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The Mist's bloody good, as was that short story about the fucked up room you can't stay in for long. Was that 1408? I remember it had a phone going "This is seven, this is FUCKING EIGHT" and stuff like that.

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I much prefer the new stuff. Insomnia is actually my personal favourite, I could read it again and again. Hearts in Atlantis is a beatiful sequence. The Dark Tower was fantastic, and will soon be read again. Talisman and Black House are different but great all over again. I actually can't get on with the earlier stuff so well, but really enjoy his 'post-injury' writing.

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I much prefer the new stuff.  Insomnia is actually my personal favourite, I could read it again and again.  Hearts in Atlantis is a beatiful sequence.  The Dark Tower was fantastic, and will soon be read again.  Talisman and Black House are different but great all over again.  I actually can't get on with the earlier stuff so well, but really enjoy his 'post-injury' writing.

Some great choices there.

THIS MAN KNOWS HIS SHIT.

And anyone not recognising the fucking GENIUS of Bag of Bones needs shot.

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The great thing about tommyknockers is the depiction of alcohol addiction. King was going through it at the time and, if you have ever been a bit of a big drinker (like I have) and read the party sequence (when he dumps his drink down a woman's dress) you know what it's like to have at least flirted on the skirts of alcoholism. A great character.

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The Mist's bloody good, as was that short story about the fucked up room you can't stay in for long. Was that 1408? I remember it had a phone going "This is seven, this is FUCKING EIGHT" and stuff like that.

Thats the one :( . Absolutely fucking TERRIFYING.

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See, I became a Dark Tower nut, went absolutely fucking anal over it. So, I was desperate to take in any book I hadn't read yet that even had the remotest connection and even went back to re-read books. It was this that elevated even the "just plain good" books to great for me - Rose Madder, for instance. Bag of Bones I loved - it fired off my imagination some terrible and it scared the bejesus out of me - then I found out that there were links to DT, I sooked it up again like my gran's home made chicken broth.

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I don't think anyone's mentioned Danse Macabre yet, and that's by far my favourite King Thing. I can read it again and again - often I'll watch or read something and then go back to DM to remind myself what King said about it.

I've enjoyed plenty of his fiction, but Danse Macabre is easily among the best books on storytelling I've ever read, and it also works as a genre-focused memoir; when King writes about his early experiences with radio horror serials, or being hassled for his long hair in the sixties, it's wonderful stuff.

It makes you wonder what the classes he teaches are like. If the book is any indication, they'd be great fun.

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I used to love his books from when I was about 10 until I was about 16, but stopped reading them around then (I blame my wife...). I recently tried to reread some of my faves like The Stand, It and Christine but found them a bit, well, teenage and I just couldn't get into them again.

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I used to read a lot of Stephen King, I guess mostly when I was a teenager (before I discovered sci-fi, anyway). The Stand was always my favourite (and the longer "directors cut" version even if it's huge...), but a close second was The Langoliers, which I'm a bit disappointed to see has only had one mention in this thread so far. It's probably the only one of his stories that I've found genuinely creepy, and I love the idea of these little creatures coming along and destroying the past as time moves along.

I think in particular it's the idea of something that's coming after you and you just can't stop it . Like the Terminator, or the Alien, something you can't reason with because it's doing what it's designed to do. Very creepy. Shame the film was so pants...

This thread's encouraged me to go back and read some of the later stuff that I never got round to, so thanks guys!

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I cant think of a King book bar Dolores Clairbone and Christine that I havent found something worthy or enjoyable in there. So I guess I'm a fan. Been reading him for 17 years now, Pet Semetary was the first thing of his I read when I was 13 and it was the first book to make me cry. His writing of the death of a child was just so emotional.

Glad I didnt read it first when I had a son, I would have been an emotional wreck.

I love his work except for Christine tried about 7-8 times and I just cant get into it.

The Dark Tower I'll join the praise, fantastic series of books and again I got quite emotional by the final book. Staggeringly good work and I think he whole heartedly deserves the title of our Charles Dickens. Really glad he never died and managed to finish it

cheers Roland :rolleyes:

Clive Barker aint too shabby either, but he aint no King.

