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View Full Version : which Stephen King novels are least scary?


Orville mogul
12-12-2005, 06:54 AM
I love reading Stephen King and think he is one of our generation's best storytellers (and not a bad writer either). However, although I love the story behind most horror novels (and films), I really don't have the stomach for the scary bits. Yeah, I am a bit of a horror wimp.

To the day, the scariest thing I have ever read was The Shining, and although it was an excellent story, I think it scarred me for life (I still find myself counting grandfather clock chimes with growing unease). At the same time, I am now 5/7 of the way through the Dark Tower series, and I really love it. There are a few horrific moments, but nothing at all too scary for me.

Anyway, getting to my question, which of the 40+ books Mr King has written would you recommend as the least scary?

Dung Beetle
12-12-2005, 08:12 AM
On Writing. :)

Sublight
12-12-2005, 08:13 AM
Different Seasons has four medium-length stories, none of which are really horror (though The Breathing Method gets a bit gruesome). Of the other three, Apt Pupil gets a bit freaky, while Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption and The Body are wonder stories that aren't scary at all.

Sublight
12-12-2005, 08:15 AM
wonder stories

Ahem. Wonderful stories.

Thirty-Nine
12-12-2005, 08:15 AM
Neither Hearts in Atlantis or The Green Mile even try to be scary, though both contain a supernatural element.

Annie-Xmas
12-12-2005, 08:16 AM
Misery is the least scary because there is absolutely no supernatural in it, and the most scary because it could actually happen.

Keweenaw
12-12-2005, 08:16 AM
Hearts in Atlantis (http://amazon.com/gp/product/0671024248/ref=pd_lpo_k2a_1_txt/104-9722725-7850361?%5Fencoding=UTF8) is pretty tame.

Dolores Reborn
12-12-2005, 09:20 AM
Dolores Claiborne

:D

Anaamika
12-12-2005, 09:27 AM
Eyes of the Dragon, which is not horror at all, butfantasy. Not the greatest fantasy ever written but still quite good.

And there's supposedly this rumor out that he's written all these books about a Dark Tower or something, about some gun-slinging idiot running around the countryside. Haven't tried them. ;)

Mr. Blue Sky
12-12-2005, 09:32 AM
butfantasy

Stephen King did porn?

Anaamika
12-12-2005, 09:38 AM
Stephen King did porn?
Of course. Every one of his books had some. Nyah. :p

TommyTutone
12-12-2005, 10:32 AM
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, while not one of his better books, wasn't bad and not scary.

Bag of Bones is a little scary, but was somewhat of a departure for him, and a fantastic read.

Keweenaw
12-12-2005, 11:27 AM
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, while not one of his better books, wasn't bad and not scary.

.

Scary is relative. As a parent of young kids this one terrified me. It's like what Annie-Xmas said about Misery, in that it's something that could actually.

bouv
12-12-2005, 11:40 AM
I didn't find Cujo to br that bad, actually.

And I've never read the book, but if the movie is any indication, Carrie is only scary for the last 1/10th. :p

FilmGeek
12-12-2005, 11:48 AM
It all depends on what scares you. I found Bag of Bones to have some very scary moments (there is a rape scene and some nicely creepy supernatural stuff), and Tom Gordon was so compelling I couldn't put it down, and isn't scary except in the little girl lost in the woods way. I also listened to Bag of Bones on tape after reading it, and it's much more intense that way.

I didn't find Salem's Lot to be scary at all (vampires don't really frighten me), but my atheist brother bought a crucifix and kept it by his bed (just in case) after reading it.

The Dark Tower books are wonderful. Try The Stand.

Orville mogul
12-12-2005, 12:08 PM
The Dark Tower books are wonderful. Try The Stand.
Yes, I meant to mention the Stand. I remember it was really popular when I was in high school and heard it mentioned to be perhaps his best book.

