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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).
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!
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!
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.
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.
Danse Macabre / Stephen King
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.
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.
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.