A couple of years ago, I read my first Stephen King story, Elevation. It’s a short novella and I loved it. It was beautiful and the characters were delicately complex – I promised myself then that I would read more Stephen King.
Well, it’s been two years and I’m yet to fulfil that promise! So, in an effort to organise myself and get at least one King book read this year, I’ve created a list of King’s books that I want to read first. This list is an amalgamation of suggested reading from his fans and books that I’m interested in anyway.
This list is in no particular order, but I have categorised them in a way that makes sense to me!
A Bit of Old, and a Bit of New
Carrie and The Institute
Carrie was King’s first book and I always enjoy reading a writer’s first published work. I’ve seen both films, so I know that I’ll like the story – that makes it a safe pick. It’s also not too long, so I’d burn through it pretty quickly.
The Institute is one of King’s most recent books. It would be fun to compare the two, I think. Also, the story sounds really interesting so I think it’s something I can really sink my teeth into. It doesn’t have the overwhelming love that a lot of his books do, but I’ll take my chances.
A Fantasy Series
The Dark Tower series
This is cheating a little for this list, but I wanted to add it anyway. I’m a big fantasy reader, so it makes sense that I would be drawn to King’s fantasy series. I’ve always seen these books in the library or the bookshop, but I never picked them up.
The Gunslinger is the first book in this series and it’s quite short, so I think it’ll be a good place to begin.
Groups of People Who are a Bit Screwed
Under the Dome and The Mist
For both of these books, I have watched the TV shows and I loved them. I think The Mist is a novella, or even a short story, so I’d definitely begin with that out of the two. I love stories that have groups of different people shoved together and forced to deal with a threat – for example, I love The Walking Dead graphic novels!
I have wanted to read Under the Dome ever since the tv series ended as I was obsessed with it for a while, but I wanted to leave it long enough to have forgotten parts or most of the story. I think it’s been long enough now! I know it’s a big book, but I’ve read Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive, so I think I’ll manage!
It and ‘Salem’s Lot
These are two books that I know very little about (despite watching the original film adaptation of It when I was 16) other than one has a killer-clown, and the other is about vampires.
I love a good horror story, and these two are often talked about a lot when it comes to the supernatural and King.
The Stand, The Shining, and Misery.
There are a lot of lists that rank Stephen King’s books, but there are only three that I think I want to read before the others.
The Stand is often said to be King’s best book, and as I can’t help but love a book that is both dystopian (or is it apocalyptic? – let me know in the comments please!) and massive, I was immediately drawn to this story. It’s got a whole range of characters and apparently, I won’t be able to do anything other than read it once I start, so I couldn’t ask for a better selling point!
The adaptation for The Shining is one of my favourite films, so I’m not sure why I haven’t read the book yet. I love the film’s character work and the story is just so good! So, I know that I have to read this book eventually.
And finally, Misery. I have heard a lot about this book – primarily from people talking about the film. I know it’s about a writer who essentially gets kidnapped or something by an obsessive fan and that King wrote it after getting horrific fan-reviews and reactions to another of his books, so I’m fascinated by what this story has to offer. I can see King plugging a lot of things that take the piss out of those people who thought their opinions meant that they could be horrific to the writer!
That’s my list! If you have read any of these books and think I ought to know something about them before picking them up, please let me know in the comments. Also let me know if there are any stories you think I am missing out on – I’m essentially clueless about Stephen King’s books, so I’d welcome any clues!