Stephen King recommendation?

SamSam

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The Dark Tower 2 - 4 (4 being the highpoint for me) are all fantastic stories. 5 really drained me reading through.

He's a great story teller, but not a great writer, but he does have an enjoyable, easy reading, visceral style. And I do feel that easy readability is an under valued quality.

I can't recall most of the titles of the books I have read, but I generally find most of his work (that I have read) enjoyable.
 

Triple7

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I would definitely finish the Dark Tower saga. As stated above books 2-4 are fantastic books.

"IT" is definitely worth reading too. Such a great book. A lot of it focuses on the New England area itself.

"The Talisman" was awesome...but I'm in the minority who liked "Black House" (the sequal) even better.

I recently read one of his newer books, "Revival" I really enjoyed that one as well.
 

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Most of these recs are giving you the "best" books by him instead of what you asked for, which is less trashy and/or blue collar. I don't know if he really HAS anything "classy." His dialogue in particular tends to be really blunt and often downright bad. His actual stories (and how accessible they are across all demographics, I guess) tend to be what makes them so popular.

I think "The Dead Zone" and maybe "Pet Semetary" have characters that are meant to be a little bit more intelligent instead of a bunch of foul-mouthed (if often likable!) idiots. They both have pretty focused, solid stories as well with a minimum of the bizarre digressions that he's known for.

If you're just curious about his best stuff, regardless of what you asked for, I guess "The Stand" is probably what you should go for first.

"It" is a gigantic mess. I like it, but you will absolutely react with disgust and head-shaking to the frequently terrible dialogue and nonsensical interludes that get thrown in there. Oh, the bully and his buddies are all jacking each other off in the dump? Oh, the guy out to catch and rape/beat his wife frequently has his boner described? Yep, that all got past the editor, because it just HAD to be 1100 pages and none of it was disposable!!! it's not just a sexual thing, those are just the most pointless scenes I can think of off the top of my head. The dialogue and horribly artificial way characters interact are bigger problems. You could have a drinking game based on how many times characters "throw their arms over reach others' shoulders."

IIRC Eyes of the Dragon was pretty good. The Shining was pretty decent, although I think the film made some good decisions in tossing out some of the material and also had a better climax/ending. Most of the ones with famous movie adaptations are pretty good, but some I think are legit inferior to the movies. "Carrie" in particular.

The most fun books, which I've re-read the most times, are "Night Shift" and "Skeleton Crew." They're most definitely loaded with trash and bizarre ideas, but they all go past so quickly and they work really well in bite-sized form instead of being a long book that suddenly has something that doesn't fit.

"The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" is a good short one.

EDIT: The Talisman is quite good except for another weird fascination with describing bad guys' penises. Also, it was only co-written by King.

The Dark Tower's first four books are pretty great, especially the fourth. I still wouldn't recommend reading them all, since they're a gigantic time investment, I really don't think the first three are on par with his best work, and almost everything I've heard is that reading the last three might just make you mad.

EDIT 2: Someone gave me Revival for Christmas. It's good, huh? I'll have to read it. I was a King diehard way back in middle school (I think the most appropriate age for him), but I sorta stopped bothering to keep up around 9th or 10th grade. And since he releases like 2 books a year, now it's an insurmountable task!!!
 
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rich_chaffins

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I love me some King. One that surprised me was 11/22/63. Just a phenomenal book, especially the audiobook. It hits a lot of notes: sci-fi, love story, thriller. Exceptionally well written.
Past that, The Stand, of course. The Dark Tower, especially with the revised version of The Gunslinger, is probably my favorite.
 

Seabeast2000

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"It" is a gigantic mess. I like it, but you will absolutely react with disgust and head-shaking to the frequently terrible dialogue and nonsensical interludes that get thrown in there. Oh, the bully and his buddies are all jacking each other off in the dump? Oh, the guy out to catch and rape/beat his wife frequently has his boner described? Yep, that all got past the editor, because it just HAD to be 1100 pages and none of it was disposable!!! it's not just a sexual thing, those are just the most pointless scenes I can think of off the top of my head. The dialogue and horribly artificial way characters interact are bigger problems. You could have a drinking game based on how many times characters "throw their arms over reach others' shoulders."

IT's ending was as ridiculous as the previous 1100 pages. It all seemed to me like a sloppy joke on the reader.
 

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I much rather read Richard Bachman. "Running Man" especially, that movie doesn't do the book justice.

This sounds almost like hipster contrarianism! There are what, 5 Richard Bachman books? And some of those aren't even good! The Long Walk, Rage and The Regulators are pretty dumb and bland. I haven't read anything he released under that name since The Regulators, I guess.
 

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I am not sure, I remember reading them initially and loved all of them (the 80s ones). Revisited Running Man last year and I was blown away. His more recent writing doesn't really excite me as much. I loved his earlier stuff. "The Cell" wasn't bad for new but kinda lost me towards the end.
 

