Stephen King

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Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
~ Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, from Different Seasons

Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author, screenwriter, musician, columnist, actor, film producer and director. A 2003 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Book Awards, King's books have been enormously successful, and are often featured on bestseller lists. Many have also been adapted into films.

See also:
Carrie (1974 novel)
'Salem's Lot (1975)
Carrie (1976 film)
Night Shift (1978)
Salem's Lot (1979 miniseries)
The Dark Tower series of stories
The Shining (1980 film)
Danse Macabre (1981)
The Dead Zone (1983 film)
Stand By Me (1986 film)
The Langoliers (1990)
Needful Things (1993 film)
The Stand (1994 miniseries)
The Langoliers (1995 miniseries)
The Green Mile (1999 film)
On Writing (2000)
Carrie (2013 film)


  • I think that marijuana should not only be legal, I think it should be a cottage industry. It would be wonderful for the state of Maine. There's some pretty good homegrown dope. I'm sure it would be even better if you could grow it with fertilizers and have greenhouses.
  • I work until beer o'clock.
    • On his 9 to 5 writing day, as quoted in Time (6 October 1986)
  • French is the language that turns dirt into romance.
    • Time (October 6, 1986)
  • I have grown into a Bestsellasaurus Rex — a big, stumbling book-beast that is loved when it shits money and hated when it tramples houses... I started out as a storyteller; along the way I became an economic force.
    • The Politics of Limited Editions essay in Castle Rock Newsletter, vol. 1, no. 6 (June 1985), republished in various real world publications, including The Stephen King Story (1992) by George W. Beahm, p. 112
  • I think the author who influenced me the most as a writer was Richard Matheson. Books like I Am Legend were an inspiration to me.
    • As quoted in an edition of I Am Legend (1995)
  • President Clinton has made a few feeble swipes at addressing this issue [school violence], but one can only gape at the unintentionally comic spectacle of this man chastising the gun-lobby and America's love of violent movies while he rains bombs on Yugoslavia, where at least twenty noncombatants have already died for every innocent student at Columbine High. It is like listening to a man with a crack-pipe in his hand lecture children about the evils of drugs.
    • Keynote Address, Vermont Library Conference, VEMA Annual Meeting, (26 May 1999)
  • I understand where Bill Maher is coming from when he says, basically, the world is destroying itself over a bunch of fairy tales about talking snakes and men who are alive inside fishes. I'm very sympathetic to it, but at the same time, given the cosmos that we're living in, it's very persuasive, the idea that there is some kind of first cause that's running things. It might not be the god of Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, it might not be the god of al-Qaida, and it might not be the god of Abraham, but something very well could be running things. The order of the universe as we see it, the interlocking nature, and the way things work together, are persuasive of the idea that there may be some overarching first cause.
  • On a couple of occasions I've shocked myself. Pet Sematary was appalling when it first came out on to the page.
  • You think 'Okay, I get it, I'm prepared for the worst', but you hold out that small hope, see, and that's what fucks you up. That's what kills you.
  • I've made some things for you, Constant Reader; you see them laid out before you in the moonlight. But before you look at the little handcrafted treasures I have for sale, let's talk about them for a bit, shall we? It won't take long. Here, sit down beside me. And do come a little closer. I don't bite.
    Except ... we've known each other for a very long time, and I suspect you know that's not entirely true.
    Is it?
  • It's fascinating to me that there has been so much comment about that single sex scene and so little about the multiple child murders. That must mean something, but I'm not sure what.
  • "one of the greats...Not just a science fiction writer; a literary icon."

Rage (1977)

  • I went down the staircase whistling; I felt wonderful. Things happen that way sometimes. When everything is at its worst, your mind just throws it all in the wastebasket and goes to Florida for a little while. There is a sudden electric what-the-hell glow as you stand there looking back over your shoulder at the bridge you just burned down.
    • Ch. 7
  • I don't think there was anything in my brain right then except the usual background static -- the kind you get on your radio when it's turned up all the way and tuned to no station at all. My brain had checked to the power, so to speak; the little guy wearing the Napoleon hat inside was showing aces and betting them.
