3 Overlooked King Classics

Yep, Carrie's good.  And it connects.  In fact, the book is so good it's produced a play, 2 movies, a television pilot, a musical and then a musical again.

Could it be  that with so much focus on Carrie, there are some great Stephen King books that are being overlooked?  Of  course!  Here are a few great STephen King books that just havent' gotten their fair share of press:

Pet Sematary.  It may not work in as many mediums as Carrie, but it deserves at least an audio version!  It is a little hard to picture Pet Sematary the Musical.  However, there was a Pet Sematary 2.  Yes, there's a reason you probably haven't thought about it in a long time.  However, the book is dark, wonderfully written, intense and completely engrossing.

Dreamcatcher.  Frustrating at points, slow, long -- but still AWESOME! this book is quite underrated by fans.  That might be because we are more familiar with the movie version than the book.  The early portions of the novel remind me of IT in so many great way.  The novel had twists, turns that I really didn't see  coming.  Great stuff, and it was written by hand by the King of horror himself.  King originally titled this book, "Cancer" but his wife convinced him that was not a good idea.  I also love the early scenes at the cabin.  Read it -- you'll like it.

Needful Things.  I'm passionate about this book.  I think it's a strong novel; a really strong novel.  King weaves the stories of townspeople together masterfully.  What didn't work in Tommyknockers - a big cast -- worked very nicely in this novel. The character development is particularly strong in Needful Things.  From Polly's arthritis to the Alan's shadow puppets, these are people we connect with.  Not to mention, the novel has one of the freakiest scenes I've encountered.  Two women go at it with knives -- to their deaths -- in the middle of the street in broad daylight.  It's the end of Castle Rock, and a novel that totally sold me on Stephen King.


  1. I could get behind Pet Sematary. It was the first King novel I read. It’s creepy and a wonderful introduction to SK’s world. I could even be convinced on the notion of Needful Things. That book took me awhile to get into. I kept getting stuck somewhere in the first hundred pages, but ended up loving it. It is underrated. But Dreamcatcher isn’t one I’ll ever be convinced is classic. I do quite enjoy the cabin and the Scooby-doo lunchbox parts, but he loses me somewhere in the last half of the novel.

    11//22/63 got plenty of press, so I guess it can’t be counted as overlooked, so my third would probably be Duma Key or Lisey’s Story. Of course, this is the fun part. There are so many SK books, everyone has a slightly different list.

    1. I have trouble getting into LIsey's story.

      Yes, I didn't put 11.22.63 on list because I think it got a lot of press. But I hope it doesn't get lost in the pile, because it's so incredibly good.

  2. It took a second reading for me to really love it. I's probably not a coincidence that I also like Rose Madder. LS and RM have their similarities--abuse & those other worlds. I think those odd pairings are why I enjoy both.


    1. So, sincerely -- what makes it a great novel? I just can't get into it. Motivate me!

  3. Dreamcatcher is the only King novel I truly disliked -- there are parts that are very good (as you pointed out, the early parts of the novel), but I thought the prolonged fart joke was too much.

    If I had to pipe in a novel that gets overlooked (or maligned) I would have to vote for Insomnia. I thought it was a fascinating character study.

    I also think Eyes of the Dragon doesn't get the love it deserves.

  4. Kevin,
    interesting thing, I read Eyes of the Dragon recently. As a teen I LOVED that book! Then read it again on audio. But, funny thing -- it didn't work for me anymore. Sad, so sad!

  5. I'm with Kevin. While not as bad as Lisey's Story, Dreamcatcher was pretty bad. Duma Key is overlooked by too many. That was a very good book.

  6. David,

    I can see that. I have heard a lot of people make similar statements about the books in C.S. Lewis' Narnia series. The books were well loved as teens and kids, but not so much when reread as adults.

    I might give Dragon another shot and see if its as good as I remember. I think I was probably 14 when I read it.

  7. I'd agree that Dreamcatcher doesn't get enough love. I think I know the reason why, and all I can say is that, for whatever reason, I didn't get as bothered by certain elements in the story as others did.

    I have no idea why, it was just never an issue for me, and still isn't.

    The only criticism I have for Needful Things is as follows (holds out dinner plate): More servings of mindless carnage, please!

    I can honestly say I wish it HAD been bit longer (possibly including more detail of the destruction of Castle Rock).


  8. Pet Sematary is not an "overlooked" or even underrated book - it is generally regarded as one of his best.
    I do agree that Needful Things doesn't get enough love. I have read it and hope to revisit it someday. Nobody does small town horror like King.
    Dreamcatcher? Well, I actually never finished that book but it's one that I'm in no hurry to return to since it does get a LOT of bad reviews.

  9. Pet Sematary is top 3 for me. Needful things is cool but the 2nd time didn´t have the same impact. Also read recently Dreamcatcher for the 2nd time and well, is better than i remembered(the movie didn´t did any favors) but not a good one. A 5/10 book i would say.

    Also, i love Lisey Story. I don´t know if is the love story, the fantastic swamp/place or the creepy but lovely story of Scott as a kid

  10. I had not seen the movie Dreamcatcher until recently. I made two attempts to read the book. The first one I gave up halfway through. The second I quit about three-fourths in. I just never have liked that book at all.