Any Stephen king fans who can advise on book for teen son?

(58 Posts)
pollycazalet Tue 26-Mar-13 14:12:43

In my never ending quest to find books for my son to read Stephen King has been suggested. Son is 13. Can anyone advise on a good one for him to start with? have never read any so feel free to advise that they are completely inapproriate. I had Cujo in mind - only because I remember the film vaguely....

Different Seasons - 4 short stories - filmed as 'stand by Me' and 'Shawshank Redemption'

OhMyNoReally Tue 26-Mar-13 14:20:41

I think I started reading them about then. Let your ds have a look online for a one he likes. I think the dark tower series could be a good pace to start or stand by me the film I watched that at around that age. There are also some good books of short stories.
They are quite gory but I can't think of any that are over sexual, there's also a lot of morality in them.
Honestly though let him pick one out, it will be good to develop that relationship under his own terms. I loved choosing a book that felt like it was just for me, still do. smile

I started reading SK when I was 12/13, probably some of them were inappropriate but not overly so. I would definitely say:

Different Seasons
Eye of the Dragon
The Talisman
Nightmares and Dreamscapes (short stories)
The Dark Tower series (starting with The Gunslinger)
The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon

Others which might be ok (just depends on your son really)
The Shining
The Stand (this is v long though!)
The Dead Zone

That's just a list to start with - it might be worth looking them up on Amazon so you can get an idea?

My favourite Stephen King book is called 'Through the Eye of the Dragon' and features some of the same characters as th 'Dark Tower' series but is easier to read and might be a good place to start. It is medieval and i LOVE it and have read it about 10 times myself smile

What kind of books does he go for? is he an anything and everything reader?

there are a number of 'softer' books (i find some of the language used in SK books quite hard) that he could read by Dean Koontz too which are brilliant! Phantoms and the Watchers being two that i have loved off the top of my head smile

marissab Tue 26-Mar-13 16:04:22

I would recommend the shining. Great and not too adult themes. I would avoid the stand as it's quite deep and avoid geralds game as there are adult themes. Pet semetary is a great horror story too without being too adult. Don't get him james herbert books. They are 'very' adult!

marissab Tue 26-Mar-13 16:04:57

Yes to dean koontz. Very good also

CoteDAzur Tue 26-Mar-13 17:15:21

Cujo wasn't my favourite as a teen.

I would recommend:

The Dead Zone
The Stand
The Shining

I'd recommend either 'The Green Mile' or 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' as a starting point, or yes to Cujo, or maybe 'Christine' which isn't his best but might well appeal to a teenage boy.

Carrie hasn't aged terribly well and 'The Stand' is quite a challenge in its sheer scale, so better to save until he knows he likes King.

Herbert books are v rude and not v good, and I think Koontz is vastly inferior to King.

CoteDAzur Tue 26-Mar-13 18:05:21

"I think Koontz is vastly inferior to King"

Very true.

the girl who loved tom gordon is a very good, not too graphic starter smile

Salem's Lot is a good one too.

Dean koontz novels seem to start off with a little more oomph if you're looking for something engaging (as lots of stephen king novels are brilliant but slow burners).

the face or life expectancy are both quite easy but very engrossing, exciting reads smile

CredulousThicko Tue 26-Mar-13 18:13:37

(no advice but marking place, very useful thread!)

Badvoc Tue 26-Mar-13 18:14:29

The green mile
My fave is IT but I was about 15 when I read that one.

Cell is brilliant, and if he's the type of thirteen year old always attached to a mobile it might make him think grin

colditz Tue 26-Mar-13 18:27:34

Not Gerald's game, it is overtly sexual and quite disturbing. Christine is brilliant, and Tommyknockers, ooooooh he'd never sleep again!

LegArmpits Tue 26-Mar-13 18:28:33

The Long Walk (possibly a Bachman one) is about a troop of teenage boys who have to er..keep walking. Very very good.

CoteDAzur Tue 26-Mar-13 18:31:02

Cell is the exact opposite of brilliant. It is a moronic zombie story that makes no sense, doesn't even come together properly, and is, afaik, the only Stephen King book to have only 3 stars on Amazon.

I have no idea how the same man wrote Duma Key and Cell.

Maybe Cell is an experiment. To see if people will buy whatever he writes.

nars Tue 26-Mar-13 18:33:08

definitely the short story collections, brilliant, to the point and scary

See, I loved Cell and hated Duma Key.

I'm watching with interest as my Ds is also itching to get his paws on my horror collection.

'The Long Walk' is superb but maybe too subtle for a generation used to the drivel that is The Hunger Games.

'Cell' is poor BUT it might well appeal to a 13 year old boy in a way that I suspect 'Dumas Key' really wouldn't. 'Cell' has pretty much instant blood and guts and a couple of interesting teenage characters. 'Under The Dome' also has some key cool teenagers (but lots and lots of people die, if that matters - and the ending is stupid).

