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Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, Stephen King!

Written by Kyle Slagley

Ask just about any group of patrons to name the most prolific author of horror novels they can think of, and more often than not the response you’ll receive is Stephen King. Like him or not, the Maine native has almost singlehandedly restructured the way the average reader thinks about the suspense novel.

King’s first novel, Carrie, was published in 1974; since then, both his bibliography and his film credits have grown at such an astounding rate it leaves you wondering if the man isn’t eerily supernatural, much like some of his stories. Indeed, King has over 50 novels, twice that many short stories, and numerous miniseries and films based on his writing.

King turns 65 today, and based on his official website he shows no sign of slowing any time soon. In fact, this week a release date (September 24, 2013) was announced for his upcoming novel Dr. Sleep, the much-anticipated sequel to The Shining.

Here are some of our favorite books and movies from the frighteningly masterful and masterfully frightening writer.

Carrie (film: 1976): A high school girl with telekinetic powers takes revenge on her classmates after being humiliated at prom.

The Green Mile (film: 1999): Tom Hanks and the late Michael Clarke Duncan tell the tale of a wrongfully convicted murderer on death row with an unusual gift for healing.

It (novel: 1986, miniseries: 1990): Inhabitants of Derry, Maine, must face an evil clown that terrorizes the town by bringing fears to life. This work is quite possibly the reason that so many of us, to this day, have an irrational fear of clowns.

The Shawshank Redemption (novella: 1982, film: 1994): An established banker is wrongfully sentenced to life in Shawshank prison for the murder of his wife and her lover. During his imprisonment he expands the prison library and navigates the corruption of the guards before escaping.

Hearts in Atlantis (novella: 1999, film: 2001): Published in a collection of the same name, this story follows a boy who helps a friendly stranger with supernatural gifts escape the pursuit of the shady folks that follow him.

Carrie: The Musical (soundtrack: 2012): Debuting on Broadway in 1988, Carrie: The Musical made its mark in theatre history as the most expensive flop on Broadway at approximately $8 million to produce and closing after only five performances. On March 1 of this year, the Off-Broadway revival debuted at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, closing the following month on April 8 after 46 performances.

For a comprehensive look at King’s prolific career, SmartBrowse “Stephen King” on our website.

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