The Next Best Book Club discussion

128 views
Revive a Dead Thread > Stephen King -- Discuss the man and his books here.

Comments Showing 1-50 of 68 (68 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Stephen King is my all time favorite author. I've read almost every book he's ever written and I love how every book still has his "feel" while being different from the rest.

Which books have you read? Which books do you want to read?


message 2: by Kandice (last edited Aug 30, 2009 10:03PM) (new)

Kandice I've read every book King has published. I purchased Nightmares in the Sky Gargoyles and Grotesques for a ridiculous amount of money just to read the little bit of text he added to the coffee table book. I borrowed a copy of My Pretty Pony when it was still only available in the $$$$ charity edition. I subscribe to Entertainment magazine just to have "on the page" access to his every third week article.

To varying degrees, I have loved every word he has ever written, and the weeks leading up to a King release feel like the second and third weeks of December to me.

He holds the number one author spot in my heart. There are others I love almost as much, but King will always be king to me.


message 3: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Rose Madder is different. But please don't be put off by the abuse portrayed, because the story is not all about that. It's just a catalyst and an antagonist in itself. The story is about Rosie...

It's not pleasant to read, definitely, but a lot of King isn't. He doesn't hold back and he doesn't pull any punches. But I love him completely for being able to pull me into a story and make me identify with the characters he writes.

Rose Madder is, in a small way, interconnected with the Dark Tower series, which is one of my all time absolute favorite favorites. I hope you read it soon, Jennifer. It is an investment, but Kandice is reading it right now and is on the 5th book, and I believe that she is loving them. :)

I love them, and am actually planning on having symbols from the series immortalized on me forever as tattoos. That's how much I love the series. :)


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol I prefer his older books. He got really weird for me. I have not read anything after his accident. I tried one and it was so strange it felt like someone's drug nightmare.Sooooooooooooooo I don't think I will count him as a favorite author,but he is a force to be reckoned with. I will keep trying to see if I can read his new books. The Last one I read was The Green Mile. I must say it was a eye opener for me about the electric chair. It changed my thinking about it's use.
So Mr. King thank you for enlightening me and it definetly impacted my philosphy .


message 5: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I hear (or read) people say, all the time, that his writing was too weird after his accident, so they don't read him anymore. I agree, he changed, but I don't think he got "weirder". I think it's just much more apparent in his stories that he understands the frailty of life and how short our time on Earth can actually be. He seems to be more careful of his characters feelings as well.

Akittykat, I hope you DO try something else written post accident. Lisey's Story and Duma Key are as good, if not better, than much of his earlier work. He may have had a little hiccup there, but he's back on his excellent track.


message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol I did not like Lisey's Story . I could not get past 1st chapter. I will try Duma Key I was looking at amazon.com and that one sounded interesting. Also what about The Long Walk was that one good?


message 7: by El (new)

El Akittykat wrote: "I did not like Lisey's Story . I could not get past 1st chapter. I will try Duma Key I was looking at amazon.com and that one sounded interesting. Also what about The Long Walk was that one good?"

The Long Walk is one of my favorites and highly recommend it, especially if you prefer his older stuff (1987).

King has been hit or miss for me as well more recently, but I always do get excited when a new book comes out. There have been a few I've missed (Cell for one...) but thought Duma Key was fantastic.


message 8: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I loved both Lisey's Story and Duma Key... I listened to both on audio and thought they were fantastic. However, if asked to choose between them, I'd have to say that Duma Key was my favorite of the two.

Lisey's Story is different, and is strange and surreal and asks the reader to suspend a lot of disbelief. It's really a thank you/love letter to his main supporter and fan, his wife. And while most people would just get her a card, our King isn't that conventional. :)

The story does start slowly, but it continues to build and build and after a while, I forgot that I was listening because I was so engrossed in the story. Duma Key was like that too.

Both of those stories gave me goosebumps, which I've not had while reading King's books since I was... I dunno... 12? Could be the audio, but I think he's just still got it.

