“Based on a work by Stephen King” – if you want to watch a good horror movie, you’ll probably find that message on the beginning. The american writer won a lot of important prices, sold more than 400 million books and also influenced generations with his macabre stories. Actually, his own story is kinda creepy: when he was a child, he saw a friend die in front of him, hitted by a train.
Also, after his mom passed away, Stephen started to have serious drug problems, especially with alcohol and cocaine. During this bad phase phase, he wrote a lot of good books and just sober up again in the 90s. Because of that, some of his characters have attributes that came from himself: writers, with family problems and who love to drink.
If you wanna know his work better and don’t know how to start, we can help you: here comes our list with the 5 best horror books to get to know Stephen King. Check out!
“She was alone with Momma’s angry God”
Carrie (1974, Publisher Doubleday)
You probably heard about this novel: a girl, who had psychic powers and took a bloodbath during the ball. But believe me: it’s so much more. Carrie’s powers can scarcely frighten more than the violence she suffers herself: the shy girl is bullied at school and has a fervent religious mother who makes her life more and more like hell. The best way to start reading Stephen is knowing Carrie, his first published book. The 199 pages are easy to read, and you might surprise yourself with the complexity of the story.
“Sometimes dead is better”
Pet Sematary (1983, Publisher Doubleday)
Although Stephen King gave interviews saying that he hated this book, it’s also one of the most famous and prestigious works of his career. Actually, one of the darkest too. A family moves to a house that is next to a highway, in the Maine state. From the beginning, one of the neighbors, who ends up becoming a friend of the family, shows them a nearby cemetery (in the book, is purposely misspelled, “sematary”), and there are buried only pets. However, after a series of events, they find out that there is another cemetery, which has an even darker secret. Surprising and terrible, it is a necessary reading for horror lovers.
“Wendy? Darling? Light of my life. I’m not gonna hurt ya”
The Shining (1977, Publisher Doubleday)
Forget the movie you’ve watched (which is also very good one, by the way). This book have a very different concept, and it’s equally scary. Jack Torrance is a former alcoholic who lost his teaching job because he assaulted a student. After several financial problems and a shaken marriage, he decides to try again with a new job opportunity that comes up: the Overlook Hotel needs a caretaker during the winter. In addition to teaching, he dreams of becoming a successful writer, and perhaps isolation is a good way to finish his play. He moves to the hotel with his wife Wendy, and his kid, Danny. Psychological terror is built slowly, and it is no wonder that this is one of the author’s best-known works.
“When you’re down here with me, you’ll float, too”
It (1986, Publisher Viking)
Ok, 1138 pages might scares you, but It will rarely bore you. The story is so well done that perhaps you read this one fast. The premise seems simple: every 27 years, mysterious deaths and disappearances occur in the city of Derry, Maine. First, we met Pennywise, a terrible clown who seems to feed on people. But this creature can also appears in other forms, shaping itself according to the worst fears of its victims. A group of friends gather when it comes back to attack again, and only them can change the course of this story. Prepare your heart for very scary and bloody scenes as well as to love faithfully each of the great characters in this book.
“I am in trouble here. This woman is not right”
Misery (1992, Publisher Viking)
This book explores a very real theme: crazy fans and how dangerous they can be. Paul Sheldon is a famous writer who suffered a car accident during a snowstorm. He was rescued by nurse Annie, who claims to be his number one fan. She takes him to her isolated home and takes care of his health, but one day she ends up having access to the originals of the writer’s next book and discovers that her favorite character will be dead. This revelation makes Annie’s unhealthy personality reveals itself, and then it remains for Paul to find some way to survive.