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View Poll Results: Which Stephen King books are worth more than one read?

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  • Bag of Bones

    3 12.50%
  • Carrie

    1 4.17%
  • Christine

    0 0%
  • Cujo

    1 4.17%
  • The Dark Half

    1 4.17%
  • The Dark Tower series (comment on individual books below)

    3 12.50%
  • The Dead Zone

    1 4.17%
  • Different Seasons

    4 16.67%
  • Dolores Claiborne

    1 4.17%
  • Firestarter

    3 12.50%
  • The Green Mile

    3 12.50%
  • It

    8 33.33%
  • Salem's Lot

    4 16.67%
  • Misery

    5 20.83%
  • Pet Sematary

    2 8.33%
  • The Shining

    10 41.67%
  • The Stand

    12 50.00%
  • The Talisman

    0 0%
  • Tommyknockers

    4 16.67%
  • Other (see below)

    8 33.33%
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Results 11 to 20 of 36

  1. #11
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natrushka View Post
    Insomnia - love it.

    And as you read along you discover that many of the books overlap into the Gunslinger's universe.

    Stephen King is a sick puppy. And I still want to hurt him for TDT: VII
    Seconded.

    Also, the Stand is one of my favourite books in general. And I will always fondly remember It as the first book that scared the crap out of me (back in middle school).

  2. #12
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Some titles that have not been discussed:

    The Raft (short story): Just one of the most gruesome stories I've ever read (where four teens are trapped on a raft by an inexplicable oil-like creature in the water). I just makes my skin crawl to think about, but I can't stop thinking about it: It's very haunting in the way it's written, with some internalized subjective perspective...

    The Last Rung on the Ladder (short story): No supernatural element, just a man recalling his childhood experiences with his sister and their jumping game in the barn. Beautiful, bittersweet, it chokes me up...

    The Mangler (short story): Just an all-out crazy "the machine's possessed by the devil!" story but just so well done... and again, the unique gruesome nature of the machine itself...

    The Langoliers: Great novella, unique idea. Fast-paced, and the CHARACTERS really carry it along. King is best when he focuses on characterization and doesn't get caught up in silly horror elements. His people are very life-like when he's in top form, people I care about easily. The whole thing here with Nick and him piloting the plane back alone, I still remember that vividly...

    The Long Walk (Richard Bachman novel): Psychologically interesting, with people forced into a situation out of their own greed/ambition to walk or die. What is the psychological impact, how do people relate to each other, what tempts them, what drives them? Just fascinating... and again, the bittersweet ending.

    The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: Some of this short novel was cheesy, but the concept was interesting, along with "bear creature" and the subjective fantastical perspective of the girl/narrator.

    Pet Sematary: This wasn't his best work, but it was just the perfectly planned plot: The doctor who is terrified of losing patients now and has made a solemn vow to restore life is tempted by the prospect of returning life to the dead, even though in the process he knows deep down he's selling his soul to do so. And, as a parent, the phrase "His cap. Oh God, his cap is full of blood" still haunts me.

    --

    I remember Firestarter (mostly the relationship between Andy and Charlie, and Andy's love for his daughter) hitting me hard, as did the Dead Zone (just the whole tragic nature of Johnny Smith).

    IT was the first epic story that really creeped me out, I read it in less than a week while studying for mid-terms at college. It stuck with me a long time, and spurred on ideas for my own writing. And I'm planning on rereading The Stand again, now that I'm older.

    One of the things I did always love about King was that he was self-referential to his own stories and had his own "pocket universe." So you never knew who else might show up or be referred to in another story.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #13
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    I loved Bag of Bones, The Shining, and Salem's Lot. One King book you didn't mention (I also chose Other) was Rose Madder. I loved that book -- I thought it was rather underrated. Gerald's Game was good, too.

    And the only Dark Tower book I've read was The Gunslinger. I don't know why I didn't read the rest, as The Gunslinger was a pretty decent book.

    I hated The Tommyknockers and Pet Sematary.

    One movie based on a Stephen King book that was actually better than the book was Dreamcatcher.

    The Talisman was so difficult to read for me, as the difference between King and Peter Straub's writing styles are so distinct.

  4. #14
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    The Stand is a bit overrated, I prefer IT (obviously).

    The most recent, Lisey's Story is also very good. Supernatural as anything he's done, but really just an allegory on loss and grief (and writing/creating - he wrote a good little column on just that in the Washington Post last fall if you can find it).

  5. #15
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    The Stand sucked. It was too slow and ponderous. I would rank it right next to Gone with the Wind at the top of my list of Worst Books I Ever Read or Started. I don't think I finished it. I haven't read another King story since.

    The Shining was very good. I was nervous turning every page because I just knew that something crazy could happen at any moment. The tension I felt reading it has never been matched by any other writer.

  6. #16
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    I don't even know who Stephen king is..
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  7. #17
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zybd03 View Post
    The Stand sucked. It was too slow and ponderous. I would rank it right next to Gone with the Wind at the top of my list of Worst Books I Ever Read or Started.
    Cool. I think both are brilliant.


    I prefer the first half of The Stand to the second, but overall... King's best.


    I... suppose. Yeah!

  8. #18
    It's always something... PuddleRiver's Avatar
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    Not my particular genre but I really loved The Stand and The Shining (probably my favorite). Rose Madder is pretty good too. These three are the only Stephen King books I own.
    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay one invincible summer."
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  9. #19
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    The more you swing, the more you strike out. Which ones do you think King hit out of the park?

    Not enough slots for all the titles -- so comment on any you think were unfairly skipped.

    Full List of Books/Writings here.
    He is pathetically long winded. Not his fault though.
    The Americans think the maximum is the optimum.

    There the editors pay for the number of words.
    Not in Europe.

    King never learned to cut.
    A pity.

    He could have been the master King.

  10. #20
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    He is pathetically long winded. Not his fault though.
    The Americans think the maximum is the optimum.

    King never learned to cut.
    A pity.

    He was good.
    You're right. I think his lack of ability to cut is his worst flaw.

    His earlier works are cleaner and were probably touched more by editors, before he became famous, and it tightened up his prose/narratives. And a few of the books that have been published in later years should have probably never seen the light of day, but there was money involved.

    Which is a shame.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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