The Shining - Carrie - Misery by Stephen King

For the first time ever in one volume three nightmarish tales of horror from the best selling author Stephen King.

Previously  the only book I've read by King was his half-memoir/biography / half-instructions-maual called On Writing. I've attempted other books in the past, but never felt the need to read him and just never been pulled in. The above 3 books all pulled me in so hard I was left momentarily stunned. They are so incredibly well written, I can't believe I haven't read them before. Carrie stands on its own a bit as it's a slightly different writing style and use of POV, but in The Shining and in Misery the thoughts, mental processes and consequent actions of the characters are just so tangible.

If you haven't already, these are all books I can only recommend you to read.

686 pages / published in 1992
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2012

The Shining
Danny is only five years old, but he is a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of an old hotel, his visions grow out of control. Cut off by blizzards, the hotel seems to develop an evil force, and who are the mysterious guests in the supposedly empty hotel?

Incredibly well written, The Shining is such a psychological thriller/horror. It freaked me out a few times, but never in the now-I'm-afraid-to-close-my-eyes kind of way. The ending felt a bit ... off, but I have no clue as to how it "should" have ended any differently.

originally published in 1977

Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be a normal and go to her senior prom. But another act--of ferocious cruelty--turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget.

It being King's debut novel, I felt that style of it was a bit off - like he hadn't truly found the right "voice" just yet. It wasn't as gripping as the other two stories and Carrie is not very likeable or relate-able (but then again, I don't really think she's supposed to be). Still an okay read though.

originally published in 1974

Novelist Paul Sheldon wakes up in a secluded farmhouse in Colorado with broken legs and Annie Wilkes, a disappointed fan, hovering over him with drugs, axe, and blowtorch and demanding that he bring his heroine back to life.

Amazing. Simply amazing. I couldn't put it down, it was so scary/gross at times it was just plain awesome and extremely well written... however it doesn't quite get a full 5 stars though; there was something about the ending that left me confused even after a reread of the last pages. Again, like in The Shining, I think some stories are just hard to end without it being too anti-climactic, too happy even. After so much horror, how can the Main Character or the reader relate to something mellow?

originally published in 1987

Word of warning though: The films made out of Carrie and The Shining are dung. I haven't seen Misery in it's film version as I don't want any more frustration. Basically both films screw up massively, killing off wrong people, changing the major themes and just straight up making a mess of it. I was so disappointed. Rumours has it, so was King.


  1. King is extremely hit-and-miss I find. These three were excellent. Others ("Salem's Lot" and "Bag of Bones", I'm looking at you!), not so much.

    My favourites are still his two newest tomes though, "Under the Dome" and "11/22/63". Both absolutely amazing!

    1. Under the Dome is definitely high on my tbr list :)

  2. My husband is completely obsessed with Stephen King. He compares all other writers to him. I haven't read many of King's book because I'm a not of a chicken and horror books would keep me up all night. I have read The Green Mile and I loved it. King has such an amazing way of writing really memorable characters.

    1. He really does write some memorable characters. And they're so realistic!


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