A Question about the Overall Experience

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AchtungBaby

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2011
3,856
15,535
I'm going against the grain: read the stories in order. They do work as stand-alone tales, but I believe in reading books as they're presented. And each story does have a reference to the previous story or stories that precede(s) it, e.g. Andy from Shawshank is mentioned in Apt Pupil, etc. Reading them in order heightens the experience, IMO.
 

Desert Kris

Member
Feb 23, 2017
17
85
42
I bought the video for Stand By Me yesterday. Right now I'm reading through The Gunslinger, and plan to read The Body as the next SK work I tackle. Thanks everybody for your insight; and thank you AchtungBaby for the alternative perspective, I totally get the purist perspective. I'm the kind of person who will read one story out of an anthology, and then go off and read other stuff before coming back to that anthology to read another story; the rational being that these stories originally would have been read in a magazine, side by side with other stories written by other authors. I'm kicking myself a little for not taking the opportunity to snag an earlier copy of The Gunslinger, before it was revised, in order to experience the book in it's original incarnation. The next time I find an unrevised The Gunslinger, I'll snag it for the re-read should that be in the cards down the road. I plan to read A Wind Through the Keyhole after The Dark Tower, favoring publication order. Eh, I'm all over the place, what can I say!
 

joaniyofaus

Member
Apr 26, 2016
19
75
63
I have found with SK books that as soon as I start reading, I'm hooked, and can't imagine not tearing all the way through to the finish. That's why I always have to re-read them, take a little longer and enjoy the subtleties I probably missed during the 1st read. The same with collections, just race through all of them, in order, and then go back again. I just can't bring myself to put down any of his books before I finish them.
 
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Desert Kris

Member
Feb 23, 2017
17
85
42
I've snagged many of the Stephen King books I have on the strength of having found myself "accidentally" tearing through the latter half of On Writing, and the unprecedented plowing-through-it read of Carrie which I so rarely experience. I've deliberately made a point of reading other stuff in between what is for me a Stephen King reading frenzy. Reading The Body now, and I am starting to experience the sensation of acclimating a bit to his style. I've often said in my head that what I read asserts a pace that I will read it at. There may be some residual reading fatigue coming off of Dracula, which I unfortunately didn't enjoy. But The Body is telling me to take my time with it, so I'm relaxing with it. I had a moment of panic when it switched gears into a story-within-a-story mode with Stud City...a panic akin to what I felt when watching the movie Inception for the first time. That sense of descending into new narratives, by layers. With Inception it was just keeping up with the ongoing thread on the different layers; with The Body I kept trying to keep in mind that how the story reflects on the character of Gordon. I had flashbacks to On Writing when Gordon comments critically on Stud City, I thought I was reading On Writing again...a really weird experience. And now the four friends are in "quest"-mode, which is making me think of The Gunslinger which I so recently just finished. My experience of SK at this point is not leaving me with the impression of a popular horror novelist, more like as a reader I feel like I'm ping-ponging up and down and back and forth between layers and threads of story. Not a complaint, just my in-the-moment thoughts right now.
 

FlakeNoir

Original Kiwi© SKMB®
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
43,172
170,869
New Zealand
I've snagged many of the Stephen King books I have on the strength of having found myself "accidentally" tearing through the latter half of On Writing, and the unprecedented plowing-through-it read of Carrie which I so rarely experience. I've deliberately made a point of reading other stuff in between what is for me a Stephen King reading frenzy. Reading The Body now, and I am starting to experience the sensation of acclimating a bit to his style. I've often said in my head that what I read asserts a pace that I will read it at. There may be some residual reading fatigue coming off of Dracula, which I unfortunately didn't enjoy. But The Body is telling me to take my time with it, so I'm relaxing with it. I had a moment of panic when it switched gears into a story-within-a-story mode with Stud City...a panic akin to what I felt when watching the movie Inception for the first time. That sense of descending into new narratives, by layers. With Inception it was just keeping up with the ongoing thread on the different layers; with The Body I kept trying to keep in mind that how the story reflects on the character of Gordon. I had flashbacks to On Writing when Gordon comments critically on Stud City, I thought I was reading On Writing again...a really weird experience. And now the four friends are in "quest"-mode, which is making me think of The Gunslinger which I so recently just finished. My experience of SK at this point is not leaving me with the impression of a popular horror novelist, more like as a reader I feel like I'm ping-ponging up and down and back and forth between layers and threads of story. Not a complaint, just my in-the-moment thoughts right now.
Have you read The Wind Through the Keyhole yet? (Dark Tower 4.5)
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
29,632
124,809
Spokane, WA
I've snagged many of the Stephen King books I have on the strength of having found myself "accidentally" tearing through the latter half of On Writing, and the unprecedented plowing-through-it read of Carrie which I so rarely experience. I've deliberately made a point of reading other stuff in between what is for me a Stephen King reading frenzy. Reading The Body now, and I am starting to experience the sensation of acclimating a bit to his style. I've often said in my head that what I read asserts a pace that I will read it at. There may be some residual reading fatigue coming off of Dracula, which I unfortunately didn't enjoy. But The Body is telling me to take my time with it, so I'm relaxing with it. I had a moment of panic when it switched gears into a story-within-a-story mode with Stud City...a panic akin to what I felt when watching the movie Inception for the first time. That sense of descending into new narratives, by layers. With Inception it was just keeping up with the ongoing thread on the different layers; with The Body I kept trying to keep in mind that how the story reflects on the character of Gordon. I had flashbacks to On Writing when Gordon comments critically on Stud City, I thought I was reading On Writing again...a really weird experience. And now the four friends are in "quest"-mode, which is making me think of The Gunslinger which I so recently just finished. My experience of SK at this point is not leaving me with the impression of a popular horror novelist, more like as a reader I feel like I'm ping-ponging up and down and back and forth between layers and threads of story. Not a complaint, just my in-the-moment thoughts right now.
There are definitely layers within layers to Steve's stories. Some have many of them.
 
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