Oh, and I read the first half of the Plant, before he pulled the plug. It wasn't scary either, just a bit silly!

picunurse
12-12-2005, 12:24 PM
Stephen King did porn?
No, that was Ann Rice as A. N. Roquelaure The Sleeping Beauty trilogy (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?isbn=0452156610)

Zsofia
12-12-2005, 01:03 PM
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, while not one of his better books, wasn't bad and not scary.

Bag of Bones is a little scary, but was somewhat of a departure for him, and a fantastic read.
Not scary?! Well, different strokes. That bit where
she'd been under a bush or something, or picking berries there, I forget, and then walks away from it, and realizes the Thing was right there?! Well. Not scary to you, then.

Dung Beetle
12-12-2005, 06:25 PM
Oh, and I read the first half of the Plant, before he pulled the plug. It wasn't scary either, just a bit silly!
How did you happen to get your hands on a copy of The Plant?

BrainGlutton
12-12-2005, 06:31 PM
Except for Thinner, none of the first five books King wrote as Richard Bachman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Bachman) are horror, and they're not scary (but still emotionally gripping in other ways). (The Regulators is horror, and pretty scary IMO, but it didn't come out until long after Bachman's cover had been blown.)

MacSpon
12-12-2005, 07:03 PM
I'd say The Dead Zone and maybe even Firestarter.

I avoided horror novels for years until a friend pushed those two on me, saying they weren't really horror at all. Read them, loved them, and he was right. So I asked him for another one, and he lent me 'Salem's Lot. Bastard.

HelloKitty
12-12-2005, 07:16 PM
I second The Dead Zone. IMO this is one of his best.

The Stand isn't scary per se, but it is kinda creepy in an apocalyptic kind of way.

Shalmanese
12-12-2005, 07:26 PM
Stephen King did porn?

Goddamn cranberry juice BURNS when you choke on it!

Terrifel
12-13-2005, 12:20 AM
I didn't really find The Tommyknockers to be particulary frightening. It's got some viscerally unpleasant moments, but most of it is riffing on 1950's sci-fi archetypes rather than horror.

Needful Things wasn't scary. I can't recommend it in good conscience, though, because it seemed to be trying very hard to be scary; it just didn't succeed. It's like one of the lesser episodes of Rod Serling's Night Gallery, padded out to a three-hour running time. (Note to Stephen King: the rhyme begins, "ITSY BITSY spider." Not "Hinky-pinky spider." No one in the history of Earth has ever started the water-spout rhyme with "hinky-pinky." Any chance of Needful Things being scary went out the window the instant you put the phrase "hinky-pinky" in it. The Necronomicon wouldn't be scary if it had the phrase "hinky-pinky" in it. "Ph'nglui mglw'nfah Cthulhu R'lyeh hinky-pinky wgah'nagl fhtagn!" See how that works? You just entirely shot yourself in the foot with that one.)

Misery is the least scary because there is absolutely no supernatural in it, and the most scary because it could actually happen.I think that the scariness level of Misery hinges directly on how closely the reader identifies with the protagonist. Weirdly, while Stephen King has in the past been able to persuade my limbic system into believing that being afraid of vampires is absolutely reasonable, this same author couldn't make the main character of Misery, a famous author, seem quite as real to me as those vampires.

Askia
12-13-2005, 12:24 AM
I didn't find Cycle of The Werewolf all that scary, but that one Berni Wrightson drawing of the werewolf peeling back the sherriff's cheek was a ongoing image in my nightmares for awhile.

Charlie Tan
12-13-2005, 01:25 AM
Gerald's Game.

Orville mogul
12-13-2005, 03:13 AM
How did you happen to get your hands on a copy of The Plant?
He did an online project 6-7 years ago where you could download the Plant one chapter at a time (for a 'donation'), but stopped halfway through.

By the way, a felt and still feel this project was a ripoff (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?p=6893915#post6893915).

Dung Beetle
12-13-2005, 08:17 AM
Ah, I vaguely remember that now. I didn't have internet access at the time.

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