Happy Birthday Stephen King: 7 Books by the King of Horror You Cannot Miss
People think that I must be a very strange person. This is not correct. I have the heart of a small boy. It is in a glass jar on my desk. -- Stephen King.
Considered to be the King of Horror by the literary community and fans across the world, legendary author Stephen King, who was born on September 21, 1947, has written over 61 novels, more than 200 short stories and has sold more than 350 million copies of his works.
A recipient of the Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, and British Fantasy Society Awards, King's work has often been considered as an exemplar of modern horror fiction and that his stories always show a contest between what is normal and what is perceived as abnormal with the former being reinstated and affirmed in the end.
As the author turns 72, here’s looking at 7 books/ series by Stephen King one must read:
Carrie (1974): The epistolary horror novel, which was King's first to be actually published, revolves around the titular character, a misfit bullied girl who discovered that she had telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who tormented her. The book, gory in parts and psychologically disturbing in others -- especially with Carrie's relationship with her mother -- has often been described by King himself as being raw and horrifying. The book is one of the most banned books in US schools till date.
The Shining (1977): King's third novel centres on the life of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of the historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. His family accompanies him to the job, but the supernatural forces in the hotel take over Jack's sanity, leaving his wife and son in incredible danger. The novel was followed by a sequel, Doctor Sleep, published in 2013.
The Stand (1978): A post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel, it presents a detailed vision of the total breakdown of society after the accidental release of a strain of influenza that had been modified for biological warfare. The influenza killed off over 99% of the world's population.
Cujo (1981): The novel, which won King the British Fantasy Award in 1982, is about a rabid Saint Bernard who driven to violence by the virus goes on a rampage trying to kill its young owner and her mum. The novel follows as the protagonists Donna and Tad are stuck in a broken car with their dog Cujo attacking them as the interior of which becomes increasingly hot in the sun. The novel charts their journey as they try to escape sure death from the rabid dog.
It (1986): One of King's most popular novels, the novel follows seven children as they are terrorized by an evil entity 'It' who primarily appears in the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1987 and has also been adapted into a 1990 two-part miniseries directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, a 1998 television series directed by Glen Baretto & Ankush Mohla, and into a two-part film duology directed by Andy Muschietti.
Lisey's Story (2006): One of Kings' favourite novels, according to the author himself, the book is about Lisey Landon, the widow of a famous and wildly successful novelist, Scott Landon and has two narratives, Lisey's story in the present, and the story of her dead husband's life, as remembered by her.
The Dark Tower Series: Started in the late 1970s, it is a series of interconnected novels about a lone gunslinger Roland who pursues the "Man in Black" in an alternate-reality universe. It is a series of eight books and one short story and incorporate themes from multiple genres, including dark fantasy, science fantasy, horror, and Western. Interestingly, the series was chiefly inspired by the poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" by Robert Browning.
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