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Stephen King - Where to Start?

(63 Posts)
LollipopViolet Thu 17-May-12 22:09:49

I read, while on holiday last year "Just After Sunset", one of the short story collections, and really enjoyed it. I'd like to read some more, but he's written so many books I don't know where to start. Any advice? Oh, preferably Kindle based if possible.

Thank you smile

scentednappyhag Thu 17-May-12 22:10:45

Cell is my favourite Stephen King novel, I have no single clue about kindles though I'm afraid!

juneybean Thu 17-May-12 22:22:06

The Green Mile was amazing grin

MissPricklePants Thu 17-May-12 22:23:13

The Green Mile, The Stand, The Dark Tower series are all fantastic. Also Salem's Lot and It are worth a read!

FringeEvent Thu 17-May-12 22:42:45

I really liked Misery

HotGiggity Thu 17-May-12 22:44:21

Insomnia and rose madder are very under rated

LollipopViolet Thu 17-May-12 22:47:14

Wow, quite a few there! Looks like there's no real place where it's best to start then. When I read Just After Sunset, I was really surprised, he's not an author whose work I thought I'd enjoy. I'd recommend it if you've not read it - great because if you're short of time, you can just read a story very quickly smile

HumphreyCobbler Thu 17-May-12 22:47:19

I liked rose madder but thought that Insomnia was weak.

The Stand is v good. Misery too. They are all very readable.

Ceasnake Thu 17-May-12 22:52:29

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (the book the film is based on). Second The Stand and Misery. Any of the short stories.

mrsfollowill Thu 17-May-12 22:53:39

Love the 'older ones' - try The Shining, (classic imo) Pet Semetary, The Stand, Carrie, Christine, Salems Lot is brilliant and IT- I lost interest in Stephen King about 10 yrs ago but I'm going to dig up some dusty old books now you've reminded me grin

lilbreeze Thu 17-May-12 22:56:35

The Dead Zone and Firestarter are my favourites - less "horror" than some of the others.

LollipopViolet Thu 17-May-12 22:56:55

Right, I've got the Green Mile and Pet Semetary to start with - let's see how I get on.

I have to admit, all my friends went through a phase reading his books, and I didn't, then it was just by chance I stumbled upon the book I have read, and really enjoyed it.

Mayisout Fri 18-May-12 02:44:45

Pet Semetary is good but don't read if you have small child, it has a harrowing bit at the start.

Metabilis3 Fri 18-May-12 03:13:22

Dark Tower all the way. After that, you will need to read all the linked books .... Which is practically everything else he wrote! grin The Stand is probably the best, or Under the dome. I'm very fond of Duma Key, though.

fridakahlo Fri 18-May-12 03:24:39

Off the back of another thread, I have just this evening dug out his collection of short stories 'Nightmares and Dreamscapes' which is a MUST read in my opinion, quickly followed by The Shining then Misery, Carrie and The Shawshank Redemption.
I remember enjoying The Green Mile vaugely, I would also say Dreamcatcher is worth a read but it is very stomach turning, I warn you now.
Never read Pet Semetary or any of the dark tower stuff.

summerintherosegarden Fri 18-May-12 13:28:59

I agree with Mrs Followill - start with the old ones and work through. There are lots of recurring themes, characters and places in SK's novels and you'll also see him develop as a writer...

Pet Cemetary is a great place to start, and if you like the style of that (the Green Mile is quite different) then give IT, Carrie, the Shining, Misery, Needful Things, Cujo, Rose Madder (I could go on and on and on) a go.

Might have to reread them all now smile

PercyFilth Fri 18-May-12 20:17:59

Don't be put off if you don't like one, because SK is a bit inconsistent. When he's good he's very very good, but ... etc. I haven't finished every SK novel that I've started (some start OK then crash and burn) but because I know how good he can be, I'm not put off by the odd disappointing one.

LollipopViolet Fri 18-May-12 20:21:47

Well, I've read a bit more of the Green Mile, liking it so far. My mum says the film is good, but I've never seen it, and tbh often prefer books to their film counterparts. IT, hmmm, I'm already wary of clowns...

MikeLitoris Fri 18-May-12 20:33:49

Misery is great and I couldn't put The shining down. I loved lissy's story and rose madder.

Dolores claibourne was good too.

Insomnia was ok, I felt it dragged a bit though.

Carrie is good for a quick read and the short story collection with salems lot and children of the corn is fab (13?)

For a 'newbie King-ite' I'd go in something like this order -

The Green Mile
Misery
The novella collection with 'Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank redemption' in it
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
The Stand
The Dark Tower series (the latter two are his finest moments by a long, long way but may be a bit intimidating to launch straight into!).

SilverMachine Sat 19-May-12 19:13:35

I would also recommend Nightmares and Dreamscapes which is a collection of short stories. That said, they are all brilliant, enjoy!

pointythings Tue 22-May-12 21:42:28

Has anyone mentioned The Shining yet? And if not, why not? The only book that ever gave me nightmares, I am still not great in hotels...

SK has actually only written a few real duffers IMO:

The Tommyknockers
From a Buick 8
Dreamcatcher

All worth avoiding, the rest all have good points though not all are equal.

My favourites are:

The Shining (who'd a thunk)
Duma Key
It
Under the Dome
Needful Things
All of the Dark Tower

pointythings Tue 22-May-12 21:43:55

Oh, and don't underestimate the Regulators/Desperation pair - very very interesting concept and definitely worth a read.

PandaWatch Thu 24-May-12 12:08:48

I really liked Dreamcatcher! Desperation and Duma Key are amazing. I would also recommend his two recent books - Under The Dome and 22.11.63.

He also has some curve balls such as Blaze, which is not in his typical style (if you can say SK has a typical style!) but which is a great, albeit tragic, read.

I adore Stephen King. He is one of the few authors that I find creates a world that I can get truly lost in and reignites the feeling you tend to get more as a younger reader that you want to be part of that world. I've only recently started reading the Dark Tower Series as I had the idea that they were more in the fantasy style, which I didn't consider myself a fan of. However I have just finished book 5 of the 7 and the series has so far been a masterpiece.

tiggy114 Thu 24-May-12 21:05:44

Just a note about the green mile. I usually agree that books are better than films but this time they are both excellent! They both made me cry but in different parts of the story! I'd read the book first though. Did you know SK is always in his movies? He's a band member at the end of the shining. Which is also outstanding. If you like SK, try James Herbert as well. An English horror writer who is similar to SK.

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