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Best Stephen King to get started with?

(67 Posts)
Slipsliding Sat 19-Jan-13 11:59:44

Never read him as put off by potential gore but loads of MNS recommend him so I must be wrong!?

VivaLeBeaver Sat 19-Jan-13 20:07:56

The stand and under the dome are his best IMHO.

I'm trying to get into the gunslinger series as everyone raves about it, have read the first 3 I think but not loving it.

SpeckleDust Sat 19-Jan-13 20:08:29

The Shining <gavel>

SoYo Sat 19-Jan-13 20:09:42

Needful Things first and then The Stand if you like it, also The Dark Half.

Manda472 Sat 19-Jan-13 20:13:36

My all time favourite is the stand, have read it so many times but have never tired of it.
It does depend on though what type of books you like as his a lot of his books are not necessarily horror.
Would agree that his earlier ones are the best.
Can't wait for his sequel to the shining that's due out in sept. Now if horrors your thing the shining is excellent....."here's johnny" wink

OmgATalkingOnion Sat 19-Jan-13 20:13:42

Bag of Bones.

I thought 11.22.63 went very flat at times. It was too long. Imho.

Lol poor Slipsliding will be more confused than ever now we've all said different ones.

OmgATalkingOnion Sat 19-Jan-13 20:15:12

I also thought Under the Dome was disappointing.

Loving the divided opinions.

Slainte - I adore King and would happily read his shopping list / notes to the milkman - but 'Needful Things' imho is shockingly, embarrassingly awful.

The Stand is sublime - but I wouldn't recommend it as a starting point.

Agree that 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' could be a good one to begin with.

Samu2 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:07:18

11.22.63 is awesome!

The Stand is also amazing. They are both in my top favourite books of all time.

Slainte Sun 20-Jan-13 17:22:31

Admittedly Remus I was in my 20s when I read it but it was the book that got me started on reading him so I may be looking back on it with misplaced affection smile

tillyfernackerpants Sun 20-Jan-13 22:25:02

Hope the OP comes back & tells us what she picked.

Probably a different author altogether grin

pointythings Mon 21-Jan-13 18:51:19

I think Duma Key is one of his very best - not gory, just very, very creepy. I also really like The Dead Zone and The Green Mile, and IT. The Shining is the only book that has ever given me nightmares.

I also like Under the Dome, Insomnia and Needful Things, just because King does small town awfulness so very well.

Slipsliding Mon 21-Jan-13 19:22:59

It's going to be Duma Key ...... or The Stand but could also be 11.22.63 confused still. But thanks for all the heartfelt recommendations - he's obviously worth reading as you're all so passionate about the subject.

CoteDAzur Mon 21-Jan-13 22:17:14

I'd start with Dead Zone, Firestarter, The Stand, and The Shining. Old favourites.

I wouldn't say any of the above is really scary, except The Shining in parts. Duma Key really scared me, though. It is one of his best imho.

pointythings Mon 21-Jan-13 22:30:26

I agree with Cote - that's a good way to start with King (but then she is a King expert smile). Just please don't miss Duma Key.

CoteDAzur Mon 21-Jan-13 22:42:07

Thanks for the vote of confidence, pointy, but I don't think I'm a SK expert, at all smile Remus has probably read more SK than me. I read all his books (I think) until they started getting a bit dopy with Misery, Needful Things, etc. I came back to SK with Duma King which was exceptional but then read The Cell which was shockingly awful. So can't say if I will read another SK anytime soon.

tillyfernackerpants Mon 21-Jan-13 22:47:51

I liked Misery, there were a couple of moments in it that were really heart-stopping for me. But agree that Needful Things was dire.

Has anyone read Blaze? Read it recently but haven't come across anyone else who's read it.

Ceasnake Tue 22-Jan-13 04:13:20

Cujo and NEEDFUL THINGS? No, no, no. Even King admits that he barely remembers writing either of them (written at the height of his addictions).

For beginners:

Pretty much any collection of short stories - esp. Skeleton Crew
Different Seasons - wonderful collection that is pretty much not horror. 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption' particularly brilliant.
The Stand


I like 'Blaze' for its links with, 'Of Mice And Men.' As a work of fiction it's good but as a KING work, I don't think it's one of his finest.

The one I find most scary is the novella, 'Apt Pupil.' Horrible and unsettling. And another one that has really stayed with me is another novella, 'The Langoliers.' And what's the vampire-esque one with the Library Policeman? Is that what it's called?

Don't know as I'm an expert but, as far as I know, I have read every novel and story collection he's ever published and most of them several times at least. I haven't read everything only published in magazines or anthologies.

DontHaveAtv Wed 23-Jan-13 11:33:45

The Stand is one of my favourite books ever. Under The Dome was good too. I love Stephen king.

EuroShagmore Wed 23-Jan-13 14:02:39

I read my first Stephen King last year (at 36) and started with The Stand. I loved it and nothing else has quite lived up to it, although I did like Under The Dome too. I hated It and was a bit ambivalent about The Dead Zone.

BTW, I find the first third of SK books dull. It's all scene setting and goes on and on for far too long, but just at the point I am really sick of it, it tends to hot up. So stick with it if you are not sure at first. The Stand is particularly long, but a masterpiece.

I must read The Shining. I love the film.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 23-Jan-13 14:13:25

The Langoliers is a terribly gripping read. YY to Apt Pupil too.

I adore The Dead Zone

pointythings Wed 23-Jan-13 18:40:22

Euro if you are referring to the Stanley Kubrick version of The Shining you are in for a few shocks - he changed a lot of things. Including the ending, in a massive way. I prefer the book, by far, although Jack Nicholson is fabulous in the film, and the scene with the fire hose in the film is brilliantly done and very true to the book.

The Shining is an amazing book.

Noooooooo Jack N totally miscast and the woman even worse. As a film it works but as a representation of the book it is an abberation imho.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 23-Jan-13 18:53:32

I have never read the Shining. I wonder why? Perhaps because I loved the film so much?

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