My love affair with Stephen goes back a long long time. I cant remember how old I was exactly. 11? 13? I'm not sure now but it was somewhere around there when I went to our local library - which was all of about 50 steps outside my front gate - and picked up a book entitled Christine. I remember holding the book in my hands and thinking that it would be the fattest book I would have read at that point in my life. I dared myself and walked back the 50 odd steps and sat down to begin what was to become the beginning of my long standing fascination with Mr King.
I was instantly addicted. I love his writing style, his plot lines, how he makes you believe in the characters. Root for them, love some of them, hate some of them. I've read nearly every single book he has ever written with the exception of just a few, notably the Dark Tower series. I'm honest when I say I'm not sure why I haven't read any of those, but for some reason, the covers have always sort of put me off. (Ridiculous I know) And I'll be honest when I say I've never even picked up one to read what its actually about, but that is one series Ive always gone...'meh...not bothered'. But there you go. Perhaps, after I've written this, I will go downstairs, pick up the first book in the series and have a read and change my mind.
If i say I've read a 100 books in my life, I would be fibbing...Ive easily read a thousand books, if not more. I wish there was a way of counting, but there isn't. Many I've forgotten. I'll pick up a book and look at the cover and not remember that I've read it. Some, I'll even read the story synopsis on the back cover and it wont look familiar. Not until I've read a few pages into it and realise that I have already read it. Those are the books that don't really make much of an impact on me. Then there are those that do, and I blogged about Rosamund Lupton recently so she clearly did. But then there is Mr King's books. I remember each and every one of them. Ive recommended many of his books to friends of mine, and have lost many books by lending them out. A lesson I never really seem to learn from.
But, if I was to choose just one book, in all the books I've ever read to be my favourite book it would be, without a doubt, The Stand. Ive read it a few times and I'll read it a few times more, and I'm not talking the watered down version, I'm talking the uncut version. It truly is an epic of a story which stays with you for days and days after. The last time I read it, even though I knew I was coming to the end of the story, and even though I knew how it ended, I still didn't want it to end. I just wished I could carry on reading it forever.
Yesterday, I saw a clip of Stephen King giving an interview about 11.22.63 and I was shocked to see how much he had aged. I still remember his picture on the back of the book of Christine and that's the face I see every time I think of him, yet there he was, talking about where he was when Kennedy was assassinated, and that that was their 911 of the time and it got me thinking about all of our mortality and the thought that he would one day no longer be around to write any more books was an incredibly sad thought for me. I'm always looking out for his next new book. I loved Dome - read it in a few days and I loved Cell. He is yet to disappoint me.
One day, when trying to explain to my daughter, the wonder of Mr King, I grabbed IT off the shelf and started to read the first few pages to her. The story gripped her, like I knew it would, right from the start, and later, I overheard her telling her brother the little bit of the story that I had read to her. She is yet to pick up the book and read it proper for herself though.
So...what is this blog all about then. Goodness knows really? Except to say that I am so thankful for Mr King, and for authors like him. Thinking of Mr Dean R Koontz now. I love reading and love nothing better than to be transported into another world. I love the fact that I can read horror and be scared out of my wits, but close the book after a while and be safe and simply enjoy the story as it was meant to be enjoyed.
I am currently reading Brandon Ford - Decayed Etchings, this is a new discovery of mine (I'll thank Twitter for that) and the jury is still out on what I think about him. He has a rather weird imagination. Somewhat dark, which I love, and one or two of his stories in this book has stayed with me, which is good. One of these stories actually made me queasy and that takes a lot nowadays, but a lot of the endings to his short stories leave me feeling rather flat and I sit there thinking...really? That's it? I think I'll reserve judgement until Ive read a full novel of his first though.
I'll keep you posted.