I refused to read Stephen King for years because I don’t do horror. However, I love the way he writes about writing. And it was because of that love that I finally gave his actual novels a try. I’m glad I did, because while horror still isn’t my genre, I ended up really enjoying the books I read.
Here are three of my favorite books of his, which I would recommend to just about anyone:
We studied the opening page of this book in my novel writing class in college, and that alone was enough to get me to want to read the book. I loved the way the opening chase was the most slow-paced thing in the world—a man and his daughter walking along the sidewalk as quickly as they could, and a sinister car slowly crawling up the road behind them—but it was still instantly tense.
I pretty much devoured Firestarter in one day. I had been expecting horror, but what I got was more along the lines of a science fiction thriller. The whole thing was about the extraordinary powers people had been given thanks to a scientific experiment, and how desperate one man was to keep his daughter from falling into their hands. For people who have never read King before, I would say Firestarter is a good place to start.
The third book in King’s Dark Tower series, this one is also my favorite of said series. I love both the storylines in it: the first one about getting Jake back into the ka-tet, and the second about their first real adventure as a group. The relationship that built between Roland, Jake, Eddie, and Susannah (and Oy!) was such a big part of why I loved the Dark Tower books, and this book is where that relationship started.
The only downside? Make sure you have book four (Wizard and Glass) on hand, because The Waste Lands ends on a hell of a cliffhanger.
Remember how I said I love when King writes about writing? On Writing is my favorite book of his and one of my absolute favorite books about writing. I’ve read it something like five or six times.
It’s not so much for the writing advice (although that’s definitely good), but rather for his “curriculum vitae,” the autobiography that fills the first half of the book. Here you see how one writer—one absurdly successful writer—was molded, the ups and downs of his life and how those influenced his writing. It’s one of the most inspirational writing books I’ve ever read, and I love going back and rereading it.
Have you read any of Stephen King’s books? What are your favorites? Are you a fan of the Dark Tower series?
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