I have always enjoyed horror books, and generelly all kind of horror theamed movies, audiodramas etc. Well, I don't know why, but I haven't read any books by Stephen King yet. Are all of his books worth reading? It's crazy he have wrote that many books, and I could imagine lots of them being really bad, like he just wrote some of those just to get some money. If all books are worth reading, well, that would keep me busy for very long time. smile what do you say?
I've also heard there are made audiodramas of some of the pobular stories, but I've never managed to find some of those...

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He is definitely worth checking out. I haven't read that many of his works, but what I've read so far was indeed well written. Especially the dark tower series is worth spending some months on... (Or at least weeks, since it's about 4000-5000 pages long...)
So yeah, I say go for it. big_smile

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Start with Nightshift. A nice collection. I also really liked the drama of The Pet Cemetery which I still consider to have been best so far, though I should probably catch up on his newest stuff which seems to be getting pretty good reviews.

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Nice, thanks a lot for your replies. Time to check what books has been translated etc. smile

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The Dark Tower is definitely worth reading. A lot of people complained about the way te series ended but I'll say without giving it away that he ended the series the only way he really could have done and kept it believable given the nature of the beast. I also liked his one true Fantasy novel, The Eyes of the Dragon, which is itself tied in to the Dark Tower universe as are many of King's books. Another excellent read is The Green Mile, which in a break with the usual Hollywood tradition was made into an impressively faithful film adaptation. I also liked Bag of Bones and Insomnia, the latter of whhich is another Dark Tower tie-in.

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Slj, almost all of King's books are worth reading. Some are better than others but I've read most of his work and have never disliked any of it.
The dark tower series is excellent.
You should definitly read It, Dreamcatcher, and insomnia. Also check out his short story collections night shift and nightmares and dreamscapes.

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Thank you very much for your replies. I'm glad you haven't spoiled any endings or something like that. smile
I got pretty much surprised that I have access to more than 50 books by Stephen King which is, epic! smile So for that reason, I'll never get bored for more than a half year when thinking about all the other things I'm doing. I think I'll start by reading The dark tower series.
I checked out Stephen King on Wikipedia, and [wow], interesting read there. Sounds like this guy really have some issues when thinking about his childhood and when he keeps writing crazy stories etc. But, who knows. smile

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I've read a lot of King's stuff, and to be honest it does vary a bit. King himself went through a period where he was a card carrying alcoholic, and while this produced some interesting stuff it also produced books that really were not as good, or at least I didn't find them so.

I've not read his short story collections accept for four past midnight, which was good in parts but not  in others (the langoliers was particularly awsome).

Myself, the best of King I've read have been it, The stand, Salem's lot, Insomnea, hearts in  atlantis and the dark tower series, though I'd advise you to read the others I mention (especially salem's lot, hearts in atlantis and insomnea), since the dark tower ties into those particularly.

Carry was enjoyable though short, and pet   cemetery and Bag of bones were okay, but not imho his best.

I actually need to read some more king myself, since after finishing the dark tower several years ago I haven't read anything else by him  sinse.

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King did write some weird stuff like Cujo. While it was good I thought it could have been much better.
Almost all King's books have ties to the Dark tower Series. I remember at one point King called the series his uberstory.
One thing I have always liked is King's unique way of writing. Like his descriptions of people like in Cell there's Mr. Speaking-in-tongues and the raggidy man. Or even in the stand there is the monstershouter.
I'm looking forward to King's new book Doctor Sleep which is the sequel to the shining.
Btw, if you enjoy King's work you should check out his son Joe Hill who also writes horror novels.

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I have never read a bad book by Stephen King. I haven't read everything he's written yet, but most of it. I will agree that some books are better than others, but none of them are bad. One book worth noting that no one has mentioned yet is Under the Dome. This summer, it has been turned into a tv series, though it doesn't exactly follow the plot of the book, since they're hoping to continue the series for several seasons. However, the book is excellent.

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I'd disagree on king not writing bad books. Myself, several of king's I find take far to long to get going or to introduce miner characters, have x rated stuff that is a little gratuatous, ie, stuck in just to be shocking and not really to serve a purpose of the over all plot, and some even have let down climaxes.

