King

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WORDS  1903

King

Stephen Edwin King is one of today's most popular and best selling writers. King's major contribution to horror literature is to situate it within the general anxieties of contemporary life. His focus is not on vampires, werewolves and such, but on ordinary people faced with these horrors and the darker horrors of lost jobs, disintegrating families, mental breakdown, and all the other fears that haunt the modern age. What makes Stephen Kings stories almost magical is that the settings of his stories. King has the ability to make terrifying situations out of apparently ordinary circumstances. Additionally, King's writings are true to life in peoples minds because he draws upon common fears. King's writings are so widely appealing that over 45 of his works have been based upon or turned into Hollywood movies.
Stephen King was born on September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine he was a suprise addition to the family, as his mother had been told that she would never have children. His parents, Donald and Nellie King, were experiencing difficulties in their marriage, and when Stephen King was only 2, his father, a door-to-door salesman for Electrolux, left the house to buy a pack of cigarettes but never returned. His fathers walking out had a huge indirect impact on his life. In the autobiographical work Danse Macabre, Stephen King recalls how his family life was altered: "After my father took off, my mother, struggled, and then landed on her feet. My brother and I didn't see a great deal of her over the next nine years. She worked a succession of continuous low paying jobs" (67). While young, Stephen King and his family moved around the North Eastern and Central United States. When he was seven years old, they moved to Stratford, Connecticut. Here is where Stephen King got his first exposure to horror. One evening he listened to the radio adaptation of Ray Bradbury's story Mars Is Heaven! That night King recalls he "slept in the doorway, where the real and rational light of the bathroom bulb could shine on my face" (Beaham 16). Stephen King's exposure to oral storytelling on the radio had a huge impact on his later writings. King tells his stories in visual terms so that the reader would be able to "see" what was happening in their own mind, somewhat in the same fashion the way it was done on the radio. One day little Stephen was looking through his mother's books and came across one named The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. After his mother finishe...