Welcome back. I trust you enjoyed your first course of the particular bloody and terrifying horror that is Stephen King. Since you have returned, you are clearly wanting more. Well then, without further ado, here is your next capsule, featuring a larger dose this time.
Capsule No. 1 can be found here.
Carrie (1974): Stephen King’s debut novel that went on to become a bestseller has become part of lore and urban legends and part of the American lexicon. Carrie White wants nothing more than to have a normal high school experience, but high school is never like that. Plus she has a religious zealot for a mom who has controlled her in every way since the day she was born. But Carrie has a secret: she has a special ability that no one else does: she can do things with her mind. And maybe it seems like things might be okay when a cute guy asks her to the prom and gives her a chance to have the perfect night. But this IS a Stephen King novel after all, even if it’s his first, so nothing is going to go the way it’s planned to go.
The Dead Zone (1979): Continuing on the theme of extra-sensory perception or ESP we have the story of Johnny Smith who had a bad ice skating accident when he was six years old and now he can kind of predict things that are going happen, then when he’s in a bad car accident as an adult and spends four years in a coma, he returns to the world with the ability to see what is to come. It is both a blessing and a curse. The good thing is you know when things are going to happen and you can get out of the way and protect yourself; the bad thing is all those other people that are in the way and need saving.
Firestarter (1980): Rounding out King’s ESP trilogy is the incendiary Firestarter. Andy McGee and Vicky Tomlinson participated in a drug experiment when they were younger, but unbeknownst to them it was orchestrated by a secret government group known as The Shop. The child they have, Charlie, develops the uncanny ability to set things on fire. Some things she makes just burst into flame, other things she can make explode into a raging pyre. But she’s also a scared, confused little girl. The Shop wants to get her so they can study her and do experiments on her and find out how her powers work and how they can harness them, regardless of the fact that she is a child. But her dad Andy isn’t going to let them get within a mile of her; so now the two are on the run from a clandestine government body that has limitless resources.
Cujo (1981): This is the story about a dog named Cujo. This dog contracts rabies from a bite and turns rabid. Donna Trenton and her young son, Tad, come up to the old farm one day and discover Cujo who is looking to sink his teeth into anything. And here we have King’s powerful, moving story about a mother and child fighting to survive against a terrible beast. But it is also the story of a special kind of small town that could allow an animal to turn rabid and begin tormenting two of its citizens.
Christine (1983): Arnold Cunningham is your classic Geek who is covered in zits and dreams of being close to a girl, let alone touching one. Until the day he sees the 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine. It’s the first female he ever falls in love with, and the last, and once he buys the vehicle his life changes completely. Whether it’s for the better or the worse, is a matter of opinion, depending on who you’re asking. But all of a sudden he’s looking better, has a gorgeous girl on his arm, and everything seems to be going his way. Except for this close friend. And the fact that people who get in his way tend to end up dead all of a sudden. But who’s behind it? The car? Now that’s just crazy talk.
The Dark Half (1989): We all have our other side, our dark half. Stephen King had it with his pseudonym Richard Bachman. So when successful author Thad Beaumont decides he’s written his last book as Richard Stark (who got him most of his money), he stages a PR set and puts his pseudonym to rest with a fake gravestone. But once everyone leaves, something crawls out of the ground where that gravestone is. It’s coming after Thad. It doesn’t want him to stop. It wants him to write another Richard Stark book. Whatever it takes. Even if he has to write it in blood.