What is it about King books that makes them so readable?

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The Walkin Dudemar

Active Member
Jul 17, 2012
25
105
I read a lot of books by many authors in a wide variety of genres. I usually finish a book in about a week or two depending on the length. Not Stephen King books, though. His books, even the huge door-stoppers like It, get done in one or two days, absolute maximum four. There are authors whose writing I like better, but none whose writing I can burn through like that. Do you feel that way too? Is that your experience? What is it about King's writing that allows you to read them so quickly and sustain your interest for extended amounts of non-stop reading time.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
86,281
348,981
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Cambridge, Ohio
I read a lot of books by many authors in a wide variety of genres. I usually finish a book in about a week or two depending on the length. Not Stephen King books, though. His books, even the huge door-stoppers like It, get done in one or two days, absolute maximum four. There are authors whose writing I like better, but none whose writing I can burn through like that. Do you feel that way too? Is that your experience? What is it about King's writing that allows you to read them so quickly and sustain your interest for extended amounts of non-stop reading time.
....I'm prejudiced, he is definitely my Top Dawg, but for what it's worth-it's his characters that could draw real breaths and locales that remind us of "home"......
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,938
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The Netherlands
I think it's the nostalgia in his books. He has a certain way of looking at subjects that makes them feel familiar and that we like. It's hard to say why we make that connection, but I think it's because he speaks in an honest voice. We know the good sides as well as the bad sides of characters, and we can relate to them in that way - they feel like complete people.
I think in general the characters are driven a lot by fear, more so than other emotions. But somehow that's the view he has on life - I think he looks at the world essentially as a place that is threatening, and where people get hurt: by each other, by diseases, by other threats. And his books are a lot about how people deal with these threats. I think, as Joe Hill said recently in an interview, it's a rehearsal: we know we can get diseases and will eventually die. Fiction gives us way of dealing with these facts, but in a playful, fun way.

I think he also has a way of planting things in his stories of something that's to come later on in the story. Sometimes he will specify shortly what is gonna happen and you will wonder how it's gonna play out. And at other times it's just a suggestion, where you're not sure what exactly's gonna happen, he's only hinting at it. This way he keeps you invested in the story, because you know at a certain point these things are gonna play a role, you just don't know exactly what effect they're gonna have.

And I think compared to other writers, he creates a richer, more real feeling world. You can relate directly to that world, because it feels like your own. So you get interesting characters and ideas in a world that you know, the only difference being that there are fantastic and supernatural things happening that you won't see happening in your own world. So, you get to experience a realistic feeling version of what could happen if something supernatural really would take place in our world and what the consequences of it could be.

All these things together make his work really readable.
 

Notaro

Stark Raving Normal
Mar 23, 2007
701
4,588
54
Dublin/Ireland
For me it's the characters he creates, I always have empathy with the characters in his stories, I just think if you don't feel for them then you won't care what happens to them. I've never read an SK story where I didn't empathize with the characters.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
29,503
123,977
Spokane, WA
He has a certain cadence in his writing style that no other author has. The words just flow easily into one another which means you can burn through a sentence, paragraph or chapter in no time at all. There are other authors who come close to this but none has mastered it like King has. Plus, he creates characters that you identify with and come to care about and that makes you want to find out what happens to them.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
86,281
348,981
58
Cambridge, Ohio
He has a certain cadence in his writing style that no other author has. The words just flow easily into one another which means you can burn through a sentence, paragraph or chapter in no time at all. There are other authors who come close to this but none has mastered it like King has. Plus, he creates characters that you identify with and come to care about and that makes you want to find out what happens to them.
....ayuh!.....
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
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The Netherlands
I never quite get how people can read them in two days though, especially the longer ones. If you read them that quickly do you remember a lot of it afterwards?

The quickest I read was Gerald's Game, which was three days or so. And that is not a very long one. I don't read all day long though, at the most a couple of hours.

If you read something like The Stand in two days, that's more than 500 pages in a day, is that possible?
 

Wayoftheredpanda

Flaming Wonder Telepath
May 15, 2018
3,543
16,293
15
I never quite get how people can read them in two days though, especially the longer ones. If you read them that quickly do you remember a lot of it afterwards?

The quickest I read was Gerald's Game, which was three days or so. And that is not a very long one. I don't read all day long though, at the most a couple of hours.

If you read something like The Stand in two days, that's more than 500 pages in a day, is that possible?
Sometimes it’s better to dwell on a book while reading it rather than in taking all the info at once. A slow read gives you the time to interpret information and put two and two together
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,938
6,199
The Netherlands
He regularly gets criticized for making his books too long. I often feel there is some truth to that. Some of my favourites are the ones that are shorter, like Cujo, Pet Sematary, Misery, Gerald's Game. Because of the shorter length I feel the tension gets sustained more, they feel like more taut reads.

It's like there is more repetition in some of the longer ones. Or he puts in too much that's not related to the main plot, and not overly interesting. Compared to most writers it's still more interesting, but you feel it could have been better if it was more tightly written.
 
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