I would definitely recommend giving both of them a try. They are not quick reads, but give it some time and you won't even notice that you ARE reading. You'll just step into the story.


message 9: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I loved Lisey's Story! Like Becky said, I felt, the entire time I was reading, it was a love letter or gift of appreciation to the people most important to him. Duma Key was also exceptional, but for some reason, I really like when he writes in the voice of a woman. Lisey was someone I felt I would like to know in life. Edgar, of Duma, was as well, but...there's no telling when, why or how a book will touch us. That's the beauty of reading.


I read and audio-ed both books, and perhaps audio-ing it would help you get into the story better. Either way, Ihope you re-visit, because it was a terrific tale.


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I think I actually prefer when he writes with a man's voice. I never really gave it much thought, but thinking back, all of my really favorite books have male main characters.

The Dark Tower series (Roland and Eddie), The Shining (Jack Torrance), The Stand (OK, I know this one has lots of main characters, but Frannie and Mother Abigail are the only two main female characters), Duma Key (Edgar Freemantle), Misery (Paul Sheldon), etc.

There's something about the male characters that appeal to me.


message 11: by Kandice (last edited Aug 31, 2009 10:43AM) (new)

Kandice None of my favorites of his are written in female voice, I just love that he CAN write completely convincingly from a female perspective. I find it incredible that Carrie is so spot on, his first book, AND from the female POV. Amazing.

For me, every time, he get sit right. Rosie, Delores, can't think of her name from Gerald's game (Jessie?), Lisey, the little girl in Tom Gordon. Enjoying his approach to the feminine does not make me love the book. Dolores Claiborn and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon are near the bottom of the pile for me, but King's worst is on par with some author's very best.




message 12: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Kandice wrote: "None of my favorites of his are written in female voice, I just love that he CAN write completely convincingly from a female perspective. I find it incredible that Carrie is so spot on, his first ..."

I agree K. Completely.


message 13: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (bellamy22) | 610 comments Stephen King is within 10 years of my age,I believe, and I have read every one of his books. I agree that after his accident, there was an underlying 'anger', so to speak, in his writing.
But, when I read 'Lisey's Story', I knew immediately where (I believe) he was at.
He had survived a dangerous accident, he is now in middle age, as is his wife,Tabitha. I see this book as a love story for her.
She has the sisters, and the family dynamic, and I just really felt, all through the book, how much they mean to each other, and how he sees her going on if he were to die first.
I found 'Lisey's Story' very moving, and I loved him for it ...


message 14: by Kandice (new)

Kandice WOW!!!! Suzanne, my words exactly when I read it were "I see Lisey's Story as a love letter to his wife.". I am so glad someone else saw the same thing. I mean, I know it's scary and all that, but what other sort of love letter would Stephen King write? NOT a flowery sonnet, that's for sure.:)


message 15: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I read The Trap too. I thought it was really good, and always meant to try and read more of hers. I'm not interested in the basketball ones, but do you know if she has any others like that?

There was a scene that really got to me too. I wonder if it was the same one? O-O


message 16: by Bill (new)

Bill (wtbeav) | 2 comments Becky wrote: "Rose Madder is different. But please don't be put off by the abuse portrayed, because the story is not all about that. It's just a catalyst and an antagonist in itself. The story is about Rosie... ..."

I am a huge Stephen King fan and love to read his works. I am currently trying to acquire all of his writings in Hardback form. I have not however in three attempts been able to finish Rose Madder but after reading your post I think it may be time to give it another try. Thanks for the insight.


message 17: by Bill (new)

Bill (wtbeav) | 2 comments El wrote: "Akittykat wrote: "I did not like Lisey's Story . I could not get past 1st chapter. I will try Duma Key I was looking at amazon.com and that one sounded interesting. Also what about The Long Walk wa..."