Gerald's Game is pretty rubbish imho and The Tommyknockers is one of his weakest.

I love King and really would buy anything he wrote, even a shopping list, but that doesn't mean I think he's always brilliant. At his best, he is absolutely out of this world and at his worst he writes mindless schluck.

Pmsl at 'Dumas Key' - I suspect that's something else entirely! smile

OzmaofOz Tue 26-Mar-13 19:11:43

I read Cujo when I was around the same age as your Ds, in the book the little boy dies which I found really hard to take on board. I have re read it a couple of times and still don't really like it.
The shining, Misery and Salems lot are all good to start with. The Stand is his best book in my opinion, although I haven't started on the dark tower series yet.
Yes, I also didn't get on with Duma key or Cell. I thought the idea for Cell was brilliant but it just didnt really come together.

CoteDAzur Tue 26-Mar-13 19:12:13


I downloaded Under The Dome to my Kindle recently, when it was the deal of the day but haven't read it read. Is it good? Apart from the teenage characters who generally just piss me off these days, I mean. God help me when DC become teenagers.

OzmaofOz Tue 26-Mar-13 19:16:17

I couldn't get in to under the dome, maybe I was just going through a tired couldn't focus phase - Dts may have been teething. It just didnt grip me but felt like it should. I gave up halfway and re read The TommyKnockers instead.

OzmaofOz Tue 26-Mar-13 19:17:33

I couldn't get in to under the dome, maybe I was just going through a tired couldn't focus phase - Dts may have been teething. It just didnt grip me but felt like it should. I gave up halfway and re read The TommyKnockers instead.

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Mar-13 19:19:15

Another vote for different seasons, I think I read it at about the same age.

CoteDAzur Tue 26-Mar-13 19:21:12

I read Tommyknockers in my teens and the only thing I remember from it is a glowing spaceship and a woman with several breasts.

OzmaofOz Tue 26-Mar-13 19:28:34

I must have missed the woman with several breasts grin

StuffezLaBouche Tue 26-Mar-13 19:29:47

How about Misery? Not sexually graphic, that I can remember. Tense and creepy though!

'Misery' is a good rec, actually. DD2 doesn't 'do' reading (I'm sure she is a changeling) but loved the film, so I might try throwing the book at her!

Cote - Under The Dome isn't bad at all. It felt rather like a return to good form at the time it came out. The teenage characters are actually really quite endearing, more so than some of the adults. It allows him to do a lot of what he's good at - ie look at a group of pretty interesting people and watch how they interact with each other, to good and to bad. It's just that the reason for the dome, and the way the resolution occurs, is (imvho) ridiculous.

StuffezLaBouche Tue 26-Mar-13 20:17:54

And thanks to Misery, I still get uncontrollable urges when someone's pissing me off to shout at them you.....DIRTY BIRD! thank god I never have!

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Mar-13 20:22:13

Ah, my people! grin

I'd say IT, as it's about kids of around his age. Plus it's RIDICULOUSLY brilliant.

OzmaofOz Tue 26-Mar-13 20:23:56

Yes, I shout you dirty bird at people when they piss me off.

OzmaofOz Tue 26-Mar-13 20:24:43

blush oh dear, just read that properly and you don't actually do it. Just me then. grin

StuffezLaBouche Tue 26-Mar-13 20:29:16

Haha! Yes just you, ozma! :-)

I just live in fear of losing my 'E' key. smile

Svrider Tue 26-Mar-13 20:32:16

I'd go with the talisman
More fantasy than horror
Young boy at its centre

Also needful things

Procrastinating Tue 26-Mar-13 20:36:42

The Talisman. Ideal for a boy his age. I loved it and read it lots of times.
I wanted to marry Stephen King when I was 13.

OzmaofOz Tue 26-Mar-13 20:40:03

grin at losing the E key, didnt the A fall off too ?

Valpollicella Tue 26-Mar-13 20:46:23

Four Past Midnight is also very good. 4 of his short stories, one of which is the Langoliers

Valgrin I was just going to post exactly that!

Different seasons as well specifically 'the body' is a very good place to start. smile

The Langoliers is brilliant - one of my very favourites. Sad though. sad

Frawli Tue 26-Mar-13 21:47:49

Personally I found Cujo really upsetting and I'd never recommend it.

I used to love Stephen King when I was a teenager. My favourite was Misery, I enjoyed Rose Madder but if I am remembering it right there may have been some sex in that one, not sure if you want to steer clear of that. IT is scary. I know I enjoyed the Tommyknockers and Needful Things but I really can't remember any details so can't say if suitable. Looking back my post is not that helpful is it! Go for Misery, fab book.

