Stephen King's Best Work Is Not Horror
Stephen King has built his career being the foremost prolific and successful horror storyteller of our generation. Or has he?
In his almost fifty years of publishing stories, he has a tendency to repeat the tales and tropes he finds interesting again and again because if there’s one thing King is not afraid of, it’s putting out his first draft while he hones in the story. "Here’s my story about a murderous car. No, wait. Here is my story about a murderous car. Okay, hang on. This is my story about a murderous car."
Controversially, King’s best work is when he branches away from the supernatural, the ghostly, and the otherworldly and steps into the realm of ordinary people in real situations. An author who after a car accident is taken in by a crazed fan only to be brutalized, a man wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife succumbing to life behind bars but secretly plotting his escape, or an author is murdered and his killer stashes his unpublished works before being sent to prison but after his release goes in search of his hidden treasure only to find a child has stumbled upon his prize and the lengths he is prepared to go to get back what is his. All of these scenarios are horrifying, but in a wholly different way than utilizing some fantastical element like telekinesis or inter-dimensional monsters.
It is at the core of stories like these that we find real characters that we can relate and connect to and it is there that we find the heart and capability of Stephen King’s true storytelling abilities.
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