2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
The title of "king of horror" Stephen King, whose best books are more like psychological thrillers than horror, the writer perceives quite loyally. He is the most filmed and "prolific" American author, whose work delights not only readers, but also viewers. In many films, he is not only a screenwriter, but also an episodic actor. As Stephen King himself admits, he became a writer due to the fact that he was often sick in childhood, so he began writing from the age of 7.
Stephen King, whose best books are related to the places where he lived, often mentions the state of Maine, where he was born on September 21, 1947 in the city of Portland.
He was only 2 years old when his father left him with his mother and older brother to survive alone. Thanks to numerous relatives from both his mother and father, Stephen and his brother often had to spend holidays in different states and cities, which left their mark on the boy's memory.
So, at the age of 7, while visiting another aunt, he found a whole box of horror and science fiction books. Thisliterature made such a strong impression on Stephen that he began to write his first stories, and in 1959 he even published the newspaper Dave's Mustard Pot with his brother.
King's childhood infatuation predetermined what he wants to become. And although few people published his stories at that time, after leaving school in 1966 he entered the University of Maine in the department of English literature.
He continued to write, but his novels were still not published, so to pay for his studies, he constantly worked part-time at a weaving factory, then at the university library. It was here that he met Tabitha Spruce, who became his wife in 1971. And she still is.
Thanks to her, the best books of Stephen King were written. When he threw away the first pages of his novel Carrie in the bin, Tabitha found them and insisted that the story about a notorious girl with paranormal abilities would appeal to readers.
It was this novel that brought King not only his first fame, but also his first big money. He received a fee of $ 200,000, thanks to which he was able to leave teaching and devote all his time to writing prose. From 1974 to the present day, the best books by Stephen King have been created. Their list includes more than 50 novels, more than 200 short stories and short stories, as well as film scripts based on his works.
For his contributions to American literature, Stephen King received the National Book Foundation Medal, normally awarded to writers of the classic genre.
The years from 1974 to 1980 are the period when Stephen King writes and publishes books very intensively, the list of the best of which is headed by the novel Carrie.
"Carrie" brought the author a fabulous fee of $ 200,000 at the time, thanks not only to his literary talent, but also to the unusual plot. All oppressed and notorious people, whether they are children or adults who have gone through the horror of bullying at school, perfectly understand the feelings of a girl named Carrie White.
The desire to kill classmates or humiliate them in response turns into real action in Carrie's head when she discovers her paranormal abilities. This novel cannot be called a work of horror in the direct sense of the word, because there are no monsters, vampires and hostile aliens in it. The author conducted a psychological digression from a “downtrodden” fanatic mother and a girl humiliated by her classmates to a fury that is raging and taking revenge on everyone and everyone. This puts the novel in the "Best Stephen King Books" category in the thriller genre. Not without reason this work was filmed in 1979, 2002 and 2013. The latest version is known at the box office as Telekinesis.
The works written between 1970 and 1980 by Stephen King are books, the best of which are "The Shining", "Confrontation" and "The Dead Zone".
The Shining is the story of a writer with problems with alcohol and anger management.
He brought his wife and child to the highhotel where he found a job as a seasonal caretaker. When all the hotel staff leave until spring for vacation in winter, the Torrance family is left alone with the harmless ghosts that live there. In the first version of the film, shot in 1980 based on this work, the protagonist was brilliantly played by Jack Nicholson.
One of the author's favorite topics is the supernatural abilities of a person, to which the best books of Stephen King are devoted. The top heroes "gifted" with such a gift or curse are continued by the protagonist of the book "Dead Zone".
John Smith receives his gift from an accident that results in a concussion. As a result, he is the only one who sees what the activities of a politician who strives to become president by any means can lead to.
In 1983, the role of the protagonist of the book was superbly played by then-beginner, and today having more than 100 roles behind him, Christopher Walken. His hero's desire to adapt to a normal life, having such abilities and using them for the benefit of people, is what underlies this plot.
The first Stephen King apocalypse
Confrontation is the first disaster novel to be categorized as "The Best Stephen King Books" in this genre.
The deadly influenza virus, named by Captain Speedwalker for its rapid lethal outcome, has broken free, leading to the extinction of most of the American population. The remaining people are divided into two camps - those who believe in good and do it, and those who are attracted by evil and chaos. Film made bythis novel, consists of 4 parts, each of which is the story of the main characters and the events that happen to them.
The book is structured the same way. Showing the life story of each of the main characters, both good and bad, leads them to choose which camp they are in.
Goodies see a blind old black woman in their dreams and go where she tells them to. Bad people are united by the Black Man, who settled in Las Vegas. Only one group of people can survive, the confrontation between which is constantly growing.
This thriller, filled with pain, fear, doubt and betrayal, paints a picture of how people change under the pressure of circumstances and in the struggle for survival. Some get better in spite of them, and some break because it happened.
The book was filmed in 1994, 16 years after the work won the hearts of readers.
Early 80's - "Inflammatory Gaze", "Kujo" and "Christina"
This time period can be called one of the most fruitful, but also the most difficult in the writer's life. The fact is that Stephen King, whose best horror books were written at that time, was very addicted to alcohol and drugs. The hobby, which began back in the seventies, grew into a real addiction and lasted until 1987. Thanks to the perseverance and patience of his wife, the writer managed to cope with this problem, and now he does not use alcohol and drugs at all.
