“I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries.” —Stephen King
I am currently reading my 24th Stephen King novel. In addition to his novels I’ve also read his memoir On Writing, a handful of novellas, and countless short stories. I adore his work.
Right now, I should be reading: Eragon & Eldest to brush up for OWL’s Teen Trivia Night on April 23rd @ 7pm (shameless plug #1), Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to remind myself of some favorite passages for OWL’s evening book discussion on April 22nd at 7pm (shameless plug #2) and Catch 22 for a book group with some lovely ladies from work. HOWEVER, every day when I get home I look at the books arrayed on my nightstand and I reach for Needful Things.
Reading Stephen King reminds me how much I love reading. When I read one of his books I take every second of my lunch break to fit in as many pages as possible, I spurn the TV, and if the season is right I pray for snow days. I curl up in his writing as if it were a favorite comforter.
There are those who fault Stephen King for his mass appeal by calling him a hack. I imagine many readers who believe this have never opened one of his many titles. If they had, they would know that the horror, the thrills, and the gore are secondary–it’s his characters that bring his loyal readers back time and time again. Stephen King creates memorable characters who are startling in their realness (even when they’re supernatural) and it’s the colloquialisms, flaws, and occasional crassness (all things King has been criticized for) that help lend these characters their credibility.
Another facet of Stephen King’s writing is the liminal space he creates, most notably in the Dark Tower series. In the world that Stephen King has created there are places where the barrier between the earthly and the unearthly is thin, and there are characters who are attuned to this and able to move between the spaces. There is an entire mythology surrounding this, which is best left for my fellow uberfans, but let’s just say that when it comes to blurring the lines between the real and surreal, nobody does it better.
I know many of you reading may be perplexed about the horror genre, but as the master of the macabre himself says, “we make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” Horror fans are not a depraved lot, we’re just regular people who like an occasional good scare. Don’t be afraid! I promise we don’t bite. =)
Some SK Favorites:
Salem’s Lot The best vampire book I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot) this is the book that began my love affair with the King. FIC KIN
The Shining This book is incredible! It chronicles the tragic decline of Jack Torrance and his small family who are spending the winter as caretakers in a remote Colorado hotel. (FYI: The book is vastly different from the Kubrick film) FIC KIN
The Long Walk 100 boys are randomly selected to walk continuously at 4 miles an hour. After 3 warnings you are permanently removed from the game–the winner is the last man standing (or, should I say, the last boy walking). FIC KIN
Cell I heart zombies. FIC KIN
On Writing Part autobiography, part tough-love tutorial for aspiring novelists. 813.54 KIN
Who’s your author obsession? Leave your answer in the comments.
~Tricia is the youth librarian at OWL and loves reading outside, grilling, and playing catch…Hurry up Spring!
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” –Stephen King