31 Days of Ghosts: Stephen King
It wouldn’t be Halloween without telling a tale about the author considered the King of Horror.
In truth, this is my own experiences being a Stephen King fan. For which from a period of 1989 to 1995 I was a complete nut about. I collected and read everything I could get my hands on written by Stephen King. That came to an end when I finally picked up the paperback release of Gerald’s Game, which was more a suspense thriller than a horror novel.
I even read the Bachman series of books (admittedly, when I was 13 I believed that Richard Bachman and Randy Bachman of The Guess Who and BTO were the same person). They were good, but decidedly a different genre than what I was used to from King. And Running Man, completely different than the movie, which brought out a whole slew of interesting twists. As far as I’m concerned the book far exceeded the movie.
My introduction to Stephen King came with Salem’s Lot, and didn’t end there. I’d even pick up periodicals that had short stories written by King, or editorials or interviews done with King (including one in Playboy which I have a hard time explaining I picked it up for the King interview).
The novels I remember with fondness from King were The Stand, Tommy Knockers, the Four Past Midnight with four short novellas, It, Cujo, Salen’s Lot, Pet Cemetery, Misery (most likely the best of the lot), and the Lawnmower Man. It was a little disappointing seeing the movie versions of each one, none of them coming up to the level I had imagined. Which is most likely the case back in the day. Books were often cut down quite a bit, thinking that the viewing audience wouldn’t sit for too long to watch a movie. After all, can you imagine if Harry Potter were done in the 80′s, what kind of a movie series we’d have?
Stephen King also wrote the series which helped inspire my own work. That being the Dark Tower series. I first read it in novel form, and now Marvel Comics has done a series of graphic novels based on that world King created. An interesting world of magic and a main character who was a gunslinger.
For me, anytime someone mentions horror, true horror fiction, the first that always comes to my mind is Stephen King.