Stephen King

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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succumbing to life behind bars but secretly plotting his escape, or an author is murdered and his killer stashes his unpublished works before being sent to prison but after his release goes in search of his hidden treasure only to find a child has stumbled upon his prize and the lengths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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    The "Cosmology" of the Works of Stephen King

    A deeper analysis of the comprehensive mythology that underscores Stephen King’s works. What does King have to say (implicitly or otherwise) about good/evil, God, the nature of the universe, etc

    • This sounds really interesting. Are there specific example that can be given? – LaRose 5 years ago
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    • Pet Cemetery, Carrie, The Langoliers all deal with good/evil and humanity interacting with uncertainties of the universe. PC and Carrie have more divine implications, while The Langoliers deals with the science fiction side of the idea.I am missing a few which could be argued with both sides, but those are some ideas. – C N Williamson 5 years ago
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    • The Gunslinger, the first book in the dark tower series, definitely deals with these themes as well, and King considers these books his best work – Thomas Sutton 5 years ago
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