I agree that The Long Walk is one of his best works. I have not had a chance to read Lisey's Story yet but am looking forward to doing so after reading all the different opinions on the book.


message 18: by Alisha Marie (new)

Alisha Marie (endlesswonderofreading) | 715 comments I've only read two Stephen King books so far: The Stand and Misery. The Stand is now one of my favorite books ever and I loved Misery as well. I have read some of Everything's Eventual, but for some reason, I can't read short story compilations in one go, so I just dip into that one occassionally. I've still got quite a few books of his one my shelves, so I can't wait to pick up more of his books.


message 19: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I hope you do Alisha! :D


message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol Kandice wrote: "WOW!!!! Suzanne, my words exactly when I read it were "I see Lisey's Story as a love letter to his wife.". I am so glad someone else saw the same thing. I mean, I know it's scary and all that, but ..."

You are right. That is definetly the way he would write to her. From what I understand they have a wonderful marriage. Filled with mutual love and respect for each other


message 21: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn Jennifer wrote: "Have any of you read anything by Tabitha King? (since she came up in the discussion about Lisey's Story, thought I'd throw that out there...)
The only book I read by her was "The Trap." It was a..."


Read his book "On Writing" - which is part autobiography and part writer's manual - to get the story on him and his wife. She is what he calls his IR, or Ideal Reader - he says he writes with her in mind, and she is always the first reader of any new book, so her feedback is crucial. "On Writing" is a very good book in lots of ways. One thing many people over look in King is how funny he can be. I happen to be a huge Red Sox fan as well, and I adored the Red Sox diary he co-wrote with Stewart O'Nan in 2004 - great baseball talk and funny King, all the way through.



message 22: by Lori, Super Mod (last edited Sep 01, 2009 07:11AM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10025 comments Mod
I am in the group of people who loved pre-accident King, and failed to enjoy his post stuff. It's funny that people say he has gotten "weird".... I believe that since the accident, he is off the drugs, so are we saying that the drugs kept him normal?? ha ha ha

I adored Eyes of the Dragon, which was written as a bedtime story for his daughter, who, at the time, was frightened by all his other novels.

I also really enjoyed Insomnia, The Green Mile, and his experimental set - The Regulators and Desperation.

The books I just could not get through: Tommyknockers and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. They were just so dull and tasking for me.


message 23: by Monique (new)

Monique | 15 comments I adore the Dark Tower series.


message 24: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) LOL Lori! Can you CALL King "normal" regardless of his recreational proclivities? He's pretty strange to me, but I love him and his writing despite that.

Have you read The Shining or The Stand?


message 25: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10025 comments Mod
I read The Stand a long long long time ago.
I hardly remember it, really. But I know I liked it when I read it.


message 26: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (bellamy22) | 610 comments Ooh Lori, read it again!
I waited about 10 or 15 years between reads and it was really enjoyable in different ways. I also found that my memory was sometimes off on some details, and that I missed a few important points.
It was so worth the re-read.
I am now going to do the same with a few of Anne Rice's first novels.
It is really eye-opening to compare these great, literate authors with some of the books that are being written today. It helps to see who really has 'the gift', I guess you would call it!



message 27: by Carol (last edited Sep 01, 2009 03:34PM) (new)

Carol okay guys. As soon as I finish some of my other books I will take the plunge and try Mr. King again. Maybe I will start with no. 1. Salem's Lot I know I did find it quirky and funny in some places. I read it a long long time ago.


message 28: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Salem's Lot is one of my favorites. It's a little dated, sure, but still, very scary. No happy, mainstreaming True:Blood drinkers in King's books!


message 29: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) I've just started collecting some of his novels in harcover... I'm just hoarding them for the moment and when the right time comes I guess I'll read his earlier works first. So far I got The Dead Zone, On Writing, Thinner and Hearts in Atlantis... all in hardcover. Still on the hunt for The Shining... I don't care whether they may be first editions or book-club editions as long as it's in hardcover form...


message 30: by Carol (new)

