I am a huge fan of Stephen King and have read many books by the horror/science fiction author, so I thought I should do a little list to help King-Newbies with choosing the right book to start their reading:
Extremely long book, but great story and best example for King’s writing style of combining different perspectives, different times, etc. to one story.
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they were grown-up men and women who had gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry, Maine to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name. What was it? Read It and find out…if you dare!
2. The Long Walk
One of the Richard Bachman books, the plot is totally crazy but really fascinating. I couldn’t stop reading for a minute!
Ray Garraty–along with 99 other teen boys–has entered the Long Walk, a grueling march at four miles per hour that continues until only one person is standing. The losers receive bullets to the head. As the march progresses, the numbers dwindle, the challenges of continued marching increase, and the senselessness wears on the participants’ state of mind. King (writing as his alter ego, Richard Bachman) delivers another psychologically dark tale with commentary on society, teenage life, and cultural entertainment that is still poignant decades after its original publication.
3. Under The Dome
One of King’s newer novels. Great plot, reminds me a bit of the Simpson movie =D, definitely one of the best King books!
When the smalltown of Chester’s Mill, Maine, is surrounded by an invisible force field, the people inside must exert themselves to survive. The situation deteriorates rapidly due to the dome’s ecological effects and the machinations of Big Jim Rennie, an obscenely sanctimonious local politician and drug lord who likes the idea of having an isolated populace to dominate. Opposing him are footloose Iraq veteran Dale “Barbie” Barbara, newspaper editor Julia Shumway, a gaggle of teen skateboarders and others who want to solve the riddle of the dome.
Very similar to “IT” (a group of childhood friends meet again and have to fight against bad aliens), great read!
Four boyhood pals in Derry, Maine, get together for a pilgrimage to their favorite deep-woods cabin, Hole in the Wall. The four have been telepathically linked since childhood, thanks to a searing experience involving a Down syndrome neighbor–a human dreamcatcher. They’ve all got midlife crises: clownish Beav has love problems; the intellectual shrink, Henry, is slowly succumbing to the siren song of suicide; Pete is losing a war with beer; Jonesy has had weird premonitions ever since he got hit by a car.
Then comes worse trouble: an old man named McCarthy (a nod to the star of the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers) turns up at Hole in the Wall. His body is erupting with space aliens resembling furry moray eels: their mouths open to reveal nests of hatpin-like teeth. Poor Pete tries to remove one that just bit his ankle: “Blood flew in splattery fans as Pete tried to shake it off, stippling the snow and the sawdusty tarp and the dead woman’s parka. Droplets flew into the fire and hissed like fat in a hot skillet.”
One of King’s earlier works, very short. Good read for a train ride/flight/etc.
Carrie White, menaced by bullies at school and her religious nut of a mother at home, gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers, powers that will eventually be turned on her tormentors. King has a way of getting under the skin of his readers by creating an utterly believable world that throbs with menace before finally exploding.
6. The Shining
One of the most scariest books I’ve ever read! Pretty long in the beginning, but the tempo increases as soon as the family has reached the hotel.
This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel’s past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to laim the very souls of the Torrence family.
7. The Green Mile
This was released as a series of small paperback novels and I can remember that they were passed on to the next friend/family member/neighbour as soon as someone finished them. Very addictive!
The setting is the small “death house” of a Southern prison in 1932. The Green Mile is the hall with a floor “the color of tired old limes” that leads to “Old Sparky” (the electric chair). The charming narrator is an old man, a prison guard, looking back on the events decades later.
That’s it for now. I haven’t read all of King’s book, so this is only a small glimpse into his outstanding work.
All plot descriptions taken from amazon.com