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Stephen King - the undisputed Master of horror fiction




Es wurden Grafiken aufgrund ihrer Größe entfernt


Stephen King




the undisputed Master of horror fiction


Introduction





Stephen King is known around the world as today's most successful author of horror fiction. It has been written that 'King could write out his laundry list and have it published.' Though there is truth to this, the quality of King's work has never wavered, from his early short stories, to Wizards and Glass, the recently released and long awaited book of the Dark Tower Series.

King worked hard to be where he is today. Rejections (and there were many in the beginning) failed to dishearten him. He was a story teller at heart, and built his obsession with writing into an amazingly successful career. 'There is only one way to learn how to write,' King said in an article I read some time back, 'that is to write and write and write there is no other way.'

Biography( Stephen King as writer)


Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947 at the Maine

General Hospital in Portland Maine. His parents were Donald Edwin King and Ruth Pillsbury King. Stephen being the only natural born child in the family and his older brother David having been adopted at birth two years earlier.

The Kings were the typical family until one night when Donald King said he was stepping out for cigarettes and was never heard from again. At this point Ruth took over raising the family with help from other relatives of the family. They traveled throughout many states over several years finally moving back to Durham, Maine in 1958.

Stephen King began his actual writing career in January of 1959

when David King and Stephen decided to publish their own local town newspaper named Dave's Rag. David bought a mimeograph and they created a paper that sold for five cents an issue.

Stephen King attended Lisbon High School, in Lisbon, Maine in 1962. Collaborating with his best friend Chris Chesley, in 1963 they published a collection of 18 short stories called People, Places, and Things-Volume I. King's stories included 'Hotel at the End of the Road', 'I've Got to Get Away!', 'The Dimension Warp', 'The Thing at the Bottom of the Well', 'The Stranger', 'I'm Falling', 'The Cursed Expedition', and 'The Other Side of the Fog.'

A year later King's amateur press Triad and Gaslight Books, published a two part book titled 'The Star Invaders'.

Stephen King made his first actually published appearance in 1965 in the magazine Comics Review with his story 'I Was a Teenage Grave Robber.' The story ran about 6,000 words in length.

In 1966, Stephen King graduated from high school and took a

scholarship to attend the University of Maine. Looking back on his high school days, King recalled that 'my high school career was totally undistinguished. I was not at the top of my class, nor at the bottom.'

Later that summer King began working on a novel called 'Getting It On', about some kids who take over a classroom and try unsuccessfully to ward off the National Guard. During his first year at college, King completed his first full length novel, 'The Long Walk.' He submitted the novel to Bennett Cerf/Random House only to have it rejected. King took the rejection badly and filed the book away.

Stephen King made his first small sale with his story 'The Glass Floor' for the amount of thirty-five dollars.

In June 1970, Stephen King graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a certificate to teach high school.

King's next idea came from the poem by Robert Browning, 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.' He found bright colored green paper in the library and began work on The Dark Tower saga. But due to his lack of income he was unable to further pursue the novel at great length and it too was filed away. King took a measly job of pumping gas earning $1.25 an hour.

Stephen King then began to earn money for his writings by submitting his short stories do men's magazines such as Cavalier. On January 2, 1971, Tabitha Jane Spruce and Stephen King were married.And in the fall of 1971, King took a teaching job at Hampden Academy earning $6,400 a year. He wrote on weekends and evenings, still managing to produce short stories and novels. None of the novels were accepted for publication until the spring of 1973

The Kings then moved to Hermon, a town west of Bangor, Maine.

Stephen King than began work on a short story about a teenage girl named Carietta White. After a completing a few pages, King decided it was not a worthy story and crumpled the pages up and tossed them into the trash. Fortunately for Stephen, his wife Tabitha took the pages out and read them. She encouraged her husband to continue the story. He did. In January 1973, King submitted Carrie to Doubleday. In March, Doubleday bought the book. On May 12, Doubleday sold the paperback rights of Carrie to New American Library for $400,000. Based on the book contract, Stephen King would get half of that.Carrie was a huge success, and following it were a long list of novels that soon made Stephen King a name known in households the world over.

King quit his teaching job to pursue writing full time. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Since then, King has had numerous short stories and novels published and movies created from his work.  Stephen King is called the 'Master of Horror'. His books have been translated into 33 different languages, published in over 35 different countries. There are over 300 million copies of his novels in publication. He continues to live in Bangor, Maine with his wife where he writes out of his home.









