The King of Creepy (Stephen King, of Course)
October 08, 2012
Happy October, all. And, what is it we love about October? Halloween, of course. And nothing says Halloween like an evening curled up in front of the slowly dying embers of a fire with your favorite Stephen King book. Whether your tastes run toward the mental and emotional horrors suffered by the friendly caretaker Dolores Claiborne or to the more tangible ones enjoyed by the family in Pet Sematary, Stephen King’s books truly run the gamut, from sci-fi/evil to corrupt government creepy (The Running Man and The Long Walk, novellas from The Bachman Books) to the creepiness inherent in our own minds (Thinner, Misery) to nasty, horrible, awful, sickening creepy (It, Carrie, The Shining, Gerald’s Game, and the list goes on and on).
My personal favorites by Stephen King are The Stand and the books in the Dark Tower series. The Dark Tower books aren’t technically considered classic horror (they’re catalogued as fantasy fiction), but they are indeed packed with enough creepy people, events, and trains to horrify anyone with a grain of imagination. I love the characters in these books. I liked The Stand for the same reason; the characters are highly believable people you gradually grow to love.
I’ve never been much of a horror fan, but King is the exception to my rule. His storytelling is of a caliber most authors only aspire to. I don’t read his fiction too often, usually preferring a good cookbook, a cozy murder mystery, or a lightly comedic novel (think Jane Austen or Alexander McCall Smith). These are books one can enjoy at one’s leisure, picking the book up and putting it down when circumstances demand it, or when sleepiness takes over. Part of what makes these books enjoyable is the fact that they demand so little from me. But when I pick up a novel by King, I find that the tables have turned; I feel emotionally enthralled and horridly entranced by the awful events packed within those pages.
So, while much of the time I choose to stay on the lighter side of literature, once a year or so I find myself inexorably drawn to the shelves of Stephen King novels that lurk in the stacks, and helplessly, willingly, choosing my fate…
Lone Jack Branch