Welcome to spooky season! Since it is October and everyone is starting to get into the Halloween spirit, for this Hub Book Club edition we decided to jump right into the trend and look at spooky books from one author.
When thinking about horror or thriller books it’s likely that you think of Stephen King. While there are other famous authors like Dean Koontz or Peter Straub who write in this genre, Stephen King is widely known and has over 60 fictional works to choose from. Today we will take a brief introduction into 6 of his well known spooky stories. The best part? All of these books have theatrical adaptations as well!
Cujo: 3.73 Stars Movie – 1983 Rated R: 6.1 Stars
Cujo is a 200lb St. Bernard dog who is bitten by a rabid bat and goes insane! While the description of this novel focuses around Cujo the dog, the story is really of the people in his town. It isn’t until the end that we truly see the monstrous side of Cujo, yet the fear and eeriness is felt throughout the book. This is a great and quick introduction read if you are just getting into the world of Stephen King.
Carrie: 3.96 Stars Movie – 1976 Rated R: 7.4 Stars
High schooler Carrie White is considered an outcast. Her peers bully her and her religious mother does everything she can to subdue her. Throughout this story Carrie discovers that she has telekinetic powers which lead to a dramatic confrontation during the senior prom. Another quick and exciting read by Stephen King, you may be delighted to know that this story has also been created into a musical. (Watch the show Riverdale? You’ll find this musical featured in Season 2 Episode 18. “Chapter 31: A Night to Remember”).
Bag of Bones: 3.90 Stars Two Part Show – 2011 Not Rated: 5.8 Stars
At 529 pages, “Bag of Bones” is a medium length story in Stephen King’s collection. This book follows the life of forty-year-old novelist Mike Noonan who suddenly lost his wife. To try and keep his mind off things he heads to the lakeside and meets Mattie and Kyra who are struggling to keep their relationship together while a powerful millionaire threatens to split them up. Be wary of ghostly pasts when reading this one!
The Mist: 3.95 Stars Movie – 2007 Rated R: 7.1 Stars
Another quick read from King, “The Mist” combines horror, fantasy and science fiction seamlessly. A small town is ravished by a violent storm shortly before a terrifying mist sweeps across the lake trapping people wherever they are. Those who dare to step out into the unknown likely don’t make it back. So how can anyone escape?
- Editor’s suggestion: Read the story before watching the movie. The endings of each are dramatically different!
It: 4.24 Stars
2 Part Movie – 2017/2019 Rated R: 7.3/6.5 Stars
2 Part Movie – 1990 Rated PG: 6.8 Stars
Of course this wouldn’t be a Stephen King list without his work “It”. Clocking in at 1,138 pages, this well known and critically acclaimed story is of an evil clown named Pennywise in Derry, Maine. It has been produced into two movies and has captured the attention of a diverse audience.
This story will be best suited for a more experienced reader, as King jumps between multiple time eras in a rather sporadic way. Although readers at all levels have enjoyed this work, it is one of his longer pieces, so be aware, when you pick up this book it’ll likely take a minute before you can put it down again!
11/22/63: 4.31 Stars 8 Part Hulu Series – Rated MA: 8.2 Stars
King masterfully blends history, science fiction, romance and horror in this story. While this may seem like a strange combination, once you begin reading 11/22/63 you’ll be hooked and understand how these different genres work so well together.
The main character, Jake, is informed of a portal that goes back to 1958, and sets out on a quest to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Along the way he finds confusion, admiration, sympathy, and love. This story also jumps back and forth from present day to the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. While this may put some readers off, King does it expertly and it is hardly even noticed throughout.
We know there are plenty of other Stephen King works to choose from, so don’t forget to share with us your favorite ones in the comments below, we would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations!
*Editor’s note- Most of King’s work contains crude language. Proceed at your own discretion
*All numerical book ratings found on Goodreads.com*
*All numerical theatrical ratings found on IMDB.com*