Stephen King as Actor


Stephen King has played roles in some of the movies based on his stories. His roles have been:

Band Leader - Stephen King's The Shinning (May 1997)

Dr. Bangor-Pharmacist - THINNER (1996)



Tom Holby-Head Chairman of the Board - THE LANGOLIERS (1995)

Teddy Weizak-Boarder guard/Nadine's ride - THE STAND (1994)

Cematary Caretaker - SLEEPWALKERS (1992)

Bus Driver - GOLDEN YEARS (1991)

The Priest - PET SEMATARY (1989)

Truck Driver - CREEPSHOW II (1987)

Guy swearing at ATM - MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE (1986)

Jordy Verril/Truck Driver - CREEPSHOW (1982)

Hoagie Man - KNIGHTRIDERS (Directed by George Romero) 1981)






Writing skills


Stephen Edwin King is one of today's most popular and best selling writers. King combines the elements of psychological thrillers, science fiction, the paranormal, and detective themes into his stories. In addition to these themes, King sticks to using great and vivid detail that is set in a realistic everyday place. Stephen King who is mainly known for his novels, has broadened his horizons to different types of writings such as movie scripts, nonfiction, autobiographies, children's books, and short stories. While Stephen King might be best known for his novels The Stand and It, some of his best work that has been published are his short stories such as 'The Body' and 'Quitters Inc'. King's works are so powerful because he uses his experience and observations from his everyday life and places them into his unique stories.

Salem's Lot

'Salem's Lot was King's second published novel, and it came to be one of the first to award King the title 'Master of Horror.' Situated firmly between the telekinetic girl of Carrie and the haunted hotel of The Shining, 'Salem's Lot's vampires stands as one of the scariest novels ever written.

It concerns a small town in Maine named Jerusalem's Lot (shortened to 'salem's Lot) and the pervasive evil that comes to inhabit it. The town knows horror, of course. Years before the main events of the novel take place, we learn that a man named Hubie Marsten (prisoner of psychosexual disorders he can't control) commited a murder- suicide and now his house stands empty, seeming to watch over the town. The Marsten House becomes the symbol of evil in the novel, a central place in which terror and death come from. The Bad Place motif will be used countless times in later King fictions. Introduced to the small town of 'salem's lot are three strangers: a writer named Ben Mears who used to live in the town when he was young; a young boy named Mark Petrie, a kid obsessed with monsters and horror movies; and the mysterious figure known as Mr. Barlow, who opens up a shop in town (quite an obvious precursor to Needful Things' Leland Gaunt). But Barlow himself doesn't make an appearance in the novel until more than halfway through. His assistant, Mr. Straker, takes care of Barlow's business while Barlow takes care of the town's business. Following the arrival of these strangers, a young boy is found dead. Then, after the funeral when darkness falls on the town, the boy emerges from his coffin. His father's command becomes prophecy. Death invades the town, but it is not really death that grips it: it is the much worse undeath of vampirism. By the time Ben Mears, Mark Petrie and their friends discover the truth, the town is almost unsalvagable. Their only hope is to destroy Barlow, burn the town, and escape. The novel begins and ends with Ben and Mark leaving to once again visit the Lot, as they have discovered the vampire threat hasn't vanished. What exists, though, is one of King's most intense and scary books. King's mastery of vampire myths and legends is amazing, especially in how he infuses them into a modern-day society. And the fact that the major villain stays behind the scenes for the first third of the novel only adds to the excitement and anxiety. 'Salem's Lot. is not just a vampire novel. It is a novel of pure and unbridled fear, a truly scary book,. But it is about small towns and the nature of evil. It is about love found, love lost, and the persistance of hope. And, well, it has those vampires.

Pet Sematary

Early publicity for Pet Sematary stated that the novel, which King had written but not allowed to be released, was his scariest novel ever. King and his wife, Tabitha, agreed that this was no mere hyperbole. In a newspaper interview conducted around the time of Pet Sematary's release, King said that he showed the manuscript to his wife, and she couldn't finish it. 'It was too effective.' Eventually, in 1983, the novel was printed. Was it as horrifying, as gruesome, as dark as all the hype purported it to be? Thankfully, yes. It is a book about loss, and grief, and, simply put, death. Death, the great unknown; death, the all-encroaching. But as the characters of Pet Sematary discover, there are things worse than death




