Treasures on the Shelves: Somewhat of an early summer treat

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, May 9, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

For book lovers, this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of a classic horror novel of the twentieth century and the emergence of a phenomenally popular author: “Carrie” by Stephen King.

The success of “Carrie”, both as a novel and film, launched King into the public eye and began one of the most successful writing careers in the world. After 65 books and over 400 million copies sold, the scope of his work is amazing. He’s written horror, detective, and apocalyptic fiction, short story collections, screenplays, five nonfiction books, several books under the nom de plume Richard Bachman, and even a musical collaboration with John Mellencamp and T-Bone Burnett, “The Ghost Boys of Darkland County.” Over sixty of his books have been made into movies, either as feature films or television shows.

If you ask a King fan for their favorite title, most of us couldn’t choose just one. What follows is a very brief list of some of his most popular books.

“The Stand” was published in 1978 and was not only a huge bestseller but has become a modern-day classic. Set in the aftermath of a deadly virus, the book is more than just a showdown of good vs evil; themes of survival, found family and salvation, along with some of the most popular characters King has created, make this story unforgettable.

King ventured into sci-fi/fantasy territory with his eight-book series “The Dark Tower.” This is an epic work that follows Roland Dechain, aka “The Gunslinger” as he makes his way across a desolate landscape. The series has elements of the classic quest literature but with American West motifs and a lead character who redefines our idea of a hero.

King’s short stories have been made into several movies but two of these stand out: The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me. Both of these films are contemporary classics and the stories the movies were adapted from can be found in “Different Seasons”, a collection published in 1982. People who have never read King and think of him as only a horror writer should check out these tales and discover just how good an author he is.

King’s latest book, a short story collection called “You Like it Darker” will be published later this month. For his fans, this is an early summer treat and a chance to read one of America’s best story tellers.

Holly Howze is the branch manager for the Ripberger Public Library located in Kenbridge. She can be reached at