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06-12-2011, 01:53 PM
Just curious how some of you starting Stephen King and about what age. Also your favorite novels? Here's my story:

In the fifth grade this boy was reading Pet Sematary; the cover interested me. I went to a local bookstore that sells old books and somehow found the Stephen King section. I asked my mom: "Can I get these?", while I was holding Pet Sematary and IT. She said no. So a week later my dad took me and bought them for me. I read Pet Sematary with a book cover on. My mom asked what I was reading (she really didn't know) and I replied by saying: "It's about a girl who won the spelling bee!" About two days later my sister told on me. I didn't get in trouble though.

Favorite King book for me: Carrie
Age I started: 10/11

06-12-2011, 02:06 PM
Think I posted this somewhere here already, but I'll elaborate a bit. I started reading King at 17, over summer vacation. I worked Graveyard Shift for Pepperidge Farms and because I was a kid, I spent a lot of time on call--so I read IT. Between being on call and the lines going down from someone getting sick from motion sickness, I read a lot of his books that summer. For clarification, not sure if they still do it this way, but they used to have one half of the cookie come down a conveyor belt with chocolate on it, and the other half came down another belt at a slower speed, and I was one of the people that put the two halves together.

Best part of the job was eating the raw dough that was used to make chessmen cookies. Worst, was realizing that red die on the little white cupcake cups isn't die at all, and having the cuticles to prove it.

06-12-2011, 03:04 PM
I was lucky to discover King right about from the start, in '75 when I read Carrie -the paperback- and saw Carrie -the movie.
Or maybe the movie was a year later, don't really remember.
Loved both, but was not hooked - yet.
I skipped both Salem's Lot and The Shining (as I said, I wasn't hooked yet), even postphoned reading The Stand (didn't really care for the cover) till I finally succomed, read The Stand and became a constant reader for life.
I'm glad I read King practically from the start - and almost chronologically!
Only way to go.

How old was I at the time?
Favorite novels: The Stand, It, Bag of Bones and Lisey's Story.
Runners up: Cujo, The Dead Zone, The Regulators, The Dark Half, The Waste Lands, Wizard and Glass - and a few more.


06-12-2011, 06:32 PM

06-12-2011, 06:33 PM
Cool, I'm almost done with 'Salem's Lot, read Rage about a month ago, gotta read Night Shift, excited for the Stand; but heard it's boring, guess not in your opinion!

06-12-2011, 06:40 PM
I was 14 in 1980 and my english teacher came in one day and started bitchin' about the movie The Shining, how it wasn't like the book and she hated it. I had seen TV spots for the movie and thought the elevator that poured blood was insane! I didn't want to see it again, but I couldn't turn away! Anyway, I read the book and it nearly drove me bonkers. When I finally saw the movie the next year on late night cable TV, I was confused, but I knew this was really something special. I saw it 4 more times that month (The Movie Channel) and later went in told my treacher that she was crazy--the movie was awesome! It didn't have to be exactly like the book--what was the point of making the movie if it were? We did't get along very well after that.. :p

The Shining turned into The Stand (I feel sorry for those of you who first read the so-called "Complete and Uncut" version) which turned into 'Salem's Lot, Carrie, etc. I always had to fight a girl named Shannon Kemble for the new SK HC when it came out--she usually won (the best looking girl in school and I had something in comon with her no one else did, of course I let her win!) :o

I bought his books when they came out, but hadn't had time to read a lot of them so when the DT4-7 came out, I was behind in a lot of the action, but I've pretty much caught up now. :cool:

Faves: The Shining, The Stand (original), Cujo, Lisey's Story, IT
Close, but no cigar: Christine, The Drawing of the Three, Gerald's Game, From a Buick 8, Pet Semetery

:eek: Least favorite: The Stand (C&UV)

06-12-2011, 06:45 PM
Worst, was realizing that red die on the little white cupcake cups isn't die at all, and having the cuticles to prove it.

LOL!!! Damn, that is funny!!!!

06-12-2011, 07:06 PM
LOL!!! Damn, that is funny!!!!

Painful too, LOL. You had to pick up the cookies in groups and shove them into paper cups. Back then it was a different world, so you didn't wear gloves. And those cups would scape up your cuticles. It was literal hell. Now days I'd bet they make you wear gloves and all sorts of precautionary things. No way to get past the getting sick part though I'd guess. They would bring the lines down for hours on end while we waited in the break room, as they had to disinfect the entire oven and not just a section. This one girl threw up every night for like 2 months straight before they gave her another job LOL.

06-12-2011, 07:16 PM
Painful too, LOL.

Yeah, I meant funny in a "funny, but that really sucks, hope you're ok" sorta way!! ;)

06-12-2011, 08:05 PM
excited for the Stand; but heard it's boring, guess not in your opinion!

