He never has written a really strong ending and he'll flat out admit that. Of his recent efforts I enjoyed Duma Key immensely and the short stories in After Sunset were A+ material.
Single handedly the best writer out there today that has no fucking clue how to end his books lately. I am looking at you Dark Tower 7 and Under the Dome. With that said The Stand, The Talsman (yes with PS),Cell, and The Dead Zone are among my favorite books of all time with The Stand(Complete and Uncut) as my favorite book ever.
I have read every one of his books and I usually enjoy them all with the exception of Gerald's Game and I couldn't even finish Lisey's Story(blows brains out).
He never has written a really strong ending and he'll flat out admit that. Of his recent efforts I enjoyed Duma Key immensely and the short stories in After Sunset were A+ material.
11/22/63 is one of his recent ones and I thought it was a great book overall, thought the ending was pretty solid. I have to agree though that Under the Dome ending was pretty awful, really liked the rest of the book...but the ending was just so thoughtless?
From what King has said he never wants to end his stories because that isn't the way they work out in his head. But in order to actually have a publishable book from a conclusion perspective and a pure length perspective he has to figure something out. Usually with poor results because the endings are usually just put together in order to ship the story off to his editors. So you get someone who is a great character builder and really can evoke imagery with his writing but has little passion for closing everything out.
It is kind of odd though, his short stories usually have pretty strong endings so I don't know why he can't translate it to his novel length works for the most part.
I find is weird how he just comes up with a very simple idea like "An book writer gets hurt and is taken care of a crazed fan of his" and then just sits down and starts to write the book. No planning it out, no research, he just goes from a simple one or two sentence "idea" and starts knocking it out on his typewriter. I could never write a book like that I think.
I think that Salem's Lot ends pretty strong. It loops back to the beginning of the story and the two survivors go back and burn everything to the motherfucking ground.
I picked up Full Dark No Stars and thought it was some of the worst shit of his I had ever spent money on. It's sitting on my shelf right now mocking me with its terribleness. I normally like his novellas but I got 1.5 stories in before I shelved it.
He seems like he has revitalized his creative juices, I have enjoyed his last few books.
Dean Koontz has become unreadable to me.
I love Koontz but the guy is such a publishing machine I have no idea which books of his I've read and which I haven't. That, and every one of them (at least of the two dozen or so that I've read) follow the exact same recipe. Separate plots, converge at the end, protagonist saves the day. The exception being the Odd Thomas novels, which were pretty damn great.
As far as King, I've read all of his other than 11/12/68 and Duma Key. I got about halfway through DK on a flight and it was just so damn depressing I couldn't finish it. Love the rest of his stuff though - I even liked the end of Dark Tower (the ending before "his" ending). Agree about Under the Dome though - if you scrap the last 10 pages of it with the stupid ass way that he revealed the nature of the dome, the rest was awesome.
Vim, I agree with you about Duma Key; I picked it up because it was on the list and it ended up being one of my top 10 favorite King books.
On Koontz: I cannot even remember the name of the first Koontz book I read; but it was thoroughly disappointing and the afterwards by him started out "I wanted to mix horror, sci-fi, and comedy together and this was the result!" The only other one I read was "Door to December" and when the big reveal in the book was that the little girl was causing everything I decided that he was a fucking hack. Fuck Dean Koontz.
I re-read his The Long Walk and Running Man short stories under the Richard Bachman name recently, he was definitely the fucking man back then.
The Mist is also another classic but he was big enough to say he thought the end of the movie version was better than his own. Personally I like both of them in their own ways.
The book about the haunted car (no, not Christine!) From A Buick 8 was pretty terrible but I went from that to Duma Key and it was night and day. Although it was indeed as depressing as fuck it had the best ending he had written in years. I thought The Cell had a shitty ending to go along with Under The Dome, which I hear is being made into a miniseries?
Apparently he said recently that he doesn't even remember writing some of his earlier books because he was so heavily into drink and drugs at the time.
Final thought - if I had to absolutely say his best work, the uncut version of The Stand narrowly squeaks ahead of The Long Walk.
I liked a lot of his earlier stuff. Eyes of the Dragon should get more love.
Needful Things is still my favorite King book, so awesome. I started reading The Gunslinger but didn't get far before I got involved in something and forgot about it.
The hook of JFK living was to get us to buy the book. Under the Dome had a far worse ending, but the journey was fun.
oh my god i cant pass up this thread. ive been a fan of SK's books for 30 years. yeah little 11 yr old chuk was reading SK books and loving them. the popular thought on his stories are they turned to crap when he stopped being an alcoholic/drug addict. which makes a lot of sense. because he was doing some crazy shit while he was on the stuff. his endings were "better" too. chaos there is a minor tie in with the dark tower and 11/22/63. the alternate future has reference to a takuro spirit automobile which is also in the dark tower book wizard and glass. its also supposed to be a tie in with the superflu world of The Stand. 11/22/63 ends so fucking shitty, i wish i had just shut the book before he walked in the door back to 2012. if anyone has questions about stephen king, im your nig
The Long Walk
I have IT and the uncut version of The Stand, Misery, and Desperation on my bookshelf, not sure which to go to first.
