Stephen King is perhaps the most recognized horror author of all time. He is known as the king of horror stories. He has had more than 30 books become number 1 best-sellers and he has published more than 60 books and some 200 short stories. Many of his books have become cultural icons. King is a very influential writer and he has an ability to unravel the minds of suspense – seeking readers through his stories. Even though he is considered the King of horror, not all his books are restricted to that one genre. He has written some non-horror and non-scary books that the readers have equally loved. Stephen’s King novels scare readers but simultaneously they also induce wonder, amusement, admiration, hope, nostalgia and joy.
Early days of Stephen King‘s Writing Career
Stephen King career began with the publication of Carrie in 1974. Carrie is a story of a lonely teenage girl and her transition from a bullied child to a vengeful adult. At first the King had tossed the draft of this book in a garbage can but his wife, Tabitha, discovered those pages and retrieved them. She ordered him to complete the story, telling him she wanted to know how it ended. He completed his book and it was published in 1974. Two years after the publication of Carrie, Brian De Palmer adapted the book into a film in 1976. The film was a huge success. The film gained success on the strength of critical praise and word of mouth reviews. After the film was released the book also garnered success and attention. In an interview with the New York Times in 1979 King said, ” The movie made the book and the book made me.” After the publication of Carrie, over the next six years, King published novels Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Rage, The Stand, The Long Walk and The Dead Zone.
Things You Should Know About Stephen King
King was born in Portland, Maine that is why most of his novels are set in small Maine towns with dark underbellies. In King’s novels the main characters are written with care and empathy even though they are deeply flawed and morally gray. The King of Horror is inspired by writers like Richard Matheson of ‘I am Legend’ and Bram Stoker of the classic ‘ Dracula’. The writer resembles his style closely to H.P Lovecraft, who is also one of the most influential writers of the horror genre. Stephen King has in return inspired writers like Haruki Murakami and many others. In ‘Danse Macabre’ King writes about the horror genre, and he explains that there two different types of horror. One horror is that plays with people’s fear based on individual phobias such as fear of spiders or ghosts, something that numerous horror films are based on. However, these fears or horror are limited to just one person or a specific group of people with specific phobia. The other horror is based on political, societal, and psychological fears that are shared by a wider spectrum of people.
Why Stephen King is The King Of Horror Stories
In King’s novels these horrors are represented by abnormal or supernatural. For example: His debut novel Carrie is a story about a lonely teenage girl with telekinetic powers but it really is a story about the suppression of female sexuality in the 60s. , Carrie was published six years after the famous Miss America protest in 1968. The Shining is another one of King’s most famous novels. It is not just a story of a family living in a haunted house. Actually it is a story of a family that is dysfunctional and abusive and deals with emotional and physical abuse. The story also deals with the anger and neglect of an alcoholic parent under the disguise of a haunted house story. There are some novels by King that deal with personal issues. His novels ‘Misery’ and ‘Cujo’ deal with issues of addiction and lack of self-control. These novels were written by King during his own struggle with drugs and alcohol. The King of horror once said that, “It is not the physical or mental abnormalities that really horrify us, but the lack of order in our reality they present.”
Stephen King (Many More Horror Stories to Come….)
Many of Stephen King’s short stories and books have been and are still being adapted into films. The Shawshank Redemption is the best of film versions based on King’s books. The film is based on the short story ‘Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption’. The film failed at the box office when it was first released but despite that it garnered multiple nominations for Academy Awards. After that it was re-released again and it tripled its original box office earnings. Some other films based on King’s books and short stories are, The Green Mile, The Shining, Stand By Me, IT, Misery, Dolores Claiborne, The Dead Zone and No Smoking among others.King as an author has an ability to understand the fears of his readers and to translate those fears into great work of fiction. From abuse to loneliness, King can connect with his readers and offer them a sense of hope. King’s novels tells his readers that they can achieve extraordinary things when they work together for a common good, much like the children from IT.
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