June 2016: Stephen King and Family


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June 2016: Stephen King and Family

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Maio 27, 2016, 9:58am

This month, we are celebrating the royal family of horror: the Kings! There will be no shortage of great reads to choose from. And we are fortunate that both Stephen King and his son Joe Hill have new books out this month: End of Watch by King and The Fireman by Hill.

Stephen King is one of my favorite writers, and I think I have read pretty much everything he has written. In fact, I just finished The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, his latest collection of short stories, and I recommend it. But if you haven't read much King, I think starting with his early work is best. His first published novel was Carrie, and other terrific early books include Salem's Lot, The Shining, The Stand, Night Shift, and The Dead Zone. However, King has been on a roll lately with a new hard-boiled crime trilogy, starting with Mr. Mercedes, and a Lovecraftian horror novel, Revival, which was one of my favorite reads of the year.

Joe Hill, King's son, has already made a reputation as a great horror writer in his own right. My favorite books by him are Heart-Shaped Box and NOS4A2. Hill also writes a comic series, Locke and Key.

Owen King, King's other son, does not write horror, but if you choose to read his novel Double Feature for this month, nobody will complain. Owen is married to the suspense novelist Kelly Braffet, author of Josie and Jack and Save Yourself.

Finally, King's wife, Tabitha King, has also published a few horror novels, including The Trap and Small World. I've never read any of her books, so if you can find copies, I'd love to hear what you think of her writing.

If you'd like to learn more about the Kings, the New York Times did a nice profile here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/magazine/stephen-kings-family-business.html?_r... (source of the photo above).

Maio 27, 2016, 10:00am

So, what will everybody be reading this month? I've pre-ordered End of Watch and expect to read that, probably on vacation.

Maio 28, 2016, 4:11pm

Ha! Danse Macabre just came into the library for me today! It will be one of the first books I read in June, but I still want to count it for May, since that was my aim for it.

For June, I am leaning toward the next book in Joe Hill's Locke and Key series. I think I'm on vol. 3 Crown of Shadows.

One I want to finally get to by Stephen King is 22/11/63, but I'm not sure if I'll get there this month or not.

I suppose, since I really do want to aim for horror, I should still with the Joe Hill!

Maio 28, 2016, 5:32pm

I don't think I've ever read anything by Stephen King, although I have seen a number of movies based on his books (Carrie, The Shining, Salem's Lot and others), which I mostly liked. I also didn't know his sons and wife wrote stories.

I'm planning to try out Mr. Mercedes. A review described it as a thriller detective story with Stephen King's brand of odd characters and a truly horrific killer. I am more of a reader of thrillers and detective novels than horror so that's appealing. And I'm interested to see how Stephen King writes a detective story.

>1 sturlington: Thanks for all the good information on King and family. I looked on his website to see what books he wrote and the list of all his writings is huge! I knew he was prolific but that list is amazing!

Maio 28, 2016, 6:07pm

Yep he's been writing since he was a teen. :)

Aside of Danse Macabre probably rolling over into next month, I have no idea what I'll be reading yet. We'll find out! Lol.

Maio 28, 2016, 6:32pm

My reserved library copy of The Fireman just came in, so that's what I'm choosing for this month.

Editado: Maio 28, 2016, 8:09pm

>4 gaylebutz: Yes, Mr. Mercedes is a bit of a departure for King, as it is more of a thriller, but it still has some signature King touches. I hope you like it.

>6 mathgirl40: I'm eager to hear what you think of The Fireman!

Maio 29, 2016, 6:53am

I am currently reading Joyland. I am a little over half way through, and am enjoying it. I just finished a re-read of Cujo. On recent runs I've been looking around, making sure there aren't any suspicious acting dogs near by !

Editado: Maio 29, 2016, 8:25am

Maio 29, 2016, 1:22pm

I loved Joyland, as well! Was a favourite when I read it a couple of years back!

Maio 29, 2016, 4:02pm

I am getting a kick out of the names King gave the Joyland attractions/positions: Delirium Shakes, Captain Nemo's Splash and Crash, Wiggle-Waggle Village, Happy Hound Shuttle, Carolina Spin, Annie Oakley Shootin' Gallery, etc.