My opinion isn't too important here, but I've never heard The Stand described as boring.
Whenever the topic best Stephen King book comes up, it's always between these two: It and The Stand.
My vote goes to the latter, but It comes pretty close.

Hey, you should read both editions: the cut and the un-cut The Stand.
Many people prefer the complete edition, but I know some who wish King should never have released it.


06-12-2011, 08:08 PM
:eek: Least favorite: The Stand (C&UV)


Just kidding; it's just I can't imagine someone not liking this book.
I read the cut edition first and was completely floored by it.
NEVER had I read anything like it.
The uncut version I liked, but not as much.


06-12-2011, 08:34 PM
Well, the original is one of my favorites. But the C&UCV is sloppily editied (too many references to the work as a 70's nugget were left in). The scene with the Kid and Tom Cullen was alluded to in the original, but it was cut out--for a reason, it really adds nothing to the novel; the ending cheapens the sacrifices made by larry, ralph and glenn; some stuff with the Trashcan Man is interesting, but it drags the novel down. I didn't care for it.

But someone noted that even bad King is good--and that's the truth. So just because it's my least favorite doesn't mean I thought it was a waste reading...I just think the original is light years ahead of the 1990's version in terms of consistency, continuity and impact.

Clarke never updated 2001, tho he did write sequels. I hate to think that Orwell would have rewritten 1984 as 1994 or 2004 if he'd still been alive.

C.W. LaSart
06-12-2011, 08:36 PM
My Mom made me wait until I was 12 to read King-but she would've made me wait longer had she ever read his books! My first was Pet Semetary and I haven't looked back since. I have read everything he has written, besides the Dark Tower series (read the first 3 and they weren't my type), Lisey's Story, and the second half of Insomnia. They haven't all been my favorites, but I can't think of any I hated (Insomnia just couldn't grab me, though I plan to try again!). I'm not sure what it is, but I really liked Buick 8 and Duma Key :)

06-12-2011, 08:49 PM
Well, the original is one of my favorites. But the C&UCV is sloppily editied (too many references to the work as a 70's nugget were left in).

I thought with C&UCV you meant both versions, Cut & UnCutVersion.
I'm very bad with abbreviations - the first C stands for Complete, of course!

That's why I got the impression you didn't care for The Stand at all.


06-12-2011, 10:29 PM
I remember reading him a lot in high school. I don't think I read him much earlier than that.

Carrie: 14

06-13-2011, 01:14 AM
It was 1984, I was deploying to the Indian Ocean and my girlfriend (who dumped me on my return 204 days later, at least not for a Marine) suggested Stephen King. I was mostly a SciFi & Fantasy reader but I needed a bunch of books so I gave him a go. I bought s few from the used bookstore the only one I recall for sure is The Stand because I bought it for it's size.

06-13-2011, 01:48 AM
I started in Junior High with Skeleton Crew when I was 13. It was one of thickest paperback books I found in the bookstore to keep me busy during the long bus rides for a school camping trip. I was excited to begin reading "grown-up" horror stories and King certainly didn't disappoint! :-)

06-13-2011, 01:58 AM
For me it was Carrie at about age 14. As far as I can remember it was for no other reason than the fact that my mother did not approve of the cover image! It was also my introduction to "grown up" horror stories and I was hooked from there. In rapid succcession then tracked down Salem's Lot (which was the first book which scared the living crap out of me) and The Shining. After that cannot remember what came next. I do know that after reading Danse Macabre I was introduced to a whole lot of other books and authors I had not previously heard of (Richard Matheson, Peter Straub and the films of George Romero). Also remember tracking down Books of Blood based purely on SK's famous quote.
With regards favourite SK book...hmmm tricky. Of his earlier books I won't buck the trend and would have to go with It (how good is the fact that it is now to be re released?) closely followed by The Stand (either version is fine by me. Was blown away when I first read it in its original published version. Enjoyed the opportunity to read it again and stay a little longer in that particular world when it was re released). Of the later stories I think Bag of Bones is the one that sticks in my mind however thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck into the great big door stopper that was Under the Dome.

06-13-2011, 03:45 AM
I am not sure what was my first king book but I do have a couple of milestones that stick out for me. My mother was an avid reader and instilled that in me, as a child she was not concerned with what I was reading as long as I was reading. I remember reading the complete Wizard of Oz series at a very young age and loving the fact that they scared me. I have read them as an adult an can't believe those books terrified me so, but at the age of 6 or 7 and reading about trees attacking had a real effect on me. The biggest SK milestone for me was in my Sophomore year of high school, probably 1979, I was reading the original The Stand and mentioned to my mom that it was the best book I had ever read. She commented that she did not understand why I read trash like that when there were much better stories to read. I suggested to her that she should not be judging the books I read if she had not read them. When I finished The Stand she asked me to let her borrow it before I returned it to the library. A couple of days later when I came home from school she told me that the book was so good she had stayed up all night reading. My mom had read The Stand in about 36 hours. From that point on my mom borrowed my SK books as soon as I completed them.