Needful Things probably not suitable - lots of masturbating women writhing around with pictures of Elvis Presley etc. It is also (again imvho!) a load of twaddle: his very, very worst I think.

Frawli Tue 26-Mar-13 21:52:29

Another thing I liked at around his age was short stories of Philip K Dick. He wrote the original stories that became lots of famous films, such as Total Recall, Blade Runner, Minority Report etc.

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Mar-13 22:01:04

... am guessing he's already been down the John Wyndham route? Do try him on a couple of those if not - Day of the Triffids and The Chrysalids were (are!) my favourites

Yes to Dick and to Wyndham. Can write a huge list of YA recs if you want them too, Polly.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 26-Mar-13 22:08:19

The Chrysalids. I love that book.

I'd say The Tommyknockers or Under The Dome. Under The Dome drags a bit but the second half is good.

Actually I think i might point my DS in his direction. He's into Zombies and post apopoclyptic shennanigans. Wonder if he'd enjoy The Stand.

Very first King book i read was Carrie and i still love him.

FriedSprout Tue 26-Mar-13 22:25:25

I would suggest Christine - about a car with 'attitude'. or The Dark Tower series.

How lovely to have so many unread books before him.

I knew an old chap once who reckoned the only good thing about getting old and forgetful, was that he could now read, as though for the first time, all the books he used to love when younger.

pollycazalet Thu 28-Mar-13 13:12:54

Thanks so much everyone who's posted on here. I've ordered Different Seasons for him and if he gets on with that we'll go and have a browse in the bookshop at others. I think he'd be overwhelmed looking online as there are so many.

He used to read all the time. As he's got to secondary it's become more difficult to find books to engage him, he tends to revert to series he knows, but am plugging away.

Thanks too for the John Wyndham and Philip k Dick reminder - had forgotten those. Not my cup of tea at all (nor is S King really altho have seen a couple of the films) but might be DS's.

pollycazalet Thu 28-Mar-13 13:26:13

Remus - I would love a list of recommendations. He's recently been reading the last of the Power of Five series , has read all the apocolyptic/ zombie stuff (of various quality). I've just also ordered Bloodtide by Melyn Burgess and Keeper (can't remember author)

rockinhippy Thu 28-Mar-13 13:29:54

Great thread - thank you, I have the same problem finding suitable reading for my DD - I hadn't thought of Steven King, so adding lots of these to her reading list now smile

If he's not already read them, my DD has recently finished the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson - 8 books in the series which saved me tearing my hair out for a while kept her busy for a while - she loved them so much that she was literally bereft when she finished the last one - DDs tastes aren't at all "girly" whatever that is & these came highly recommended by a friends 17yr old DS, so if he's not read them, he should enjoy them too

Frawli Thu 28-Mar-13 19:24:59

I was thinking; when my brother was around that age he really enjoyed reading Terry Pratchett Discworld novels. I've only read a few myself, quite enjoyed them actually.

StantonLacy Thu 28-Mar-13 21:46:59

With regards to Different Seasons, that's the one with Apt Pupil in it, isn't it?

Apt Pupil has got a quite a few really horrific scenes in it of a sadistic sexual sort that tie in with the Nazi aspect of the plot. I read it again quite recently and I'm really not sure I'd recommend it to a 13 year old...but, then again I don't know any 13 year olds at the moment and I can't really remember what I was like at that age as it was so long ago grin

Anyway, it is grim IMO and I am normally a massive King fan.

Ray Bradbury is always worth a look and definitely agree with the Phillip K Dick rec.

Read the Patterson ones last year and they were truly dreadful.

StantonLacy Thu 28-Mar-13 22:03:40

And, I know this is a supposed to be a Stephen King recs thread (sorry OP) but I would urge all teens (and above, no upper age limit here) to read Railsea by China Mieville. It is great.

But then again, China Mieville must be one of the most hugely imaginative and inventive authors EVER - The city and the city is just amazing grin

Apt Pupil is pretty horrible, and the all American teenager is even more horrible than the Nazi!

YA series that I recommend (these have been around a while though, so he may have read them all):

Philip Reeves - Mortal Engines (this is the first in 4 iirc)

Obviously the Philip Pullman - His Dark Materials but tbh I prefer his Sally Lockheart series (make sure he reads it in the right order)

Across The Nightingale Floor - the first in a series set in a version of ancient Japan and absolutely excellent

Patrick Ness - I can't remember what the first in the series is called: one of them is The Ask And The Answer

If he likes zombie stuff, he might also like Myra Grant's 'Feed' series - they are not young adult but they are v teen friendly

alwyn Tue 02-Apr-13 21:52:06

I definitely wouldn't recommend Carrie. Movie was excellent, but the book is just FAR too dry.

I'd go for IT (similar age to the gang in it) or Misery.

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