August 20, 2012

My Stephen King Project

Over at sharp pencils, I've been reading, and writing about, Stephen King's books in order of publication.

Last November, I read On Writing, King's non-fiction book on the craft, and was impressed. I had been wanting to read a couple of his novels - It and The Stand - for a number of years, and so thought, in my completist, obsessive way, that I'd read all of his books, in order.

Thanks to a number of area thrift stores and eBay, I have been able to get a hard cover copy of nearly all of his books.

Top five books (so far, in chrono order): 'Salem's Lot, The Stand, The Long Walk, Firestarter, Different Seasons.

March 5: Carrie (1974)
March 23: 'Salem's Lot (1975)
April 2: The Shining (1977)
April 5: Rage (as Richard Bachman) (1977)
April 9: Night Shift (1978)
May 8: The Stand (1978)
May 20: The Long Walk (as Richard Bachman) (1979)
June 2: The Dead Zone (1979)
June 10: Firestarter (1980)
June 16: Roadwork (as Richard Bachman) (1981)
June 23: Danse Macabre (1981)
June 29: Cujo (1981)
July 3: The Running Man (as Richard Bachman) (1982)
July 28: Different Seasons (1982)
August 6: Christine (1983)
August 9: Cycle of the Werewolf (1983)
August 18: Pet Sematary (1983)


JFett said...

Hi Allan - My wife and I own a used book store and we have lots of King books come in and out. Are there any hardcovers you still need to round out your collection? Even if I don't have them, I can keep an eye out for you. I've been enjoying Sharp Pencils very much!

9casey said...

I have to assume with this post.... the season is

allan said...

the season is

Hey, it's an off-day!


I know I need a 1978 copy of The Stand and the expanded and illustrated 'Salem's Lot. And if you ever saw any of the Bachman original paperbacks, that would be cool, too.

allan said...

But, yeah, it's over.

FenFan said...

But, yeah, it's over.

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

I'm just returning from two weeks of vacation, which explains my absence from the boards over that same time. Truth be told, after they blew the game against the Twins on 04 August (Mauer's two-out, three-run bomb in the ninth), which I had the displeasure of experiencing in person, I needed a breather from this team and limited myself to the box scores found in the local newspaper.

As much as I'm trying to remain optimistic and channel my inner John Blutarsky, I have to agree with Allan. Call it bad luck, poor management, whatever, this was just not the year.

9casey said...

allan said...
But, yeah, it's over.

I hear ya , over and over early, what a flippin mess...

mattymatty said...

I read On Writing a while back and was impressed as well. Come to think of it, I should go back and re-read it. Maybe during the off season when baseball writing has died down a bit.

mattymatty said...

Hey Allan, is anyone going to come close to the W-L record? I bet we all over-shot it by a huge margin. I know I did.

Tom DePlonty said...

I bet we all over-shot it by a huge margin... I bet our projections on the tie-breakers are pretty entertaining in retrospect, too.

allan said...

Hey Allan, is anyone going to come close to the W-L record? I bet we all over-shot it by a huge margin.

I was thinking about this last weekend. The low guesses are 85 - the Sox would have to go 26-14 to match that. I am skeptical.

laura k said...

I believe Amy is kicking herself for not going with her original thought of... 75 games, was it?

allan said...

If the Sox don't win at least 85 games, I'd still like to give away the book. Not sure how to do it. Names in a hat?

Tony said...

I really need to read On Writing at some point. Everything I've heard about it has been positive.

This is an awesome project, Allan. I keep waiting for the day King gets the recognition he deserves outside of "dude that sells a lot of books", and I'm glad you're doing your part to bring that day closer.

Oh yeah, and the season's totally over.

odessaphiles said...

Hi Allan

I get a lot of my books from The shipping is free and it's a pretty green company. Hope that this helps in your work....

wardo said...

No matter what one's opinion is of Stephen King's novels, "On Writing" is one of the best, most encouraging books about the craft. Highly recommended reading for any writer.

laura k said...

I'll have to read that. Perhaps it goes on the short list with Bird By Bird and Art and Fear.

On the subject of where to buy books, don't forget Powell's. They have a massive inventory, good prices, and one of the few unionized workforces in the US.

Noah said...

"On Writing" is terrific.

King writes pop fiction, but there's nothing wrong with that. "The Shining" is a lot of fun. 90 percent of "It" is good (it needs an ending). I enjoyed "Christine" and "The Dead Zone."

His stuff is terrific to throw in a backpack when you're looking to kill time.

allan said...

And yet, as I have found, if you want to go deeper and look at his stuff from a lit crit viewpoint, you can. There is a lot of stuff out there, though I wish there was more. It has really enriched my reading, especially of Cujo, Pet Sematary, and The Stand.

Zenslinger said...

I admire King, certainly including On Writing. Writers as prolific as he is are like musicians who produce that many songs: not every one is going to be a masterpiece. But the early career you have represented here is very solid. Based mostly on long-ago readings, I would say only Cujo and Rage are kind of...bad. My wife asked me to read the Hunger Games books, but there is more stark pleasure in a similar nightmarish life-or-death game in his short novel The Long Walk than there is in all three of those books.

Many I have not reread as an adult / older adult, and I haven't read all of his stuff from the 90's on. The Tommyknockers is one that I thought was crappy. Cell from a few years ago just made me feel gross.

I'll be interested to read what you wrote.