Carol I just found out Stephen King is a Virgo. Now that is interesting. Now I will have to read so more of my astrological relative. hahahahahahaha........


message 31: by Loretta (last edited Sep 02, 2009 02:30PM) (new)

Loretta I have read most of Stephen King, although I am one of those who find his more recent work is just not as good. I don't think it's post-accident - I've really loved some of his post accident work. He still has great stories, ideas, imagination, and characters. But he is suffering what many best-selling authors suffer from, over time: the lack of an editor willing to tell him "you need to cut this down, clean it up, and make it tighter". I'm about 2/3 through Lisey's story on audiobooks, and it is SO true of this. I'm just rolling my eyes at the excess and unnecessary wordiness - while enjoying the classic King things I've always loved.

He needs to re-read "on writing" and follow some of his own advice.


message 32: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 266 comments Could any of you "fans" recommend where to start? I've only ever read Bag of Bones which I quite liked, but that's it. No one has ever recommended his other works to me, although I have heard of Carrie (from the movie), and The Stand (again, from the movie Stand By Me).

From what you guys have discussed so far, it seems The Stand, The Green Mile, Lisey's Story, and On Writing are some favourites, but what would you start with?



message 33: by Emma (new)

Emma Audsley (emmaaudsley) | 10 comments Definately try The Stand. It's a great story with developed characters & is by far the best SK work I've read so far!




message 34: by Loretta (new)

Loretta Brenda wrote: "Could any of you "fans" recommend where to start? I've only ever read Bag of Bones which I quite liked, but that's it. No one has ever recommended his other works to me, although I have heard of ..."

Umm, the book The Stand has nothing to do with the movie Stand By Me, just so you know. The Stand is a great book, though and well worth reading.

Stand by Me was based on a novella called "The Body", which I think was originally published in a collection of four novellas called Different Seasons - which is also an EXCELLENT collection, and might surprise you if you have certain expectations about King.

I also loved Hearts from Atlantis, as a more recent representation.




message 35: by El (last edited Sep 02, 2009 03:19PM) (new)

El Brenda, I suggest The Shining and the Dark Tower series, very different books.


message 36: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) El wrote: "Brenda, I suggest The Shining and the Dark Tower series, very different books."

I agree with El here. She listed two of my favs. I'd also mention The Talisman and Desperation/The Regulators for something a bit different. And Misery is very good. Pet Sematary is as well.


message 37: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (bellamy22) | 610 comments 'The Stand' is a literary classic.
'Pet Sematary' and ''Salems Lot' are vintage King.
'The Shining' and 'It' are right up there, also...

Humbly submitted by a major King fan !!!

If you only read one, make it 'The Stand' ...


message 38: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn The Dark Tower series is wonderful, but the first one (in my opinion) is the weakest. But you kind of have to get through that so the others make sense. If you don't find yourself warming to The Gunslinger, push through it and give the second one a try - it will be worth it.


message 39: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 266 comments Thanks for all the suggestions, it looks like The Stand is the one to start with.


message 40: by Brenda (last edited Sep 03, 2009 09:09AM) (new)

Brenda | 266 comments Loretta wrote: "Brenda wrote: "Could any of you "fans" recommend where to start? I've only ever read Bag of Bones which I quite liked, but that's it. No one has ever recommended his other works to me, although I..."

You know, I always heard Stand by Me was based on Stephen King's work and I just assumed it was the novel The Stand because of the similarity of the title. So now I won't be confused when I start reading The Stand thinking it is WAY different than the movie... thanks for the info. I'm going to read The Stand and may try the Dark Tower series. I'm going to check out the Different Seasons collection too.... Thanks for the reply.



message 41: by El (new)

El Kate wrote: "The Dark Tower series is wonderful, but the first one (in my opinion) is the weakest. But you kind of have to get through that so the others make sense. If you don't find yourself warming to The ..."

