Stephen King - what next for holiday reading?

(79 Posts)
PepeLePew Mon 23-Jun-14 22:42:57

I'm reading Under the Dome at the moment and loving it - it's everything I love about King. Real empathy, brilliantly drawn characters, people who act badly out of fear, shame, ignorance. The Stand is one of my favourite books ever and as a teenager I read Salem's Lot, Carrie, Thinner, Firestarter and a couple of others. But I hated Rose Madder (it was ok until she went into the other world and got lost in the maze) and Gerald's Game and I don't think I can stomach the more traditional horror stuff any more, so what next for my holiday?

I am bizarrely daunted by the idea of The Dark Tower series though I am told they are great. Are they worth trying? Or something totally different? What is the ratio of scary to awesome in IT? I'd give it a go if it was more than just a horror story (I think!).

DontHaveAtv Tue 24-Jun-14 10:13:35

I think you will like IT. It is scary, but it also has brilliant characters who you will love/hate. Its not as good as The Stand but its up there with his best imo.

CheerfulYank Tue 24-Jun-14 10:18:28

Love It! I also loved Dolores Claiborne and the Dead Zone.

Whowouldfardelsbear Tue 24-Jun-14 10:22:54

I found Needful Things a good Stephen King of the type you like. Also Christine. Neither are too gory or horrific but have brilliantly drawn characters and intrigue.

Dark Tower is not horror - it's more fantasy. It's brilliant, but the first one isn't a terribly good indicator of the series as a whole, and you have to be willing to work at it.

I think, 'Needful Things' is awful personally - embarrassingly bad - so deffo wouldn't recommend that.

How about some of the more 'real world' stuff, eg: The Green Mile or his new one, Mr Mercedes?

Aprildaisy Tue 24-Jun-14 18:27:07

The green mile is really good
Also from a Buick 8 if u can find it
Cell is good too and blaze and the stand and needful things oh nearly forgot Duma key that's good too

HercShipwright Tue 24-Jun-14 18:34:17

You've already read stuff that's Dark Tower. UtD is Dark Tower. The Stand is Dark Tower. So is Salem's lot. Most of King's books are part of DT. And it's completely amazing, and you should definitely read it. However if you really feel daunted by it you could try The Long Walk (which was written as Richard Bachman) or 11.22.63 - both of them are firmly part of DT but you don't have to have read DT to understand or enjoy them.

LairyPoppins Tue 24-Jun-14 18:35:55

Duma Key is interesting and might be good for holiday reading.

ScarletButterfly Tue 24-Jun-14 18:36:37

I second Needful Things. personally couldn't stand IT, but that's an issue with clowns rather than the book confused. Can also recommend Misery.

Another recommendation for Cell here.
Had started to go off King books but was given Cell as a gift and am now thinking I may have given up too easily after thinking he was past best.

PepeLePew Tue 24-Jun-14 18:40:00

This is helpful, thanks. I've heard good things about Duma Key and my brother loved 11.22.63 (and he is a huge SK fan). When you say UtD is part of Dark Tower, what does that mean? I've read a few references like that but haven't got to the bottom of what it means

LeBearPolar Tue 24-Jun-14 18:43:27

The Dead Zone is fantastic. I enjoyed Cujo, and The Dark Half is great. And you have to read Misery!

I like his short stories as well - Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, of course, but that's not the only good one. Apt Pupil is very sinister.

KillmeNow Tue 24-Jun-14 18:44:49

Cell turned me into a Stephen King reader. Before that I thought his books were not for me at all.
Then I read the Dome - great storytelling and then 11.22.63 which was fantastic at creating a sense of time and place.

I am reading the Stand now but that is such a huge undertaking that its taking me a long time to get through.

IT and Christine are brilliant.

ElleBellyBeeblebrox Tue 24-Jun-14 18:48:08

I am a huge fan, but the DT was underwhelming for me. Might need to read it again, found some of it quite hard going. I second Green Mile, or Misery if you've not read them. I loved Insomnia too but others don't always seem as keen on that one.

CastilianHhhhidalgo Tue 24-Jun-14 18:49:54

Duma Key is brilliant, as is The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. IT is one of my favourites and I really like The Shining as well. Don't be put off if you don't like the Kubrick film (I hate it with a passion), the book is infinitely better! Four Past Midnight is a collection of four novellas which are all good but The Langoliers and The Sun Dog particularly.

Most of SK's books are connected to the Dark Tower somehow. DH and I keep meaning to construct and infographic showing how they're all interconnected grin

Cheesymonster Tue 24-Jun-14 18:51:18

I loved Thinner. I think that was when he was writing as Richard Bachman.

HercShipwright Tue 24-Jun-14 18:52:44

The Dark Tower is an overarching construct within which much of King's work fits (either retroactively, through being included within the narrative in some way, or - in the case of the books published after the 'final' book - through references which place them within that construct). King himself is a character in DT. There are a few 'blink and you'll miss them' references in UtD which place it within DT.

11.22.63 is amazing. I had always been a big SK fan, but I found a lot of his from about 1995 a let down, so I just stopped reading the newer ones. 11.22.63 has sucked me right back in- next up is Under The Dome. 11.22.63 is not straightforward horror, more a time travelling fantasy. Highly recommended!

ElleBellyBeeblebrox Tue 24-Jun-14 19:07:23

Oh yes the Bachman books. The Long Walk particularly is fantastic.

Yes - Long Walk is brilliant: one of his very scariest imho.

Love The Langoliers too.

Didn't like Duma Key much.

RunDougalRunQuiteFast Tue 24-Jun-14 19:27:41

Thinner is wonderful, yes, and I love his collected short (though generally not very short) stories.

Sparklypants Tue 24-Jun-14 23:06:37

IT is one of my faves. I first read it when I was 14 and it has held up over all these years ( over 20 yrs....cough cough....) the characters are very well rounded and sk did what he does best, makes you care whether they live or die. Equally Duma key was brilliant, very chilling , more so than IT imo but a really good story to go with it. I'd avoid liseys story, the only sk that I've given up on.

Sparklypants Tue 24-Jun-14 23:09:52

Oh and doctor sleep is fantastic but you defo need to read the shining first. It's far far superior to the kubric film.

CoteDAzur Thu 26-Jun-14 18:53:33

The Cell is Stephen King's worst book - just a zombie story and badly executed at that.

I couldn't find much to my taste in Dark Tower, because it is (1) fantasy, and (2) a cowboy story. I hate fantasy and I hate cowboy stories. If you like them, Dark Tower might be your thing.

Older SK books I enjoyed: Firestarter, The Dead Zone, The Shining, The Stand

Newer SK book I enjoyed: Duma Key.

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