Stephen King Shares Bloody Perfect Advice For Fan Getting Her Mom To Read His Work For The First Time

Stephen King in Creepshow
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Getting your parents interested in your hobbies can be a difficult task–we’ve all been there. That’s precisely what one Stephen King fan was attempting to do when she turned to social media for advice regarding where to get her mother started on her journey of reading the prolific horror writer's vast body of work. What this constant reader could not have anticipated was a bloody perfect response coming from none other than the horror maestro himself, Stephen King!

A Twitter user (and Blumhouse writer) took to her nearly 10,000 followers to ask where her mother, who has never read King, should start with the author’s work before suggesting the writer’s classic psychological horror thriller, Misery. While many sounded off their opinions, King had his own advice on where to begin. He told the woman to have her mother start with his first book and then work her way through his entire bibliography. You can check out the writer’s hilarious Twitter response below. 

Let’s hope the user’s mother has all the time in the world on her hands because the writer has published 65 novels (many with film adaptations that you can see our ranking), five works of non-fiction, and over 200 short stories compiled in several collections. The horror author has been on pace to publish roughly two books yearly with no plans to retire anytime soon

Needless to say, the King Fan was thrilled with the horror heavy-weight author’s response to her twitter inquiry. However, one person was less than impressed. Who might that be? Her mother, of course. The King fan posted a follow-up on Twitter where she said she told her mother the literary giant had responded to her, and the only response she received from her mom was a lousy thumbs up. 

I showed my mom that Stephen King responded to my tweet about what King book she should start with first, and all I got was a thumbs up. wowww

Yikes. While a hilarious back-and-forth between mother and daughter, it sounds like this user’s mother might be a harsh critic. In my opinion, tell her to steer clear of King’s Dreamcatcher--the novel and the movie adaptation. “Shit weasels” are a concept that might turn new readers off. 

Where Should a New King Reader Start?

Who am I to disagree with arguably the greatest horror writer to ever live, but perhaps our readers will allow me this slight disagreement with the macabre maestro? While Carrie is King’s first published literary work, I would argue this stripped-down epistolary novel might not be a great place to start for new readers because it doesn’t give an excellent feel for the writer’s style, which he would go to hone for decades. What I am about to suggest may sound like blasphemy to some, but for this long-time King reader, I think you could almost get away with watching the faithful 1976 Brian De Palma-directed adaptation and skip the novel on which it’s based. I know. I know. Sacrilege. 

When reading King’s extensive work, I honestly think there is almost no wrong place to start. Almost. Again, steer clear of Dreamcatcher. However, if I were starting a friend or a loved one on the path to discovering the best of what the horror author has to offer, I would start them with his big three: Salem’s Lot, The Shining, or The Stand. These three novels give a great taste of what you can expect when reading the writer’s work and supplanted him as one of the greatest horror writers for decades to come. If you don’t vibe with one of his big three, perhaps he isn’t an author for you. 

Wherever the Twitter user’s mother decides to begin consuming King is fine by me. But don’t be surprised if it turns her into a lifelong constant reader and collector. It happens to the best of us. Hardcore fans of the horror writer might be interested in Eric Eisenberg’s take on building the ultimate Stephen King collection

If you’re more of a moviegoer than a reader but still a fan of King, the next upcoming horror movie adaptations of his works that are set to hit the cinemas are Salem’s Lot and The Boogeyman. Both movies are slated to hit the 2023 new movie release schedule. For all your other horror movie news and updates, stay tuned to CinemaBlend. 

Ryan LaBee

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing. An expert in all things horror, Ryan enjoys covering a wide variety of topics. He's also a lifelong comic book fan and an avid watcher of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon.