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Stephen King | New England’s Gifts

Stephen King remembers the publication of his first book, "Carrie." Excerpt from “The Man Who Writes Nightmares,” a 1979 Yankee feature.

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网投平台大全Stephen King, The Storyteller From Maine

Stephen King, The Storyteller From Maine

François Sechet/Leemage/Corbis/AP Images

When I started Carrie, I had finished my first year of teaching. I was working in summer at the laundry to try and make ends meet. I started writing, but after four pages thought it stank and threw it in the rubbish. I came 网投平台大全 and found my wife, Tabby, had taken them out and had left a note: ‘Please keep going—it’s good.’ Since she’s really stingy with her praise, I did.

“When I finished it, I sent it off to Doubleday. We were having a really tough time. We had two small children. Our phone had been taken out. When the telegram came saying it was accepted with a $2,500 advance,  Tabby had to call me at school from across the street. I was in the middle of a teachers’ meeting and was on pins and needles waiting to get 网投平台大全 and hug her. Later my agent told me the paperback rights were bought for $400,000. I said, ‘You mean $40,000.’ He said, ‘No, I mean $400,000,’ and I realized I wouldn’t have to teach anymore.

“My mother was dying then, but she knew everything was going to be all right. She was old-fashioned about Carrie; she didn’t like the sex parts. But she recognized that a lot of Carrie had to do with bullying. If there’s a moral in the book it’s: Don’t mess around with people. You never know whom you may be tangling with. Ah, if my mother had lived, she’d have been the Queen of Durham, Maine, by now.”-

—Excerpt from “The Man Who Writes Nightmares,” Yankee Magazine, March 1979

Comments
  • Stephen King is a treasure. His books have captivated me since I first time read Salem’s Lot back in the 70’s. I have read every one of his works and have the 网投平台大全 library to prove it. Two ceiling-high bookcases contain nothing but his books. He is a genius of the first order. The way he develops his characters is unmatched. His are the only books I can’t put down until I’ve read them completely through [OK…I took two days with both The Stand and The Dome]. He’s irreplaceable!

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  • My first experience with Stephen King was in 1975 when I first saw his novel, ‘Salem,s Lot. I,s never heard of Carrie, but his second novel intrigued me greatly. I was in a Waldenbooks at the Maine Mall in Portland and the cover was amazing! A black embossed cover of a hideous face, no title on the front cover, but only on the spine, which I thought was unusual. I loved the novel, and devoured it so fast. Never read anything like it in my life! It was that good. I soon read The Shining, The Stand, & The Dead Zone. All astonishingly great! Then the film Carrie came out and I was blown away at how magnificent and horrifying it was! I was a #1 Stephen King fan. Mr. King, you are a GENIUS! Thank you so much!

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  • LOVE Stephen King books! I don’t think there is one that I don’t like!

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  • It was Salem’s Lot that hooked me on Stephen King. Favorites after that one are Dolores Claiborne (also a great movie adaptation), It, The Stand and the first 2 short story collections (Skeleton Key and the other title escapes me), which brought us gems like The Shawshank Redemption, my favorite King story ever… or should I say so far?

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  • Reader

    I have read Carrie, and thought it was well written. I have a lot of Steven Kings books and loved them all.

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