Avoid Shaun Hutson unless your 12 yrs old and fancy reading some sex, some gore and violence, some more sex and violence and finally a bit more sex and violence.

One final word 1408 is IMO one of the scariest short stories written for years.

I would say could we have a Mist movie but Hollywood would only balls that up as well.

biglime whats the link between Buick and DT then? I missed that on my reading?

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Avoid Shaun Hutson unless your 12 yrs old and fancy reading some sex, some gore and violence, some more sex and violence and finally a bit more sex and violence.

But Hutson puts heavy metal quotes at the end (or is it the start?) of all his books! And he appeared on the James Whale show* in his cowboy boots every other week, talking about throwing typewriters at the wall!

He does the job he sets out to do, though God knows what he's doing nowadays. Ditto James Herbert, his early books are storming - King praises The Fog in Danse Macabre - but then he seemed to lose his edge with, what was it, The Magic Cottage?

I think King is a level up from Herbert, who's a level up from Hutson, but all three are excellent writers in their field; they know how to write what they're writing.

I just ordered King's On Writing thanks to this thread, I'm looking forward to it.

* Before you were born, most likely.

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I just Love Stephen King I have about 40 novels and i'm looking to complete the whole collection.

I'm reading the skeleton crew at the moment, I really loved the mist and the jaunt.

But I just dont get the Here There be Tygers Story.

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But Hutson puts heavy metal quotes at the end (or is it the start?) of all his books! And he appeared on the James Whale show* in his cowboy boots every other week, talking about throwing typewriters at the wall!

* Before you were born, most likely.

Doubt it seeing as I'm 30 and Friday nights used to be all about Cinemattractions(before internet trailers, this was how we saw what good films were coming from Hollywood) Married with Children and Get Stuffed and Sledgehammer and of course James Whale :unsure:

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I wish he'd done more non horror though, I don't think I have read many stories that capture growing up in smalltown America that are better than the The Body. Often it's his scene setting in his horror books that I enjoy more than the actual horror itself. IT in particular is great for this.

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One final word 1408 is IMO one of the scariest short stories written for years.

I would say could we have a Mist movie but Hollywood would only balls that up as well.

Yep, I love 1408. It's superb, and damn spooky. As for the Mist, Frank Darabont bought the rights to film it! It's still a while off yet, but his last two collaborations with King have been fantastic, so I'm looking forward to it.

Back to the short stories. Another favourite of mine - The Finger. I love the fact that he never needs to explain why this weird shit happens in his short stories... it just does.

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Yep, I love 1408. It's superb, and damn spooky. As for the Mist, Frank Darabont bought the rights to film it! It's still a while off yet, but his last two collaborations with King have been fantastic, so I'm looking forward to it.

Back to the short stories. Another favourite of mine - The Finger. I love the fact that he never needs to explain why this weird shit happens in his short stories... it just does.

Well Darabonts involvement does prompt a bit more enthusiasm from me.

The Talisman was being done by him as well wasnt it?

Riding the bullet was the last King movie I saw and it was ok not great, just ok.

Has anyone seen the new Salem lots and is it any good?

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For anyone who is interested here is the audio version of The Mist

The Mist

As for the new Salem's Lot, it is bloody awesome. It has that guy from the West Wing, and a few other C/Z list actors. I'm pretty sure that Sci-Fi will be repeating it in the near future.

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Thanks for that, Oldboy! Downloading now (although it's painfully slow... :unsure: ).