I felt this way about both gerald's game and misery,  indeed in misery I enjoyed what bits I got of the hammy, historical romances with misery as the main character more than King's actual book big_smile.

Tommy knockers was  quite a slog in some parts, what with a lot of character that  didn't seem to matter and a slow down of the over all plot, and I principly read it after seeing the sky 1 miniseries, however the ending did eventually deliver in that one albeit it took a long time to get there.

This is one reason I so admire salem's lot, that pretty much throws you  straight in! big_smile. The same can be said for the books he wrote under the  psudonim Richard backman, which  include the running man, the scifi novel that the arnald shwatzanigga film was based on, and the regulators.

I  as backman king was   experimenting with different plot construction, and it actually does work.

As regards under the dome and some of king's later stuff like cell, that is indeed what I need to have a look at.

The dark tower  I  can't recommend highly enough. I began it when I was 13, and read the other books successively as king wrote them and as I could get hold of them (the last three I even had to order from the states because the stupid rnib didn't  do them for several years). My dad and I disagree about the ending, he disliked the ending  extremely, but I myself couldn't really see another way King could've!  ended it at the finish, albeit I do think what happened to flag was sort of  disappointing, and I did rather prefer the original order of things he wrote in the first dark tower novel where Flag and walter were said to be different people and where there was supposed to be one called "the beast" above walter, and one more above that. Apparently he did rewrite the first book at one point to be a more reasonable introduction to the series, but I've not read that version.

I won't say anymore though since if anything doesn't need spoiling it's the dark tower.

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thanks for all your comments and for keeping the discussion going.
I'm quite surprised that Stephen Kings books aren't more pobular here in my country. Most of his books are translated into danish which I really like, but I haven't heard his books mentioned many times. smile Well, I'll maybe do what I can to change that. smile
I have seen Misery, the movie, which I got someone to explain what happened because of the lag of audiodescription. I found the movie quite borring, but also interesting. I think I would like the book, because I found it pretty difficult to folow what happened in the movie.

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Well I can't really imagine misery making a good film, mostly due to there only being two characters.

I'm not sure how well king would read in danish, especially since several of his books use a very specifically american manner of language and writing, heck there are a few odd elements of King's setting in the states,  particularly when he starts talking about specific american brands of things or about sports and school that are lost on me, and I'm at least reading them in a dialect of the same language.

That being said there are some truly astounding books as I said that I'd highly recommend even so, and their elements I'd imagine would show through even in Danish.

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Gerald's Game was the first book I ever read by King. I hated it mostly because it was so slow moving. It is a good story though it takes some getting used too.
The dark tower has always been one of my favorite series. It's one of those stories that will always keep you guessing.
I read a sample of doctor sleep yesterday and it was awesome. That's coming out soon I do recommend you read the shining first otherwise the story won't make any sense.
One author I forgot to mention before was John Saul. He also writes horror novels that are similar to King's novels.

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John saul I've not heard of.

if you like king's brand of horror and fantasy, though I can recommend niel gayman, indeed i just read his latest book, the ocean at the end of the lane the other day, which was rather good though not imho up to his best, Neverwhere and American gods.

Graham Masterton writes particularly good purely monster horror, as does james herbert, though I find herbert's books can vary quite a lot in quality, some are good, but many really aren't.

We've already mentioned scot sigler, though sigler I find far less interesting in his characters, since everyone is either a victim, an arrogant business or political type, or a complete hard case, though his monsters, and above all his gorey deaths are some of the most awsome I've seen.

Lastly has anyone heard of a book called the Corridor?

It was posted on podiobooks, but has since vanished from there. This is a shame since it is simply one of the best horror/fantasy novels I  know, quite up to king or gayman, indeed I'm really sorry the author (who just calls himself zan), hasn't written anything else since this is awsome!

The good news however is that the book was so exceptional (one of the best things on podiobooks, and likely one of the better novels of it's type I've ever read), that I thought it was a shame for it to vanish completely just because podiobooks had a redesign.

so, I'm hosting it Here on sendspace

Since it was freeware anyway, there's no problem with rehosting it, or posting the link  here. I'd highly recommend this one, especially if you like king or niel gayman's writing.

