It may sound weird, but Stephen King has been a major figure in my life since I was ten years old. When I was ten years old, I read one of his books. It’s a clear memory etched into my permanent recall. It was Christmas break, and I was in the 5th grade. I had never been a popular kid, in fact until that year I was mercilessly teased by all of the other kids in my grade. I’m not bitter, anymore. At the time it was hell, but it led me to develop a love for reading that lasts to this day.
I was already a fast and fairly advanced reader by that age. I saw Nancy Drew and the Sweet Valley High girls as what they were under the cutesy covers designed to entice pre-teen girls into a world of high school drama- cheap formula books designed to ensure someone’s regular pay check. I was disillusioned with those series and searching for something with more meat, something that would grab ahold of a story and not let go until all the little bits and pieces had been shaken to the floor.
On this cold winter day, my mom was yelling at us to help her take down the Christmas tree. Desperate to avoid getting stabbed with pine needles, I picked up a book that my much older brother had been reading. It was Four Past Midnight, and even though it looked scary, I was desperate to find something to, as Ozzy would say, occupy my brain.
The first story I read was the Langoliers. Some of it my young mind couldn’t understand or comprehend. But, that story took me on a plane ride that I could never forget and I was reborn a horror-novel fan after that one story. Since that day, I have been an avid horror novel reader and a Stephen King fan. I read his new stuff pretty much as soon as it comes out and though I may criticize at times, I admire his storytelling ability like no other.
After reading his books, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I wanted to create deep, rich stories that flow like a tattered tapestry on some forgotten (and haunted) castle wall. As with most other aspiring writers, that just was not meant to be. I work in the IT field and it pays the bills and provides health insurance, something that is not easy to accomplish with writing. But, my love for Stephen King’s writing and books in general persists.
I was skimming some posts in the Stephen King subreddit the other day, and saw someone mention that they were reading his books in order. This inspired me to do the same. Well, kinda the same. I’ll be reading the books that are available on Kindle in order. I’ve already hit a roadblock with the Bachman books and will have to order those online and read those slightly out of the natural order of things.
The first novel King published was Carrie, about a girl I can definitely identify with when thinking of my life until 5th grade at school. I will post a short review and my thoughts on each book as I finish it.
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