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#1 Rush!

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 06:57 PM

My Mom is a huge fan of King's work & I've been thinking about checking his stuff out. Now, I'm kind of obsessive-compulsive with going in chronological order, so should I start with Carrie and just go on from there? Or does it really matter at all? If it doesn't, I'd like to just start with Carrie and move on from there. Also, I'm only a Sophomore in High School right now, will I be able to understand his books, are there a lot of confusing words/concepts that I won't understand? King's style of suspense/horror writing seems to be great for me. So what are your guys' recommendations?

Also, should I read the book first and THEN see the movie? Or vice/versa?



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#2 GeddyRulz

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 07:28 PM

It really doesn't matter which way you attack them, or whether you've already seen the movie(s).  And as a high school soph, you should have no problem reading.

If you're really truly anal about the chronological thing, I believe they go:
Carrie
Salem's Lot
The Shining
The Stand

That should get you started.



#3 deadwing2112

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 08:06 PM

Start with Desperation.  

#4 ladirushfan80

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 07:02 AM

the books are always better than the movies, so definately read the books first!!!
Misery is one of my all time favorites....

#5 DonnaWanna

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:28 AM

QUOTE (deadwing2112 @ Sep 26 2006, 09:06 PM)
Start with Desperation.

my all time fav king book  yes.gif


#6 treeduck

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 11:50 AM

His 70s stuff is his best work...

A lot of stuff from the 80s is cool too

Needful Things and Desperation are good...

The Dark Tower series is worth following too...

I notice something about King's writing though from the 90s onward...

King was always known for his rich underlying subplots with feuding folks and salacious secrets etc, which really enriched his work and fleshed out the main story. By Needful Things though he had no main story and was relying solely on those subplots, those feuding folks were all he had left... With Insomnia he stretched one subplot (the abortion feud/demonstration) and made it last the whole book like it was the only idea he had left... That would have been a minor subplot that was dealt with by page 165 of the 600 page novel in the old days...

So what I'm saying is by and large King used to be good but he burned out along the way somewhere...

#7 madra sneachta

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:36 PM

The Stand remains my favourite King book, but I must confess a recurring problem I have with King is his endings can be weak.

This was underlined for me again this year when I read Cell.

To the list of recommended reading, I'd add

It
Different Seasons (Four novellas, three of thenm filmed, must be a record)
Dolores Claiborne
Hearts In Atlantis
The Dark Half
The Bachman Books (Particularly The Long Walk)



#8 GeddyRulz

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 02:10 PM

QUOTE (madra sneachta @ Sep 27 2006, 01:36 PM)
The Stand remains my favourite King book, but I must confess a recurring problem I have with King is his endings can be weak.

This was underlined for me again this year when I read Cell.

To the list of recommended reading, I'd add

It
Different Seasons (Four novellas, three of thenm filmed, must be a record)
Dolores Claiborne
Hearts In Atlantis
The Dark Half
The Bachman Books (Particularly The Long Walk)

I think "The Dark Half" is a perfect example of those "weak endings" you speak of.  It builds and builds and then... a cliche Hollywood ending.  The premise was weak to begin with:  an author's nom-de-plume comes to life and tries to overtake him.  That's the kind of thing that might happen in a comic book, but King novels should be better than that.

My faves:
The Stand
Pet Sematary
The Dead Zone
Misery

#9 treeduck

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 03:26 PM

QUOTE (GeddyRulz @ Sep 27 2006, 02:10 PM)
QUOTE (madra sneachta @ Sep 27 2006, 01:36 PM)
The Stand remains my favourite King book, but I must confess a recurring problem I have with King is his endings can be weak.

This was underlined for me again this year when I read Cell.

To the list of recommended reading, I'd add

It
Different Seasons (Four novellas, three of thenm filmed, must be a record)
Dolores Claiborne
Hearts In Atlantis
The Dark Half
The Bachman Books (Particularly The Long Walk)

I think "The Dark Half" is a perfect example of those "weak endings" you speak of.  It builds and builds and then... a cliche Hollywood ending.  The premise was weak to begin with:  an author's nom-de-plume comes to life and tries to overtake him.  That's the kind of thing that might happen in a comic book, but King novels should be better than that.

My faves:
The Stand
Pet Sematary
The Dead Zone
Misery

It's a weak idea GR altogether...a guy haunted by his own pseudonym?? it's not just weak it's daft. Somehow King crafted an exciting book out of it because he's good but if you start with a weak idea there's a good chance you're gonna finish weak...

The Stand is a good read, for the first half, but once all the disperate survivors found each other it went right downhill. The characters all got a little too comfortable with everything and were more than a little annoying. In the end I was rooting for Harold and Flagg. But the villains turned out to be sheep in wolves clothing defeated by hope and desperation to survive created by the author's own sentimentality for the protagonists. I just didn't believe how this evil being that had been built up as such a bad ass over hundreds of pages then turned out to be such a damp squib.

"It" was a little like that, this all-powerful being defeated by a group of burnt-out self proclaimed losers by means of a gang bang?? Ludicrous...