06-13-2011, 02:05 PM
I think I was in the 6th grade and reading a series of books by Piers Anthony. They were fantasy based - dragons, nymphs, etc. When done, I went looking for similar books and found King's Eyes of the Dragon. Not exactly the fantasy I was looking for but it got me hooked. Pretty sure I moved on to The Talisman after that - a long and challenging read for me at the time but I identified with it and couldnt put it down. The hook was fully set.

oh, and I truly loathe the fantasy genre now :)

06-13-2011, 02:09 PM
oh, and I truly loathe the fantasy genre now :)



06-13-2011, 02:30 PM


sorry, i 've had enough warlocks, orcs, and elves to last a lifetime. I think World of Warcraft ruined it for me :)

06-14-2011, 02:34 AM
My best friend turned me on to SK when I was in late 7th or early 8th grade, so I must have been 13 (how appropriate, haha). My friend had several of his books, but I have always been a short story lover, so I borrowed Night Shift and Skeleton Crew to start. While I enjoyed most all of the stories, I'd say Strawberry Spring is the story that really hooked me on King. Viva la Springheel Jack!

I truly cannot recall the first SK novel that I read. It was likely either The Stand or The Shining.

06-14-2011, 07:38 AM
I got "grounded" a LOT as a child, and in addition to not being allowed outside to play, grounding meant no nintendo or gi joe..no toys for naughty boys I guess lol. My mom felt bad for me stewing around the house one day whilst grounded, and took me to the library...where she let an 8 year old check out Cujo. I don't know wtf she was thinking...I'm sure she had some clue of who Stephen King was; god bless her for it at any rate. While I mostly remember taking the book to the bus stop and pointing out all the glorious "fucks" and "shits" to my friends, I've been reading his stuff ever since.

06-14-2011, 04:00 PM
What's the difference between the original The Stand and the Complete & Uncut?

06-14-2011, 04:02 PM
Which would you recommend reading- The Stand (original) OR The Stand (uncut)

06-14-2011, 04:50 PM
1979, I was thirteen years old and a fan of horror already. I remember having glow in the dark posters of the Universal Monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein, and Wolfman) hanging on my wall. They were from some cereal box. Some of my earliest memories are of watching horror movies with my mom, especially The Pit and the Pendulum and episodes of The Night Gallery. Stuff I was able to watch when I stayed up later than the older kids who were already in school. Anyway... the 'Salem's Lot miniseries was coming on TV and I was very excited. That miniseries was my introduction to Stephen King. Soon after I got the book from the library. This was soon followed by Carrie. (I was young enough and naive enough that I didn't understand the opening scene). After that, the books followed pretty much in order of publication. I remember seeing an ad for the publication of Eyes of the Dragon in F&SF Magazine. You could write in for the lottery for a chance to buy the book for $100. That seemed completely ridiculous to me at the time. I didn't have the cash for that & was very happy a few years later when it was released in mass market hardback. Although I did once work for a guy who had 2 copies and I did get to see one of them laying in his office. Oh, that temptation! And I also remember when one of the books came out (I think Pet Semetary) that listed The Dark Tower in the list of previous books. How had I missed that?! The librarian didn't have it in their system, either. And later of course found out it was a limited edition.

My first hardcover purchase was The Talisman. I got it for a nice discount since I was working for a comic shop at the time, and they carried it. And later (after the news of Richard Bachman broke) another employee found a copy of The Long Walk in a batch of used paperbacks and gave it to me. One of the prizes of my collection!

06-14-2011, 05:27 PM
What's the difference between the original The Stand and the Complete & Uncut?

A few hundred pages!


06-14-2011, 06:18 PM
I started about 11/12 and my first was Pet Sematary as well!

06-14-2011, 06:24 PM
Which would you recommend?

06-14-2011, 07:31 PM
First the cut edition, then ,many books later, the complete and uncut one.


06-14-2011, 08:28 PM
Sorry, I'm curious :P but, it the cut edition the first edition? I only own the Complete & Uncut version, and I didn't think there was a difference... Hypothetically speaking; would it matter?

06-14-2011, 08:44 PM
Depends on who you ask. Reading the original version--I take offense at calling it the "cut" version--shows you what it originally was (better); the "Complete and Uncut Version" diminishes (in my opinion) the impact of the original, but read it and make up your own mind. I look at the 1990 version as King's "vanity" project and that's ok. But by never reading the original or reading it after reading the 1990's, you're losing much of what the book actually is...

