The first encounter was with Christine. I was a teenager and that book scared me silly. A friend and I then started to buy and swap novels, eventually buying as soon as they came out; though he went off into the Dark Tower and stayed there! While I settled for filling in the gaps in my collection from earlier stuff. Everything from short stories - The Raft, Mrs Tod's Shortcut; amazing imagination, to It, Salem's Lot and so on. Shelves of stories. On display, feel free to browse through, friends and neighbours!!
An ex partner of mine was a lapsed Witness, but not so lapsed as to allow those books to remain on display when her mother came round to visit! That annoyed me. And think about it. The same guy who gave us weird, out there stuff like Tommyknockers, also wrote Green Mile and (one which made a BRILLIANT film) The Body. Not just scary stuff, but thoughtful Getting way inside the human psyche. King KNOWS people and writes beautifully about our emotions and quirky ways. He is so much more than a horror writer - and notoriously hard to translate from pages to film. King relies so much on us to create the atmosphere, the backdrops and tension. I don't think it has been done, but a film of Bag Of Bones would not get the goosebumps up like reading the book does.
One book? One book to last a lifetime? Without doubt - and I am talking any author here. The Stand. The complete version. Put me on a deserted island and allow me one book, one CD and so on. The book would be The Stand. I have read is many times, I read it differently every time and I am THERE every time. His finest hour.
Stephen King is known as the master of horror. He is a lot more than that. He is one of the finest writers of fiction this or the last century will witness. From a Buick 8. Scary? No. Intuitive, weird, maybe but when he comes up with a collection of novellas, you just know that of the four; one will become a classic. He does way more than scare people. He makes them think and takes them places.