My Favorite Writer: Stephen King

THE Master of Horror

Stephen King
Stephen King

Yes, an Author is an Entertainer

When I saw this topic, I had to think. There are so many movie stars and musicians that I think are talented, but do I have a favorite? I love movies, but I knew I couldn't narrow it down to a few movies, let alone a single favorite. Same thing goes for music. So, what is a movie loving, music loving, trivia buff to do?

I turned to my other love, reading, and of course, to my favorite author; the one, the only, Stephen King! Yes, authors can be entertainers, as well. Are you not entertained when you read a good book? I know I am. Besides, he often appears in cameo roles in his movies, so he's an actor, too, though I doubt he would claim to be a good one.

Don't You Want a Balloon?

He knows what scares you
He knows what scares you

Why Stephen King?

I am not going to go into a long, drawn out biography of his life. All you really need to know about Stephen King, he tells you himself. Instead, I am going to tell you what I like about him, some of my favorite (and least favorite books), my favorite (and least favorite) movie adaptations of his works, and that sort of thing. A fan's homage to a great writer. And, yes, I am his number one fan...a joke a Stephen King fan would understand.

Stephen King has written a lot of books, and I mean a lot!! His first novel, Carrie, was published in 1974, and his most recent, Dr. Sleep, is set to come out September 24th, 2013. He has published about 60 books under his own name, along with seven novels under his pen name of Richard Bachman.

The greatest thing about Stephen King is his connection to his fans. Between his comfortable writing style, his references to great music in his writing, and his notes to the "constant reader", he makes a strong connection to his fans in a way most other writers never do, or don't take the time to do. You feel that he genuinely loves to write, and feels connected to his readers. He understands that his success lies with the fans who love him.

Stephen King is a writer who is constantly expanding his own, and the reader's horizons. He tries new things. He has written a novel in serial form, The Green Mile, has written e-books, that later were published in books, such as The Mist. He is even venturing into the world of comic books, or graphic novels, depending on the term you prefer. There is currently a graphic novel of The Dark Tower and The Stand in progress, parts having already been published. He has written screenplays, short stories, and translated his own stories into screenplays, and his screenplays into novels. He has also ventured into the areas of non-fiction, Danse Macabre and On Writing, and pulp crime novels with, The Colorado Kid and Joyland. Every novel, or short story by Stephen King is a trip into a new world, and they are all of his making. Some of them are dark, scary places filled with monsters, and others are even worse, taking a look at the dark side of humanity, and the monsters that are inside of us.

Stephen King Interview

Some of My Favorites

I love Stephen King, but even I must admit, I do have books that are personal favorites, and others that I read once, and that will probably remain on my bookshelf for all of eternity. The ones I love have been read, and re-read, until the pages have become dog-eared, and the spines have broken. Old books are replaced, and I am constantly on the search for the ever elusive hard-cover, first editions.

It all started with It. It was the first book I ever read. I was twelve years old. I found the book in my parent's garage. I read the whole thing. I now hate clowns. They scare the ever-living crap out of me. I poke fun at myself because of it. Truth is, if I ever ran into Pennywise, I would probably end up pooping my pants while running and screaming, or be found dead in a sewer somewhere. He is really scary. It remains a favorite book of mine, though. Mostly because of the scare it gave me and the way the book has stuck with me after all these years. I still have that copy of It, even though it was water damaged when I found it in the garage during the clean-up after the roof leaked all over everything in the garage. Thus, the water damage. I carefully dried all the pages, so that they didn't stick together, and I read that book slowly and carefully. I was hooked ever since then.

The Stand is also a favorite book. It is a very long book. The movie alone was something like eight hours long, and it left a lot out. I poured through the thousands of pages of both the original version, and the unabridged version. The story is a simple, good-vs-evil story, but at the same time, it is very complex. The characters are almost real enough to reach out and touch you. You read The Stand and you get enveloped into the story. It reaches out, and pulls you right in. You almost feel like you are there with the characters as they trek across the country to seek out the figure in their dreams. Another thing I love, and what scares me, about The Stand, is how realistic it is. A plague of that magnitude is entirely possible in this country, and it plays into the very real fears of secret government labs, viral weaponry, and biological warfare. Just turn on the news, and you will be bombarded with news about Syria and chemical weapons.

Favorite Books

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Stand By Me, based on The BodyThis may seem like a lot of books, but you should see my collection
Stand By Me, based on The Body
Stand By Me, based on The Body
This may seem like a lot of books, but you should see my collection
This may seem like a lot of books, but you should see my collection

The Not So Favorite Books

Like I said, there are a few, and only a few books that Stephen King has written that I didn't really like. Most fans have a few books that they don't care for. Maybe it had something to do with the time in my life that I had originally read the book, and maybe I should give them another shot, or maybe it was a different time in King's life, and it just didn't translate well to his avid fans. Either way, here is my short list of books I really didn't like.

First, From a Buick 8. This book wasn't bad. I am not saying that. I just didn't get into it as I was reading it. I struggled through it, and it has remained on my bookshelf ever since. While the take on the evil car was different from Christine, it was still another story about an evil car, and I felt that Christine was a far better attempt at the concept. Like I said, the books were very different, and the stories are not similar in any other respect than that they both dealt with a car as a central figure. I just feel that with the success and greatness of Christine, From a Buick 8 just fell short of that standard.

Dreamcatcher was another book that I didn't care for all that much. Again, I struggled through it, and had a very hard time getting into the story. I barely remember what it was about. I know it was about aliens, and a group of boys, and then men, after they had grown up. The movie was worse. Mostly due to poor casting, I think. Morgan Freeman is a great actor, but he was totally wrong for the part he was cast in. Strangely enough, Dreamcatcher and From a Buick 8 came out about a year apart from each other. I have grown to like Dreamcatcher a bit more. I read it again, and it has grown on me a bit, kind of like a weird fungus...

The last book on my short list of least favorites is Blaze. Blaze is a newer book written under his pen name of Richard Bachman. The story just didn't grab me. It is the story of a couple of small time criminals, and a kidnapping. It was a sad story, and I just didn't connect with it. It was my least favorite book so far. I am glad I only got the paperback copy. I may get it in hardcover someday, but only to add to my collection, and only if I can find it for a great price.

Not So Much

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Off to the Movies with Stephen King

Many of Stephen King's books have been made into movies. Some of these he had a part in, and some he didn't. Some were great, others were less stellar.

My favorite Stephen King movies usually fall close in with my favorite books. The Stand was a great movie, all eight hours of it. I have it on DVD and watch it every now and then. It was another scary movie that I love! Both were made as TV mini-series. The Shining, Carrie and Pet Sematary top my list of big screen releases. A few other favorites include Needful Things(which also happens to be the name of a fellow Hubber!), The Mist (a newer theatrical release), Stand By Me (based on The Body), The Shawshank Redemption, and Rose Red (also a TV mini-series).

I like all of these movies for various reasons. Sometimes it has to do with the closeness to the original book, some for the uniqueness of the story itself, and sometimes it's just because they scared the crap out of me. I love being scared!!

Now, there have also been some movies that just were not that good. Sometimes the budget was low, sometimes the story just didn't translate well, but whatever the reason, there have been some pretty awful movies made from Stephen King books. A few are Sleepwalkers, about a mother and son who are strange demonic creatures who fear cats, any sequel to Children of the Corn or Pet Sematary, and Cat's Eye. For some reason, even the best author has some books that don't translate well to film, or some screen writer wrote a really bad screenplay out of a great story.

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a parent's worst nightmare...from Pet SemataryScene from The Shawshank Redemption
a parent's worst nightmare...from Pet Sematary
a parent's worst nightmare...from Pet Sematary
Scene from The Shawshank Redemption
Scene from The Shawshank Redemption

Stephen King Movies

© 2009 Anna Marie Bowman

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Comments 29 comments

funmontrealgirl profile image

funmontrealgirl 5 years ago from Montreal

Again Anna, I'm really jealous about your vast knowledge of my favorite author. However, it really is impressive. Thank you so much for the Stephen King education that I cherish to know today. Kudos to you fellow Stephen King fan!

marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan

Nice hub, very entertaining. Maybe you would like to read and add Stephan King On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft. Excellent reading, very enjoyable.

PR Morgan profile image

PR Morgan 5 years ago from Sarasota Florida

Stephen is a rock start from Mars...outta this world! Great Hub!

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 5 years ago from Florida Author

shynsly-- That is strange. Yeah, the flying monkeys were creepy. I keep reading...can't help it. I just got the new Stephen King book, Full Dark, No Stars for Christmas, so I have started reading that.

shynsly profile image

shynsly 5 years ago from Sierra Vista, AZ

Another parallel. My mom got me into Stephen King when I was a kid, and just like you, his first book I read was "It" when I was about 10 or 11. Up until that point, the only two things to ever give me nightmares were Freddy Krueger and those damned flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz. Both of which, in my defense, were when I was about 5. "It" messed with my head even worse, and definitely got me hooked, though I must admit, haven't read anything in a long time.

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Anna Marie Bowman 6 years ago from Florida Author

gr82bme-- I would love to meet him, too!! I am not a huge fan of his wife's work, though. I keep joking that I am going to make a trip to Maine, for two reasons, to take pictures of lighthouses for my mom, and to track down Stephen King. Though he does have a winter home down here in Florida. That might be an easier trip.

gr82bme profile image

gr82bme 6 years ago from USA

Great hub! I love him too. I like his older stuff more then the newer. I would love to meet him. His wife is a writer also

Will rate up

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Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

JJBourne-- I am a fan of his movies, as well. Even the bad ones are worth at least one watch. It's true, the books are better, but some just don't really have the time to read them all. I look forward to checking out your DVD blog!! Thank you!!

JJBourne 7 years ago

Excellent Hub, I'm a big fan of Stephen King.. More of the DVD watching type though Im afraid. I know, the Novels are better for reading, I get told that all the time! If anyone's interested I've set up a DVD blog based souly on Stephen King, the URL is

Cheers! Keep up the great hubs

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

Mrs Hozey-- No, it wasn't supposed to be a funny movie, I didn't think it was. There were parts that made me laugh, but that had to do with a personal, inside joke between me and my sister. IT is a great book! I highly recommend it!

Mrs Hozey profile image

Mrs Hozey 7 years ago

Great hub! He's one of my favorites, too, though I have yet to read "It" and a few others. I just wish all the movies were as great as "The Green Mile", "Shawshank Redemption", and "Stand by Me". I ended up laughing my way through "The Mist" and I don't think it was supposed to be a funny movie.

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

So have I! Though, the same can be said for all of his books that I really like. I am currently on my third read through the Dark Tower Series.

imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

I've read "It" three times. That's saying a lot seeing that it's over 1000 pages long!

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Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

ajcor-- Thank you so much!! Yeah, there have been nights, after a long reading session, where I couldn't sleep. Just left with an uneasy feeling afterwards.

ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

Anna Marie - I really admire SK but am not a fan of those truly scary movies..cujo - had to leave the room for that one and as for clowns - just a bit terrfiying for me....great hub ..thanks ..............

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Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

Patty-- Pennywise still gives me the creeps!!! Even now, when I see Tim Curry in other roles, all I see is Pennywise the Clown. Heath Ledger as the Joker did, too. Clowns...

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America

Achhh!!! The clown-thing from IT is the creepiest character besides Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker.

Good Hub!

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Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks, Princessa!! I love watching Shawshank Redemption! Such a great story!!

Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France

This is a great hub Anna Marie. Stephen is certainly a "king" of entertainers. The Shawshank Redemption, is one of my favourite films based on his works.

Thumbs up!

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

C. C. Riter-- Stephen King is not for everyone. He does write a wide variety of stories, and he does have a unique perspective. My boyfriend isn't really a fan, either.

C. C. Riter 7 years ago

My wife loves SK and has many of his books, paperback and hardcover. I don't. He is unique, I'll give him that. Can't stand any of the movies, none.

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Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

Cujo is a great book, the movie less than great, mostly cause they ruined the ending. (no, not going to ruin it for those that haven't seen the movie or read the book). Drew Barrymore really made Firestarter a better movie than it was. Carrie, great book and great movie!! Thanks for the comments!!

Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I think i've seen more film adaptations of King's books than actually read them. But those I read - Carrie, Firestarter, Cujo, Christine - really are not for the fainthearted! Great hub - as it makes me wanna update on the master (who btw, recently dissed Stephenie Meyer!) :D

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Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida Author

ripplemaker-- Stephen King is definitely not for everyone, but some of his works aren't really scary. For those that aren't really into the horror genre of books, something like Lisey's Story might be a good choice. No horror, just a touching story, or maybe Hearts In Atlantis.

Journey-- Thank you so much for your comment!! It means a lot! Both Stand By Me and Shawshank are the types of stories that have nothing to do with supernatural horror, just everyday fear of bad things happening, and about friendship. I love those stories so much!

Rockinjoe-- Yeah, a lot of his movies, even the better ones, never really live up to the books.

Mighty Mom-- I remember seeing the movie version of Tommyknockers before I read the book. I didn't care for the movie all that much, so never read the book until a few years ago. I am glad that I finally did, though...great book!

MamaDragonfly-- That is funny!! I look forward to reading your piece on King as well. I always like reading what other fans of his have to say. Thanks!!

MamaDragonfly2677 profile image

MamaDragonfly2677 7 years ago from New York

That's too funny... As I was adding links to MY favorite Entertainer, which just happens to ALSO be Stephen King, YOU popped up! (Of course I enjoyed yours much better!) CHEERS! I owe ya one!

Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Great choice for the HubMob! Stephen King is a genius. Sick. But a genius. I love the way you included your favorites and least favorites. Personally, I think reading SK is always scarier. I still remember reading "Misery" "The Tommyknockers" and "It." Shivers! I do like "Pet Semetary" the movie and "Stand By Me" and "Delores Claiborne" are also faves.

Thanks for writing this.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 7 years ago from Standing right behind you!

Love Stephen King books, but always hated the movies. My favorite books were Pet Semetary and Salem's Lot. Great hub you got going on....

Journey * profile image

Journey * 7 years ago from USA

Anna Marie, kudos! This is a terrific hub. I am also a fan of Stephen King. It was good of you to mention so many of the various contributions he's made. I love Stand by Me and Shawshank Redemption. -Journey*

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Anna Marie, I enjoyed reading about your favorite author -what you liked and disliked too LOL I confess I haven't read any of the above list (to my dismay) but I've seen some of the movies though. Sleepwalker and Pet Semstary scared me. Now you understand why I prefer the Disney movies. They don't give me nightmares LOL

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    Anna Marie Bowman profile image

    Anna Marie Bowman1,079 Followers
    113 Articles

    Anna is a writer, mom, crafter, movie buff. Her favorites are horror movies and horror stories, thanks to some inspiring parents.

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