There is no other writer in the world like Stephen King and it’s likely there never will be since no two writers are alike and the fact of this is evident in how people have attempted to try and have failed to emulate his style. But for all that he’s written it’s pretty easy to believe that there are a few of his books that are not quite as well known since they don’t receive the same attention and hype as others that have been made into movies and TV series. To think that there’s anything that’s come from his mind that hasn’t been absolutely revered isn’t too surprising since there are still a lot of people out there that don’t like his writing or don’t really know who he is. I’d have to agree with Chris Scalise of MyDomaine, it is very difficult to figure out which book to start out with if you’re just now getting into him. But that being said, the books that don’t get a lot of attention are still great in their own ways since King tells a story unlike many people and always has a point no matter how convoluted or simple it might actually be.
Here are a few of his books that have kind of gone under the radar.
5. The Long Walk
Despite being a story that’s part of an anthology this is pretty much what it sounds like. A group of young men, barely out of their boyhood, are selected to participate in a walk that travels from the Maine/Canada border all the way down the eastern seaboard. This contest doesn’t allow the walkers to go below 4 mph, doesn’t allow them to rest or even stop in inclement weather, and the boys are provided with what they need to survive, meaning food and water, but so long as they keep going. The whole idea of the walk is to weed out one winner from the pack, meaning that only one person will be left alive at the end, since those that fall behind are summarily executed. The hardships however don’t end with just the physical exertion, as many contestants go mad and begin hallucinate from lack of sleep and from the constant strain of having to keep moving.
4. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
When 9-year old Trisha strays from her family during a walk in the woods she quickly becomes lost and with little food in her pack and her walkman as company she tries desperately to find her way back only to keep getting lost as she begins to worry that she might never find her way out. Her only saving grace is the inspiration that she takes with her thank to her walkman and the love of her basebal idol Tom Gordon. As she’s being hunted throughout the woods, supposedly by a malevolent forest spirit, she begins to hallucinate due to hunger and exposure, but in the end is able to drive off the creature that was stalking her, which turns out to be a bear that is apparently possessed by the spirit, though whether this is true or her hallucination is unknown since she’s hospitalized shortly after being found by a hunter.
3. Lisey’s Story
This is one of the few if only books that he wrote that really doesn’t conform to just one genre. It’s more about Lisey’s ability, or inability, to cope with the loss of her husband and to somehow find a way past the grief that has gripped her so tightly that she can’t see another way to be. Lisey’s Story is something that you have to be invested in to really get through but it does provide a stunning array of visuals that a great many writers might enjoy since as you can imagine King pulls from a vast pool of experience and wisdom that is for everyone that thinks themselves born to write in one way or another.
2. The Tommyknockers
One reason why this book might have been shelved by many is that the miniseries that came out based on it was little more than garbage. It didn’t hold nearly as well to the book as IT did back in the day and kind of destroyed the whole mystique that had been built up throughout the story. But in truth the Tommyknockers was a rather terrifying book that a person didn’t really want to read by themselves at night since it was bound to induce some sort of fright that wouldn’t make for sweet dreams. King is after all a master of horror that knows how to go after the things you fear the most.
Amazingly this is one of his books that a lot of people don’t know about and probably should since it does align quite nicely with The Dark Tower series, as do a lot of his stories. When an old man happens to notice a few strange things happening in his town he begins to see things, three beings in particular that are always about when things start to happen. Upon realizing just what’s going on behind the scenes, where normal people can’t see, he starts to understand that something monumental is about to happen and that he has a chance to affect the outcome so that the many worlds that depend upon one another to stand will be righted once again.
All in all, Stephen King has written so many stories that it’s easy to see how some have kind of gone by the wayside.