Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Stephen King!

I wasn't into Stephen King's work at first. When Carrie was a big hit, I wasn't much interested. What grabbed me was 'Salem's Lot, which I still think is one of the best-ever vampire novels. After that, I was a confirmed Stephen King fan. I was lucky enough to attend the World Fantasy Convention in Ft. Worth in 1979, and King was there (which explains my signed copy of the first hardcover edition of Night Shift). That was when I discovered that King wasn't just some weird guy who wrote horror novels. He was, instead, some weird guy who'd read everything I'd read, and then some. I continued reading his books as they appeared up until around the time if It, which just about did me in. Too long, too rambling, too lacking in discipline? All of those? I don't know, but it marked the end of my having to read everything King wrote. I've read only a few things since (his book on writing, for one thing, and I liked that one a lot), but I remember those earlier books with great affection. And I read his column in Entertainment Weekly whenever it appears.


Benjamin Potter said...

I was late starting to read King. I still don't read everything, but every time I pick up one of his books, I'm reminded how much of a wordsmith he is. Sometimes I wish that other writers would get to know the language better before going to print.

I was impressed, believe it or not, with the pulp offering The Colorado Kid published a year ago by Hard Case Crime.

Happy Birthday, Mr. King.

Juri said...

You could like The Colorado Kid, Bill. Try it some day. I liked it, even though I'd lost interest in King already in the late eighties.

macavity said...

I did read The Colorado Kid, which I should have mentioned. A strange book for King, but I thought it worked pretty well.

Gary James said...

I've been reading Stephen King's books for a long, long while now. I recently re-read Secret Window Secret Garden, and was just as impressed, not to mention chilled, as I was first time round. I read Colorado Kid too and liked it for what it was (a genuine true mystery - not even the author knew who done it), though I seriously doubt that an author less known would have got past the slush pile with it.