The King- Stephen King

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by alymills
Last updated 7 years ago

Language Arts
Reading Comprehension

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The King- Stephen King

If you ever asked me what my favorite kind of book to read was, I would have to say scary and suspenseful thrillers, and one of the best authors for that style of writing, in my opinion, would be Stephen King. Then that gets me thinking about how he has written top selling books and short stories, his first big hit being from 1972, and still has hits today. That’s over thirty years of top selling stories! What give Stephen King’s writings such longevity?

A few things I have noticed about his books that might have an influence on why people think he is a great writer is that all the stories he writes get your blood pumping and your heart racing. Humans back in the old age had felt the adrenaline rush for survival but now today we don’t have exactly the same amount of fears because our environment has changed, but the fear we get from this book is an instinctive feeling. Also another possibility would be that almost all of the stories he writes, they start out as realistic situation that most people could see themselves living, but then things happen and change the story so it becomes scary. This leads people to believe that these scary things could happen to them because they did to other everyday people.

A lot of people enjoy getting their heart racing and being scared. Kings Island is a perfect example of both. Kings Island is an amusement park with high thriller roller coasters that get people’s hearts racing, so much so some even have warnings not to go on if you have certain conditions. Kings Island not only is an amusement park but during the fall they have the Halloween Haunt which is where people dressed up as scary creatures and dead people walk around and try to scare as many people as they can. People go to this because they enjoy being scared and are even willing to pay to get scared too. So if people will pay to get scared and get their heart racing they must enjoy it enough to buy a book that scares them as well.

People do many things to get their blood going, another example would be extreme sports like; dirt and motor biking, bungee jumping, hang gliding, snowboarding and rock climbing just to name a few. Some recent data reveals that over the past five years, for every 1,000 participants, skydiving has claimed 3.3 lives and BASE jumping has taken 44. The figures for hang gliding show 3.8 fatalities for every 1,000 attempts. The most deadly extreme sporting pursuit, however, is mountain climbing; for every 1,000 attempts to scale K2, 104 have ended in death. By these facts you can tell people like getting a rush of adrenaline, they would even risk their lives for it.

One of my other theories for why Stephen King is such a successful writer is that people can connect and relate to portions of his stories. His stories usually start out as a normal experience of everyday life but then something happens that turns it into a frightening story to us and we tend to associate the normal event with the scary one so next time that normal event happens you may remember the scary one and experience that fear again. An example of this would be in his first hit book, Carrie. In this story a girl that gets picked on at school and has a bad family life finds out that she has powers to move objects with her mind. Ten throughout the story she keeps getting picked on and then lashes out violently in a very scary way. People may relate or connect to being picked on and at the beginning of the book may place themselves as the character, but then when the scary things happen they become even more scared because they may think it’s happening to them.

The things like association and fear on the human mind are things that psychologists would think of. Stephen King is a very intelligent writer, he doesn’t just write ‘ok’ stories with no thought behind them, he spends a good deal of time thinking hard about them, that’s another reason why he has such longevity. Another one of his book entitled, Duma Key, has the same qualities that I described Carrie had. His book starts out with a millionaire, upper class businessman getting in a horrible accident and losing his arm. He must go through rehabilitation to be able to function properly again like walking and using his one good arm. To do this he decides he has enough money and doesn’t have to work anymore and that he was going to move off the coast of Florida to a place called Duma Key. Then when he moves to Duma Key he starts experiencing things that aren’t normal and the story becomes very scary. Like Carrie, Duma Key starts as a story that people could picture themselves going through and then scary things happen to that person and suddenly you see a person that fits the characters description and you think of that book and the scary story. When you finish reading the book it doesn’t always mean it’s ready to stop scaring you.

Works Cited:

Stephen King:

The Green Mile


The Shining


Pet Sematary

Children of the Corn

From Paper to Screen

What Gives Stephen King's writings such longevity?

Check out this video about his first big hit, Carrie!!!



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