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Old June 2 2009, 08:20 PM   #16
Admiral2
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Re: Stephen King

My favorites have always been the three C's

Carrie: Cause I like the notion of a telekinetic going mad ass on the elitist douchebags torturing her.

Christine: It's a big old "Detroit Steel" Plymouth driving by itself and killing people, then it play's fifties music and repairs itself. How is this not cool??

Cujo: Yes, Cujo. I'm afraid of big dogs. Sue me.
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Old June 2 2009, 08:23 PM   #17
Starbreaker
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Re: Stephen King

  1. The Dead Zone [C]
  2. The Shining [A]
  3. Bag of Bones [A]
  4. Insomnia [B]
  5. The Green Mile [A]
  6. The Eyes of the Dragon [C]
  7. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon [B]
  8. The Long Walk [C]
  9. The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger [C]
  10. The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three [B]
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Old June 2 2009, 08:37 PM   #18
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Re: Stephen King

His only recent work I've read was Cell, which was decent enough. It kind of sagged a bit in the middle, but there was lots of good stuff in there.

I'll probably read Duma Key someday, just because so many seem to like it.
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Old June 2 2009, 09:12 PM   #19
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Re: Stephen King

I actually liked Bag of Bones, but mainly as a character study in loss. I didn't really care for the climax, but he had said somewhere around there that he was really more interested in character dynamics that hwere plots go.
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Old June 2 2009, 09:57 PM   #20
byron lomax
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Re: Stephen King

I've read a lot of criticism for From a Buick 8, and I agree the novel is a little frustrating in its lack of explanation, but some parts of the book really, really creeped me out. The descriptions of those undescribable creatures who emerge from the buick really made my flesh crawl.

Anyway, of what I've read, the best King novels: Salem's Lot, Pet Semetary (his scariest book, IMHO), The Girl who loved Tom Gordon (simple but superb), Needful Things, Desperation and The Regulators. The Stand is a masterpiece that fizzles in its final third.

As for short stories, Gramma scared the bejeezus out of me, and the conclusion to The Jaunt was truly horrific. The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet was strange and powerful. I am the Doorway, Sometimes they Come Back, Children of the Corn and The Raft also deserve a mention.

But overall, I think Different Seasons is Kings' masterpiece. Four perfect novellas in one book.

And worst? Dreamcatcher, an embarrassment in so many ways.
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Old June 2 2009, 09:59 PM   #21
William Leisner
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Re: Stephen King

I also enjoyed Bag of Bones. It was a bit atypical for King, but excellently written.

Other faves: Misery, I read in one long overnight marathon session. The Stand, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and The Body are classics.

Biggest dislikes were Desperation, The Regulators, and Dreamcatcher. I also had to put his recent collection Just After Sunset aside, as none of the stories were doing it for me.
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Old June 3 2009, 12:43 AM   #22
Trent Roman
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Re: Stephen King

Shurik wrote: View Post
The Stand had a great description of the end of civilization and of how people deal with it, but I didn't like all that old lady-vs-Randall Flagg stuff that came later. And the ending (Las-Vegas scenes) sucked.
It does seem to shift storytelling modes mid-way (or perhaps earlier), doesn't it? From a very secular apocalypse to a standoff between Manichean camps of good and evil. But I think The Stand engages throughout with the idea of cruelty--the undiscriminate cruelty of Captain Tripps, the cruelty of circumstances, and what people work against other people--and after the plague has passed and people start organizing again, he moves up to the next level, the cruelty of the deity who presides, uncaring, over all that suffering. It's the horror of a perfectly deterministic universe: whether you die of Captain Tripps or because it was god's will, you have no control over your own fate. In the long term, I can see why that can make for unsatisfying storytelling--in was annoyed at the role of ka by the end the Dark Tower series, for taking on such size that it endangered the idea that these characters were acting of their own volition (sort of like what the BSG finale retroactively did to the rest of the show), but I thought it worked well in the contained context of The Stand.

exodus wrote: View Post
However, I've always had the sneaking suspicion that his wife not him wrote "Gerald's Game & Deloris Clairbourne". Those two stories don't contain the same themes and elements his other books do.
I've not heard those rumours, and I don't think it's accurate to say they don't touch on themes found in his other books. Cujo, Misery and Rose Madder, and characters like Beverly in It, for instance, speak to similar issues of entrapment, sexual abuse, battered women, etc.