    • Ch. 8
  • You can go through your whole life telling yourself that life is logical, life is prosaic, life is sane. Above all, sane. And I think it is. I've had a lot of time to think about that.
    • Ch. 10
  • There isn't any division of time to express the marrow of our lives, the time between the explosion of lead from the muzzle and the meat impact, between the impact and the darkness. There's only barren instant replay that shows nothing new.
    I shot her; she fell; and there was an indescribable moment of silence, an infinite duration of time, and we all stepped back, watching the ball go around and around, ticking, bouncing, lighting for an instant, going on, heads and tails, red and black, odd and even.
    I think that moment ended. I really do. But sometimes, in the dark, I think that hideous random moment is still going on, that the wheel is even yet in spin, and I dreamed all the rest.
    What must it be like for a suicide coming down from a high ledge? I'm sure it must be a very sane feeling. That's probably why they scream all the way down.
    • Ch. 10
  • "This," I said pleasantly, "is known as getting it on."
    • Ch. 11
  • Susan Brooks was one of those girls who never say anything unless called upon, the ones the teachers always have to ask to speak up, please. A very studious, very serious girl. A rather pretty but not terribly bright girl -- the kind who isn't allowed to give up and take the general or the commercial courses, because she had a terribly bright older brother or older sister, and the teachers expect comparable things from her. In fine, one of those girls who are holding the dirty end of the stick with as much good grace and manners as they can muster. Usually they marry truck drivers and move to the West Coast, where they have kitchen nooks with Formica counters -- and they write letters to the Folks Back East as seldom as they can get away with. They make quiet, successful lives for themselves and grow prettier as the shadow of the bright older brother or sister falls away from them.
    • Ch. 13
  • My dad has hated me for as long as I can remember.
    That's a pretty sweeping statement, and I know how phony it sounds. It sounds petulant and really fantastic, the kind of weapon kids always use when the old man won't come across with the car for your heavy date at the drive-in with Peggy Sue or when he tells you that if you flunk world history the second time through he's going to beat the living hell out of you. In this day and age when everybody thinks psychology is God's gift to the poor old anally fixated human race and even the president of the United States pops a trank before dinner, it's really a good way to get rid of those Old Testament guilts that keep creeping up our throats like the aftertaste of a bad meal we overate. If you say your father hated you as a kid, you can go out and flash the neighborhood, commit rape, or burn down the Knights of Pythias bingo parlor and still cop a plea.
    But it also means that no one will believe you if it's true. You're the little boy who cried wolf. And for me it's true...I don't think Dad himself really knew it until then. Even if you could dig to the very bottom of his motives, he'd probably say - at the most - that he was hating me for my own good.
    • Ch. 16
  • That's what a shrink is for, my friends and neighbors; their job is to fuck the mentally disturbed and make them pregnant with sanity. It's a bull's job and they go to school to learn how, and their courses are all variations on a theme: Slipping It to the Psychos for Fun and Profit, Mostly Profit. And if you find yourself someday lying on that great analyst's couch where so many have lain before you, I'd ask you to remember one thing: When you get sanity by stud, the child always looks like the father. And they have a very high suicide rate.
    • Ch. 18
  • "I won't play a cheap parlor game with human lives for party favors, Charlie."
    "Congratulations to you, " I said. "You just described modern psychiatry. That ought to be the textbook definition, Don. Now, let me tell you: you'll take a piss out the window if I tell you to. And God help you if I catch you in a lie. That will get somebody killed too. Ready to bare your soul, Don? Are you on your mark?"
    • Ch. 18
  • Craziness is only a matter of degree, and there are lots of people besides me who have the urge to roll heads.
    • Ch. 20
  • When you stop to think, the whole idea of comprehension has a faintly archaic taste, like the sound of forgotten tongues or a look into a Victorian camera obscura. We Americans are much higher on simple understanding. It makes it easier to read the billboards when you're heading into town on the expressway at plus-fifty. To comprehend, the mental jaws have to gape wide enough to make the tendons creak. Understanding, however, can be purchased on every paperback-book rack in America.
