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Thread: Authors you read because of King

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    Default Authors you read because of King

    J/w what authors/books you've read because King recommended them.

    I've picked up Paul Tremblay's books (A Head Full of Ghosts, Disappearance at Devil's Rock) per SK's recommendation on Twitter and I enjoyed them quite a bit.

    Also read 'Broken Monsters' by Lauren Beukes because of King, that was really good as well.


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    25 YEARS AGO!

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    Quote Originally Posted by needfulthings View Post
    25 YEARS AGO!
    I'll beat you by another decade...picked this up in '80 or '81, and Brennan has been one of my all-time favorite authors ever since:



    After '90, though, and King's proclivity to seemingly comment favorably on just about everything he read (and much of it I found disappointing), I really haven't put much stock in his blurbs for the last two-plus decades...in fact, if anything, I find them a bit of a turn-off, unless I've heard supporting comments from others as well.

    But I'll always appreciate his intro to Brennan's collection, as it led me to something very special.

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    I've read some good ones based on his recommendations, but also some real stinkers, so I don't put much stock in blurbs or reviews, either.
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    The only authors I can think of I've picked up because of King that I've liked have been Richard Chizmar & Brian James Freeman. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of authors I've tried that I haven't liked.

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    When it comes to books and movie recommendations, likes and dislikes are fairly subjective. I have disliked almost everything recommended by King. I sometimes wonder whether he even reads half the stuff that he endorses. Maybe if he likes some author or wants to help them out he agrees to endorse a book. No harm except to the reader. He endorsed "City on Fire" like something Dickens wrote and it was god awful.

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    The House Next Door - Anne Rivers Siddons
    Our Lady of Darkness - Fritz Leiber
    The Killer Inside Me - Jim Thompson

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    The House Next Door was pretty good, Tommy. I'd forgotten about that one.

    Those blurbs on the books got me into Bentley Little, and I've since read at least a dozen of his books. Can't complain about that recommendation!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsweet View Post
    The only authors I can think of I've picked up because of King that I've liked have been Richard Chizmar & Brian James Freeman. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of authors I've tried that I haven't liked.
    Try Charles L. Grant, the master of so-called quiet horror. His stories will terrify and terrorize for days after you've finished them. A good quality, I think. This is also my answer.

    I've discovered King through Koontz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dnemec View Post
    The House Next Door was pretty good, Tommy. I'd forgotten about that one.
    I know! I love that book. I really wish she would do more horror related stories.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dnemec View Post
    The House Next Door was pretty good, Tommy. I'd forgotten about that one.
    I know! I love that book. I really wish she would do more horror related stories.
    I've been meaning to read this book for over a decade, if not longer...really need to get around to doing so.

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    I have tended to focus on authors whom influenced King rather than his recommendations.

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    Joe Hill...

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    Just finished Don Winslow, The Force, a gritty, dirty New York City cop novel that had a King blurb on the front cover.
    It was actually pretty good!

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    When I was younger, I read James Herbert along with King, and his books were also very good. I've revisited a few since then when I got my Kindle, and the ones I re-read were still pretty good. Unfortunately, he died a couple of years ago, but worth picking up if you see them, particularly, The Rats trilogy, The Dark and The Fog.
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    Richard Stark.

    King "borrowed" Stark's first name for King's own pseudonym's first name, and later "borrowed" Stark's surname as that of his main character's pseudonym in The Dark Half. Both writers - King and his fictional Beaumont - wrote darker works under their Stark-inspired pseudonyms, so I was interested in seeing how the real* Stark's work might have influenced those works.

    So I read a handful of Parker novels about 15-20 years ago, and really enjoyed them. Just recently, I started systematically reading the whole series, in groups of threes (they are quite short, and loosely linked, so three novels together read like one long episodic novel).

    They are not horror, or in any way related to Bachman's work; they are hard-boiled heist stories. Parker, the main character, treats stealing money as almost clinical; he gets the right people, the right equipment, and figures out how to get the money with the least risk to all involved. He is all business, all the time. And he judges other people only insofar as it relates to their usefulness for a particular job; what they think, want, or do has no interest for him beyond that.

    You would think that such a cold character would elicit no feelings of empathy from the reader - and certainly Parker himself would want none - but you grow to respect and even like him.

    But more than the character of Parker, my attraction to these novels is the writing itself; it is incredibly spare and economical. Stark is able to get to the essence of every scene, every character, every moment of action, making them three-dimensional and real, but with the minimum of prose. Stark, like Parker, only takes as many words necessary to say what needs to be said - but leaves nothing of importance out.

    I highly recommend the novels. They are hugely entertaining.

    (*) And yes, I know that Richard Stark is, himself, a pseudonym of Donald Westlake. But Westlake often spoke of having to become a different person in order to write a Stark novel, and so I refer to the author of these works as Richard Stark, rather than Westlake.
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    Richard Stark's Parker series is fantastic. I have 'em all in signed HC 1sts, and the lot is among the highlights of my collection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RC65 View Post
    Richard Stark's Parker series is fantastic. I have 'em all in signed HC 1sts, and the lot is among the highlights of my collection.
    What a treasure! Did Westlake sign them as Stark?
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeDealInLead View Post
    I've discovered King through Koontz.
    Wait - you had to hear of King through another writer? You didn't hear of him from a TV or film adaptation, or from the giant displays in the bookstore?
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    Quote Originally Posted by St. Troy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WeDealInLead View Post
    I've discovered King through Koontz.
    Wait - you had to hear of King through another writer? You didn't hear of him from a TV or film adaptation, or from the giant displays in the bookstore?
    That's right. I've watched his movies growing up but I didn't know they were based on his books. Or rather, it never crossed my mind as a kid what the mechanics of filmmaking were, I just liked watching them. It never crossed my mind that movies could be based on books. Or how explosions are made. Or any sort of special effects.
    I don't think that's strange at all.

    I got "into" reading through science fiction and the classics, King happened later. I was perfectly aware of his existence and his books of course, but I could say the same about Danielle Steel.

    I have co-workers who have never read any of his books because King's reputation is always going to be Master Of Horror. They've seen Shawshank, The Green Mile and Stand By Me. They didn't know those were his stories until I told them.

    I mean, I understand why you're surprised. I'm surprised too that people are finally reading War of the Worlds and The Time Machine because of Suntup. Ditto I Am Legend (three movie adaptations), Haunting, and The Road. If Suntup is their gateway to good books, that's cool. Koontz was my gateway to Tim Powers and Stephen King.

    TL; DR Version: my statement you quoted is incomplete and I should've been more specific. I discovered King's writing through Koontz's writing. The rows of books in book stores were hard to miss, but so were James Patterson's, Steel's etc.

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