The plot concerns a corridor which is used to travel between different worlds, and down which some highly unpleasant creatures or forces can come, and the people called Walkers who have the ability to traverse the corridor and travel to other worlds.

The principle character is an everyday australian man called Adam who has recently lost his wife, but who is  saved from a carcrash  by a being he can't explained, a man called Harwold groon wearing a belt of shrunken heads, who tells Adam he is destined to be a Walker.

Adam doesn't believe any of this, ---- well not until the unpleasant vivisector appears to inform him that a being called the prodromos who rules over all the worlds on the corridor is looking for him, (the vivisector is particularly awsome!).

I won't  spoil anymore of the plot, but suffice it to say if you haven't read the corridor and enjoy horror/fantasy ala Steven King, I'd highly! recommend it.

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[wow], is the corridor an audiobook or an audiodrama with sounds? Interesting storry!

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It's an audio book, read by the author like most things on podiobooks, (if it were a drama I'd have let you know).

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Well, King works quite well in Danish. At least I've had no problems with his books. smile
Ooh, gonna download that audio book as soon as I'm home again. Definitely sounds interesting.

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Yes, it's my turn for Threadcromancy! big_smile.

The reason for this is that just yesterday i finished Steven King's new sequel to The Shining, Doctor sleep. While I havent' read any King for a significantly long time, having previously read through Robbin Hobb's taunyman series I wanted a break from fantasy for a while and thus fancied something set a little closer to home.

The Shining is one of King's books that I really enjoyed, despite it having so many of the hallmarks I disliked in other titles like Gerald's game and misery. Isolated setting, few to no characters.

Maybe it was the fact that in The Shining the story was as much about a family stuck with a violent alcoholic father as it was about a psychically tallented boy in a ghost filled hotel. Maybe it was that The Shining got straight into the interesting stuff without the huge rambling preamble introducing millions of characters, or the massive focus on everyone's dirty little secrets that mars some of King's other novels, (really sometimes King needs to learn some people actually don't! have violent fantasies, shady financial dealing or illicit affairs). whatever it was, I really enjoyed the Shining and was looking forward to the sequel.

Beware! spoilage for doctor sleep below, if you haven't read the book and don't want it spoiled, go and jump in a lake rather than reading anymore of this post!

Generally i liked Doctor Sleep, even though this was distinctly less a horror novel and far more a psychic fantasy, although it had a few horror like sequences. While I initially didn't think much of Dam torance being portrayed as yet another alcoholic, just like Gardener from The Tommyknockers, I did appreciate the fact that most of the book was about Dan at a recovered state, indeed I like the way you see him at the very bottom of his alcoholic binge, then see him start to work his way out and most of the book is about his life and how he stays that way.

I also liked the initial idea of the antagonists. It would have been far too easy for King to have yet more ghosts, but a group of psychic mind vampires riding around in camper vans, (the piratical names were also genius).

My only real problem with them is I would've liked a little more background on where they had been in the past, especially those like Rose the Hat, jimmy Numbers and Crow daddy who were major characterws in their own right. By making his antagonists essentially a bunch of immortal, but still very human characters who just happened! to need to torture kids to death to survive, King could've had a really interesting look at their pasts, especially how they existed through time. He implies some were thousands of years old, but doesn't really say much else, which distinctly spoiled the menace of several villains.

Also, nasty as it sounds a little more idea of the scale of their child murderings would've been good, since from the book while it was implied! that they did in several kids a year there was no clear scale. not that I actually wanted to read many long and protracted descriptions of kids being slowly cut to peaces (one was enough, and I admire King's restraint even with that one), at least a few more general hints would've been good, perhaps in conversational remniscences.

My real problem with the book however wwas with Abra. Basically, the second half of the book degenerated into Dan and half the cast running around to save her, and yet Abra herself really felt a thin character. She was 12, and pretty, and blonde, and did well at school and had friends, but that was about it. King is quite capable of writing fully fleshed out teenaged girls, look at Susan from Wizard and Glass, or Bev from It, yet Abra just felt like a lot of elements chucked together, indeed her chief defining feature was her psychic abilities, which is always bad for a character.