    • Ch. 20
  • And then a funny thing happened to me...except when I think about it, it wasn't very funny at all. There must be a line in all of us, a very clear one, just like the line that divides the light side of a planet from the dark. I think they call that line the terminator. That's a very good word for it. Because at that moment I was freaking out, and at the next I was as cool as a cucumber.
  • For no reason at all, I thought of New Year's Eve, when all those people crowd into Times Square and scream like jackals as the lighted ball slides down the pole, ready to shed its thin party glare on three hundred and sixty-five new days in this best of all possible worlds. I have always wondered what it would be like to be caught in one of those crowds, screaming and not able to hear your own voice, your individuality momentarily wiped out and replaced with the blind empathic overslop of the crowd's lurching, angry anticipation, hip to hip and shoulder to shoulder with no one in particular.
    • Ch. 31
  • Once, during the drinking phase, Wendy had accused him of desiring his own destruction but not possessing the necessary moral fiber to support a full-blown deathwish. So he manufactured ways in which other people could do it, lopping a piece at a time off himself and their family.
  • She had never dreamed there could be so much pain in a life when there was nothing physically wrong. She hurt all the time.
  • You know, schizoid behavior is a pretty common thing in children. It's accepted, because all we adults have this unspoken agreement that children are lunatics.
  • We sometimes need to create unreal monsters and bogies to stand in for all the things we fear in our real lives.
  • What Jack didn't understand was that no matter where he went, the same asshole got off the plane.
  • Monsters are real. Ghosts are too. They live inside of us, and sometimes, they win.
  • He would write it for the reason he felt that all great literature, fiction and nonfiction, was written: truth comes out, in the end it always comes out. He would write it because he felt he had to.
  • A stupid man is more prone to cabin fever just as he's more prone to shoot someone over a card game or commit a spur-of-the-moment robbery. He gets bored. When the snow comes and there's nothing to do but watch TV or play solitaire and cheat when he can't get all the aces out. Nothing to do but bitch at his wife and nag at the kids and drink. It gets hard to sleep because there's nothing to hear. So he drinks himself to sleep and wakes up with a hangover. He gets edgy. And maybe the telephone goes out and the TV aerial blows down and there's nothing to do but think and cheat at solitaire and get edgier and edgier. Finally... boom, boom, boom.
  • Your daddy... sometimes he does things he's sorry for later. Sometimes he doesn't think the way he should. That doesn't happen very often, but sometimes it does.
  • 'Any big hotels have got scandals,' he said. 'Just like every big hotel has got a ghost. Why? Hell, people come and go. Sometimes one of em will pop off in his room, heart attack or stroke or something like that. Hotels are superstitious places. No thirteenth floor or room thirteen, no mirrors on the back of the door you come in through, stuff like that.
  • A lot of folks, they got a little bit of shine to them. They don't even know it. But they always seem to show up with flowers when their wives are feelin blue with the monthlies, they do good on school tests they don't even study for, they got a good idea how people are feelin as soon as they walk into a room.
  • This inhuman place makes human monsters.
  • Living by your wits is always knowing where the wasps are.
  • Tough old world, baby. If you're not bolted together tightly, you're gonna shake, rattle, and roll before you turn thirty.
  • He rolled in his bed, twisting the sheets, grappling with a problem years too big for him, awake in the night like a single sentinel on picket. And sometime after midnight, he slept, too, and then only the wind was awake, prying at the hotel and hooting in its gables under the bright gimlet gaze of the stars.
  • Martin Luther King had told them not long before the bullet took him down to his martyr's grave that he had been to the mountain. Dick could not claim that. No mountain, but he had reached a sunny plateau after years of struggle.
  • He knew the boy. They had shared each other the way good friends can't even after forty years of it. He knew the boy and the boy knew him, because they each had a kind of searchlight in their heads, something they hadn't asked for, something that had just been given.