I would read The Stand out of those, easier to get through. But read It next. Excellent book. I've never read Desperation.
The only book of his I've read was The Stand and I loved it. Well that's not true, I read Dark Tower I too, but that's it I swear. My wife on the other hand has read everything I think and shares a lot of the same viewpoints in this thread.
I really, really like IT but the thing is a headcracker. It kinda falls apart and it's weighted down by a whole mess of adolescent sex and sexual imagery. You will seriously wonder if there was/is some 12 year old redheaded girl that King wants/wanted to bang. Desperation isn't that great of a book. It's middle of the road King. It also kinda hates the audience. The Stand is the strongest of the three.
You could also just stop right there at the three you've read. End on a high point!
His single greatest work is Insomnia. Dark Tower 7 is pure shit after reading "The Waste Lands", easily the best book in the series. For short stories, "10'oclock people", hands down.
Although in Dark Tower ending when Jake says "Tell my father I love him" or Oy saying "'ake, ake'" and you aren't losing it you are a soulless piece of shit.
Last edited by Salshun; 12-13-2012 at 11:00 AM.
Was Wastelands the one with Mono the train? By far my favorite part of that series.
Quick protip for you who are going to start, or are reading The Dark Tower Series. When the author of the book tells you to stop reading, like at the end of 7, FUCKING DO IT! (walks away and mumblers angerly about some fuckingSpoiler:
what, no love for The Tommyknockers?
This is easily tied with two others as the best stephen king book of all time
the other 2 number ones are The Eyes of the Dragon and The Talisman. i think all 3 came out within 3 years of each other and i have read each of them over a dozen times. they all end awesomely too.
The Stand is awesome but it fell down a few pegs when King updated it and added fucking pop culture references like roger rabbit.
The Wastelands is maybe the second best stephen king book of all time and the best of the dark tower series.
I def enjoy his short stories more for the most part bros. Skeleton Crew is my favorite collection so far.
can anyone recommend the Dark Tower audiobooks on Audible? Looking for a new series to pick up on my commute...
thanks for the info.. i'll queue it up for sure
I thought the DT ending was great, but the path to the ending was turrible. Imagine if we got news in 14 years that the DT movies were finally here and you sat down, ready to enjoy the gunslinger intro, when Roland showed up crossing a sand dune with the horn of Eld at his side. Would fuck everything up!
I'm currently reading 11/22/63 and it's great, but it's making me wonder, where do you think King will rank in the "great American writers" category? I don't really think he's going to be taught in lit classes like Hemingway, Steinbeck, Poe, Twain, or Faulkner, but I think he's clearly several ranks above guys like Dean Koontz or John Grisham. Anybody ever been assigned one of his books for an English class? Can you picture that happening? Personally I would at put his best stuff on par with somebody like Kurt Vonnegut or Cormac McCarthy but I don't know if all of his work rises to that level. It's kind of hard to rank him because he put out so fucking many books and some of them are more pulp but a lot of them are great.
Last edited by BrutulTM; 02-14-2013 at 03:30 PM.
I don't think King is on the same level as Vonnegut or McCarthy. Not even close, really.
But I don't really think that is a bad thing, different authors are just different. I enjoy his books, I even return to some of them over and over again. But I've never read one of King's books on the same level as Cat's Cradle or The Road.
haven't read a lot of his newer stuff. lets see what i remember reading...
salem's lot, it, the stand, the eyes of the dragon, and of course the dark tower series, as you can guess from my foh handle. i'd have to agree with chaos. maybe further down the line after king gets older, he'll start being used by academia, but i just don't see his works as "high literature"
I liked "Cat's Cradle" but there are several King books that I would put above it. I also thought that "Breakfast of Champions" was a self-indulgent piece of shit though, so maybe I'm not the best advocate for Vonnegut. I think that if I read "The Road" or "No Country for Old Men" and someone told me that Stephen King wrote them it wouldn't seem out of character at all.
I'll bring it up again, fuck it. Is it possible to film The Dark Tower, in its entirety? We have the potential for a series that would destroy LOTR. Hate if you want, I've read LOTR, all of it.
Dark Tower takes it out back and beats the shit out of it.
Well, the second half of Lord of the Ring is actually half decent, while the second half of the Dark Tower is absolute shit. So I can't really agree with you there.
Word, Waste Lands like a motherfucker
Gnasher looked up "You!"
"Me!", Roland agreed. He fired once and the left side of Gasher’s head disintegrated.