Maio 29, 2016, 6:18pm

I also loved Joyland! I am going to be reading The Fireman by Joe King as I was able to get a signed copy. I think I'll finish the short story collection Different Seasons by Stephen King. I've listened to The Body and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. I will listen to Apt Pupil and Breathing Method.

Jun 3, 2016, 4:36pm

In honor of Stephen King month, I posted some pics of my Stephen King shelves over on my personal thread, so as not to clutter up this one, so please to click here.

Editado: Jun 12, 2016, 6:52pm

Okay, I powered through End of Watch today. Because, you know, this day. Ugh.

Anyway, it was not as good as I wanted it to be or as the previous two books in the trilogy. OK, but not great.

Jun 12, 2016, 7:17pm

I finished The Fireman by Joe Hill yesterday and I really enjoyed it. It's my first Hill. I look forward to more work by him.

>14 sturlington: :(

Jun 12, 2016, 11:10pm

So, I'd intended on reading this in May for nonfiction, but life got in the way. It fits June, as well.

Danse Macabre / Stephen King
3 stars

This was originally published in 1981. It is an analysis/criticism of horror books, movies and tv from 1950 to 1980. Although King said more than once in the book that he doesn't like analyzing this stuff, that's what the book felt like to me. More like the analysis and criticism one is supposed to do in English classes, and I was never interested in doing that. I read for interest, fun, enjoyment (or sometimes to scare myself in the horror I read!). But, not to analyze. Because of that, I lost interest many times while reading the book. There were parts that I did find myself following; moreso for books, movies and/or tv I've already read or seen. Overall, I'm rating it “ok”, but I think it really wasn't my cup of tea.

Jun 12, 2016, 11:35pm

Locke & Key. Vol. 3: Crown of Shadows / Joe Hill
3.5 stars

The third book in the Locke & Key series finds the Locke kids home alone for a couple of days, and of course, an additional key is found and used.

Don't want to say too much in the summary, but overall, I enjoyed this. However, I found that, in this volume, I was more interested in family dynamic than the horror part of the book.

Jun 15, 2016, 1:27pm

>15 luvamystery65: I'm looking forward to reading that.

>16 LibraryCin: I'm sure Danse Macabre is a bit dated by now, but one thing King said that really stuck with me is that horror reflects the general societal fears of the time. Which I believe in the late 70s was bad real estate deals.

Jun 15, 2016, 2:39pm

I'm a bit over halfway through it, and sure, some stuff is dated (mentions of going to your nearby store to look through their albums, if you can manage to catch a showing at the drive-in, etc), but nothing that actually matters to the discussion he's having.

Jun 21, 2016, 4:37pm

I just finished Mr. Mercedes. It's a thriller and the first in a trilogy about a retired cop and a deranged killer. It's also the first Stephen King that I've read.

The story switches back and forth between the cop trying to figure things out and the killer and what he's planning. There's a bit of humor here and there. There are a number of improbable things that happen but putting that aside, an entertaining read.

I've read similar types of stories by authors like James Patterson. But, King did a pretty good job. The characters that are good are likable, engaging and sometimes quirky. The bad guy did some pretty horrific things and the descriptions are sometimes graphic, which I don't really like because I'm squeamish. But, there's not really a lot of that. So, I would read more in this trilogy.

Jun 21, 2016, 9:49pm

>20 gaylebutz: Good to hear you'll continue reading King! At least this trilogy, anyway. I've only recently read Mr. Mercedes, as well (though I've been reading King since high school - he was my favourite author for a while back then), and I do plan to continue the trilogy, as well.

Jul 9, 2016, 10:57pm

I finished The Fireman and loved it! Though it's billed as horror, it's not all that scary, but it's a terrific post-apocalyptic novel with characters that really appealed to me. Joe Hill includes a lot of references to other authors' works, as well as to movies, especially Mary Poppins. I was greatly amused by the boat named, "the Maggie Atwood".