After graduating with a degree in English in , he tried to find a position as a teacher but had no luck at first.
King took a job in a laundry and continued to write stories in his spare time until late , when he began working as an English educator at Hampden Academy. It was that year that he also married fellow writer Tabitha Spruce.
30 Interesting Facts About Horror Author, Stephen King
In , King sold his first novel, Carrie , the tale of a tormented teen who gets revenge on her peers. The book became a huge success after it was published the following year, allowing him to devote himself to writing full time. It was later adapted for the big screen with Sissy Spacek as the title character. He came up with the alias after seeing a novel by Richard Stark on his desk actually a pseudonym used by Donald Westlake coupled with what he heard playing on his record player at the time — "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," by Bachman Turner Overdrive.
For a good portion of his career, King wrote novels and stories at a breakneck speed.
The master list of works by the Master of Horror
He published several books per year for much of the s and '90s. His compelling, thrilling tales have continued to be used as the basis of numerous films for the big and small screens. Actress Kathy Bates and actor James Caan starred in the critically and commercially successful adaptation of Misery in , with Bates winning an Oscar for her performance as the psychotic Annie Wilkes.
Four years later, The Shawshank Redemption , starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman and based on one of his stories, became another acclaimed outing with multiple Oscar nominations. King continues to create and be involved in provocative projects. Mercedes , with Finders Keepers and End of Watch rounding out the trilogy. Meanwhile, adaptations of King's works have continued to populate the big and small screens. The first season of Mr. At the very least, I thought, a genre writer as good as King would keep the scenery flying by the window.
I read another fifty pages. The story gathered a little momentum, while at the same time the cheesiness increased. Why, I wondered, had my editor friend fallen for this not very good novel? If the introduction suffers from the self-regard of a writer pondering his greatest hits, the novel itself is a step up from Christine.
It is competently made, in a way that is workmanlike, if hardly fresh or exciting. And perhaps if you are lying on a hospital bed without anything to read, a little dizzy from pain meds, and if a friend brings you this book to pass the time with and if you are able to get past the first hundred pages the pacing is, once again, off , you might have the kind of reading experience my editor friend had. Much slack is cut for the somewhat better samples of schlock. I remember recommending to others, thirty-five years ago, the early stories of Ann Beattie published in the mid-seventies mostly by The New Yorker.
They were flat and drab. We make mistakes, and we change, too, as readers, over time. I liked the title — I am a baseball fan — though I wondered how many readers diehard Red Sox fans aside picking up the book in would recognize the name Tom Gordon a. Flash Gordon, a relief pitcher who thrived in the nineties.
At times, the novel read like not very good Y. I could imagine that a young reader might conceivably find the story — a nine-year-old girl lost in the Maine woods — compelling, but the pacing was, yet again, off. My sense is that King appeals to the aggrieved adolescent, or the aggrieved nerdy adolescent, or the aggrieved nerdy adult, who believes that people can be divided into bad and good the latter would, of course, include the aggrieved adolescent or adult , a reader who would rather not consider the proposition that we are all, each of us, nice good people awash in problems and entirely capable of evil.
After all, the novel had received the highest praise from some of the more influential literary organs in America. Al wants Jake to correct the past, and specifically to intervene in the assassination of President Kennedy.
King is not one for starting a novel in medias res. It takes his hero pages to get to Dallas and over pages to get into Much of the first third of the novel involves Jake trying to alter a bit of local Maine history in , in particular, the past of that high school janitor, whose family was victimized by an evil sledgehammer-wielding father and who, fifty-three years later, endures the taunts of bullying kids.
The first pages are competently written — workmanlike — but they are plodding, too. The characters are tinny and flat, and the period detail is slathered thickly on, as if to hide some vacancy.
The Stand is an old-fashioned good-versus-evil story set in a wonderfully-realised post-apocalyptic America. Whilst in Shawshank, Andy meets and befriends Red, a man who can get anything you need. Almost thirty years later, Andy disappears, taking the secrets — and the dirty proceeds — of the corrupt warden with him. Both novella and film are beautiful, engaging works. Perhaps for this reason, it sticks clearly in my mind, a horrifying story of a man and his young son trapped in a supermarket by a monster-hiding pea-souper.
In , King produced a short novel about a young girl, Trisha, who gets lost in the woods during a family hiking trip.
Stephen King: Chronological List of Books and Stories
This, however, is little more than an excuse for King to examine the people of the town, and the relationships that make the town what it is. King is responsible for a number of non-horror novels under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, a pseudonym that was kept secret while most of these books were published in the late s the joys of the pre-internet world. It quickly becomes clear that there are huge incentives for remaining on your feet, and to keep putting one of those feet in front of the other. From the viewpoint of Ray Garrity, one of the Walkers, The Long Walk is a vision of a dystopian future that is intense and affecting.
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It deserves a wider readership and, as such, finds a place on this list. Work through the ten works in this list for a nice gentle start. For even more terrifying book recommendations, check out this episode of Book Break:.