a highly selective stephen king poll

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Only read 5 of these, and 11/22/63 was the best of them.

sofatruck, Monday, 30 April 2012 19:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

The main problem with later SK novels is the way WTF is so often replaced by smh.

bit.ly sno cone maker (Jon Lewis), Monday, 30 April 2012 19:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

(Dreamcatcher excepted of course, so filled to bursting with 50 pt WTF).

bit.ly sno cone maker (Jon Lewis), Monday, 30 April 2012 19:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

I've read about half of these. I've enjoyed The Regulators, 11/22/63, Under the Dome, and the Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I liked From a Buick 8 a lot too, despite how throwaway the plot felt; the way he describes the indescribable things that manifest through the gateway creeped me out more than anything else in his recent books.

Duane Barry, Monday, 30 April 2012 20:44 (1 year ago) Permalink

I unashamedly love 99% of his stuff.

I voted for Insomnia, which I enjoyed more than the other things I've read on here (but not as much as the Dark Tower series, which you haven't included).

gyac, Monday, 30 April 2012 21:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

The only one of these I've even heard of is Dolores Claiborne. But then I guess I did stop reading horror tomes about the year after that was released, so it's not that surprising (heading towards teenagerdom and getting into 'serious literature').

emil.y, Monday, 30 April 2012 21:20 (1 year ago) Permalink

Oh, uh, scratch that. Obviously, I've also heard of the Green Mile. Only through it being one of the world's worst films, though.

emil.y, Monday, 30 April 2012 21:21 (1 year ago) Permalink

I've read almost all of them. Gerald's Game & Rose Madder were enough to make me think I was going to abandon him for good...still smarting over how badly those 2 sucked. I mean...UGH.

Insomnia, Dreamcatcher, Under the Dome and Duma Key are definitely up the top of my list for late-period but 11/22/63 easily blows even those away.

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 30 April 2012 21:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

See I really liked most of Dreamcatcher but the monsters & the ending just pissed me off so much, and this is someone who has cranked out many a limp or awful ending in his time. It was actually the most recent non Dark Tower one of his I've read (though I own several later ones on the list).

gyac, Monday, 30 April 2012 21:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

Included: Bachman books

where?

we are not bemused (onimo), Monday, 30 April 2012 21:35 (1 year ago) Permalink

The Regulators & Blaze were by him.

gyac, Monday, 30 April 2012 21:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

is dreamcatcher the one about the anal aliens?

homosexual II, Monday, 30 April 2012 21:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

only read Dreamcatcher - it's pretty hilarious/terrible

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Monday, 30 April 2012 21:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

I've read everything up through The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, but the only ones I really remember as books are Delores Claiborne and Rose Madder, which for some reason I didn't hate? So I'll vote for Rose Madder, just to be contrary.

I also remember wanting to read Black House because boy oh boy did I love the shit out of The Talisman but I don't think I ever got around to it.

Polly biscuit face (carl agatha), Monday, 30 April 2012 21:40 (1 year ago) Permalink

ah sorry didn't notice it said "post Gerald's Game" so I was looking for The Long Walk.

we are not bemused (onimo), Monday, 30 April 2012 21:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

Hard to believe how many of his recent books I haven't read - I read pretty much everything up to Tom Gordon then very little other than The Dark Tower books (which pissed me off no end, in the end). I had no idea he was still so prolific.

I suppose I should go spend £5 in a charity shop and catch up.

we are not bemused (onimo), Monday, 30 April 2012 21:44 (1 year ago) Permalink

I suppose I should go spend £5 in a charity shop and catch up.

― we are not bemused (onimo), Monday, 30 April 2012 22:44 (Yesterday) Bookmark

Yeah, think i'm gonna pick up a couple this week

Number None, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 00:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

i repped for "bag of bones" back in the day since it was king's foray into "literature," but i think maybe there was an element of youthful defensiveness in that pick. i re-read it a few years ago and it didn't hang together as well as i remembered.

supreme sundae (reddening), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 05:17 (1 year ago) Permalink

I loke his chamber-novels most, so am voting for the one-character Tom Gordon.

caro's johnson (Eazy), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 05:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

love, that is.

caro's johnson (Eazy), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 05:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

s.king is the great popular artist of our times

voted for cell

thomp, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 07:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

where's the stand?

fka snush (remy bean), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

post gerald's game pol.

diafiyhm (darraghmac), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

i repped for "bag of bones" back in the day since it was king's foray into "literature," but i think maybe there was an element of youthful defensiveness in that pick. i re-read it a few years ago and it didn't hang together as well as i remembered.