    (Naw, you got a flashlight, he the one with the searchlight.)
    And sometimes that light, that shine, seemed like a pretty nice thing. You could pick the horses, or like the boy had said, you could tell your daddy where his trunk was when it turned up missing. But that was only dressing, the sauce on the salad, and down below there was as much bitter vetch in that salad as there was cool cucumber. You could taste pain and death and tears. And now the boy was stuck in that place, and he would go. For the boy. Because, speaking to the boy, they had only been different colors when they used their mouths. So he would go. He would do what he could, because if he didn't, the boy was going to die right inside his head.
    But because he was human he could not help a bitter wish that the cup had never been passed his way.
  • Danny? You listen to me. I'm going to talk to you about it this once and never again this same way. There's some things no six-year-old boy in the world should have to be told, but the way things should be and the way things are hardly ever get together. The world's a hard place, Danny. It don't care. It don't hate you and me, but it don't love us, either. Terrible things happen in the world, and they're things no one can explain. Good people die in bad, painful ways and leave the folks that love them all alone. Sometimes it seems like it's only the bad people who stay healthy and prosper. The world don't love you, but your momma does and so do I. You're a good boy. You grieve for your daddy, and when you feel you have to cry over what happened to him, you go into a closet or under your covers and cry until it's all out of you again. That's what a good son has to do. But see that you get on. That's your job in this hard world, to keep your love alive and see that you get on, no matter what. Pull your act together and just go on.

The Stand (1978)

  • He had a massive stroke. He died with his tie on. Do you think that could be our generation's equivalent of that old saying about dying with your boots on?
    • Rita Blakemoor
  • You couldn't get hold of the things you'd done and turn them right again. Such a power might be given to the gods, but it was not given to women and men, and that was probably a good thing. Had it been otherwise, people would probably die of old age still trying to rewrite their teens.
  • Afterward Larry felt as if he had been through a long pillow-fight in which all the pillows had been treated with a low-grade poison gas.
  • Starkey flashed back in time twenty-two years to 1968. He had been in the officers' club in San Diego when the news came about Calley and what had happened at Mei Lai Four. Starkey had been playing poker with four other men, two of whom now sat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The poker game had been forgotten, utterly forgotten, in a discussion of exactly what this was going to do to the military — not any one branch but the entire military — in the witch-hunt atmosphere of Washington's fourth estate. And one of their number, a man who could now dial directly to the miserable worm who had been masquerading as a Chief Executive since January 20, 1989, had laid his cards carefully down on the green felt table and he had said: Gentlemen, a regrettable incident has occurred. And when a regrettable incident occurs which involves any branch of the United States Military, we don’t question the roots of that incident but rather how the branches may best be pruned. The service is mother and father to us. And if you find your mother raped or your father beaten and robbed, before you call the police or begin an investigation, you cover their nakedness. Because you love them.
  • Starkey put his fingers under the man's chin and pushed his head back. As he did so, the man's eyeballs fell back into his head with a meaty little thud. The words on the sign had been written in red Magic Marker. NOW YOU KNOW IT WORKS, the sign said, ANY QUESTIONS?
  • I have harbored hate of the Lord in my heart. Every man or woman who loves Him, they hate Him too, because He's a hard God, a jealous God, He Is, what He Is, and in this world He's apt to repay service with pain while those who do evil ride over the roads in Cadillac cars. Even the joy of serving Him is a bitter joy.
    • Mother Abagail
  • Did you know that Dairy Queen ice cream is mostly bubbles?
    • Frannie
  • M-O-O-N, that spells ILLEGAL!
    • Tom Cullen
  • There are a great many ways to commit suicide you know.
  • When asked, "How do you write?" I invariably answer, "one word at a time."