It was really good most of the way through though, just a ridiculously disappointing ending...

#10 Digital Man

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:04 PM

The only benefit to reading the books in order is that he will reference something from another one of his books when giving the history of an area or background on a character in later books.

The ending of IT was more than a "gangbang".  Maybe it was the love all the kids felt for Bev & each other. They gave of themselves to each other.  Bev gave to all the boys, each of the boys was able to put aside their own feelings and share Bev with the others.  THAT is what drove the monster away, and it wasn't killed or they would not have had to come back to Derry as adults.

The Cell did have a horrible ending, or maybe non-ending is better. wink.gif


#11 treeduck

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:21 PM

QUOTE (Digital Man @ Sep 27 2006, 04:04 PM)
The only benefit to reading the books in order is that he will reference something from another one of his books when giving the history of an area or background on a character in later books.

The ending of IT was more than a "gangbang".  Maybe it was the love all the kids felt for Bev & each other. They gave of themselves to each other.  Bev gave to all the boys, each of the boys was able to put aside their own feelings and share Bev with the others.  THAT is what drove the monster away, and it wasn't killed or they would not have had to come back to Derry as adults.

The Cell did have a horrible ending, or maybe non-ending is better. wink.gif

Yeah "gangbang" was a little too simplistic and dismissive but you have to admit it's a disappointing and lame way to end the reign of terror of a creature that had supposedly ruled over the area for centuries albeit in 30 year cycles...  

#12 GeddyRulz

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:22 PM

QUOTE
The Stand is a good read, for the first half, but once all the disperate survivors found each other it went right downhill. The characters all got a little too comfortable with everything and were more than a little annoying. In the end I was rooting for Harold and Flagg. But the villains turned out to be sheep in wolves clothing defeated by hope and desperation to survive created by the author's own sentimentality for the protagonists. I just didn't believe how this evil being that had been built up as such a bad ass over hundreds of pages then turned out to be such a damp squib.


I think you're being hard on "The Stand."  If anything, the second half was better than the first, in my opinion.  The first half was just the death of Earth's population to a "super flu," and the handful of survivors having bad dreams as they travel to Boulder (the "good" guys) or Las Vegas (the "bad" guys).  The second half was more dynamic - the relationships between characters, the infiltration of Flagg's city by the three "Scouts" (the Judge, Tom Cullen, and Dana), and the heroes' final "stand."  As the tagline to the mini-series says, "The end of the world was just the beginning."  The real "stand" between good and evil is in the second half.

And Flagg was a "damp squib" all along, posing as a greater threat than he was.   That was the point - "the devil" isn't the threat he's cracked-up to be, though he's still a formidable opponent.  Flagg was called out on this by the arthritic old man, Glen Bateman:

"You're nothing!" Glen said, wiping his streaming eyes and still chuckling. "Oh pardon me...it's just that we were all so frightened...we made such a business out of you...I'm laughing as much at our own foolishness as at your regrettable lack of substance..."'

Edited by GeddyRulz, 27 September 2006 - 04:30 PM.


#13 treeduck

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:50 PM

QUOTE (GeddyRulz @ Sep 27 2006, 04:22 PM)
QUOTE
The Stand is a good read, for the first half, but once all the disperate survivors found each other it went right downhill. The characters all got a little too comfortable with everything and were more than a little annoying. In the end I was rooting for Harold and Flagg. But the villains turned out to be sheep in wolves clothing defeated by hope and desperation to survive created by the author's own sentimentality for the protagonists. I just didn't believe how this evil being that had been built up as such a bad ass over hundreds of pages then turned out to be such a damp squib.


I think you're being hard on "The Stand."  If anything, the second half was better than the first, in my opinion.  The first half was just the death of Earth's population to a "super flu," and the handful of survivors having bad dreams as they travel to Boulder (the "good" guys) or Las Vegas (the "bad" guys).  The second half was more dynamic - the relationships between characters, the infiltration of Flagg's city by the three "Scouts" (the Judge, Tom Cullen, and Dana), and the heroes' final "stand."  As the tagline to the mini-series says, "The end of the world was just the beginning."  The real "stand" between good and evil is in the second half.

And Flagg was a "damp squib" all along, posing as a greater threat than he was.   That was the point - "the devil" isn't the threat he's cracked-up to be, though he's still a formidable opponent.  Flagg was called out on this by the arthritic old man, Glen Bateman:

"You're nothing!" Glen said, wiping his streaming eyes and still chuckling. "Oh pardon me...it's just that we were all so frightened...we made such a business out of you...I'm laughing as much at our own foolishness as at your regrettable lack of substance..."'

I enjoyed the unexpurgated version more, what about that for a character saved from the cutting room floor so to speak? THE KID!! "Don't tell me I'll tell you!!"

