My favourite author always has been, and always will be, Stephen King. The first King book I ever read was The Green Mile when I was about 14 years old (I’m now 29) and since then I have read 37 of his books, with many more to go! I’ll never forget how I felt when I picked up that first book; it was the first real ‘adult’ book that I ever read and I was amazed at the power of his words. I found myself feeling emotions that I had never felt before, and I still feel new emotions for each King book I pick up. I’ve been through them all – grief (if you’re a King fan you’ll know that this is a frequently recurring emotion!), love, hatred, disgust, horror (if you’re NOT a King fan, not as often as you’d think), shame, pride… I could go on!
After having taken a break from reading King a number of years ago I’ve recently picked up with him again, and I am on a mission to read everything he has ever written before my days are up. At the moment I am trying to read one Stephen King for every 3-4 books that I read to keep a good balance. I have to say, I am thoroughly enjoying the process and I am itching to re-read some of the books I read 15 years ago.
After reading The Green Mile I was spoilt with books to choose from, and I picked some of his best to read in the early years, thus cementing my love for King. The Dead Zone, Firestarter and The Shining were a few of my early reads, but the one that earned my eternal dedication was The Stand which I have now read three times (I will write a separate review for this – I suppose that means it deserves another read?!)
Other than the nostalgia that King brings up for me, the reason that he is my firm fave is due to his always-flawless writing. He brings in details that you didn’t even realise you needed to know and creates such vivid scenes you stop being a reader and become part of the story. Even now if I think hard enough I can be in Derry building a dam with the Losers Club, or smoking roll-ups and having a palaver with Roland in mid-world.
Yes, King is a horror writer (and a bloody good one at that) but what he really does is write people. I find it amazing how he can so accurately reflect such a wide range of personalities and make you feel like a fictional character can be your best friend, or even your worst enemy. He continues to create unique characters even though he has written hundreds, if not thousands. He obviously favours some traits (tortured writer anyone?!) but each character has his or her own personality and earns their place in his stories. I love each and every one of them!
Stephen, you are my hero.