As you may know already: I’m a huge fan of the books written by Stephen King, but also of the man behind the books. I call myself a Constant Reader. And as of late, I have been asked the question “What King book, out of his huge works, to begin with?” quite a lot. I love that you come to me with this question, because, you know, it makes me feel like I know what I’m talking about! So, without further ado, let’s get on with five books I recommend you start with when you want to create your own obsession with the King!
Paul Sheldon. He’s a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes and she is more than a rabid reader – she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.
Most times when I get the question stated above, I recommend people to start with Misery. It not only was my first King ever, but I also think it’s actually the best book to start with. It has a good story, it’s not too short nor too long. It’s also not his most twisted tale (which would be Pet Sematary in my opinion), but the gore and horror are definitely there. Overall, it’s a classic! After reading this book, I was SOLD.
‘Salem’s Lot (1975)
Thousands of miles away from the small township of ‘Salem’s Lot, two terrified people, a man and a boy, still share the secrets of those clapboard houses and tree-lined streets. They must return to ‘Salem’s Lot for a final confrontation with the unspeakable evil that lives on in the town.
I must admit: this book is not really a favourite King of mine. It was definitely good, but it just didn’t touch me like most of the other King books I have read did. Nevertheless, I recommend it because it’s a classic vampire tale and a must-read King story!
Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…
It may just be best to start with the book that was also the start for the King himself! I loved reading Carrie: it’s easy to follow and definitely ends in full destruction. What’s more to like?! If you like YA, this book a good one to give your TBR a hint of horror!
Full Dark, No Stars (2010)
The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences.
Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay.
A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of more than twenty years than she would have liked to know when she literally stumbles upon a box under a worktable in their garage.
As you can see in the blurb, this book is a short story collection and it definitely was the best one I’ve read so far! “1922” gave me horrific nightmares (no lies here) and “Big Driver” and “a Good Marriage” were just terrifying. I’ll definitely be rereading this one soon!
Pet Sematary (1983)
When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son-and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly car. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth-more terrifying than death itself-and hideously more powerful. The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better.
This one is only for the ones who want to go all in, when it comes to reading King. This story is so upsetting and utterly twisted, but then again, that’s what makes it one of my absolute favourites. Honestly, you don’t know what’s waiting for you between the pages of this book.
Note: this list is based only on books I have read myself, so far, so there may be some books missing in your opinion. If so, let me know in the comments what you think is a great book to start a Kingobsession with!