#14 treeduck

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:57 PM

QUOTE (GeddyRulz @ Sep 27 2006, 04:22 PM)
QUOTE
The Stand is a good read, for the first half, but once all the disperate survivors found each other it went right downhill. The characters all got a little too comfortable with everything and were more than a little annoying. In the end I was rooting for Harold and Flagg. But the villains turned out to be sheep in wolves clothing defeated by hope and desperation to survive created by the author's own sentimentality for the protagonists. I just didn't believe how this evil being that had been built up as such a bad ass over hundreds of pages then turned out to be such a damp squib.


I think you're being hard on "The Stand."  If anything, the second half was better than the first, in my opinion.  The first half was just the death of Earth's population to a "super flu," and the handful of survivors having bad dreams as they travel to Boulder (the "good" guys) or Las Vegas (the "bad" guys).  The second half was more dynamic - the relationships between characters, the infiltration of Flagg's city by the three "Scouts" (the Judge, Tom Cullen, and Dana), and the heroes' final "stand."  As the tagline to the mini-series says, "The end of the world was just the beginning."  The real "stand" between good and evil is in the second half.

And Flagg was a "damp squib" all along, posing as a greater threat than he was.   That was the point - "the devil" isn't the threat he's cracked-up to be, though he's still a formidable opponent.  Flagg was called out on this by the arthritic old man, Glen Bateman:

"You're nothing!" Glen said, wiping his streaming eyes and still chuckling. "Oh pardon me...it's just that we were all so frightened...we made such a business out of you...I'm laughing as much at our own foolishness as at your regrettable lack of substance..."'

I enjoyed their struggle to find each other in the first half of the book more, the communal love in afterwards left me cold and I really did start to root for Harold and Flagg... I think I expected more from the novel...

I never felt Barlow from Salem's Lot was a damp squib he was a perfect bad guy and was dealt with in a wholely satisfying way, ie is wasn't a cakewalk... Barlow scared the shit out of me and that's what you want from a horror villain...

#15 treeduck

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 07:07 PM

Actually speaking of King I meant to buy/borrow this volume this year...

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With two new stories and updated text, this definitive illustrated edition of "Salem's Lot" contains two new stories relating to the novel and updated text throughout. Upon its initial publication in 1975, "Salem's Lot", with its 'intended echoes of Dracula'. was recognized as a landmark work. The novel has sold millions of copies in various editions. Now, with the addition of fifty pages of material deleted from the 1975 manuscript as well as material that has since been modified by King, an introduction by him, and two short stories related to the events of the novel, this edition represents the text as the author envisioned it. It also features lavishly creepy photographs by acclaimed photographer Jerry Uelsmann, printed interior endpapers, and a stunning page design.

user posted image

#16 Rush!

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 09:01 PM

I've been checking out King at numerous websites, this sounds like some great material here. I will probably start with Carrie and move on from there. Firestarter and Cujo sound very good particularly, as well as the main plot for The Stand. How long are his books on average?

#17 treeduck

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 09:20 PM

Ok here's my full assessment:

Great King books:-

Salem's Lot
The Shining
Nightshift
The Dead Zone
The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three
The Dark tower IV: Wizard and Glass

Great King books with poor endings/second halfs (my complaints don't ruin the my overall love of the book):-

The Stand
It

Nearly great King Books:-

Misery
Desperation
The Regulators
Thinner
The Tommyknockers

Good King books:-

Rage
The Long Walk
Firestarter
The Talisman
Christine
Different Seasons
Skeleton Crew
The Running Man
Four Past Midnight
The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands

King books with a weak idea that turned into a very good book because of King's ability to write something interesting about almost anything:-

The Dark Half
Gerald's Game
Needful Things

Humdrum king books:-

Carrie
Cujo
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
Pet Semetary
The Eyes of the Dragon
Delores Claibourne

King books that suck ass:-

Insomnia
Rose Madder
The Green Mile
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Bag of Bones
Hearts in Atlantis

Books I never got around to:-

Cycle of the Werewolf
My Pretty Pony

Books I've yet to read that sound good:-

Black House
The Dark Tower V: The Wolves of the Calla
The Dark tower VI: Song of Susannah
The dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower
The Colorado Kid

Books I've yet to read that sound like they suck ass-

The New Leiutenant's Rap
Dreamcatcher
From a Buick 8
Everything's Eventual
Cell
Lisey's Story

#18 treeduck

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 09:22 PM

QUOTE (Rush! @ Sep 28 2006, 09:01 PM)
I've been checking out King at numerous websites, this sounds like some great material here. I will probably start with Carrie and move on from there. Firestarter and Cujo sound very good particularly, as well as the main plot for The Stand. How long are his books on average?

They go from 200-1200 pages

Carrie is on the short end , It and The expanded version of The Stand are the huge long ones...

#19 Rush!

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 07:55 PM

A little late, thanks guys for the replies & recommendations. I'll start with Carrie. smile.gif

#20 Rush!

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 07:56 PM

QUOTE (treeduck @ Sep 28 2006, 09:22 PM)
They go from 200-1200 pages

Carrie is on the short end , It and The expanded version of The Stand are the huge long ones...

Yes, my Mom told me that The Stand & It were the longest ones that she's read. I believe she has the "Uncut and Expanded" version of The Stand.  




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