Even Steven King's attempt! to tie her to modern popular culture, by saying that she wanted to be Danarres in the Game of Thrones books was something of a backfire, (since frankly no parents as protective and responsable as Abra's should be letting their 12 year old kids read Game of Thrones).

In general about the only thing I liked about Abra was the way she psychically fought off the attacks of the true knot, and that more due to King's writing than to her as a character. This also made the end, implying that she actually inherretted Dan's temper rather flat, since how did that temper actually contrast with the rest of her personality? well not much since she didn't have one!

Maybe I've been spoilt, since recently I've read both the Liveship Traders and Game of Thrones, all of which have several adolescent female characters who are distinctly and very much their own people, (indeed how I went from hating Malta in Liveship traders as an annoying self obsessed exhibitionist, to actually cheering for her as she grew up was fantastic), but frankly I need a little more than "this is a pretty girl" to make me want to follow a character as much as I followed Abra.

In a lot of ways, I rather wish Dan had stayed the focus of the story, and indeed I felt that King's "look at this girl and her awsome psychicness" rather upstaged Dan and his story of redemption a bit too much, ---- particularly considdering how Five year old Dan in the shining had only slowly immerged as a hero, and wasn't even the protagonist of most of the book.

In general I did Enjoy Doctor sleep, the pacing, some of the casual ideas about the True Knot, but in a lot of ways it feels an afterthought, with far too many elements not expanded enough. Indeed, I will now say something I never thought I would! say about a Steven King novel, ---- it needed to be longer, with more! time spent on it's characters, a fully realized idea of Abra, and Dan made a bit more than just side kick to mind blast girl.

So, there are some thoughts on Doctor Sleep. Anyone else read it?

it has actually rekindled some of my interest in King and I might well have a look at some more of his work, indeed I would like to give Misery another chance, although the next thing I have lined up is Stealheart by Brandon Sanderson, ---- Superheroes aren't usually my thing but well, it's sanderson! big_smile.

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I think The shining is the next book I'll read, because I've heard so much great things about it. the danish translation for the books name is damn weird. It's "The shining boy." Lol.

I have read the first book in the tower series, and I really like the story, but I think the book is too long. I might continue the series later on, but currenly I want to read books where the story progresses quicker.
I have also read Pulse which is a damn awesome book. I really like the story, and I can't recommend this book enough. There were a few things I didn't liked in the book, but I really enjoyed reading this awesome horror story.

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I would recommend The Shining, one of his  most solid early books, and you can also go on and read Doctor Sleep afterwards too.

I don't know Danish, but I do wonder if the title got the change because it wouldn't work grammatically. In English, you can legitimately use a verb as a nown to indicate a state of that verb. The most common of these is the term "A wedding" which is obviously from the verb "to wed" ie, to get married. It's also common in English to refer to "the washing" ie, a stack of laundry, or "the shopping" ie, what is bought from shops. For titles this technique is used often for especially mysterious titles where the word doesn't quite explain the concept.

For example, there is a very good Doctor Who audio story called "the suffering" which not only refers to an alien influence psychically projecting waves of anger and suffering, but also to the Sufferagette movement of the late 19th century, where women campaigned, (often enduring extreme misstreatment), for the right to vote.

Thus the title "the shining" refers directly to the psychic abilities of the boy in the story, but makes them quite mysterious.

I'm not sure if this replacement of verb would work in other languages. For example, I know given the structure of Italian or Spanish a title like "the shining" would translate most closely to "to shine!" which would be completely different (sounds like something from the Soul blade song!), big_smile.

Still, whatever it's called it was a good book.

Regarding Dark tower, well I'd actually advise you read the second book before making a complete decision on the series. king himself admits the first isn't a good introduction, and I do agree it's far too long winded. The second has much more action and weerdness, and also introduces the major characters of the series beside Rowland, who are a lot more lively and give a very different perspective on things.

I'm not sure what you mean by "pulse" unless this is another case of changed titles, ---- maybe it was the book steven king called cell? since I know that involves a pulse from mobile phones that turns people into zombies.

