I have been a huge fan of King's books since I first borrowed a copy of Misery from a friend at school. I was around eleven or twelve years old (1988-89), and was already a confirmed reader - often to the exclusion of sleep or outdoor pursuits. I took the book home, and read it in bed by torchlight until 2 a.m. My mother noticed it on my bedside table in the morning, opened the book at random, and immediately told me I couldn't read it and should take it back to my friend (I should probably point out that this was the only time I was ever prohibited from reading anything by my parents, and that I subsequently learned that there was a general prohibition on King's books at school, which she had picked up on. A few years later, I was well on my way to collecting as many of his works as I could find, and my parents never once objected). I finished it during lunchbreaks over the next week, and never looked back.
Over the years, I tended to avoid the Dark Tower series - assuming them to be fantasy rather than horror - until I realised one day that I had read everything else he had written (at least until his next book came out). I bought the first three books in the series, and soon found that I was hopelessly engrossed. The wait for the fourth part almost drove me mad. And then I started noticing similarities with other books on my shelf: a recurring character here, a memorable turn of phrase there. I decided to put off completing the series until I had revisited those previous worlds and characters, so that I wouldn't miss a thing.
I am still a devoted reader (and still a King fan), but work and the easy distractions of television, films and the internet have encroached on my time more and more of late. But that is now going to change. After several years of promising myself that I would start my grand reading project, I have decided that now is the time. I hope you enjoy (or at least follow) the journey.
A few points to note:
- I will be reading and reviewing all of King's books in (roughly) publication order, which can be found here. There are a few works on the list which are either out of print and/or were revised or collected elsewhere; hopefully, there will not be too many gaps. My personal collection is made up entirely of UK editions, for those who are interested.
- I had originally planned to leave the Dark Tower series until the end of this endeavour, so as not to lose momentum once I got into it again. But as of March 2014, I've decided that it makes more sense to read them when they crop up in the running order - I think it's probably more useful to read each one in the context of the books around it. This may also provide some insight into the development of the series.
- Please feel free to leave comments and opinions. Nothing too abusive, though. Also, please leave a name (and URL if you have one) rather than posting anonymously.
- Finally, these reviews are likely to contain spoilers - I'm not sure that I can write thoroughly about these books without giving away a few plot points here and there. But I'll make sure to give you warnings when I'm getting into the meat of each book.