Halloween Horror – Top 5 Scary Books by Stephen King
Yes, I’m just doing one author. The other scary books that I’ve ready, They generally have heavy fantasy elements, not saying that Stephen King’s works don’t often times have that, but he’s a classic horror writer, so I decided to focus down a little bit more in the field of horror and talk about only one author’s works, since my top 5 would have at least two books from him anyways.
5 – Misery
This book would probably be near the top for some people, and I enjoyed it quite well. I felt like it’s a little bit too indulgent at points with Stephen King almost being the author character in the book. However, the book is creepy, and it does a good job with a classic horror trope of limiting the scope of the story. It’s been a while since I read it, so I don’t remember precisely how well it ends, but from what I remember, it has a more developed ending as compared to some of his other books. Definitely a classic of King’s and one that is referenced a lot. Also one of the few that has had a good movie adaptation done of it.
4 – Firestarter
Probably not one of Stephen King’s most horrific books, but I feel like it has a solid Halloween feel to it. A story about a girl with pyrokinetic powers is very interesting to think about, and then it adds in a government twist, that is done fairly well. But what makes this book fit into the Halloween theme is the one government agent, basically an assassin that creeps out everyone else. But with that, just the psychology of how he tries to get into the little girls head and how he tries to gain her trust, it’s written very well, and just has that nice creepy factor to it. This book is really where a lot of the feel of Stranger Things comes from as well, in my opinion. The movie version of this, while I have enjoyed it, is not amazing.
3 – Dreamcatcher
We’re in the classic Stephen King location of Maine, and things start to go weird on a hunting trip. This is a very odd book with some interesting choices for characters in it, but it’s a story that works well. It definitely has that vibe of not knowing if the characters are quite who they say they are and who is good. If I remember for this one, been a bit since reading it, it ends okay, though not as good as some of them, like Misery. But this is one of those books that you could say is part of a Stephen King-a-verse and ties into a number of his other books or takes place near them. It’s also a large book, so be aware of that while getting into it, but overall, it’s one that I really enjoyed.
2 – Under the Dome
This is not one of Stephen King’s older books, but one that people might know more because it had a TV show. What works extremely well in this book is that the good characters are morally grey, and the bad characters are very evil. Stephen King is generally very good at writing bad characters and sometimes struggles with his heroes when he tries to make them too good, thankfully, most of them are not great people, and in Under the Dome, that is certainly the case. The premise is also interesting with a dome that cuts a town off from the rest of the world physically. I like the villain of the piece, and I like how they wrap up that part of the story. I think that a fair amount of the rest of the ending is just a little bit too weird to really work well, and that’s saying something for King, but he doesn’t quite land it to match the tone of the story, but it makes sense in the Stephen King-a-verse.
1 – It
Probably no surprise that It is my number one Stephen King book. I have read It multiple times, and it holds up to each reading. Yes, the ending is a bit weird, but overall, it makes sense for a story that is a bit weird. The creepy factor is high in the book, and Pennywise is such an iconic monster. If someone wants to read horror, there isn’t a better spot to start than It in my opinion. How King winds the modern and the past together is interesting and works well. I’m excited when there is that super cut of the new It movies to see how they can intertwine the story together. Overall, this is just a classic bit of horror that I couldn’t not have at the top of my Stephen King list.
There is more Stephen King that I definitely need to read sometime. I haven’t read The Mist which is a classic of his as well, and things like The Dead Zone, which had a fairly long running TV show, that I should reread. And then there are some that I would consider duds like 11/22/63 which does some interesting things, but in the end feels like a book that doesn’t do much. Or something like From a Buick 8 which is just weird.
What is your favorite Stephen King story? Is there a book or a movie that you really love?
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