Then again, the title "cell" doesn't really fit in England either, since the term it comes from "celula phone" is a purely American one. over here they'd just be called Mobile phones, and I confess I never really understand the logic of the term "celula" since it sounds more like something biological big_smile.

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Well I just finished doctor sleep last week and yes I think it did need to be longer. One of the things I thought was funny about that book was that it was very similar to King's earlier book Joyland. Maybe this is because I read them so closed together but in joyland all the people have carnival names like Jonesy and the people who go there are called rubes. I wonder if it's because joyland and doctor sleep were written so closed together?
I did like the story a lot there were definitly twists I didn't expect. I do wish the true knot had more of a back story. King hints about there past riding around in wagons in earlier centuries.
I do like the fact that at the end of the story most of the true knot are out there somewhere. Also, the fact of a psychic turn table was really cool.
I loved the part of the book where Rose was trying to break into Abra's mind and got the file cabinet drawer slammed on her hand.
I think the book pulse must be cell because that's what the problems with the cell phones were called.

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23 (edited by AlexN94 2013-10-09 08:24:05)

"Puls"is indeed the Danish title for "Cell". And yeah, pretty cool book. I should read that again.
"The shining" would in Danish be translated to "den skinnende", which means... Well... The shining. big_smile A more acurate translation on its Danish title though would be "the boy who shone" ("Drengen der skinnede"). I'm not sure if it's got other titles in English, but here it has at least two. Different translations, I guess. The other one is "Ondskabens hotel" which would be directly translated to "The evil's hotel". I kinda like that one better. Hehe.

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24 (edited by SLJ 2013-10-09 09:20:39)

Dark and Alex: Thanks for your comments.
Yes, this is indeed the book called Cell I was mentioning. I don't remember where, but I read somewhere that the english translation was pulse. Lol.
thanks for the comment about the dark tower series. I'll consider that, and also Doctor Sleep if I can figure out what weird translation this title has gone through. smile
alex: Did you know that Ondskabens hotel is not the actual book but the title from the movie which was released in 2000 I think? A newer book called Ondskabens hotel was released around the same time as the movie, but I don't know the differences between those books. It's just weird and confusing that an newer book was released with the same story but a totally different title, and the movie also got released by this new title. smile
Oh by the way, Dark: I think you're right regarding to the different languages. It's just annoying the title of books are translated that differently, so you don't have any idea about what the original title is.
Edit: Doctor sleep hasn't been translated to danish yet, so if I enjoy reading The shining, I might read Doctor sleep in english. big_smile

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Well that is weerd about the titles, especially if "the shining" would be gramatical in Danish. I suspect the thing about "evil's hotel" though was what the film title was translated as, this has happened before, look at the way the film version of the first Harry Potter book was still called "Sorcerer's stone" in America as was the book published afterwards.

Beware! further doctor sleep spoilage below!

Guitarman , I do agree completely on the psychic turn table being cool, indeed the psychic duel stuff was really rather awsome, I just wish there was a bit more to Abra than that. With the True Knot still being out there though i don't know, since only 15 of them actually left, and they did it in fairly isolated couples, with the implication that either they would die of the measles, or that they couldn't kill enough kids on their own to survive, still it might be interesting if more of them did show up.

I've not read Joyland so can't say for certain on similarities, but I have noticed King has reused ideas in the past, for example several have featured alcoholics, and writers, and several more have featured people wandering the highways of America as pennyless drifters doing day work, either good characters on hard times, salem's lot, or bad characters looking to do nasty stuff, like The stand.

I've also noticed King has a thing about tough old retired naighbors who end up as the main characters' side kick, jud from pet cemetory, or the sherrif from the Castlerock books, and indeed Dick Halloran in the Original Shining.

I suppose though any writer has ideas or tropes they like to repeat somewhat, especially when they have such a large catalogue of work to go on, heck, I've just finished my third Robin Hobb series and I've noticed she has a bit of a thing about duty bound overbearing fathers, or on the other extreme amazingly tough old ladies who prove themselves more than worthy of taking charge when the time arises.

And lets not even start! with different character tropes in the wheel of time :d

Interestingly enough, I'm now reading stealheart by brandon sanderson, and it's amazing how many similarities that book bares to his first Mistborn novel.

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