  • Somebody had slipped. Either that, or the disease that Charles D. Campion had brought to Arnette was a lot more communicable than anyone had guessed. Either way, the integrity of the Atlanta Plague Center had been breached, and Stu thought that everyone who had been there was now getting a chance to do a little firsthand research on the virus they called A-Prime or the superflu. They still did tests on him here, but they seemed desultory. The schedule had become slipshod. Results were scrawled down and he had a suspicion that someone looked at them cursorily, shook his head, and dumped them in the nearest shredder. That wasn't the worst, though. The worst was the guns. The nurses who came in to take blood or spit or urine were how always accompanied by a soldier in a white-suit, and the soldier had a gun in a plastic Baggie. The Baggie was fastened over the wrist of the soldier's right gauntlet. The gun was an army-issue .45, and Stu had no doubt that, if he tried any of the games he had tried with Deitz, the .45 would tear the end of the Baggie into smoking, burning shreds and Stu Redman would become a Golden Oldie. If they were just going through the motions now, then he had become expendable. Being under detention was bad. Being under detention and being expendable... that was very bad.
    • p 171-172
  • The elevator doors slid shut behind him; there was a hum as it began to go up automatically. It wouldn't come down again unless somebody else keyed it, Starkey knew; as soon as the installation's integrity had been breached, the computers had switched all the elevators to the general containment program. Why were these poor men and women lying here? Obviously they had been hoping the computers would fuck up the switch-over to the emergency procedures. Why not? It even had a certain logic to it. Everything else had fucked up.
    • p. 178
  • "Nothing personal," Mathers said sincerely. "Just business, you understand. Myself, I hope you make out. That Markham law's a bitch." He strode away and Lloyd saw the door-guard standing atop the ramp in the truck-loading bay on the other side of the exercise yard. His thumbs were hooked in his Sam Browne belt and he was grinning at Lloyd. When he saw he had Lloyd's complete, undivided attention, the door-guard shot him the bird with the middle fingers of both hands. Mathers strolled over to the wall, and the door-guard threw him a pack of Tareytons. Mathers put them in his breast pocket, sketched a salute, and walked away. Lloyd lay on the ground, his knees drawn up to his chest, hands clutching his cramping belly, and Devins's words echoed in his brain: It's a tough old world, Lloyd, it's a tough old world. Right.
    • p. 195
  • Nick went outside. Mike was standing on the curb, his hand on a parking meter, looking at the empty street. "My God," he whispered, and turned his stunned face to look at Nick. "All this? All this?" Nick nodded, his hand still on the gunbutt. Mike started to say something, and it turned into a coughing spasm. He covered his mouth, then wiped his lips. "I'm getting the Christ out of here," he said. "You're wise, you'll do the same thing, mutie. This is like the black death, or somethin." Nick shrugged, and Mike started down the sidewalk. He moved faster and faster until he was nearly running. Nick watched him until he was out of sight, and then went back inside. He never saw Mike again.
    • p. 206
  • Bob Palmer appeared again. "If you have children, ladies and gentlemen," he said quietly, "we would advise that you ask them to leave the room." A grainy shot of a truck backing down a pier jutting out over Boston Harbor, a big olive-covered army truck. Below it, riding uncertainly, was a barge covered with canvas tarps. Two soldiers, rugose and alien in gas masks, jumped down from the truck's cab. The picture jiggled and joggled, and then became steady again as they pulled back the canvas sheet covering the open rear end of the truck. Then they jumped up inside, and bodies began to cascade out onto the barge: women, old men, children, police, nurses; they came in a cartwheeling flood that never seemed to end. At some point during the film-clip it became clear that the soldiers were using pitchforks to get them out. Palmer went on broadcasting for two hours, his steadily hoarsening voice reading clippings and bulletins, interviewing other members of the crew. It went on until somebody on the ground floor realized that they didn't have to re-take the sixth floor to stop it. At 11:16, the WBZ transmitter was shut down permanently with twenty pounds of plastique. Palmer and the others on the sixth floor were summarily executed on charges of treason to their government, the United States of America.
