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  1. #1
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Stephen King Thread

    This was going pretty strong the last time around. I think a lot of people are just King fans. So it has to be worth starting up again.

    Share your favourite King books, or any King you happen to be reading now/recently, in here.

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    My favorite King remains The Stand, I would say, though It is a close second. I'm amazed at how prolific this guy has been over the course of his career, and how well he maintains a high level of quality over a lot of his work. I've heard a few literary snobs sneer at his supposed "tin ear" for language, but it never bothered me a bit.

    It took me a long time to muster the courage to tackle, but I also loved the Dark Tower series. Very long but very worthwhile.

  3. #3
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    My wife at this very moment is reading The Stand. She's an author herself and as a side project is doing online reviews of King's entire bibliography. Quite the project ahead of her.

    The Stand is a fantastic book. The scope of what he achieved is something else. But IT pips it for me. There is an inherent evil in that book, and I'm not talking about Pennywise. This book is one of King's strengths where human behaviour is actually worse than any supernatural force. And that's what's terrifying about his work.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed Dark Tower. IT may be my favourite standalone, but this is his best work for me. Just such a massive story, which is very rewarding upon re-read of the book itself, and his other work that has nods to the infamous Tower itself.
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  4. #4
    The Brain
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    God, King's whole bibliography? I'll probably be done with the Heenan series before she's done! That man is prolific as fuck.

    IT might be #1 for me except... that one scene... you know the one I mean, haha. It's the only reason I have trouble recommending it wholeheartedly to others. It's still an amazing book/story though and I agree, just as terrifying as the monster is the way the people behave.

    I love how so many of his stories are connected, and Dark Tower takes the cake as far as that goes. You've read Wind Through The Keyhole, yes? Thought that was a very cool addition to the series. Gave the whole thing to my Dad and he ended up liking that more than the full series!

  5. #5
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    Lmao! That sounds like a good bet actually. I understand her love of King, and wanting to read them all (she is taking breaks in between for other work related stuff), but by god, it's a crazy project she's taken on.

    Haha yes that scene in particular, I know which one you mean. It went on for a while too? Though there was another scene that horrified me. I won't go into details for potential spoilers, but it involved the bully of Henry Bowers and his brother.... Dreadful stuff.

    I have read WTTK. It was a nice addition. I haven't reread the entire series its new order, however. I wonder if the break from the break from (etc) the action will leave me feeling a bit anxious to go on the main journey again.

    You mentioned snobbery towards King in an earlier post. I still think some avid King fans turn their nose up at Dark Tower, but they should really give it a shot.
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  6. #6
    Embracing Emptiness The Dude's Avatar
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    Skeleton Crew. It's a sort of collection of shortish stories and it kicks ass. I'd love to get my hands on that book again but have no idea where it went.

    Has anyone heard of that book??

  7. #7
    The Brain
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    Yes, the story about the baby brother was incredibly harrowing. Probably the most outright disturbing thing in a book full of them.

    Hard for me to imagine liking King but not DT, it's just his usual style but stretched across an epic story. Maybe if you only go in for the straight up horror it won't work for you, but if you like his style it should be a slam dunk.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    Funny you say that. I love his horror, but more often than not, its the less speculative fiction that lends itself better to cinema a la Shawshank, Green Mile etc.

    Speaking of disturbing scenes. What did you think of Revival? I found the big reveal to be particularly nasty.
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  9. #9
    The Brain
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    I really liked Revival! It was unbelievably dark at the climax but I'm kind of into that stuff, so it worked for me. One of my favorite things about King is how he does the legwork to develop the hell out of characters, and he was on point in this one. I'm not sure how it would stack up in his pantheon, but it's at least above average for him I would say.

    Making my way through Lisey's Story, I'm really struck by how different the style is. It's still recognizably King but less so that pretty much any King that I've read, even when he was pretending to be Bachman he was closer to his usual style. I detect a definite influence of Faulkner mixed into this one, which isn't my favorite thing as I tend to think Faulkner is overrated, but it does give it a different feeling. I'm curious where it goes, for sure. Not much supernatural yet, though there are some little hints that makes me think we'll get at least a little dose of it before the end.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    Lisey's Story is one I have read yet actually. I've read a fair whack, but there so many that it would take a project similar to my wife's to get through them all!

    Yeah Revival was really interesting. The hints throughout that something awful was on the horizon just added to it. I thought it was around the time of a nice run of form by him. With that, Funland, and the Mr Mercedes trilogy, he was hitting it out the park in quick succession.
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  11. #11
    The Brain
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    Joyland, right? Yeah, read that recently and thought it was fun, much more slice-of-life than his usual stuff but I don't mind that at all.

