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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!).

pointythings Thu 17-Jul-14 22:37:21

Oh I'm so glad! Duma Key is a book I read over and over again - it is going to Devon with me for another re-read, I love it that much.

PepeLePew Sat 12-Jul-14 23:20:57

Reporting back from a lovely holiday which was slightly overshadowed by a nagging sense of terror as I made my way through Duma Key. Thank god I was in the far north of Sweden with endless daylight, and about as far from a Florida beach as you can get, or I'm not sure I'd have made it through. Fell in love with Edgar, Jack and Wireman - what great characters...

pointythings Wed 02-Jul-14 22:42:24

Enjoy, OP!
I was talking to DD1 (who is 13) about things she might like to read and that she might like some SK - I think she would get on with IT.

PepeLePew Wed 02-Jul-14 22:32:51

This is so interesting and has really inspired me to try some
more SK (including the Dark Tower - I've just remembered I loved The Eye of the Dragon as a teenager. That's a "non standard" SK but feels as if there might be some links to DT). I was trying to explain what I love about the books of his that I have really loved to someone the other day - I think it is the way he paints the best and worst of human nature and makes you give a shit about the characters. He's not the most literary of authors but he can tell a cracking story and drag you in like no one else. And just occasionally he can break your heart when you least expect it - his most pathetic characters inspire contempt and sympathy and affection all in one go, and that's quite an achievement.

So, on the list (in order):
Duma Key
11.22.63
Dark Tower
IT
The Shining
The Stand (worth a re-read I think)

Me too, Pointy. smile

Ilovecake80 Wed 02-Jul-14 08:07:58

Yes I loved the stand and under the dome, definetly read the dark tower series it is brilliant and you will always remember the brilliant characters.

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Wed 02-Jul-14 08:00:39

I must admit I was a bit disappointed with Under The Dome. The final explanation for it seemed tacked on the end and unsatisfying after such a big build up.

pointythings Tue 01-Jul-14 22:52:30

The tin opener was horrific... The other world felt a bit repetitive, especially because I have read the Dark Tower series, that diluted the impact quite a lot. I think he wrote himself into a corner and couldn't get out.

Oh, I do love debating SK with you, Remus! And with Cote.

I liked lots of, 'Lisey's Story' but not the other world stuff - and as for the tin opener...

pointythings Tue 01-Jul-14 22:42:02

Remus, yes, that's the one. The rape scene haunted me, because it was so bloody plausible and of its time...

pointythings Tue 01-Jul-14 22:41:18

Remus I also think the old woman strikes a chord with me because I've watched my great-grandmother and my paternal grandmother go through it, and now it's happening to my dad... It's scarily accurate, SK must have RL experience of someone with severe dementia.

Cote isn't it amazing how people respond differently to different SK books? The ones some people hate, others love and vice versa. And (on MN at least) we can all argue our corner and be listened to.

Am I the only person in the world who really liked Lisey's Story?

Is, 'Bag of Bones' the one with the rape scene and the near-drowning scene? Both of those have really stayed with me and are far scarier than any of the monsters etc (except maybe the Library Policemen!).

Agree with everything you've said, Pointy - the old woman is a brilliant character and I'd forgotten about her. I'd actually have preferred it if it was just a story about the recovering man, the guy on the beach and the old lady, minus the so-called 'horror' and deffo minus the stupid daughters!

CoteDAzur Tue 01-Jul-14 22:23:58

I didn't think highly of Bag Of Bones. Totally forgettable, and implausible.

I really enjoyed Duma Key. I love how SK takes an ordinary object and turns it into the stuff of nightmares. I was properly scared of tennis balls while reading that book.

pointythings Tue 01-Jul-14 22:17:02

Remus what I like about Duma Key is the sense of foreboding that permeates it. The main character's daughters are a pair of soggy sponges, agreed.

What I love about it is the really well researched portrayal of a man recovering from head injury - King slaying his demons, very recognisable to someone who has seen other people go through it. His portrayal of a woman in the grip of dementia is also spot on.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 01-Jul-14 22:14:49

it is out of stock!

HumphreyCobbler Tue 01-Jul-14 22:14:15

mmm. Not read Bag of Bones.

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Tue 01-Jul-14 21:51:26

Bag of Bones is my favourite.

Love, 'Bag of Bones' though.

I'm not fond of, 'Duma Key' personally. I like the main character, and the guy on the beach, but not the 'horror' stuff (which is silly imvho) and the two sisters are so wet and boring and one dimensional.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 01-Jul-14 21:43:23

Even in the shockers there are some compelling bits though. I always remember the bit from the poets tour in Tommyknocker - when the whole social situation explodes in a horrific way. That is a brilliant bit.

pointythings Tue 01-Jul-14 15:21:13

I see your Tommyknockers and I raise you From A Buick 8. Beyond awful, and boring.

Duma Key is probably my favourite King, very little splatter and a beautifully drawn atmosphere of something-is-coming-to-get-you.

I also really liked Bag of Bones, it's a proper ghost story. The Shining and Dr Sleep are also worth a read, especially as a pair.

I'm a big King fan, but I'll be the first to admit he has written some shockers...

RufusTheReindeer Sun 29-Jun-14 20:02:32

Sorry velvet

I enjoyed NOS 4R2 by joe Hill, similar building up of characters probably because he is his son

RufusTheReindeer Sun 29-Jun-14 20:00:13

Has anyone mentioned The Talisman

Love that book...it's in my top three

HumphreyCobbler Sun 29-Jun-14 19:54:39

I absolutely had to stop. I just couldn't bear it. Which is testament to the power of the writing. I kept thinking I could SMELL what was happening.

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