Stephen King fans are fiercely loyal. However, some readers choose to only read Stephen King. I think this is somewhat unique to King fans. I don't know many people who only read Tom Clancy. But then, Clancy isn't as prolific as King.
George Beahm mentioned this devotion (to read King only) to author Clive Barker. Beahm pointed out, "When we interviewed Douglas E. Winer at his hoe in upstate Virginia, he commented that at a public gathering with you, you two were discussing your perceptions of the many peole who read tpehn King and your work but who apparently read little else. They have no frame of reference outside your and Kings body of work. That's a very self-limiting eperience." (Stephen King Companion, George Beahm, p.163). redrum
So who else is worth reading?. redrum
Historical drama:. redrum
I really like Ken Follette's companion books: Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. This is a kind of fiction King isn't going to give his readers. King likes the here and now -- while Ken has the ability to transport you easily to another time and place. One wonderful thing Follette does concerns dialogue. Unlike other novels set in middle ages, he does not use old English. The langauge is easy and the action constant. There are no wasted scenes in his books.. redrum
Here in America there has never been anyone who really challnged John Steinbeck. In particular The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck gives a gritty front row seat to a nasty part of American history.. redrum
I don't read romance. My wife is enjoying a book titled, "The Time Travelers Wife." I will refrain from comment. (Oh, I also don't read much Scifi.).redrum
You really can't beat Charles Dickens. In that catagory, King himself recommends Little Dorrit, saying: "His most sentimental, absorbing, delightful novel...and yes, you will like it. Dorrit is as easy to read as any current best-seller, and more rewarding than most. Also, it explains the whole Bernard Madoff mess. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'." http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20278661_5,00.html.redrum
My favorite Charles Dickens book is Great Expectations. Strong characters and carefully plotted, this novel is Dickens at his best.
Legal / Political:
Classic John Grisham (Pelican Brief, The Client, The Firm)
On the political front, George Orwell's twin books: 1984 and Animal Farm were great.
Tom Clancy, so long as I can say: I liked his old stuff. Red October, Red Storm Rising. But when it turned into a Jack Ryan soap opera at a billion pages each, I ducked out..redrum
Might as well make a list for this one. I like the genre..redrum
1. Edgar Allen Poe is wonderful. It doesn't matter which story you read, they're all good..redrum
2. Richard Lymon is pretty demented. I thnk he's great! One of those guys who just wrote the stuff he wanted to write and didn't care what people said. http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/richard-laymon/.redrum
3. There's Drood, by Dan Simmons. King said this about Drood: "Simmons is always good, but Drood is a masterwork of narrative suspense. It's a story of Egyptian cults, brain-burrowing beetles, life-sucking vampires, and an underground city beneath London...or is it? Maybe it's all in the drug-addled mind of Dickens contemporary Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone), whose poison jealousy of the Inimitable becomes more apparent as the story nibbles its way into the reader's head." http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20278661_6,00.html.redrum
4. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stephen King explains, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written at white heat by Robert Louis Stevenson in three days. It so horrified his wife that Stevenson burned the manuscript in his fire place. . . and then wrote it again from scratch in another three days." (Danse Macabre, Chapter 3, p.60).redrum
5. The Beast Within, Edward Levy is what King's mother would have called "trash." Good trash? No. But it's a delightful read. I read it the first time thinking, "I can't believe they print stuff this bad." Then I bought it hardcover when I lost the paperback. There is something about it that is good trash..redrum
You really can't beat Aurther Conan Doyal's Sherlock Holmes stories. Why? Because they are sharp, well written and short. Together, they build a common story, but each one stands on its own..redrum
Also under mystery, my wife rads Monk..redrum
This is a genre I avoid at all cost. All the world needs is another Christian Amish Romance book. Gag. I am waiting for the Stephen King version of this genre. Ha! That would be wonderful!.redrum
My job requires I spend lots, lots of time reading commentaries and other scholarly works on Scripture. Maybe these books are too preachy. Maybe they're just too sappy. Anyway, the Book has enough of everything..redrum
Probably the best Christian author is Frank Peretti. He and Ted Decker live on the edge of all out horror. But in general, I stick witht he real thing in this catagory..redrum
How about Forrest Gump. I'm serious, it was a good book! And a lot of stuff that didn't make it to the screen..redrum
Another wonderful commedy / drama is Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Anne Burns..redrum
Books / Authors I want to read, but just haven't:.ReDRuM
Harlan Ellison -- now who couldn't be interested in an author who had a dust jacket that included the statement that he was "possibly the most contentious person on Earth"