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
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Old June 3 2009, 02:00 AM   #23
Vanyel
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Re: Stephen King

Favorites (not in any order):
It
The Stand
Pet Sematary
Different Seasons
(All four stories are great.)
Carrie
'Salem's Lot
The Shining
Night Shift
(I got into the final round of a Speech Tournament, by reading a 5 minute condensed version of The Boogeyman....or would have if the judge hadn't mixed up the ranking. How hard is it to read a set of directions and see that 5 is a top score? By the time the vote paper came out it was too late to protest the result as the final rounds had started. We know she got it wrong because her notes said that I was the best in all the categories.)
Misery - A classic. I think this is the epitome of King's work.
The Green Mile

I didn't like (Not in any order):
Rose Madder (interesting idea, but went to slow)
Insomnia
Needful Things
The Dark Half
The Tommyknockers

The other books of his I read come somewhere in between. I could never get into The Dark Tower series. Yeah, I've read A LOT of Stephen King.
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Old June 3 2009, 02:31 AM   #24
Vanyel
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Re: Stephen King

Trent Roman wrote: View Post
It does seem to shift storytelling modes mid-way (or perhaps earlier), doesn't it? From a very secular apocalypse to a standoff between Manichean camps of good and evil. But I think The Stand engages throughout with the idea of cruelty--the undiscriminate cruelty of Captain Tripps, the cruelty of circumstances, and what people work against other people--and after the plague has passed and people start organizing again, he moves up to the next level, the cruelty of the deity who presides, uncaring, over all that suffering. It's the horror of a perfectly deterministic universe: whether you die of Captain Tripps or because it was god's will, you have no control over your own fate. In the long term, I can see why that can make for unsatisfying storytelling--in was annoyed at the role of ka by the end the Dark Tower series, for taking on such size that it endangered the idea that these characters were acting of their own volition (sort of like what the BSG finale retroactively did to the rest of the show), but I thought it worked well in the contained context of The Stand.
From what I've read, King had writers block at about the halfway mark of the book. He worked on and finished another novel before the idea of killing half of the characters came to him. That cleared his block and he was able to finish the book.
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Old June 3 2009, 02:55 AM   #25
McCoy
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Re: Stephen King

My favourite living author.

Best: The Talisman. It just seems so much better than the others. Straub's influence? Hard to say, as Black House wasn't nearly as good.

Worst: Christine. As I was reading it I was disappointed that he seemed to be writing it with adapting it to the screen on his mind. It read like a movie. Then of course the movie was announced almost right away. Felt like selling out.

I'm almost half-way through Duma Key at the moment. Not yet seeing the power that you all are describing but hopefully will see it soon.
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Old June 3 2009, 03:25 AM   #26
darkwing_duck1
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Re: Stephen King

His supernatural horror is first rate (his early works), but his "psycho-horror" (latter stuff) is crap, IMO.

Favorite: "Carrie", "Christine", and "Firestarter" in that order.

I always imagined that in the Marvel Universe, "Carrie" would have been one of those "true crime" reconstruction novels.

BTW: Is anyone else but me just fascinated with what might be in The Drawer?
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Old June 3 2009, 04:12 AM   #27
Anthony Sabre
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Re: Stephen King

I'm not a King fan. To this day, however, he's written the only book that actually scared me. Did not sleep well after reading The Dark Half.
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Old June 3 2009, 05:13 AM   #28
sidious618
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Re: Stephen King

Anthony Sabre wrote: View Post
I'm not a King fan. To this day, however, he's written the only book that actually scared me. Did not sleep well after reading The Dark Half.
That book is nothing. Read The Shining or Duman Key or It.
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Old June 3 2009, 07:16 AM   #29
DarKush
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Re: Stephen King

I tried listening to Duma Key on audio but I couldn't get into it. I did like Blaze though.

I've read more of King's short stories over the years than his novels and I've liked most of them. Of his novels, really loved Carrie, the werewolf one they based the movie Silver Bullet on, and the Dead Zone. I thought Rose Madder was good up until the end.
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Old June 3 2009, 08:36 AM   #30
Hunter X
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Re: Stephen King

byron lomax wrote: View Post
I've read a lot of criticism for From a Buick 8, and I agree the novel is a little frustrating in its lack of explanation, but some parts of the book really, really creeped me out. The descriptions of those undescribable creatures who emerge from the buick really made my flesh crawl.
See, the only King books I've read are the first two Dark Towers, On Writing and From a Buick 8. I've seen complaints about the lack of explanation in the latter before, and I don't get it. I mean, it's the entire point of the book. The boy is dealing with his father's death, not understanding why it had to happen. And there's this crazy car that his dad used to be obsessed with figuring out the mystery of, but there is no explanation. Sometimes things just happen where we never find out the why. If the book had explained where the car came from or why it did what it did, then the book would be just another horror story about a creepy car. I like that King actually tackled the theme of the unexplanable experiences of human life. Maybe it's not as good as some of his other books...I can't really speak to that.
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