Louis Creed is a doctor who moves his family to Ludlow, Maine from Chicago because of a job he accepted as an MD (Doctor of Medicin) at the University of Maine at Orono. His family (Rachel, his wife, Ellie, his daughter, and Gage, his baby son) are generally happy about the move, thought they soon will come to have reservations. both children are hurt on the first day of the move. Louis makes friends with an elderly man across the road named Jud Crandall, who promises (also on that first day) to show them where the path behind their house leads. The path behind the house ends up in a place known to the locals as the Pet Sematary (the misspelling courtesy of a hand-printed board above the entrance, made by children). It is a graveyard for children's pets, most lost to the Interstate Road which seperates the Crandall's and the Creeds' homes. The gravestones are set in a spiraling pattern, an image which will occur again and again throughout the novel. Later on, Ellie has questions about death, terrified that her cat, Church, will have to go to the Pet Sematary. Louis answers her honestly, and later, Rachel and he have an argument. She was badly shaken by the Sematary, and is uncomfortable with the idea of death in general. We learn later that at the age of eight, she witnessed her sister Zelda die of spinal meningitis, an incident which scarred her for life. Her recollection is one of the novel's most harrowing, once again illustarting the novel's obsessive link between death and children. Later events happen in rapid succession: Louis's first day as a university MD is a horror. A man named Victor Pascow is run over by a car. Before he dies (alone with Louis), he gives Creed an ominous message warning him about the Pet Sematary and the grounds beyond. During Thanksgiving vacation, while his family is away, the cat Church is killed by a truck. Jud offers to help Louis, and brings him to the Pet Sematary. Then, he leads him further. They arrive at the Micmac Indian burial grounds. Jud has Louis bury Church and build a stone pile over the grave. Slowly, Louis realizes the piles are arranged in a spiral, like the markers at the Pet Sematary. Later, when Louis is home alone, Church returns. The burial grounds infuses life into the dead, but it has greater powers as well. It is a dark and secret place, a place which actually controlls matters of life, death, and obsession. After Church the cat returns (acting sluggish and smelling of the grave), the novel becomes saturated with death and pain. Their little boy Gage dies, run over on the same road Church had been. Louis, becoming more and more obsessed with the memory of the burial grounds, decides to bring him back to life. Against Jud's stern warnings, he unearths his son (drawing an absent spiral in the dirt) and buries him at the burial ground. Gage comes back, posessed by the dark spirit of the Micmac ground and of death. He kills Jud and Rachel before Louis can kill him again. Louis goes mad. Trying one more time for salvation, he buries Rachel at the grounds. The very last line of the novel encompasses her return and is King's most terrifying sentance ever: ''Darling,' it said.'

Pet Sematary is a dark, unforgiving novel dealing with the very nature of death and grief. It never gives up, just hacks away

at sanity and rationality until nothing is left. In the world of Pet Sematary, death begets death, lunacy begets lunacy, and the

examination of terror is an excersice in darkness, in which no light can be seen.

Firestarter

is the tale of an eight-year-old girl named Charlene McGee and her father Andy. Charlie is a pyrokinetic, a person who has the ability to start fires just by thinking about doing it. And The Shop, a shady government agency who performed drug experiments on Charlie's parents (and are the reason why Charlie's powers exist) are now after the father and daughter, bent on using Charlie as a weapon of war.

The novel begins with Andy and Charlie, out of money and literally running for their lives. Vicky McGee - Charlie's mother and Andy's wife - was murdered by The Shop years ago, and they both know how dangerous the government can be. Charlie has been taught since a very young age that her powers are something to keep in check, but Andy knows that there are times when Charlie must use them to protect them, much to Charlie's chagrin. Andy himself posesses a weak mind-control power (another gift from The Shop), which is useful at times but gives him increasingly intense headaches. Charlie doesn't want her powers but must use them; Andy needs his power but it is painful to use. The Shop wants them both, and such are the threads of a wildly exciting novel. We are given a few glimpses into the enemy territory, as well: the head of the Shop, known as Cap; the transvestite scientist Patrick Hockstetter (his final scene is King's goriest yet); and the very dangerous and slightly pedophilic John Rainbird, a government killer with his sights set on Charlie. Such a short description doesn't begin to describe the excitement of Firestarter. The fireplay in the novel is quite intense and enjoyable, the characters are well-drawn and complete, and the fact that the initial concept of pyrokinesis isn't entirely scientifically impossible makes the novel quiet chilling as well.

When I finally did get around to actually reading it I loved it. Reading it was similar to reading Carrie you hold your breath waiting for the next 'show.' The next firestorm. And when it does happen, hold on to your asbestos because you're cooking! King has a knack for the 'waiting scene' in that context; like his brand names, his small towns, and his paragraphical breaks, the intense hold-your-breath power-scene is among King's coolest trademarks.

