suggest reading them chronologically in the order he wrote them - you'll get..."

I agree with you even thought Dr. Sleep was a good read shows you how much King has progressed.


Gapman Oh, and read The Talisman before you read Black House, as it is a 2 book series.


message 20: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin Shadle Lisa wrote: "Misery is a MUST read!
Also the Dark Tower books.

there are some I haven't read. I think I started in 1979, and read everything up to Insomnia. I started it and never finished.

I thought The Cell..."


It's funny, I read through the thread first to see if anyone mentioned Insomnia, because it's one of my absolute favorites. You're the only one who did, and you couldn't finish. :D

However, nothing will ever beat the opening line of The Gunslinger. I'll know that sentence for the rest of my life.


message 21: by Nathan (last edited Nov 12, 2014 11:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nathan If you read Stephen King chronologically, you will notice that he references earlier books quite a bit as he goes along. Not that you need to do that to understand his books, just kind of a cool nostalgia, as you recognize characters from previous books.


Papaphilly Erin wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Misery is a MUST read!
Also the Dark Tower books.

there are some I haven't read. I think I started in 1979, and read everything up to Insomnia. I started it and never finished.

I tho..."


WOW! you are the first person that truly loved the book that I have come across. I read it in hardback and it was OK, not great, but OK and you just loved it. It goes to show that there is something for everyone in King and not everyone loves all of the same work.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Carrie is a short, easy read, although I didn't like it, so that would be fine to start with or include anytime.

Cujo is excellent. It's not intimidating with length and has a good story.

Salem's Lot is really good and has a few creepy scenes.

The Stand is good, although to me overrated and a little sluggish.

Skeleton Crew and Night Shift - read these anytime. He shines as a short story writer.

Pet Semetary - I need to re-read this one but remember enjoying it.

The Dead Zone - I remember finding this one psychologically intriguing

Dolores Claiborne - I need to try this again. WheN I tried it before I DNF and hated it because of the constant dialogue.


Jeffery Lee Radatz Misery is a very good one. Annie Wilkes is a psycho!


Terry Moore I suggest starting with Carrie, SK's first novel and read them in order so you can see his progression fom a very good genre writer into a very good literary writer. The big exception, in my opinion, is The Stand which I personally consider his greatest work.


Wayne Barrett The good thing is that all the books on this list are good if not excellent. I would start with Carrie and then continue in the order they were written. I think after these you will probably be eager to read the others suggested here and then some. Happy reading.


Wayne Barrett Paul wrote: "I would suggest reading all Dark Tower books first!! There are SO many "Dark Tower" related books out there and the list keeps getting bigger. Once you finished all the DT books, you'll catch and u..."

Probably a good suggestion considering all the connections. I've considered going back and reading all the others since reading the DT series just because it rekindled my interest.


message 28: by Tom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Invest in a good book light.

Wait for the sun to set.

TV/radio off.

Lights out.

Curl up with a soft blankey in a comfy chair.

Prepare to be creeped out...




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