For most of my life I’ve been a Constant Reader usually averaging a book a week. For some reason I fell out of the reading habit last year only finishing 19 books. Dreams, Schemes and Themes also sort of petered out.
Stephen King got me back into rhythm of reading.
I don’t appreciate the classics but as far as I’m concerned a good King novel beats Dickens, Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy hands down. I’m still disappointed that Anna didn’t kick the bucket on page 20 of that horrid Tolstoy book which is the last “classic” I’ve read.
I am a Cultural Philistine.
Through the 1970’s and 80’s in my opinion King was primarily an author who in the horror genre. “Christine” is one of my favourites from that time. I still have the hots for a 1958 Plymouth Fury – an ideal car for a road trip – but definitely not with Ronald LeBay riding shotgun.
“The Stand” first published in 1978 is features high on my list of best books I’ve read.
His recent novels like Lisey’s Story and Duma Key have beautiful storylines with a touch of the supernatural but they are not traditional horror stories. 11/22/63, the book that kick-started my reading habit again in January is in a similar vein.
John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on that fateful date and the world changed forever. The premise of the novel is that, if you had the chance to chance the course of history, would you? And would the consequences be worth it? Strangely, that day is one of my earliest memories as an 8-year old, even in faraway South Africa. A neighbouring kid ran breathlessly across the road shouting “There’s going to be war with the Russians. Kennedy was killed……”
I’m currently reading “Full Dark, No Stars”, a collection of novellas by The Man, which one reviewer described as “relentlessly horrible”. I agree.
1922, the first in story in the collection has already scared the living bejesus out of me. It’s the first person confession of Wilfred James for the murder of his wife because she wants to one-hundred acres of farmland bequeathed to her. Wilfred manipulates his teenaged son into helping him murdering his own mother. They dump her body down a well on the farm. Obviously this has horrific consequences for dear old Will. No more spoilers except that rodents - like in R.A.T.S. - feature large in the plot-line. I don’t really suffer from musophobia or whatever; ♥ girl does, but the R.A.T.S. in 1922 are really relentlessly horribly!
One of the beauties of Stephen King’s writing is that he can create a whole movie script within the confines of a novella; as he did with The Shawshank Redemption.
1922 will make a classic creepy Noir American Gothic film. Mr. King, thank you for re-awakening the love of a good book in me.
And I still refuse to read on Kindle.