    The Mr Mercedes stuff was seriously awesome, especially the first book. I felt like the 3rd suffered a little by veering away from the detective stuff into the supernatural, but I still dug it overall.

  12. #12
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    Joyland, yes. Not Funland as my wife corrected me earlier.

    Mr Mercedes 1 was GREAT. 2 was a nice change of scenery, and with the story coming full circle in #3, I was satisfied, albeit agreeing with what you've said above.

    The Outsider is his new book and is just out today!! Might have to buy that pronto. Will probably give it a bash after what I'm reading just now.
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  13. #13
    The Brain
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    Haha, I've been reading his stuff pretty much nonstop for a year and there's still so much out there.

  14. #14
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    Wow. This must be some year of reading for you!

    Think I'll need to jump back in to his world very soon.
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  15. #15
    The Brain
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    Yup, it's been great fun! Finished Lisey's Story. I liked it, though it wasn't my favorite that I've read from him for a while. I was a little frustrated at the climax because it seemed like the protagonist could have saved herself a lot of trouble if she'd bothered to plan out her strategy better. I did really like some aspects of it though, and overall I'd recommend it still.

    Continuing the trend, I just cracked open Sleeping Beauties for the first time, the big (and I mean big) novel he wrote with his son Owen. I'm digging it so far, I don't know Owen's style and so far all I really see is Stephen but that's fine. Reminds a bit of some of his others, I see little traces of The Stand, Cell, Dreamcatcher, and the Tommyknockers, and probably a few more than aren't coming to mind right now. I liked all of those, even TK, so that's fine with me!

  16. #16
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    From that list you made there, I haven't read Dreamcatchers yet, but I adored The Stand, Cell, and Tommyknockers. All great reads. I'll have a look around for the Sleeping Beauties book.

    I also have The Fireman by Joe Hill purchased but yet to be read. Ive heard fantastic things about it so will definitely need to give that a try also.
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  17. #17
    The Brain
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    I'm really glad someone else loved Tommyknockers, I usually see it bashed because apparently King was struggling badly with substance abuse when he wrote it. I still really liked it though. Dreamcatcher was very fun for me too, and not just because of some connections to IT!

    The Fireman rings a bell but I don't think I've read it. Interested to hear how it is!

  18. #18
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed Tommyknockers. I thought people picking up radio frequencies in their dental metal work etc was amazing.

    By the way, I've started reading The Fireman. This is a very good book. There are similarities to his dad, for instance am apocalyptic scenario, and one of the baddies is an unhinged maniac, but Joe Hill most definitely has his own voice.

    It's a very bleak and sad book, and for me the concept is pretty terrifying. Especially as Scotland is experiencing one of its more significant heatwaves in history right now.
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  19. #19
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    Joe Hill is great. His best (to date) imo is NOS482. Horns is also really good, as are his anthologies. Definitely creating his own legacy in the genre.

  20. #20
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    I do own the audio book of NOS482, but this, and 1 or 2 more examples, just reinforced my struggle with audio books in general. I love podcasts, and love books, but a narrated version of a story doesn't work for me for some reason.

    Putting that aside, I'll be looking into more of Joe Hill's work. Fireman is keeping me interested so far.
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  21. #21
    The Brain
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    This summer has been so hot, I'd be afraid to pick up a horror book about the heat! I will have to check out some Joe Hill though.

    Really liking Duma Hill overall so far. If I ever get a head injury, I hope I get it in Stephen King world, so at least I'll get some cool powers out of it. I will say, there's a part early on where a dog dies that I almost couldn't make it through, possibly because I own a dog for the first time this year and possibly because I've been a bit stressed/emotional with the rest of my life. Whatever it was, I almost quit the book, which I never, ever do. Glad I didn't, but that was very rough.

  22. #22
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    I think you mean Duma Key, which is right up there with the Stand as my favorite King book.

  23. #23
    The Brain
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    Haha, yes. Had Joe Hill on my mind. That's VERY high praise! I'm a chunk of the way through and it's not on that level yet but I could see it really delivering.

  24. #24
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    Reading The Outsider right now. It's good and ends up tying in one of the character's from the Bill Hodges series. Sometimes I feel like King just can't help himself.

  25. #25
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    Interesting. I haven't got round to reading Outsider yet. I got it for my wife as a present, and she hasn't read it yet, so it would feel rude to read it before her. Wouldn't it.....?
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  26. #26
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    You'd get over it.

  27. #27
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    She doesn't really need to know either.
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