    • p. 213-214
  • "This is Major Alfred Nunn, United States Army. I am taking provisional and temporary control of United States forces in the San Francisco area. The handful of traitors in this HQ have been dealt with. I am in command, repeat, in command. The holding operation will go on. Deserters and defectors will be dealt with as before: extreme prejudice, repeat, extreme prejudice. I am now-" More gunfire. A scream. Background: "-them all! Get them all! Death to the war-pigs-" Heavy gunfire. Then silence on the band.
    • p. 225
  • "Harold, if you'll excuse me-" "But whatever can you be doing, my child?" The unreality was trying to creep back in again, and she found herself wondering just how much the human brain could be expected to stand before snapping like an overtaxed rubber band. My parents are dead, but I can take it. Some weird disease seems to have spread across the entire country, maybe the entire world, mowing down the righteous and the unrighteous alike- I can take it. I'm digging a hole in the garden my father was weeding only last week, and when it's deep enough I guess I'm going to put him in it- I think I can take it. But Harold Lauder in Roy Brannigan's Cadillac, feeling me up with his eyes and calling me "my child"? I don't know, my Lord, I just don't know.
    • p. 250
  • Show me a man or a woman alone and I'll show you a saint. Give me two and they'll fall in love. Give me three and they'll invent the charming thing we call 'society'. Give me four and they'll build a pyramid. Give me five and they'll make one an outcast. Give me six and they'll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they'll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.
    • Glen Bateman
  • "I am too old for adventure," the Judge said, putting his clippers away, "but I hope I am not too old to do what I feel is right. There is an old woman out there someplace who has probably gone to a miserable death because she felt it was right. Prompted by religious mania, I have no doubt. But people who try hard to do the right thing always seem mad."
    • p. 810
  • A new sound in the rainy afternoon. Bobby Terry's head jerked up. The rain, yes, making its steel drum sound on the cabs of the two vehicles, the grumbling of two idling motors, and- A strange clocking sound, like rundown bootheels hammering swiftly along the secondary road macadam. "No," Bobby Terry whispered. He began to turn around. The clocking sound was speeding up. A fast walk, a trot, a jog, run, sprint, and Bobby Terry got all the way around, too late, he was coming. Flagg was coming like some terrible horror monster out of the scariest picture ever made. The dark man's cheeks were flushed with jolly color, his eyes were twinkling with happy good fellowship, and a great hungry voracious grin stretched his lips over huge tombstone teeth, shark teeth, and his hands were held out in front of him, and there were shiny black crowfeathers fluttering from his hair. No, Bobby Terry tried to say, but nothing came out. "HEY, BOBBY TERRY, YOU SCROOOOWED IT UP!" the dark man bellowed, and fell upon the hapless Bobby Terry. There were worse things than crucifixion. There were teeth.
    • p. 943
  • Lloyd got the call from Stan Bailey at Indian Springs fifteen minutes later. Stan was nearly hysterical between his fury at Trash and his fear of the dark man. Carl Hough and Bill Jamieson had taken off from the Springs at 6:02PM to run a recon mission east of Vegas. One of their other trainee pilots, Cliff Benson, had been riding with Carl as an observer. At 6:12PM both helicopters had blown up in the air. Stunned though he had been, Stan had sent five men over to Hangar 9, where two other skimmers and three large Baby Huey copters were stored. They found explosive taped to all five of the remaining choppers, and incendiary fuses rigged to simple kitchen timers. The fuses were not the same as the ones Trash had rigged to the fuel trucks, but they were very similar. There was not much room for doubt. "It was the Trashcan Man," Stan said. "He went hogwild. Jesus Christ only knows what else he's wired up to explode out here." "Check everything," Lloyd said. His heartbeat was rapid and thready with fear. Adrenaline boiled through his body, and his eyes felt as if they were in danger of popping from his head. "Check everything! You get every man jack out there and go from one end to the other of that cock-knocking base. You hear me, Stan?" "Why bother?" "Why bother?" Lloyd screamed. "Do I have to draw you a picture, shitheels? What's the big dude gonna say if the whole base-" "All our pilots are dead," Stan said softly. "Don't you get it, Lloyd? Even Cliff, and he wasn't very fucking good. We've got six guys that aren't even close to soloing and no teachers. What do we need those jets for now, Lloyd?" And he hung up, leaving Lloyd to sit thunderstruck, finally realizing.
