[–] srgmpdns 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

Short, standalone: Pet Sematary.

[–] deejf 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

People either love or hate that one. No in-between, for some reason.

[–] deejf 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

In my opinion, King is very good, but has never written a masterpiece because he has, from early on, been allowed to indulge himself in all of his quirks. Then again, it's hard to argue with his success.

Possibly the closest he gets to a perfect book is Misery.

'Salem's Lot and The Shining are both excellent, in different ways, and avoid the bloat that his '80s books tended toward (and arguably the bulk of his corpus tends toward).

The Dead Zone has its defects, but it's also the best-plotted and structured of his books, I think.

As far as his later books, Bag of Bones was a really interesting read, but the ghost story was the least interesting part about it. In fact, it had me wondering more than once "Wait, did he ever establish this bit of information he's just assuming the reader knows?" That said, it's a good read and probably important to factor into any consideration of his writing.

And it occurs to me, I do know what his best book is: On Writing. It's part how-to manual, part confessional, and thoroughly and totally worthwhile for anyone interested in writing, King's work, or both.

[–] ardvarcus 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I've read King's On Writing but I could never see what the fuss was about. It's a good book, sure, but it's not that good.

[–] deejf 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I think it was how he took the how-to format and made it into a brutally honest memoir, so that you could see not only the writing, but how his life was tied into it.

[–] MyNameIsMud [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I have a few of those so I'll put them to the top of the list as I try to make a dent in this pile I've acquired.

[–] Thor_McStuffins 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Stephen King is a descriptive writer not a story teller. His early stuff and short stories where good before he got big. The first half of the book is always just describing the town (and it is usually always the same town). The guy can put 5 chapters into the description of a mole on someone nose. Then the story is rushed through or goes stagnate. Anyone can write a novel when 2/3's of it are just description. That being said the only two I ever really liked and all of his books are a grind. Where "Salems Lot" and "Desperation" Then again I read Stephen King from when I was 13 to 16 then I found out what a good book was.

[–] ilikeskittles 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

I liked the Dark Tower series...until the last book. I felt like he got bored with it and just phoned the last one in.

[–] Project2501 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Look at the timing when all the books were released, and when he nearly died due to an errant vehicle. King felt the rush of mortality, and was face to face that his epic could end up unfinished. In my mind, it was everything after the Magnificent Seven tribute that was pretty much garbage, a lot due to some of his choices to get the plot moving towards any type of conclusion. Why I liked The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole more then the actual ending for the books, because it wasn't rushed.

I also agree with ICweiner, King can't seem to write a good ending. The only book that I liked the ending of by King was his JFK book, and he admitted it was his son that came up with the ending. For instance, I really like The Stand, but goddamn, that ending still pisses me off.

[–] ilikeskittles 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Good point about the timing.

[–] ICweiner 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Couldn't agree more.

Song of Susanna dragged on a bit for my taste too.

I waited for the last 2 to come out. It was the biggest cop out ever. I just don't think Steven king knows how to finish stories. He can build a great story but always seems to paint himself into a corner. Then, like you said, just phones it in every time.

[–] ilikeskittles 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Yep. "I'm bored, guess I'll just kill everyone and hit reset."

[–] MyNameIsMud [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

That's on my list but all I have is book 4 as of right now.

[–] ilikeskittles 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

You really should start at the beginning. The story can be a little convoluted and if you start in the middle, it may not make sense.

[–] Jimmycog 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

The Dark Tower series after book eight was added.

[–] ardvarcus 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Salem's Lot. The book is much better than the miniseries or the movie. It's the only book I've ever read that conveys what vampires would actually be like, if they existed, and what it would be like to be hunted by them. I read it late at night in an old farm house on a summer vacation when there was no television or radio or computer connection. It scared the shit out of me.

[–] channelfadge 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I always loved 'It' and now I'm considering reading it again after watching the movie. It one of those books that skirts that line between sheer madness and genius, its so stupidly convoluted but I love it. Also I recently read From a Buick 8 and was very impressed. I think its one of his most lovecraftian works. Oh, and Geralds Game was extremely creepy too. Out of the three I would pick 'It' though.

Everything else Ive read by him was not bad but not memorable either. Even stuff people recommend like The Shining, Tommyknockers, Salems Lot, none of those seemed all that great to me. The Stand was quite enjoyable though.

[–] MyNameIsMud [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I'm reading It now, I remember my aunt showing me the movie when I was a kid. I wouldn't close my eyes in the shower for a year after that. Always focused on the drain haha. I liked the new version too, but I am really enjoying the book more than either of the movies.

[–] Strappy 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

My favorite is The Stand. It's not a book I can read over and over because it's so long, but I loved it. Misery is also a great read and I have a sentimental attachment to The Tommyknockers because it was the first Stephen King book I read.