― supreme sundae (reddening), Tuesday, May 1, 2012 1:17 AM (6 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

How was it supposed to be more literary? I couldn't get past this description in the wiki:

It focuses on an author who suffers severe writer's block

So, okay. Early on, we have Salem's Lot, The Shining, then as far as I can tell things stayed pretty cool until IT, but in that case the writer was part of an ensemble cast. Then we get BAM! Misery. BAM! The Dark Half. BAM! Secret Window, Secret Garden.

All these fucking authors...

frogsclovetofu (beachville), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:51 (1 year ago) Permalink

was the last one of those even noticed by anybody

thomp, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

It was part of the collection Four Past Midnight and about 10 years later made into a major motion picture with Johnny Depp.

frogsclovetofu (beachville), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

Sorry about the BAM's by the way. Don't know what overcame me.

frogsclovetofu (beachville), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

It's notable in that it's basically the exact same thing as The Dark Half.

frogsclovetofu (beachville), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 11:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah but the depp movie was a 'they're adapting that?' deal - the langoliers must have been optioned pretty much immediately, but four past midnight seems to have been a not-a-big-deal stephen king book*

i was going to raise the caveat that the tommyknockers was in between misery and the dark half, but ha er the protagonist in that is also a writer . oh, what to do

i mean i would like to try and excuse it according to some Grand Unified Theory Of Stephen King but basically the answer is 'drugs'

-

*it's interesting that his books lately seem to have become More Of A Big Deal, but i don't know whether that's because he has a better agent now or what -- i mean, i think he's been on a genuinely interesting roll at least since he got the dark tower out of his system and possibly before but i am not going to read those three books any time soon

thomp, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

fuck, somehow I remembered the woman from Tommyknockers as the sheriff or police or something. Guess it's been a while since I read that. I liked that one a lot, at the time.

frogsclovetofu (beachville), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

Speaking of Tommyknockers, did he ever bring back The Shop?

frogsclovetofu (beachville), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

no hearts in atlantis?

Mordy, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

Hearts in Atlantis is listed under "short fiction collections" on wikipedia.

frogsclovetofu (beachville), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:35 (1 year ago) Permalink


/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

? <3 ?

diafiyhm (darraghmac), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 12:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

Have read The Regulators, Insomnia, and Under the Dome. First two were pretty bad. Under the Dome was fine but like almost every King book way too long and crappy ending. Would have voted for Wizard and Glass if Dark Tower books were included.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:18 (1 year ago) Permalink

wizard and glass might be my favourite of his, full stop

diafiyhm (darraghmac), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

Hard to believe how many of his recent books I haven't read

Cosign!

I voted for The Regulators, even though it's in some sense a much longer rehash of "It's A Good Life." It's so weird and shut-in and messed up! Under The Dome had some of those enjoyable Big King features but was so unedited and the "this is just like GWB" stuff was too much and too plain. Cell has a virtuoso first act but never really figures out what to do afterwards. Of the ones I've read, I'd rate them Regulators > Cell > Under the Dome > Black House > Desperation > Insomnia. And actually I think the collections are better than the novels in this era!

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:23 (1 year ago) Permalink

Under the Dome was fine but like almost every King book way too long and crappy ending.

I read an excerpt from it and it seemed like a horror version of the Simpsons movie.

Respectfully, Tyrese Gibson (Nicole), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:24 (1 year ago) Permalink

Also, I can't forgive the Dark Tower's metafictional turn.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:24 (1 year ago) Permalink

xp He was kinda butthurt about the whole Simpsons thing and as a result published some excerpts from a much earlier, unpublished version of the book which was confined to a single building rather than a whole town.

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:29 (1 year ago) Permalink

Of the ones I've read, I'd rate them Regulators > Cell > Under the Dome > Black House > Desperation > Insomnia

that vulture thing has 'desperation' much higher than 'regulators' which is just crazy talk

actually i think those two might be where i'd want to argue he got good again, such a weird thing for a writer of his level of success to do

thomp, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

Also, I can't forgive the Dark Tower's metafictional turn.

Yeah, the last Dark Tower book is really, really bad. I don't understand the defenders at all.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

the last three, tbh. Once SPOILER

he turns up for fuck's sake

END SPOILER

it was a struggle to stay into it

diafiyhm (darraghmac), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

i was just looking at this 80s book of interviews with him and he bitches about people who are proud to read john barth but will hide his, king's, books

thomp, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

I liked Wolves of the Calla, even if it was all a bit pointless.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 14:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

Ok so I just reread "It's a Good Life" and man, there's an argument that Stephen King never in his great career matched this.

http://web.archive.org/web/20091126104154/http://nickelkid.net/docs/greats/its_a_good_life.html

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 14:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

Looks like Under the Dome is going to be my first foray into King's 21st century works since it was the one that peaked my interest the most and has been getting favorable talk here... I absolutely loved him and Anne Rice in junior high.

