Stephen King Compared To Classics

reposted from March, 2012

Ever notice how certain books remind you of other books or writers.  Sometimes a storyline in a King book will remind me of another book -- a classic.  So, just for fun . . . let's line King up with some classic authors.

I'll go ahead and put my answers, but I really look forward to reading yours.

1. What King books is most like David Copperfield.
My Answer: The Shining, because it is the most autobiographical.

2. What King short story most reminds you of O'Henry?
Dunno. . . look forward to looking at everyone else's paper on that one.

3. King is often compared to Poe.  What King book is most like something Poe would write -- either in style or plot?
I choose The Stand, because there are sections where King is actually playing with the text from the Raven.  (I believe it is in the section with The Judge.)  But I also think Dolan's Cadillac is a prime example of King linking to Poe.  Wow, I better move on, I could go for a while on this subject!  OH!  1922 is very much at Tell Tale Heart.

4. Years ago the King of mystery was Arthur Conan Doyle.  What King book most represents something like a Conan Doyle book?
Humm. . . I can't think of one!  I don't think Conan Doyle would leave a mystery open, so I'm not sure about The Colorado Kid.  I guess I would have to offer up Umley's Last Case -- but it is really more science fiction!  But such fun.

5. Probably the most famous monster book is Mary Shelly's Frankenstein.  Dean Koontz has taken the lore on most directly, but what King book has hints of Frankenstein?
Don't laugh at me -- I nominate Christine.  Though Arnie does not build Christine, or breath life into her -- he does rebuild her.  And though he loves his creation, like Dr. Frankenstein did the monster, the creation is pure evil.

6. What book is most like Dracula?
Easy -- why did I put that there?  Salem's Lot.  I think Dracula was the direct influence on Salem's Lot.

7. What King work is most like Th Phantom of the Opera?
. . . I can't think of one.

8. What King book is most like the work of Shirley Jackson?
Once again I would point to The Shining.

9. Okay, this is a little more modern -- but let's compare the King to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles.  
Once again, I'm stumped.

10. How about Les Miserables?  
A wonderful book!  I would compare it to The Green Mile.  Though Hugo's work was much longer, both are stories of redemption.

11. Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men ?
Blaze and The Stand, because both deal with the struggles of the mentally handicap.  Blaze in particular, though.

12. Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath.
I would suggest 11.22.63, since both are historical novels.  Though, 11.22.63 is a romance is disguise!  

13. To change things up a little: What classic character is Carrie most like?
Don't know.

. . . and here's the bottom line: No one really writes like King!

Okay friends -- your turn.  


  1. les miserables and shawshank redemption

  2. This is simple, The Overlook Hotel is nothing more or less than Tolkien's One Ring transformed into a malevolent building that operates on the mind in the same way. So I pair The Shining with The Lord of the Rings. I'm also convinced those two novel share many thematic and character similarities.

    As for the short story Morality, it bears an incredible comparison with C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters. It's almost an exhibit A. of how to put Screwtape's advice into to practice.

    That's a frightening thought but you know what the real tragedy is? Once you think it over, you can say of people like Screwtape, "You are all so damned predictable."



  3. well done, Christ. esp. with the Lewis connection. You may move n to the next level . . .

  4. Do I get my secret decoder ring?


  5. you have to wait until I finish the cereal.

  6. 1. Copperfield = The Shining
    2. O'Henry = Thinner; very O'Henry ending
    3. Poe = Creepshow, Rose Red; Both have those Poesque traits.
    4. Doyle = Needful Things, Delores Claiborne
    5. Frankenstein = Pet Sematary, The Mangler
    6. Dracula = Salem's Lot, no doubt
    7. Phantom of the Opera = Misery; it's a stretch
    8. Shirley Jackson = The Long Walk
    9. Bradbury = Hearts in Atlantis, IT, The Mist
    10. Les Mis = Rita Hayworth & Shawshank Redemption
    11. Of Mice & Men = Dreamcatcher
    12. Grapes of Wrath = Firestarter; father's struggle to protect family
    13. Carrie = Lady Gwenuvere, of King Arthur fame; both strong women with a secret side.

  7. Nicely done, Thomas.

    Not sure about Bradbury and Hearts. . . but I haven't read Bradbury in a long time.

    Wonderful connection to Grapes of wrath!

    do not see the shining and copperfield connection. . .?

    Also, nice on Of Mice and Men with Dreamcatcher. Kind of gives the story a better ending, huh!

  8. nice opinion... thanks for sharing....

  9. Okay, I agree with much of the above...
    Here are my additions
    4. Doyle. The Doctor's case, the fifth quarter
    5. Frankenstein is absolutely Christine!!!!
    8. Shirley Jackson. Rainy season
    9. Martian chronicles....short story collection consisting of The long walk, house on maple street, battleground, word processor of the gods, beachworld, the end if the whole mess, I am the doorway, the dune, and the jaunt

  10. Ray Bradbury- The expedition, Tommyknockers
    W.W. Jacobs The monkeys paw- Pet sematary