Stephen King is perhaps one of the greatest writers of the horror genre. His unique writing style captivates audiences and this has resulted in a solid following of readers. For people who are unfamiliar, the following are some of the best Stephen King books.
Stephen King often includes aspects of himself in his characters. They often struggle with alcoholism. The Shining certainly incorporates this theme with one of the main characters, Jack Torrance. Jack is a recovering alcoholic who takes a job as a caretaker at a remote hotel. This job is helping him piece his life together after losing his job and breaking his son Danny’s arm in a drunken rage. Danny, Jack, and his wife Wendy move into the hotel for the off season. Danny is a clairvoyant, and his psychic abilities soon show him some disturbing images from the hotel, particularly from room 217. However, his power amplifies the restless spirits of the hotel. The spirit of a man who killed his family takes over Jack, and soon Danny and Wendy are fighting for their lives amid evil spirits within this isolated hotel.
This is Stephen King’s first book. It was written on an old typewriter while he and his wife Tabitha were living in a trailer. To cut down on expenses, they had the phone turned off. It was not until King received a letter from his editor that he learned the book was going to be published. Carrie is about a shy and awkward girl who is picked on at school. Her mother is unstable and obsessed with religion. When Carrie starts menstruating, it releases her telekinetic powers. She then seeks revenge on the high school kids who tormented her.
First released in 1978, Stephen King reworked the text and included some scenes that had previously been cut out. It was re-released in 1990; this edition is uncut and resembles King’s original vision for the book. This is an apocalyptic story of good versus evil. A plague has broken out, and survivors are drawn to two characters, one good and one evil. The good is represented by the character Mother Abagail. She is an old women living in a farmhouse in Nebraska. The evil is a character named Randall Flagg. This character is found in many other books by King. He is the embodiment of evil who takes pleasure in destruction and chaos. He is not entirely human, as his appearance shifts throughout these novels.
Misery is a book that centers on a writer who feels stuck in his current genera. Paul Sheldon is a popular romance author who has written a series about a character named Misery Chastain. He is fed up with the character and he concludes the series with her death. He is driving to the post office to send the manuscript of his new book to his editor when he wrecks his car. Paul is saved by a former nurse named Annie, who takes him to her home instead of a hospital. Annie is disturbingly obsessed with the Misery series. After learning that her beloved character dies, she tortures Paul and forces him to write a new book that brings Misery back from the dead.
The Dark Tower Series
This is perhaps one of King’s most extensive works. He mixes several themes including fantasy, western, and horror. It also touches on his theme of parallel worlds. Roland Deschain is the last gunslinger from Eld. This is similar to our concept of King Arther and his knights. The world is literally falling apart. War and disease have left it desolate, while even time does not consistently flow. He is searching for the Dark Tower, a mystical place that acts as a nexus to all worlds. Along the way, he battles the Man in Black. There are many ties to King’s other books, including characters, events, and locations.