My First Stephen King Read

Is Summer the best season to read books? Because I’m kind of on a reading kick. So I was wondering what books I’d like to read next. One of the most popular and prolific authors of our time is Stephen King. Yet I’ve never read a single one of his books!Shouldn’t I read such a widely known writer as King? Otherwise, I feel like less of an acculturated reader.

Scary Proposition

If I’m going to read a King book, the obvious question is, “Which one?” It should be known that I’m not much into horror and related unsavory fare. So the story should be one of King’s shorter works. I might need to muscle through a book that’s less than palatable.

I’ve seen some movies based on Stephen King stories, so maybe one of those books should be a top choice. Or maybe not.

One idea that strikes me is the fact that I tend to enjoy what my wife calls “miserable” movies. These often have the main character suffer a tragedy. Or if not, they are the victim of a lot of bad choices, either their own or that of others. (Let’s not get into the psychology of why I like these stories…)

With that, one of King’s best known books stands out: Misery.

I watched the movie decades ago, so I kinda know the gist. I’m intrigued by it because it’s about an author – writing! Should I put this on my to-read list? If not, is there a Stephen King book that is generally recommended as a first?

My Fear

I’m afraid that I would end up disliking any King book. In fact, I’m not interested in reading King for his stories or characters. What I want is to see how he writes, to get a full sample of the level of his writing skill as a fiction author.

I thoroughly enjoyed King’s non-fiction book, On Writing. It’s the only King book I’ve ever read. I want to experience first-hand his penned fiction.

What are King’s strengths in his storytelling? Is it his characterization? Are his plots simple yet with twist endings? What’s the pacing? How well does the master of fiction set a scene? Does he have killer dialogue!?

Those questions are driving my curiosity to read a King novel. But maybe I shouldn’t dare to read one. Do you have any recommendations? I will consider the risk. Thanks!