Kate, that's interesting. I found the first book to be rather strong - at least enough so to really draw me in. On the other hand, I was not as fond of the later books. I attribute that to too much time passed in King's own life between the first three or four and the last few. People have been commenting here in the difference in his writing over the years, and I noticed it quite a bit in the Dark Tower series. I still love the whole collection though, and if I didn't have so many other books I'm dying to read I would love to do a marathon and re-read the whole series. Sigh. Someday... :)


message 42: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I wonder why it is that when it comes to a particular person's books, and music, or movies etc, we seem to always gravitate towards the older stuff as our favorites.

I've noticed this in myself, too, especially when it comes to music. For instance, just to throw a name out there, Gwen Stefani. I LOVED her when she was with No Doubt. But I can't stand her music now. She's changed so much, and become everything annoying about the music industry to me that I just can't take hearing it.

I'm not saying that I think that King has sold out, like I sometimes feel about Gwen Stefani, but he HAS changed. His writing now seems to be more surreal and intimate at the same time. Strange? Yes. Bad? No.

But, I wonder what it is. Nostalgia? Personal preference surely has a big part in it, but many of the people I know who are huge Stephen King fans, and who read everything the man has ever and will ever write still prefer his old stuff. Does the older stuff speak to us, and allow us to identify with it in a different way than his new stuff? Perhaps that's it, but I don't know.

I enjoy both old and new when it comes to King. The Stand, The Shining, The Dark Tower series (which bridges the gap), Duma Key and Lisey's Story are my current favorites.


message 43: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) PS. I'm getting one of my DT tattoos today! :D


message 44: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I think part of the allure of King's older work, is that back then he wasn't the KING yet. I mean, he was popular, but not the way he is now. I know when I first started reading him, not everyone did read him. He was considered strictly horror, (I don't think he was) and so a lot of people avoided his work. Now, it's almost trendy to say you read King. We are no longer a tight, little group of die-hard fans, sharing the secret of his variety. We have to share his genius with the world!


message 45: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I think that's probably right K. Or at least a big part of it.

I think that with my Gwen Stefani example, she went from making HONEST music that said something about her, to making POPULAR music that says nothing at all. (Someone PLEASE tell me what a "hollaback girl" is.) Yuck.

With King, I think that he's ALWAYS been honest. He wrote books that meant something, to him, to me, to someone. Yes, they are entertainment, but they are also underscored with meaning - cherish what you have because tomorrow it could be gone. Fight for what you believe in, etc.

I think that he's matured a lot, and his accident changed his outlook on a lot of things, and so his writing changed a bit. If you look at the world differently than before, the way you show others should change accordingly.

Anyway... heres a link to my picture, if you want to see the new tattoo: http://www.goodreads.com/photo/user/1...


message 46: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) hey! Just want to ask you something guys... I think just for fun...

What would you think Uncle Stevie's reaction would be if Oprah choose one of his books for her book club selection?


message 47: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I don't think that King is really Oprah's style. Not nearly downtrodden-to-uplifting enough.

But I think he'd be happy if she did. He doesn't need the publicity, but he wouldn't shun it either.


message 48: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) Jennifer wrote: "Ugh...Oprah...I don't think he needs the publicity. He's great enough."

It's not for a publicity stunt... something like Oprah felt a connection with whatever King that is... Like Carrie, though I never imagined Oprah being bullied like that...




message 49: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 358 comments jzhunagev wrote: "hey! Just want to ask you something guys... I think just for fun...

What would you think Uncle Stevie's reaction would be if Oprah choose one of his books for her book club selection? "


That's an interesting question! If Oprah travelled back in time to pick a King book, which one do you think (if any) she'd choose? My guess would be either Dolores Claiborne, Gerald's Game, or Lisey's Story, since they are all about strong women.


message 50: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I actually think that if she was going to pick a King book, she'd choose Bag of Bones. Lisey's Story is the logical choice, but it's too surreal and fantastic. So, Bag of Bones, which is a ghost story of sorts, but is really about the way people love.

I need to re-read that one actually. It's been too long. :)


« previous 1
back to top