I think my favorite thing ever of his though is his non-fiction book on horror called Danse Macabre. That and the first third of The Stand.

I will transmit this information to (Viceroy), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 20:24 (1 year ago) Permalink

Danse Macabre is great

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 20:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

not really on-topic but whenever I get a crushing I headache I secretly hope it's my unformed evil twin plotting to take me over a la the Dark Half

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 20:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

the last three, tbh. Once SPOILER

he turns up for fuck's sake

END SPOILER

it was a struggle to stay into it

I've read the whole series a few times and yet I struggle to recall anything from him showing up, yet I can remember details about how Cuthbert supposedly looked etc.

Also, this reminds me, I have the new Dark Tower one which I have to read now.

gyac, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 22:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

I forgot how he wrote himself in

god I hated that

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 22:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

re: Bag of Bones being more "literary" than his previous stuff -- the book is nominally about a house/town that's haunted by a malevolent spirit, but the first 3/4ths of the book is surprisingly realist, for king. the main character is a lolwriter who's dealing with the loss of his wife and unborn child, his feelings for a new woman, his grief and writer's block, etc. the last quarter of the book eventually does go full-on thriller, but until that point the paranormal stuff is handled with a pretty light touch.

bear in mind i haven't read it in forever, so these are my remembered opinions from when i stanned for it in high school.

supreme sundae (reddening), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 22:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

All the shit with Cuthbert and his "lookout" in Wizard & Glass is serious LOLz.

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 22:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 3 May 2012 00:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

I have read zero of these books, though I think I read everything up through The Dark Half. The only post 1990 books I've read are the Dark Tower series (mixed bag) and On Writing (the best of his I've read). I'm going to use the results of this as a guide to the last 20-odd years of King.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 3 May 2012 00:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 4 May 2012 00:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

weird

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 4 May 2012 00:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

well that isn't helpful at all!

Number None, Friday, 4 May 2012 00:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

On Writing (the best of his I've read).

I actually don't like On Writing as much as I like Danse Macabre, but they're both up there for me.

I don't feel like Tom Gordon getting 3 votes over a whole cluster that got two votes is any indicator that I should start with Tom Gordon. I'm most intrigued by ideas behind Under the Dome, the Regulators, and Cell though, so maybe I'll start with one of them.

how's life, Friday, 4 May 2012 12:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

I mean, if two people each agree they don't totally blow...

how's life, Friday, 4 May 2012 12:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

More than one person out there thinks Dolores Claiborne doesn't totally blow. Don't know how that one ended up so underrated.

jungleous butterflies strange birds (Eric H.), Friday, 4 May 2012 12:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

tom gordon was only ok for me, but i enjoyed the pulpiness of the regulators.

underleg aeroboots i have smithed (darraghmac), Friday, 4 May 2012 12:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

Cell has a virtuoso first act but never really figures out what to do afterwards.

Ahhhhhh, worried about this. I'm about halfway through the book at this point (when they get ready to leave the boarding school) and it hasn't faltered a step for me so far. Very vivid and well-paced.

Regulators was really good too. Although it was almost too brief (I guess there's more to learn about Tak in the companion novel) the ending and epilogue are satisfying.

coat news for people who love boat shoes (how's life), Thursday, 12 July 2012 00:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

The main problem with later SK novels is the way WTF is so often replaced by smh.

― bit.ly sno cone maker (Jon Lewis)

bears repeating

deems irreverent (darraghmac), Thursday, 12 July 2012 00:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

Ahhhhhh, worried about this.

You should be. King can't write an ending that isn't utter shit.

an inevitable disappointment (James Morrison), Thursday, 12 July 2012 00:35 (1 year ago) Permalink

11 months pass...

I really, really liked the second act of Cell, btw. Haven't explored any of these since last summer though.

how's life, Wednesday, 10 July 2013 17:16 (9 months ago) Permalink

Wait, I started on 11/22/63, but only made it a couple of chapters in.

how's life, Wednesday, 10 July 2013 17:17 (9 months ago) Permalink

Cell was fine. I dunno that I'd go back and reread it but it was enjoyable enough.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 10 July 2013 17:43 (9 months ago) Permalink


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