Love that shit.
Last edited by Salshun; 04-29-2013 at 04:04 AM.
Under the Dome was complete shit. I powered through that book which I have never had to do with a King book before. I thought Duma Key was pretty decent as far as recent stuff goes. But my favorite book of all time is and always will be The Stand
I'll add another +1 to the list of people assessing The Stand as Stephen King's best work. If I had to develop a top five list of his novels, I would say:
1. The Stand (What more needs to be said?)
2. Bag of Bones (A ghost story, but not strictly a horror novel. Includes one of the most affecting character deaths in any of his novels)
3. Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower series peaked at this point and, unfortunately, took a rapid dive in the following book)
4. The Long Walk (as Richard Bachman. One of his view novels I've finished in one sitting)
5. Dreamcatcher (The friendship between Jonesy, Beaver, Pete, and Henry is well-realized, and the scenes with Mr. Grey in Jonesy's head especially stand out. Also, shit weasels)
a bag of bones took me 5 years to finish. i bought it the day it came out i got halfway through it . was disgusted with how bad it was and put it into my SK bookcase and forgot about it. 5 years later i was bored looking for something to read, i pulled BoB back out and tried again. was able to finish it this time, but only just. its really bad and dripping with pc mangina juice. there are better SK ghost stories out there
The Stand and It are clearly his two best novels. Shawshank is the best piece of writing he's ever done, but it doesn't have the depth some of his other stuff has. Drawing of the three and Wizard were both awesome.
Also, I think Eye of the Dragon is one of the best fantasy novels ever written. The fact he has never really revisited it except tangentially is pretty fucking irritating.
The Shining is the only thing of King's I've never read. I saw the movie first and just never really felt the urge to read it.
Last edited by Gilgamel; 06-22-2013 at 02:15 AM.
Needful Things is still my favorite, although I had never read It until recently. And I've never read the dark tower stuff, I started The Gunslinger and got distracted and never finished it.
Any of you "Constant Readers" pick up Mr. Mercedes yet?
Thinking about picking up The Stand, is this considered one of his better works? I heard he released extra material later on so the newer versions should have all of that?
Sure, it's in the "better" category. It's very good most of the time and that's about all you can ask for with a brick of that size. I've read both the abridged and unabridged versions and I honestly can't remember a single fucking thing so I wouldn't worry too much about which you end up with.
Insomnia is one of my favorites as well. It's just a hard recommendation to make unless someone has already read a whole bunch of King's other works.
It also makes me very, very sad how Insomnia gets discarded towards the end of the Dark Tower but the entire conclusion to that series pisses me off.
On the subject of Insomnia: I forget if it was James or Keg back on FoH who summed the book up great with something in the vein of "If you told me I'd love a book about some old fucker who can't sleep I'd call you crazy".
Insomnia is gratuitous with its references. It's referential porn. And King goes on to later empty his ass over the entire thing at the end of the Dark Tower series.
I take it back. I would recommend it to someone who hasn't read anything else.
If you pick up The Stand, do the longer version. The paperback is like 1100 pages. And each was awesome. I only read that because it was a slight tie in to The Dark Tower series, but it was worth it.
I liked The Talisman & Black House which were co-written by Peter Straub. I also really liked Salem's Lot. He's a really masterful writer. Really gives a great setting and atmosphere. You wonder just how well he does it. His descriptions of things aren't anything special, but they're VERY effective. I couldn't describe my own dick as well as he does a piece of confetti that's fallen from a ceiling. It's damn impressive.
Last one I read was Doctor Sleep and it was alright until the villain shits herself in the final act and her entire super squad of vamps turns out to be The J.O.B. Squad and all go down in a single paragraph.
Every watch the movie Hearts in Atlantis?
They take the first story of the four (which is not Hearts in Atlantis, that's the second story) but call it Hearts it Atlantis anyway and then go about making it shit.
Nothing negative to say about the book though.
For a while there they just wanted to put King's name on movies. "The Lawnmower Man" was the worst offender. King's story was just like an 8 page short story about a weird dude that actually mowed lawns. The whole nonsense about virtual reality and people going into a computer network was completely made up and that stuff didn't even exist when King wrote the story.
"Ladyfingers. They taste just like ladyfingers."
Just finished reading Mr. Mercedes. It's a step from his previous books in that there is no supernatural elements at all. It is basically a crime novel in the lines of Joyland. I liked it, even without the supernatural elements he is still able to write interesting characters and keep a good bit of suspense going on. It's not his best work, but it is still a good read.
The Cell was the best King book I've read recently. Dr Sleep was by far the worst. I was ready to quit that one.
Ya I also enjoyed The Cell a lot more then I thought I would. Same goes for Joyland. I have read everything besides his most recent books and the only one I couldn't finish was Lisey's Story. Jesus Christ was that a slow book.