JJ Holden
06-14-2011, 09:12 PM
It's a long time since I read the 'uncut' version of the Stand, but I think I came away feeling that parts of it worked, and parts of it didn't. But overall, it was still a very cool read.

For the record, my first Stephen King was Salem's Lot. Love that book. And The Shining. And -

06-15-2011, 12:15 AM
So I guess I'm better off reading the first edition... not the uncut.

08-18-2011, 11:03 PM
I started a couple of years ago, because my brother constantly nagged me to read some of his work, I finally gave in. Favorite book(s) The dark tower series.

Endless Horror Tale
08-19-2011, 04:23 PM
My story is a little convoluted. My uncle, my mom's brother, was much younger than she was. As I was growing up, he and I were really close. In fact, he's a large part of the reason I love digging through record stores, watching horror flicks, and reading Stephen King. The Christmas after I turned 12 years old, he was given a copy of IT (along with paperback copies of Pet Sematary and The Shining) from various members of my family. Less than a year later, before I turned 13, my uncle was struck from behind by a truck and killed as he and a friend walked from their college dorm to an all-night diner to get some coffee and food to fuel their studies for finals. After he passed, many of his books were passed on to me, as my grandparents knew how close we were and thought I would enjoy them. I tackled IT first, then quickly devoured Pet Sematary and The Shining.

From 2003 up until the last year or so, most of my reading has been studying or work-related, unless I was on vacation. Over the last year, I have made it a point to balance my duty-reading with reading-for-pleasure. A few months back, my daughter came home from her first year away at college and expressed an interest in reading some King, so I've made a list of recommendations to her. She started with Pet Sematary and the Shining before moving on to The Stand. I'm sending her back to school with copies of IT and The Talisman, and a little while later I'm going to ship her paperback copies of the Dark Tower books (as I replaced mine with hardbacks not too long ago).

08-19-2011, 05:22 PM
I started with King in my late teens or early twenties with the Dead Zone.

Favorites: The Drawing of the Three, The Stand, Different Seasons, The Gunslinger
Least Favorites: The Dark Tower, Gerald's Game

08-19-2011, 05:27 PM
It's strange how many young people have read Pet Sematary. I also read it in high school and enjoyed it very much. However, now that I have a young child, rereading it last year was much more disturbing and effective in delivering chills.

08-19-2011, 05:27 PM
Three months before I turned 14 in 1992, my mother shipped me and my two siblings off to live with my father for various reasons. To help me through this extremely difficult transition, I sat before my father's bookcase and pulled a paperback book from one of the shelves. The cover read: "Stephen King/Four Past Midnight." I recognized the author's name from a stack of books in the bottom of my grandmother's linen closet. I opened the front cover and started to read it. During the course of the next several days, I continued a fascinating journey into adult fiction. With Mr. King as my guide. I quickly moved on to the few other King books that my father owned. Once I finished those, I borrowed from my grandmother's collection. Then I bought the books I hadn't read or borrowed them from the library. A year or so later, my grandmother bought the recently released hardcover edition of Nightmares & Dreamscapes for me during a shopping trip. I haven't purchased King's new releases in any other format since. Unless published otherwise.

As for my favorites (in alphabetical order and I'll limit it to the top five): Christine, Desperation, Dreamcatcher, Needful Things, and The Talisman.

08-29-2011, 12:25 PM
I was a sophomore in HS, and my best friend gave me a paperback copy of The Stand for my birthday (15th). This was ... let's see ... 1983. He had not read it, but had heard it "was pretty good" and he knew I liked to read.

I totally loved that book! It remains to this day my all-time favorite. From there I read a lot of King. I don;t remember the order, but I knew 'Salem's Lot and The Dead Zone and Firestarter were some of my early reads. Oh, and also Christine.

I guess my favorites (aside from The Stand) would be Wizard and Glass, Christine, Different Seasons, Firestarter, Desperation, 'Salem's Lot , and Night Shift.

Ones I did not care for at all were Gerald's Game, The Regulators, Dreamcatcher, and The Tommyknockers. Lisey's Story didn;t do anything for me, although I did like his other "women" novels such as Bag of Bones, Rose Madder, and Dolores Claiborne.

08-29-2011, 03:09 PM
Gerald's Game, The Regulators, Dreamcatcher and The Tommyknockers are often mentioned as least favorite King-novels. My exception would be The Regulators. I much prefer it to Desperation (its companion piece).
Bag of Bones firmly belongs in my King top 5, together with Lisey's Story. I'm just dreading what Mick Garris is going to do (doing!!) with BoB. What King sees in him, I just don't understand.