Stephen King is one of the most prolific authors of the modern literary scene. She is a real ant and a total workaholic, so he allows himself to publish at least two books a year.
It is not easy to make such a short list of essential books, since most of his work could be considered as such (except for a couple of bullshit like Possession or Damn Road). I will try to be as objective as possible with this list, and leave you with the titles that are really indispensable.
Everybody knows The Glow, It or Carrie, those books that made him famous, and most of you will have seen Perpetual Chain, Stay with Me or The Green Mile, all drawn from his stories. However, there are just as many books as brilliant, stories that have laid the foundations on which his Throne King of Terror rises.
I hope you like this list, I hope you find some of your favorite books or discover some title that may surprise you.
Carrie, Carrie White, is the first brick, the first grain of sand. First came the ugly and timid Carrie White and behind her, the darkness. Carrie is his first published novel, and has a story behind it, a novel by a novel writer that was going to revolutionize literature.
In Carrie, Stephen King explores for the first time the interior of the human being, its characters, the bad and the not so bad that open the doors to us to that small town of Mayne, Chamberlain. King deals with one of his favorite subjects, psychic powers and telekinesis, a theme that will appear throughout his work (Danny’s glow, for example).
Carrie is an ugly and unfriendly teenager, with an ultra-religious mother who harasses her and watches her like an old idol with a cruel look. Carrie discovers her power, and would fight to keep it under control. Being the center of all teasing, a power like that can be a really dangerous weapon.
2. The Shinning
The glow is the story of father and son, a vision of a sick mind and how Jack Torrance is losing his fight against the Overlook hotel and the Torrance family being abused at the hands of the father.
It’s a story that catches you and keeps you tense, with all the ghosts that populate the Overlook, those hedgehogs and the vulnerable Danny Torrance in the middle of everything.
King tells the story of a group of friends (The Losers Club), first as children and later as adults. Together with them we will face the desperate struggle of children against an unimaginable horror and later, as adults, we will have to face for the last time the same being that populated their childhood nightmares.
It is special and dark. In it, we find one of the most controversial scenes of King’s career.
Another wonder narrative, a real nightmare for any writer. In Misery, King explores his own demons, his fears.
It tells the story of Paul Sheldon, author of several romantic novellas starring Misery Chastaine (Misery and Paul Sheldon will also appear throughout King’s work).
Paul suffers an accident and awakes in a bed, with the legs shattered, in a strange cabin, next to a shady and enormous woman named Annie Wilkes, who claims to be his number one fan.
In Misery, King explores the nature of his own life. Through Annie Wilkes, the writer fights the demons of their own addictions (at that time, King got into everything). Paul Sheldon’s struggle to escape from the nurse is King’s own fight against alcoholism and drug addiction.
A book you cannot miss, King in his purest state.
In Joyland we accompany the young Devin Jones, a student who goes to work at summer to the amusement park. There he will meet new and wonderful people that will make him forget for a while his ex-girlfriend. You will also know that the park hides a mystery, some say that in the tunnel of love appears a girl dressed in blue, and she is the ghost of a young woman who was killed in the park.
The ghost story serves as a background for a detective story reminiscent of those old pulp and hard boiled magazines of the 40s and 50s. Joyland is a masterful work, a warm love story and a thrilling detective novel at the same time.
For me a book essential, whether you like King, or not, because it is a story out of the ordinary. A work of art.