‘Life Is A Wheel… It Always Comes Back Around To Where It Started’: Stephen King’s Life in Books

Headshot of American writer Stephen King, 2002. (Photo by Rex Rystedt/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Stephen King has thrilled readers for more than four decades with a body of work that effortlessly combines scintillating fear and some very uniquely memorable characters.  King, who recently turned 70, is as unique and memorable as his characters and has lead a life that is just as interesting as his books. Check out these 6 facts about the unique talent that is Stephen King and great books that shed some light on the character of the man, himself.

1. Stephen King is a huge Red Sox fan (despite his disapproval of Fenway Park safety nets in the past). For those of you who can’t get enough of King or the Boston Red Sox, this fact is enough to get the blood flowing! Stephen King not only loves watching them play, but he also had a cameo in the movie Fever Pitch where he throws out the first pitch at a game. If you missed it, you’ll have to see it for yourself to believe it!

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Stephen King

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon Stephen KingStephen King’s love for the Red Sox goes above and beyond most obsessions, as one could say he evolved an entire novel around it. In The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, King channels his inner love as he crafts the tale of Trisha McFarland, a 9-year-old with a dedicated attitude who becomes lost on the Appalachian Trial for days with only a radio, separated from her brother and mother who she loves so dearly. Trisha is a huge fan of Tom Gordon from the Red Sox and fantasizes that he will come to save her as she listens to baseball games featuring her one true hero. The dangerous twists and turns this story takes will leave you feeling gut-wrenching fear for days.

2. Stephen King has given a variety of commencement speeches over the years. They are known to be some of the most well-thought out and moving commencement speeches, and who would be surprised? His addresses given to Vassar College and the University of Maine inspired students and, speaking of schools and ceremonies that will leave a lasting impression, boy – do we have a suggestion for you!

Carrie, Stephen King

Carrie Stephen King

If you’re a fan of Stephen King, then you have almost certainly heard of his beloved novel and movie adaptation that took the world by storm: Carrie. Mixing the powerful subjects of bullying gone too far and telekinesis, Carrie follows the life of none other than Carrie White, who famously enters a world of torment and struggles between her aggressive home life and being tossed around by bullies at school. With a grim graduation ceremony that no attendee ever expected and events that will change their lives forever, this book puts a spin why you should never be cruel to anyone.

3. Guinness World Records has stated that more of King’s books have been adapted into films that any other author alive today. And we’re glad for that, because without some of these adaptations our October Halloween movie fests would have been…well, dull and lifeless.

It, Stephen King

It Stephen King

With a name as simple as It, you wouldn’t believe that punch this novel packs as it follows seven teenagers in Derry, Maine who stumble across unimaginable horrors that trek far beneath them in the town’s sewers. Now, grown, they make a pact to return to their past and new haunting memories are made that will stun and appall you (and make you afraid of clowns, if you aren’t already). Many believe that Stephen King’s book-to-movie adaptations are like fine wine and get better with age, with some of the most notable being The Shawshank Redemption, Misery, Stand by Me, and of course, It. In the newest adaption of the novel It from this year, a jaw-dropping $123.4 million was received in the first Friday-Sunday that it released. This realization is not nearly as shocking as what you’ll find in the novel, so be sure to pick it up before you see the movie!

4. Stephen King has physically appeared in some of his movie adaptations? Some of these include unforgettable (albeit short) performances in Thinner, The Langoliers, The Shiningand more.

Pet Sematary, Stephen King

Pet Sematary Stephen King

Many of us can’t forget the lasting impression that Pet Sematary has made on us as we enter the lives of the Creed family, who believe their lives are entering a realm of perfection when they move into their beautiful house in rural Maine. However, with the appearance of a graveyard a bit too close to home and some horrific secrets that were best left hidden away for eternity, the family’s lives are turned upside down. And, of course, as mentioned, we promise you a cameo with Stephen King, who takes the form of a preacher – one you won’t be able to miss!

5. When Stephen King was younger, a friend was struck by a train, which inspired one of his unforgettable works. Sometimes the truth can actually lead to fiction when it comes to some of the world’s greatest writers. This was true for King, who took the events and crafted a short story that would later be adapted into his film Stand By Me. 

The Body, Stephen King

The Body Stephen King

When King was just a child, a close friend of his was struck by a train and killed, which he learned from and twisted into his short story The Body, later becoming a film adaptation that many King lovers have watched and loved. However, King claims to have no memory of the event itself, stating, “According to Mom, I had gone off to play at a neighbor’s house—a house that was near a railroad line. About an hour after I left I came back (she said), as white as a ghost. I would not speak for the rest of the day; I would not tell her why I’d not waited to be picked up or phoned that I wanted to come home; I would not tell her why my chum’s mom hadn’t walked me back but had allowed me to come alone. It turned out that the kid I had been playing with had been run over by a freight train while playing on or crossing the tracks (years later, my mother told me they had picked up the pieces in a wicker basket).”

In many of King’s stories, we follow characters that are forever transitioning and discovering facts about themselves they never knew before. In The Body, we find that this is true as four young boys come face-to-face with life and death in a way that is beautiful for King.

6. Stephen King stays up to date on the issues we see in our lives today. As you may already know, King stays up to date on politics and issues in our modern times just as we do, making our novelist hero even more relatable and down-to-earth than ever before.

Sleeping Beauties, Stephen King and Owen King

Sleeping Beauties Stephen King Owen KingIn these trying times where we see women’s rights appearing as subject matter from news outlets, magazines, and more, Stephen King collaborated with son Owen King to bring us a novel that hits home in a compassionate yet utterly terrifying and genuinely realistic way. In this novel where women are nodding off to sleep and males are beginning to transition into dominating our modern world, chaos breaks loose and follows over 70 characters (and a talking fox) that break our hearts, get our adrenaline pumping, and teach us life lessons that we may not realize until it’s too late. With one otherworldly woman at the center of it all, Eve Black, who may be able to save everyone amongst the turmoil and bloodshed, the characters hang onto hope in this wild ride that keeps you turning pages (and trust us, there’s plenty of them – a wonderful 720!)

Image courtesy of The Playbuzz

Because we love Stephen King and want to hear from you, let us know in the comments what Stephen King books have inspired you and left you wanting more!

 

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