What’s your favorite? by Lori Michelle

USKMToday marks the end of Unofficial Stephen King month.  I know I was supposed to write some fantastic essay on what SK meant to me, but I ran out of time. Well, would I run a whole month about the man if he hadn’t affected me somehow?

I was never much one for horror. But Lori, you run a  horror magazine! Yes, I know, I said was. I didn’t care for the scary aspect of Halloween, I never cared for scary movies, I didn’t even care to go to Knott’s Scary Farm (the original Halloween amusement park in Southern California).  As I have gotten older, I realize that horror fascinates me more than it used to. Moreover, I am fascinated by the psychological aspects of horror and what it represents. And the master of psychological horror has to be SK. His words wiggle themselves into you brain, and you end up scaring yourself.

We have so many great essays by different authors this month that I felt without writing out a whole bunch of words about him and his writing just seems redundant at this point. Instead, I want to hear from you.

What was the very first Stephen King work you read? And which one of his works has touched you most?

2 thoughts on “What’s your favorite? by Lori Michelle”

  1. First I ever read was Everything’s Eventual (I was late in discovering King.) Looking back, it offered a great cross-section of his writing styles and subjects–a great primer for his work.) My all-time favorite is tougher to pin down, as Under the Dome’s Big Jim Rennie is still my favorite villain, and Misery and The Shining both impacted me during and after I’d read them. But Dreamcatcher was the one book that kept me turning pages, reading it at a breakneck pace to find out what happened next, so I’ll give that one my vote.

  2. Stephen King’s books have been part of my life and my “reading diet” for much of my literate (note literate, not literary) life. Carrie was the first “adult” book I read, at the age of 8.

    In some ways, it seems strange, but (like King’s own father), my dad was out of the picture. I fall right in the same age range as King’s kids (Naomi and Joe are older than I am, and Owen is three years younger). It always felt like the voice and presence he has in his work shaped some of the lessons other kids might learn from a father. Like many young people of my generation, we grew up with a stern, slightly goofy replacement in the imaginary worlds King created. I’m sure it explains a lot.

    My mother was a big Stephen King fan, as well, and faithfully bought each book in hardcover. After I grew up (more or less) and moved to a different city, each year King would release a novel in time for the “retail season.” My mother’s birthday fell in November, and she always joked that the release was for her, not for the season. It became an unspoken ritual every year. Either I’d buy the book and gift it to her when I finished reading it, or she’d buy it and give it to me for Christmas. I inherited an entire bookcase worth of hardcovers from her, some from their original release in the 1980s, and many of them in good condition.

    My mother passed away last year, the same week that Joyland was released, and shortly before Doctor Sleep. I have ordered Joyland, but it’s a little bittersweet, because she won’t get to read any more of his work. I’ll continue the hardcover buying tradition, because no e-book in the world holds the same fascination as the physical object and the wonder of a brand new Stephen King title.

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