I was 2 when Stephen King’s debut novel, Carrie, was released in 1974. King has had a book published pretty much every year since with his latest Sleeping Beauties out 26th September. I’m a horror fan, I run a blog dedicated to reviewing horror. So why is it I have only read 4 Stephen King books?
I recall the first King book I tried to read was IT back in 1986, I was 14 or so. I remember the book being a beast with over 1000 pages, it was also incredibly ‘wordy’ with pages of exposition. It felt to me at the time that King was saying in 5 pages what I felt could of been said in 1. I gave up on IT after a few attempts to read it.
I wanted my horror more immediate, and found myself drawn to the likes of James Herbert, Richard Laymon or Shaun Hutson. These authors satisfied my wish for quick punchy, gory tales that were a quick read. I wanted my horror fiction like the movies I was watching at the time. As the years passed, I have dipped back into the King Bibliography and read Carrie, Cycle of the Werewolf, The Tommyknockers & Skeleton Crew enjoying them all, but never venturing any further.
Of course, thinking about this now I’m hanging my head in shame. There is nothing wrong with the quick fix approach to horror fiction, Herbert in particular has a raft of quality novels under his name. I honestly cannot say why it’s taken me so long to finally decide to do this, it’s something I’ve toyed with for years. My tastes in horror literature have broadened since I first picked IT up with incredibly eloquent writers like Clive Barker & Adam Nevill, among others, filling my bookshelves.
So here I am, in the incredibly fortunate position of being a first time reader for books long deemed classics. The chronological read through will begin once I have read and reviewed the upcoming Stephen/Owen King collaboration Sleeping Beauties.
There have been some superb blogs doing exactly the same as I am about to take on, and I wouldn’t dream of even trying to compare what I’m doing to them. This is my journey, I’ll post updates as and when, with reviews and thoughts as I read my way through 43 years of Stephen King.
Of course, I won’t be reading King exclusively, I’ll be interweaving his work with the books I review for the blog. I think it’s going to work well…I really can’t wait to start, I’m looking forward to when I can call myself a Constant Reader.