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running themes stephen king books

(202 Posts)
marissab Sun 16-Jun-13 20:50:09

I'm reading Duma Key and am picking up lots of themes from other books. For example, one man who can't sleep says he feels like he's floating above himself like a balloon. This is an obvious ref to insomnia. I've read about links between books with randalf flagg and other baddies with `RF` initials. I would like to know more about these themes. Does anyone know if anyone's written anything i can read up on? It's something I'm interested in because I'm going back and re-reading the old SK's.

marissab Sun 16-Jun-13 20:53:10

I've just googled and seen a ref to a crimson king bad guy figure. In Duma Key, it looks like the evil presence has a red cloak so this is also a common theme it seems. Interesting.

PollyPlummer Sun 16-Jun-13 21:01:16

Oooh very interesting, I hadn't noticed before but you have inspired me to have a re read of my collection.
I do like the Regulators / Desperation books. It wouldn't surprise me at all if there are links with other books.
Actually now I think about it I think sometimes a lot of characters stories do interlink briefly. I remember 2 people passing in a petrol station, I think one of them was from Salem's Lot.

Have you read The Dark Tower series? Loads of SK themes come together there.

And I love the kids (Beverley and whatshisname, BeepBepp - is it Ricky?) from 'It' appearing in the JFK book. Just gorgeous - and made me come over a bit weepy, strangely.

The Crimson King is SuperBigBadGuy - although he doesn't scare me as much as Randalf Flagg/The Walkin' Dude.

iklboo Sun 16-Jun-13 22:43:31

Something not nice usually happens to a dog in most books / short stories.

iklboo Sun 16-Jun-13 22:44:16

Remus - It was Ritchie Tozier smile

marissab Mon 17-Jun-13 06:41:50

See i havn't read the dark tower series coz i hate fantasy novels. But when i was gpogling this last night, there were tons of references to the DT books. Apparently IT makesuch more sense once you've read them
And then insomnia makes more sense when you've read IT. I read those when i was a teenager and took them at face value so now i'm thinking i may have to go back and re read em all!

WhispersOfWickedness Mon 17-Jun-13 07:28:21

I love the links between SK novels. I think that one of the boys in The Body is the owner of a petrol station in Carrie smile

WhispersOfWickedness Mon 17-Jun-13 07:29:53

Oh, I have been the same about the dark series, I don't like fantasy and couldn't get into the first one. Worth persevering?

PiratesLifeForMe Mon 17-Jun-13 13:21:40

Oh this is spooky, I've just decided to start re-reading SK books myself - am starting with a couple i never got to before tho. Finished The Dome yesterday (really enjoyed that) and Duma Key has arrived in the post today!

Love it when he crosses characters over. Remember being impressed with one in Gerald's Game but too long ago to remember who it involved. Makes you feel like his characters are all existing in some parallel world...albeit a very creepy world!

PollyPlummer Mon 17-Jun-13 13:39:35

Yy Pirates it was Delores Claireborne.

marissab Mon 17-Jun-13 16:09:39

Really spooky pirates since the last one i read was under the dome and now i'm on duma key. Its a goody i must say.

SarahAndFuck Mon 17-Jun-13 18:11:37

I think a lot of his themes focus on domestic violence (Insomnia, Rose Madder, Dolores Claiborne) and alcoholism (Tommyknockers, The Shining) and helplessness (Cujo, Misery, Gerald's Game). To name a few of each.

Lots of his books link to the Dark Tower series. And it's definitely worth persevering with as a series. You don't need to read it to enjoy his other books but when you do, a lot of things in the other books have a kind of extra "a-ha!" level about them. Like being in on the joke or the secret.

Some only have a tiny hint at DT links but Desperation, The Regulators and Insomnia all have a lot in common with them. And Insomnia plays and important part of one DT book later on in the series.

I love it when a character from one book shows up unexpectedly in another one. Which does happen often in the DT series but it's hard to say without spoilers.

The book due out later this year, Doctor Sleep, continues the story of Danny and some of the other characters from The Shining (including dead shower lady!)

And I had a lovely moment last week reading NOS 4R2 by Joe Hill (Stephen King's eldest son) when even he referenced his dad's books more than once as part of the story. I really recommend this one actually, it's his best so far.

EuroShaggleton Mon 17-Jun-13 18:14:58

I've just read 22.11.62 and characters from other books appear there.

SarahAndFuck Mon 17-Jun-13 18:35:36

Actually, even if Bag of Bones is not your favourite of his books, this website is really worth a look.

It was set up for the mini-series but the photos (some of which move) have a whole load of other SK references in them from lots of the other books.

Like the books on the shelves in the bookstore photos. You might recognise some of the author names. Or the name of the publishing company. Or the road sign.

And if you click on listen to the commentary under each picture, you get extra pictures that also have recognisable bits from other books in them.

SarahAndFuck Mon 17-Jun-13 18:36:18

Dark Score Stories

Gosh yes, do keep on with the Dark Tower series. If you like King, you will love it. I promise! Just get it out of your head that it's fantasy, read the first book quickly and don't worry too much about if you don't like it and then dive straight into the second - from there, you will be hooked! Unless you are Cote - but what does she know! wink

CoteDAzur Mon 17-Jun-13 22:29:22

Well, I love most Stephen King but have to say that I strongly disliked the one Dark Tower book you told me to read.

I hate fantasy as a genre, too. Dark Tower isn't only fantasy, which would have been bad enough, but it is cowboy fantasy. If there is one genre I hate more than fantasy, that is cowboy fiction. (Sorry, Remus smile)

SarahAndFuck Mon 17-Jun-13 22:46:51

Gunslingers. Not Cowboys. There are very few cows.

That's set my eye twitching that has. smile

There's a lot more in it if you get to the second one.

CoteDAzur Mon 17-Jun-13 23:08:25


I think it was the second one that I read. The one with the stupid crab thing and the comatose action hero that Remus is in love with who can barely walk for most of the book.

marissab Tue 18-Jun-13 07:07:58

Oh no! I hate westerns and fantasy too sad gonna try wade in to the DT novels after duma key. I read that IT and insomnia have linked thems to DT and each othet. So gonna read the DT's then insomnia then It. Thats my plan. Oh and cote, i wouldn't bother with talisman or black house either then. I really struggled. Far too fantasy for my liking.

CoteDAzur Tue 18-Jun-13 09:46:42

I read Talisman when I was about 15 and didn't like it even then smile

DontHaveAtv Tue 18-Jun-13 11:07:51

I love the running themes in SK's books.

I'm reading his new book Joyland at moment and its brilliant so far.

WhispersOfWickedness Tue 18-Jun-13 11:31:36

I hate Westerns too! Really tried to get into the first one but it just bored me senseless and think I gave up about a third of the way in when all that had happened was a man doing a bit of walking hmm
I loved Insomnia, and all the ones which could be true as they are about people stuck in terrible circumstances IYSWIM, such as Gerald's Game, Cujo, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon etc. I also love Carrie due to the style of writing, I love how he tells about the prom through newspaper stories and police messages etc smile

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