This post covers the first three novels in King’s bibliography.
CARRIE — 1974
I had seen the various film adaptations of Carrie, and like many people I hold the original adaptation with Sissy Spacek in high esteem. I had never read the book however and it did not disappoint. It is an epistolary novel, which I wasn’t expecting. The story is told through a series of interviews, book excerpts, and news reports. It is a quick and riveting read. Also, knowing the major plot points ahead of time id not take away from my enjoyment at all. King started his published career out with a solid piece of writing.
SALEM’S LOT — 1975
This is one that I had read previously, and it is a book that I love. When I was in high school, my grandfather showed me the television mini-series with James Mason, and I grabbed a copy at the library the next day. I couldn’t put it down. I always like vampire stories and this is a damn good one. I had much the same experience this time around. I read the entire 400+ pages in one sitting. The book has so much going for it: a fantastically creepy tone, compelling characters, a sense of impending doom, and vampires. It is such a great read. I can’t recommend it enough.
THE SHINING — 1977
I had read this one before as well, after seeing the famous Kubrick adaptation starring Jack Nicholson. I enjoy the film, but the book is so much better. The book is a much richer experience: focusing on the character of Danny instead of his father, exploring the supernatural elements plaguing the hotel, and the fantastic development of tension throughout. I enjoyed revisiting it.