For those who missed talk of Darabont and The Mist (it was around December last year), you can read about it here: Dark Horizons

Darabont says "I am at this very moment writing the adaptation of THE MIST... Depending on a few factors, it may well be the next movie I direct, possibly next year. Finally, my low-budget monster flick! And no, it will not be for television. There's been some confusion out there in geek land about that. THE MIST is a very scary and memorable story, one of Steve's best "muscular" short pieces, with characters in the kind of pressure-cooker environment that nobody writes as well as King. I intend to be faithful to the material, so I think the movie will be good"

"Whether it's a studio picture or not, I want to go with a very gritty, low-budget indie approach. Big-budget gloss would work against the material, plus I'm excited about trying my hand at a more seat-of-the-pants filmmaking approach on this one than I've used in the past...I'll use whatever approach works best, I want to go as old-school as possible with the effects. It's a rather old-school story anyway; it feels like a movie that might have been made in the '50s. The thing to bear in mind about THE MIST is that you don't actually see that much as King wrote it; it's the stuff you don't see that scares you, sort of like in JAWS. I want to maintain the tension of King's story rather than overload the screen with CGI monsters."

All sounds very reassuring!

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Thanks for that, Oldboy! Downloading now (although it's painfully slow... :) ).

For those who missed talk of Darabont and The Mist (it was around December last year), you can read about it here: Dark Horizons

Darabont says "I am at this very moment writing the adaptation of THE MIST... Depending on a few factors, it may well be the next movie I direct, possibly next year. Finally, my low-budget monster flick! And no, it will not be for television. There's been some confusion out there in geek land about that. THE MIST is a very scary and memorable story, one of Steve's best "muscular" short pieces, with characters in the kind of pressure-cooker environment that nobody writes as well as King. I intend to be faithful to the material, so I think the movie will be good"

"Whether it's a studio picture or not, I want to go with a very gritty, low-budget indie approach. Big-budget gloss would work against the material, plus I'm excited about trying my hand at a more seat-of-the-pants filmmaking approach on this one than I've used in the past...I'll use whatever approach works best, I want to go as old-school as possible with the effects. It's a rather old-school story anyway; it feels like a movie that might have been made in the '50s. The thing to bear in mind about THE MIST is that you don't actually see that much as King wrote it; it's the stuff you don't see that scares you, sort of like in JAWS. I want to maintain the tension of King's story rather than overload the screen with CGI monsters."

All sounds very reassuring!

Sounds really good i can't wait.

Sorry about the earlier link here is a much faster link:

The Mist (get this one)

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I finished the first "Dark Tower" book tonight. Aside from some dodgy metaphysical blathering about the nature of reality or some shit, I was touched. It went deep. I also bought the second one in Borders today.

You aint even started on the brilliance this story encompasses. The first book aint nothing really when you consider where the Journey Roland and his company will take you on goes.

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I'm a big Stephen King fan, especially the 80's period. I haven't read any of his books since "The Dark Half".

I'm looking forward to reading "The Dark Tower" series, but I wanted to wait until it was finished, because I hate having to wait for novels. I did the same with the Mallorean by David Eddings. Imagine having to wait for the 3 parts of Lord of the Rings to be published. The ending of "The Two Towers" was so down, it mist have been agonising.

Anyway, I digress. Favourite King books:

1. It

2. The Stand

3. Christine

4. Misery

5. Danse Macbre

I would also like to highlight the Skeleton Crew short story collection, that has The Mist, the Jaunt and another short story about taking short cuts on deserted country roads, this is a personal fave of mine. And one about a man stuck on a desert island.

Someone else mentioned the Tommyknockers. I don't like the whole book, but the first hundered pages were a real fun read.

The character Flagg from the Stand crops up again in "Eye of the Dragon", a King novel aimed at children.

Talisman features the same alternate Universe as the one in "The Dark Tower", this is the best section in that book.

What is most astounding about King is his productivity. If you check the dates when he is writting his books, his output in the 80's was amazing. You can see why he need Richard Bachman to publish a few, he just wrote too many novels.

The first phase of King's career is very much about intepreting the classic horror tropes; the vampire = Salem's Lot, ghosts = the Shining, mental powers = Dead Zone/Firestarter, apocalypse = The Stand.

So many books.

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  • 10 months later...

What are the best Stephen King books? I know he wrote a lot, but some must be better than others?

I started a couple of years ago with Hearts of Atlantis and after that I've read the Dark Tower series, It, Everything's Eventual, Insomnia and some more.

I enjoyed the Dark Tower books the most, but I'm not especially looking for books with obvious links.

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