I've been reading Stephen King for years and there are few things that give me more pleasure than diving into one of his stories. He's got such a massive back catalogue that it can be hard to know where to start if you haven't read him before. Here are my top picks:
1)Misery: King often has a writer as the main character in his novels and sometimes it feels like he's transcribing his own nightmares on the page. That's especially the case for Misery, the story of a writer who finds himself in the care of a crazed fan. She uses the opportunity to coerce him into changing the ending of his upcoming book through gruesome means. This suspense thriller will keep you turning the pages well into the night.
2)Different Seasons: This collection of novellas allows King to flex some different muscles. King goes from genre to genre seamlessly, clearly showing that he's a master of his craft. Film fans should especially enjoy this as it contains the source material for both Stand by Me and The Shaw shank Redemption.
3)The Stand: King's take on the fantasy epic, this doorstopper will will keep you going for weeks. The story moves at an easy pace, allowing for strong character development and worldbuilding. It also features, to my mind, one of the best literary villains in Randall Flagg.
4)Just After Sunset: An excellent collection of short stories. Standouts include 'The Gingerbread Girl' which manages a long period of sustained tension and 'The Cat From Hell' which I found particularly unnerving given that I think my cat has it in for me. Most of the stories only take about half an hour to get through and showcase a number of subgenres of horror.
5)The Shining: One of the best haunted house stories ever written. The Shining features supernatural chills but its examination of alcoholism and mental health is the most terrifying of all. I won't say any more for fear of spoiling it.
Those are my picks, thanks for reading. What do you think? Let me know what your favourites are.
Shivers (aka They Came From Within)(1975): A young woman in an isolated high-end apartment complex spreads an experimental parasite to the other residents, which makes them violently sex-crazed. This is Cronenberg's first film. It's one of those zombie-esque infection films and reminds me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It's cheap and it probably had the shortest credits I've ever seen on a movie. It lacks Cronenberg's later style and look but it's a decent movie for its time and budget, and for a first film. I would love to see Cronenberg remake this film now.
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