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Stephen King turns 65 today, so I thought I would post a brief thing about my experiences and appreciation for the man.
When I was 11 or 12, I checked out my first Stephen King books from the local library. The Talisman and It. I didn't finish It at the time--not because it was too scary, but because it was too long for me at the time. That's something you gotta build up to, you know? Even still, that was my first Stephen King book. I remember the first time I saw the word "fuck" in print. Part of me felt like giggling, it got my heart racing. I'd never read such a book before. And yet, I realized that if I freaked out over this and made a big deal out of it, that would mean that I wasn't mature enough to read these books yet.
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The first Stephen King book I ever actually owned was The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. It wasn't like the rest of his books, but it was awesome in its own way, and with that Stephen King touch. The Wasp Creature in the woods was terrifying. In a way, the book almost felt classical. It wasn't as literal as his other books. The way it was written, you could read the book as all a hallucination from the point of view of a starving, scared lost girl, or as something darker lurking in the woods. Brilliantly written, and one of my first books that was one of my first books that was legitimately from a girl's point of view.
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I moved away from what you might call "the classics" in high school. I read Black House when it came out, which led me to read The Dark Tower series--one of my favorites to this day. Just last year I read Cell and Under the Dome, and I'm currently reading 11/22/63.
Stephen King isn't just a horror writer. He's written fantasy, science fiction, dramas, romances. He writes complex characters, and his ear for dialog, for bringing characters to life through their words and actions, is absolutely incredible. Every time I read a book by him, I get goosebumps and bleed envious green blood.
(Envious Green Blood is the name of my next screamo band.)
Happy birthday, Mr. King. Thank you very much for all these years of entertainment. You are truly my favorite writer.