Carrie

Carrie is Stephen King's first published novel, released in 1974 as a title from an unknown author. It was fairly well recieved and sold modestly. No one could have predicted that it was the beginning of what would become the biggest publishing phenomenon in history. But, as the novel's own opening proclaims, 'No one was really surprised when it happened, not really, not at the subconscious level where savage things grow.' Savage things did grow. They were planted here. It is surprising how well this tale of a young girl with telekinetic powers holds up after twenty-one years. Perhaps it is because the novel is still intense, still vivid, and still an apt commentary on modern life. Even after years of slasher films, mass murderers, and nuclear threat, Carrie still has bite.

It is the classic Cinderella tale, with a twist. Carrietta White is the long-suffering teenage girl with all strikes against her. She is the idiot of all the jokes in her high school, tormented by her peers, and saddled with an overzealously religious mother, who is coming closer to the point of insanity. What nobody knows is that Carrie is also telekinetic, able to move things with the sheer force of her mind. What sets off the nearly dormant power in her is her first menstraul period, which happens in the girls' shower room at the gym in school. Carrie, who doesn't understand what's happening to her, screams. The other girls laugh at her, throwing sanitary napkins and telling her to 'plug it up!' One of these girls, Susan Snell, later feels sorry for what she has done, and tries to make up for it by asking her boyfriend, Tommy Ross, to take Carrie to the Prom. He agrees.

Another of the girls, Chris Hargensen, doesn't feel bad; in fact, she becomes to hate Carrie because she got in trouble for the napkin-throwing incident. And she devises a plan with her boyfriend Billy Nolan to take revenge on Carrie. What happens as a result of Hargensen's actions: The last third of the novel burns with total wreckage and loss. Carrie sets the stage for much of what Stephen King will experiment with in later novels, but it is also a remarkably solid novel in its own right. Well written and chillingly realistic even in the face of the supernatural.


List of his books


Carrie (Carrie, 1977)

Salem´s Lot (Brennen muß Salem, 1979)

Rage (Amok, 1988), ein Bachman-Buch

The Shining (Shining, 1982)

Night Shift (Nachtschicht, 1984)

The Stand (Das letzte Gefecht, 1985)



The Dead Zone (Dead Zone - Das Attentat, 1980 in

gekürzter Fassung, 1987 als ungekürzte Ausgabe)

The Long Walk (Todesmarsch, 1987), ein Bachman-Buch

Firestarter (Feuerkind, 1982)

Cujo (Cujo, 1983)

Danse Macabre (Danse Macabre, 1988)

Roadwork (Spremgstoff, 1986) ein Bachman-Buch

Creepshow (Creepshow, 1985)

The Dark Tower - The Gunslinger (Schwarz, 1988)

Different Seasons (Frühling, Sommer, Herbst und Tod, 1984)     

The Running Man (Menschenjagd, 1986) ein Bachman-Buch

Christine (Christine, 1984)

Cycle of the Werewolf (Das Jahr des Werwolfs, 1985)

Pet Sematary (Friedhof der Kuscheltiere, 1985)

The Eyes of the Dragon (Die Augen des Drachen, 1987)

The Talisman (Der Talisman, 1986), zus. mit Peter Straub

Thinner (Der Fluch, 1985), ein Bachman-Buch

The Bachman Books

Skeleton Crew (Im Morgengrauen, 1985 / Der Forniet, 1987

/ Der Gesang der Toten, 1986)

It (Es, 1986, ungekürzte Neuausgabe 1990)



The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (drei, 1989)

Misery (Sie, 1987)

Silver Bullet (Der Werwolf von Taker Mills, 1988)

The TommyknockersDas Monstrum, 1988)

Bare Bones (Angst, 1989)

The Dark Half (Stark, 1989)

Dolan´s Cadillac

My Pretty Pony

The Stand (Stand / Das letzte Gefecht, 1990),

überarbeitete Fassung

Four Past Midnight (Langoliers, 1990 / Nachts, 1991)

Needful Things (In einer kleinen Stadt, 1991)

The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (Tot, 1992)

Gerald`s Game (Das Spiel, 1992)

The Wastelands

Dolores Claiborne

Nightmares and Dreamscapes (collection of stories)

Insomnia

Rose Madder

The Green Mile (a six-part Serial Thriller

Desperation

The Regulators ein Bachman-Buch

Wizard and Glass: DT4














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