Thursday, December 17, 2009

Read-alike Guides - Stephen King

If you like the psychological horror tales of Stephen King, you might enjoy one of these books:

Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon
Twelve-year-old Cory Mackenson's father finds a dead man handcuffed to a car's steering wheel that has plunged into Zephyr's Lake in 1964, and they realize that all is not as it seems in their quiet town. McCammon’s novel mixes hair-raising dangers and adventure with a coming-of-age tale.

From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz
Bartholomew Lampion grows up a prodigy, blinded by the surgery required to save him from a fast-spreading cancer. He regains his sight at the age of thirteen and sets out to transform the lives of everyone around him. Kooky characters, multiple storylines, and a fast pace provide something for everyone in this compelling tale of good and evil.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
This classic novel, in which a scientist of the supernatural invites three people to come to Hill House to study and record the occult incidents that occur there, has been scaring readers since its publication in 1959.The phantasma of other worlds—and private worlds—reveal a disconcerting similarity. King fans will appreciate the subtle psychological terror.

Homebody by Orson Scott Card
After losing his daughter in a car wreck, Don Lark buries himself in the work of restoring a magnificent, long-neglected Southern mansion. When he unearths an old tunnel in the cellar, he stirs up the demons of the house's tragic past. This novel is fast-paced, magical, and full of unusual characters.

Hunted Past Reason by Richard Matheson
A camping trip exposes long-hidden rivalries and resentments between two old friends. Tensions rise as they get farther from civilization, until the hostility erupts into a life or death struggle for survival. Matheson effectively translates the basic man-hunts-man story into modern psycho-thriller terms. As always, his dialogue rings true.

Mr. X by Peter Straub
Every year on his birthday, Ned Dunstan experiences a seizure in which he is forced to witness scenes of ruthless slaughter perpetrated by a mysterious and malevolent figure in black whom Ned calls Mr. X. Straub writes this horrific tale of self-discovery in evocative prose, populated with well-drawn characters. Mr. X boasts a labyrinthine plot with shocking twists.

Relic by Douglas J. Preston and Lincoln Child
Investigating a series of savage murders that disrupt a massive new exhibition at the New York Museum of Natural History, graduate student Margo Green finds a clue in a failed Amazonian expedition. Relic has the right blend of gripping suspense, colorful characters, and credible science to create a gripping page-turner.

Sleep No More by Greg Iles
Enjoying a happy marriage while remembering an obsessive love affair years earlier (with a woman who subsequently died), John Waters encounters a woman with a secret only his ex-girlfriend knows. When she, too, is killed, Waters' life is enveloped by guilt and suspicion. Iles is masterful at sustaining psychological suspense with a multitude of plot twists and possibilities.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
A masterpiece of modern Gothic literature, this is the story of two boys and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a "dark carnival" one autumn midnight. How these two innocents save the souls of the town, makes for compelling reading on timeless themes. Bradbury excels in revealing the dark side that exists in us all.

Summer of Night by Dan Simmons
Terror comes to Elm Haven, Illinois, when something or someone makes off with a child, bizarre events occur with increasing frequency, and the long-silent Borgia Bell rings by itself, announcing a malignant presence. Stephen King calls Summer of Night an “American nightmare with scares, suspense, and a sweet, surprising nostalgia, one of those rare must-read books.”

Also by Stephen King:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
King shares his insights into the craft of writing and offers a humorous perspective on his own experience as a writer. This is unmistakably King—friendly, sharply perceptive, cheerfully vulgar, sometimes adolescent in his humor, sometimes impatient with fools, but always sincere in his love of language and writing. (Find it in the nonfiction section, 813.54 Kin.)

Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with Stephen King
Bare Bones is a cornucopia of rare insights into Stephen King, the man and the writer. The editors have assembled the first book of conversations with him, a series of revealing interviews King has granted to some of America's most respected interviewers. King discusses his life, his work, his fears and dreams. (Available in nonfiction, 813.54 Ki.)

The Bachman Books: Four Early Novels
Many of King’s early novels were written as Bachman. This omnibus includes Rage, a story of stunning psychological horror about an “estra” ordinary high school student; The Long Walk, a contest with death; Roadwork, a strange variation on the theme of “Home Sweet Home;” and The Running Man, where you bet your life—literally. (F Kin)

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