I have never put down a book before (came close with Chris Kluwe's Sparkle Ponies) but there was no way I was going to "push through" that one.
Cell is great overall but I hate how a main character that I liked very much dies out of fucking nowhere for no purpose to have her killers then die off screen and then right after a whole new group of characters are introduced that could easily have been killed off instead.
Felt like he was just killing someone off to kill someone off because the formula said so.
Put down Full Dark No Stars.
Will not pick back up again.
Gerald's Game is probably my least favorite King book that I have read.
According to this article Stephen King's favorite book is:
"It's Lisey's Story," King says. "That's the one I'd recommend. It's the story of a marriage and I hadn't done that before."
Which I find amusing because it is the only book of his (i am a "constant reader") that I only got about 1/3 of the way through before putting it down.
Lisey's story wasnt bad, i read it all the way through, its just a little disappointing for a stephen king story. i liked The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon a lot better even if there is no supernatural in that one . its just a good read about a little kid lost in the woods, where Lisey's Story is just boring.
Picking up Revival tomorrow, probably plow through it this weekend after I finish Canticle for Leibowitz(underwhelming, was highly recommended). . Anyone have any feedback yet?
Last edited by Gilgamel; 11-12-2014 at 07:48 AM.
Finished up Revival on Friday and I liked it. It's definitely more of a Lovecraftian Chtulhu story with a touch of Frankenstein. Lots of buildup to the payoff in the last 50 pages. All in all was a good read for me. You can also sense a bit of influence from Joyland with the carny speak and references.
2 films easily, maybe you can space out the events over a third film though it could get boring. 4 films? Uh no, there is no way have enough material to make 4 interesting films from that novel unless you borrow from other flagg involved sk novels or just added a bunch of new stuff.
I could see 4 I guess, though it's definitely stretching. First just full on Captain Trips disaster movie. 2nd the various groups and pairings coming together. 3rd them establishing their home bases. 4th all conflict, some would have to be manufactured for the movie probably. Not sure how the ending will go over.
The literal Hand of God comes down and detonates the nuclear weapon that Trashcan Man brought into the city (because reasons).
There is enough for 4 movies if you are interested in making 4 dramas, but if this is to be an exciting franchise of good vs evil you gotta take account of all the major events. First movie, superflu and ends with larry underwood escaping manhattan with cameos introducing mother abigail and flagg.
Secon film people have the visions and head to flagg and abigail and then go to vegas and boulder. Third movie running those towns and the spy plots happen ending with the explosion of the committe house. 4th movie, the last stand and the journey back to boulder? I dunno seems thin to me.
If you did a series of tight, 90 minute films with each one focusing on just a few characters I think it could work out alright. What I'm fearing is eight hours of The Stand that just go on for goddamn ever.
I also really don't like this trend now of studios wanting blocks of films.
Who's retired from their craft more times? Stephen King or Kevin Spacey?
I was organizing my book shelf the other day, and I realized that somehow I misplaced Dark Tower issue 3. No idea where it went, but it isn't in my possession any longer.
Shardik ate it?
That's some good casting and the first thing I've heard about this whole project that has got me interested.
Just read Revival, mediocre.
Revival still sitting on my nightstand. I'll get to it eventually, but I haven't heard good things.
I think The Stand as four movies is doable but unnecessary. Three would make sense though.
I liked Revival.
"Well, that was it. But I won't stop. I won't give up. Because when I look at what is happening in the world, I know that now, more than ever, ...we need to be all that we can be. Now, more than ever, ...we need the Jedi."
Finished Revival. Better than I expected but not as good as Joyland. Really wish he would do another horror epic like It, Needful Things, etc.
I'm just getting into King books. Read The Dark Tower 1-6 (women read so slow wtf I wanna finish the series) and then The Stand, and Lisey's Story. It was an absolute struggle to finish Lisey's Story for me, just couldn't get into it at all. Currently working on Insomnia, and despite hearing that it starts extremely slowly I am enjoying it.
The almost stand-alone story of young Roland and Susan Delgado in Dark Tower IV was one of the best stories I've ever read. I liked the Dark Tower series, but even if I didn't, reading it was worth it just to read that story.
Decided to pick up doctor sleep, my first since the dark tower books. pretty disappointing as a sequel to the shining, which was very enjoyable. the modern stephen king seems so different to the stephen king of old.
I like the prologue chapter of Doctor Sleep a great deal but I have a very hard time getting from Danny as a kid to Danny as an alcoholic failure as an adult. I didn't like the book's message on heredity or any of the Alcoholics Anonymous stuff and as per usual the villains all get jobbed out in an anti-climatic conclusion to the story.
yeah, it never feels like there's much danger for the main characters. any problems that arise are almost immediately resolved. he props up the villains as cunning and dangerous, but at the same time humanizes them and has them mostly just bumbling around.
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