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I remember The Cell having particularly awful dialogue between characters, especially the crap that characters would say that made other characters laugh. And the flying zombies, oh man. I'm not sure if it was actually worse than his older stuff, or if it's just that it was one of the only novels of his I read for the first time post-9th grade, but either way I thought it stunk. My guess is that it is actually worse, since I've listened to books on tape of a few of his things in the last couple years and some of them held up decently. And if the book of 11.22.63 is like the miniseries, that's probably quite good as well. I'm curious to read the Shining sequel, even though I don't like that book much.

I would have to reread that compilation "The Bachman Books" to be sure. I remember the plots of The Long Walk and The Running Man quite clearly, but not the writing quality. Partly cause I read them back when I was too young to be able to identify writing quality. My favorite book back then was Jurassic Park!! :p
 

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I remember The Cell having particularly awful dialogue between characters, especially the crap that characters would say that made other characters laugh. And the flying zombies, oh man. I'm not sure if it was actually worse than his older stuff, or if it's just that it was one of the only novels of his I read for the first time post-9th grade, but either way I thought it stunk. My guess is that it is actually worse, since I've listened to books on tape of a few of his things in the last couple years and some of them held up decently. And if the book of 11.22.63 is like the miniseries, that's probably quite good as well. I'm curious to read the Shining sequel, even though I don't like that book much.

I would have to reread that compilation "The Bachman Books" to be sure. I remember the plots of The Long Walk and The Running Man quite clearly, but not the writing quality. Partly cause I read them back when I was too young to be able to identify writing quality. My favorite book back then was Jurassic Park!! :p

Doctor Sleep?

Wasn't bad, different than anything else by him that I've read in that it has two different storylines running at the same time and eventually coming together to set up the 3rd act. I forget how it ends though, which is usually King's Achilles heel.
 

Drew

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Hey there, interested in checking out some Stephen King. I read the first book in the Dark Tower series and found it interesting but a bit psychedelic for me by the ending.
I'd definitely finish The Dark Tower. It's a great storyline (2-4 really are quite good, though the last half of the last book was, IMO, my favorite), and it's kind of cool to see King maturing as an author, since The Gunslinger was written in the 70s, a solid 20 years, I believe, before he wrote the second... and I think there was a 10 year gap after either 4 or 5 before he picked the series back up. There's a pronounced difference in the quality of writing from the start of the series to the end. Not that even by the end King is exactly highbrow, but it's cool to watch him find his voice.

Wheel of Time is excellent too - I started reading those as a kid and stuck with it untul maybe 7 or so, when finally I gave up and vowed to just reread them all after Jordan finished the series. :lol: I picked them back up a couple years ago, and while whoever finished the series for him - Sanderson, maybe? - broguht a slightly different voice to it, it worked really well. I was also surprised that while 12-year-old-me related most immediately to Rand, as an adult Mat was the character I related the most to. :lol:
 

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I'd definitely finish The Dark Tower. It's a great storyline (2-4 really are quite good, though the last half of the last book was, IMO, my favorite), and it's kind of cool to see King maturing as an author, since The Gunslinger was written in the 70s, a solid 20 years, I believe, before he wrote the second... and I think there was a 10 year gap after either 4 or 5 before he picked the series back up. There's a pronounced difference in the quality of writing from the start of the series to the end. Not that even by the end King is exactly highbrow, but it's cool to watch him find his voice.

Sadly the last couple books had also passed the point where he really needed an editor with balls big enough to tell him to cut stuff... I loved the world and the characters, but some of the stuff in there was terrible and the climax was, well, anticlimactic :lol:

Overall pretty much everything 1991 and earlier is good... after that things got a bit hit or miss IMHO. I say this as someone who was a HUGE King fan.
 

HeavyMetal4Ever

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Why bother with recommendations though? Start at the start and work your way through his material chronologically, then you won't need to ask others what's up, you will know yourself.
 

KanoraK

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Stephen King is the writer that got me into fantasy as a genre. I remember my French teacher handing me the book 'Christine' because I couldn't find an interesting book to study and it was a revelation !

I haven't read all his books, but I would recommend reading Christine, It, The Long Walk, 11/22/63 and of course Shining ! I found 11/22/63 very different, less dark than what he's used to.

I was a huge fan of the TV series 'Dead Zone' when I was a child. I read the book a few years ago...and I was very disappointed. I wouldn't recommend reading the book but watching the TV show instead.
 

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Sadly the last couple books had also passed the point where he really needed an editor with balls big enough to tell him to cut stuff... I loved the world and the characters, but some of the stuff in there was terrible and the climax was, well, anticlimactic :lol:

Overall pretty much everything 1991 and earlier is good... after that things got a bit hit or miss IMHO. I say this as someone who was a HUGE King fan.
Eh, I liked how it ended, though to be honest I could have done without basically everything about anyone other than Roland. I may be remembering the names of the parts wrong, but the afterward or epilogue after the "official" ending of the book was, while for you anticlimatic, for me really the only way it could have ended that made any sense to me, and the "official" ending itself, where the book stops and King advises you not to read the epilogue or afterward or whatever, was pretty damned epic. The first half of that book was a little bloated, though, IMO.
 


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