As King himself admits, he does not remember how some novels came out of his pen. It's all the more strangehow, according to its readers and critics, the best books of Stephen King were written in the eighties.
- Topping the list of works from this period is the novel "Inflaming Eyes" (1980), in which Stephen King returns to his favorite topic - the supernatural abilities of people. The novel describes the opposition of man to the system. The protagonist, participating in secret experiments, gains the ability to inspire other people with his thoughts. In the process of research, Andy McGee met a test subject named Vicki Tomlinson. After the end of the tests, they got married, and after a while they had a daughter with paranormal abilities - telekinesis and pyrokinesis. The office, having learned about the girl's abilities, wants to use her for their own selfish purposes. The whole novel is about how far a father can go to protect his child, and whether a girl with such abilities needs his help.
- Kujo (1981) featured in Stephen King's Best Books in the early 80s. This thriller tells the story of a mother and her child who are held hostage by a mad dog. A very tense plot with a tragic end does not allow the reader to tear himself away from the book. The film based on this novel, shot in 1983, turned out to be just as strong.
- The year 1983 was marked by the appearance of two novels at once, well known to the public. These are "Christina" and "Pet Cemetery". If in the first the main “villain” is the old Plymouth named Christina, then in the second it is ancient rituals and beliefs that help bring pets back to life. Both novels werefilmed and received high praise from fans of King's work.
The subsequent works of the author became borderline at the turn of the decades. They moved King's work into the horror category, as their non-monster stories are about the scary things humans can do.
If you ask yourself what is the best Stephen King book, Misery will surely come to mind. Not only because of the plot dedicated to the unhe althy fanaticism of the main character in relation to the series of novels "Misery" by the famous writer Paul Sheldon, but also because this novel "cured" the author himself of addictions.
In the plot of the work, the main character during a heavy snowfall gets into an accident near the house of his ardent admirer. To prevent him from escaping and writing a continuation of the adventures of Misery, the heroine he "killed" in his latest book, nurse Annie Wilkes breaks the writer's legs.
Prisoned in her house, a crippled Paul tries to find a way out to escape. The heaviest tension in which the reader finds himself throughout the novel makes the book one of the most striking works of the "King of Horrors" period of the 80s.
The film directed by Bob Reiner in 1990 based on the plot of this novel became just as intense.
Novels from the 90s
Stephen King, whose reader reviews in the 80s were the most enthusiastic not only in the United States, continues tosuspense the public by publishing the following novels in the 90s:
- "Necessary Things" - 1991.
- "Gerald's Game" and "Dolores Claiborne" - 1992.
- "Insomnia" - 1994.
- Rose Madder - 1995.
- The Green Mile and Hopelessness - 1996.
- "Bag of Bones" - 1997.
- "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon"
The most striking novels of this period, according to critics and readers, are The Green Mile and The Bag of Bones. Both plots were filmed and received an enthusiastic response from fans of the writer's work, but if you choose among the best books by Stephen King, the rating of the 90s rightfully gives the first place to the novel "The Green Mile".
In each prison, the prisoners come up with their own customs and names. The location of the protagonist, John Coffey, was no exception. The prison called "Cold Mountain" is a gloomy institution that does not inspire hope for the best in the hearts of prisoners.
The main character was accused of a crime he did not commit - the murder of two little twin girls. The death pen alty awaits him, and the green color of the floor from death row to the place of execution of the sentence is called the green mile.
For many, this short corridor really seems like a mile long, but not for the protagonist, who has magical healing abilities. He did not do what he was sentenced to death for. The novel constantly makes readers worry about the life of this black giant and keepsvoltage.
The 1999 film based on this story has become one of the best screen reproductions of Stephen King's work. He received 4 Oscar nominations, 3 Saturn Awards, a dozen other awards and 23 nominations.
The plot is based on the memories of a former prison guard (Tom Hanks), who lives out his years in a nursing home and shares his impressions of working in Cold Mountain prison with his friend.
Both the novel and the film keep people in such psychological tension that they leave a lasting impression for life.
New Millennium Works
From 2000 to this day, Stephen King has been delighting his admirers with new works. The best books of this period - "Dreamcatcher" and "Under the Dome" - were filmed. If we talk about the diversity of the author's work, then one cannot miss his stories, individual cycles and works published under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman.
King's most famous story was the adaptation of his work Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. According to a poll of viewers, this film is the best work of all time and ranks first in the rating of "250 best films according to IMDb". The plot is based on the story of a man accused of a crime he did not commit. He had to survive 19 years in prison before being released.
Among the significant cycles of Stephen King is his long-term work "The Dark Tower", which combines a mixture of fantasy, horror, elements of Western and science fiction. He hastheir devoted admirers, who can now not only reread their favorite chapters, but also watch the film adaptation.
King wrote 7 novels under the pseudonym, 2 of which, "Slimming" (1984) and "Running Man" (1982), were filmed.
Today, Stephen King is 67 years old, and he is not going to stop there, although every year he “scares” his readers that his next masterpiece was his last.
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