The older works of Stephen King

September 22, 2010 2:54pm CST
Is it just me or does anybody else out thre think that Stephe Kings older books are so so much better? I think of books like "It, "Firestarter", even "misery was good. Then we get the likes of "Geralds Game". I was the biggest King fan and then I discovered Dean Koontz. He truly got better and better, but his first books were excellent also. Any thoughts on this?
2 people like this
10 responses
@burrito88 (2779)
• United States
20 Oct 10
One of my favorite King books was The Stand which I read in both the original abridged form and later in the longer form that he was forced to cut down. That's king of a comment on his early works. Most of the books were shorter and it wasn't until he started to sell more that he could get longer books published. When you talk about his 'early' books, you need to consider the first 5 Bachman books. Those were early books that he wrote and couldn't get published. He later re-wrote them and got them published under the name Richard Bachman. They did not sell until it became know who the real author was, however, those books are somewhat inferior compared to Salems' Lot, Carrie, Firestarter, etc. (I do like the Running Man though and think that the book was better than the movie.) Dean Koontz like King also wrote several novels befre hitting it big, the only difference is that Koontz had many of them published as paperbacks and also used a number of pen names in addition to using his own name. Once he became famous several of those books were re-issued as hardbacks, some, I believe, he re-wrote, and yet there are others that he considers to be so bad he will not allow them to be reprinted. Although I've read several earlier books by both authors, I can't seem to find the time to read their newer books even thoug I've bought many of them. Lately, I've been reading biographies of the early American Presidents and perhaps dumbin myself down by reading James Patterson.
@burrito88 (2779)
• United States
6 Nov 10
For the most part, the movie was not that bad and it had a pretty good cast.
• Canada
4 Nov 10
I agree with you completely. I was a huge fan of his earlier stuff, starting with Carrie. I haven't even read some of his more recent stuff. I think part of it is I am older, so possibly the things that capture my imagination have changed, but also the writer himself is older, and it probably reflects in his works. I think his earlier stuff had a lot more psychological thrills to it and swept you away with characters that could easily have been your neighbours.
@burrito88 (2779)
• United States
6 Nov 10
I have trouble getting into some of his newer books because they are so long and I don't have the time to read them.
@burrito88 (2779)
• United States
13 Jan 12
It took a while before Stephen King sold a book and it took him a while to develop a formula that allowed him to sell books for print. Some his early books were published under the name Richard Bachman but were only published after King got famous. Those books did not sell until it became know that King was the author. The Bachman books are different than the books that made King famous. Much of King's early published work took advantage of some of our childhood fears. Vampires and werewolves from horror movies, ghosts, etc. When I was a child one of my fears was of being chased by a car. He used those fears and then expressed them in a normal but sometimes graphic manner. Dean Koontz also took a while to develop a formula. Unlike King, I think he had more luck getting published but I don't think he made much money because his books were published as paperbacks. Many of his books were published under different names. I'm not sure if that allowed him to sign publishing contracts with more than one company but it seems like it allowed him to publish books more frequently than if he used one name. Koontz has admitted that some of his early books were not all that good. Some he would like to re-write, some he would like the world to forget. Once an author gets well known, I think their publication rate becomes controlled more by their publisher than by their real output. The publisher wants to milk each new work for all it's worth so they delay publishing anything new until the current book has more or less run it's course. The only exception this seems to be named Patterson and to a lesser extent one named King.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
6 May 11
Haven't read Gerald's Game, I do think that Cell, which was fairly recent, was pretty good. I agree with you about his early works though. My favorite is Firestarter.
@Porcospino (19691)
• Denmark
6 May 11
I haven't read all of his books, but based on the ones I have read I would say that I prefer his older books. Some years ago I borrowed some of his older books at the library, the was one collection of short stories that I really liked, I don't remember the name of it, but I really enjoyed the stories. When I heard that there was a new collection of short stories written by him ("Just after sunset") I was excited and I decided to borrow the book at the libraty. I was disappointed in the stories, some of them were okay, but I didn't find them scary and none of them surpriced me. I haven't read any of his new novels so I can't read compare them to the old ones, but I definately prefer his old short stories.
@AdalieM (1135)
• United States
6 May 11
I haven't read any of his new books, I guess it depends on your point of view. For me King is one phenomenal writer and I think all of his books are well written and full of thrills and it just keeps you asking for more.
@zeit80 (4)
• China
2 Dec 10
I really like Stephen King,I have seen his work,personally prefer(Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital) or from either to the screen shot is so beautiful,including the songs are so nice.In any case continue to support the uncle,I hope he will give you with a better work
@riverblue (183)
• India
2 Dec 10
This is true in the case of many of the writers.However you cant say all earlier works of King are good and new books are not.Some of his new books are good.The problem is he keeps on writing pages and pages.Of course only he could get away with it.Have you read his Duma Key and just after sunset.
17 Oct 10
I totally agree with you,IT was scary but GERALDS GAME was total and utter rubbish.The other comment you got is true I really enjoyed CELL and SALOMS LOT was brilliant. I have a few of Dean Koontz book,but also has the same problem some books good,some not so good.I guess these authors are only human though and can't always get it right.No doubt they enjoy writing some books more than others. I only know I wish I had an iota of their talent for entertaining people.I thank both of them for many hours of escapism.
22 Sep 10
I've only read a small handful of Stephen King's books, so I'm not qualified to comment on his body of work as a whole, but I have to say that one of his recent books, "Cell", was excellent. Especially if you like zombie stories. King has his own unique twist on the genre, as you might expect. I think Stephen King tended to flounder at writing endings in some of his novels, but this one is really good.