    • p. 1011
  • Silent white light filled the world. And the righteous and unrighteous alike were consumed in that holy fire.
    • p. 1085
  • "Frannie," he said, and turned her around so he could look into her eyes. "What, Stuart?" "Do you think... do you think people ever learn anything?" She opened her mouth to speak, hesitated, fell silent. The kerosene lamp flickered. Her eyes seemed very blue. "I don't know," she said at last. She seemed unpleased with her answer; she struggled to say something more, to illuminate her first response, and could only say it again: I don't know.
    • p. 1149
  • Life was such a wheel that no man could stand upon it for long. And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again.
    • p. 1153
  • It was in the rule book. They gave you three warnings. The fourth time you fell below four miles an hour you were...well, you were out of the Walk. But if you had three warnings and could manage to walk for three hours, you were back in the sun again.
  • Talk had faded with the daylight. The silence that set in was oppressive. The encroaching dark, the groundmist collecting into small, curdled pools...for the first time it seemed perfectly real and totally unnatural, and he wanted either Jan or his mother, some woman, and he wondered what in the hell he was doing and how he ever could have gotten involved. He could not even kid himself that everything had not been up front, because it had been. And he hadn't even done it alone. There were currently ninety-five other fools in this parade.
  • It wasn't as bad, Garraty discovered, if you stared down at your feet as you walked and leaned forward a little. You stared strictly down at the tiny patch of pavement between your feet and it gave you the impression that you were walking on level ground. Of course, you couldn't kid yourself that your lungs and the breath in your throat weren't heating up, because they were.
  • Somehow the word started coming back - some people still had breath to spare, apparently. The word was this hill was a quarter of a mile long. The word was it was two miles long. The word was that no Walker had ever gotten a ticket on this hill. The word was that three boys had gotten tickets here just last year. And after that, the word stopped coming back.
  • Overhead, capricious spring clouds began to scud across the sky in mackerel shapes, promising more rain. Garraty turned up his collar and listened to the sound of his feet pounding the pavement. There was a trick to that, a subtle mental adjustment, like having better night vision the longer you were in the dark. This morning the sound of his feet had been lost to him. They had been lost in the tramp of ninety-nine other pairs, not to mention the rumble of the halftrack. But now he heard them easily. His own particular stride, and the way his left foot scraped the pavement every now and then. It seemed to him that the sound of his footfalls had become as loud to his ears as the sound of his own heartbeat. Vital, life and death sound.
  • The darkness. Goddamn the darkness. It seemed to Garraty they had been buried alive in it. Immured in it. Dawn was a century away. Many of them would never see the dawn. Or the sun. They were buried six feet deep in the darkness. All they needed was the monotonous chanting of the priest, his voice muffled but not entirely obscured by the new-packed darkness, above which the mourners stood. The mourners were not even aware that they were here, they were alive, they were screaming and scratching and clawing at the coffin-lid darkness, the air was flaking and rusting away, the air was turning into poison gas, hope fading until hope itself was darkness, and above all of it the nodding chapel-bell voice of the priest and the impatient, shuffling feet of mourners anxious to be off into the warm May sunshine. Then, overmastering that, the sighing, shuffling chorus of the bugs and the beetles, squirming their way through the earth, come for the feast...I could go crazy, Garraty thought. I could go right the fuck off my rocker.
  • Three-thirty in the morning...To Ray Garraty it seemed the longest minute of the longest night of his entire life. It was low tide, dead ebb, the time when the sea washes back, leaving slick mudflats covered with straggled weed, rusty beer cans, rotted prophylactics, broken bottles, smashed buoys, and green-mossed skeletons in tattered bathing trunks. It was dead ebb.
  • Daylight came creeping through a white, muted world of fog. Garraty was walking by himself again. He no longer even knew how many had bought it in the night. Five maybe. His feet had headaches. Terrible migraines. He could feel them swelling each time he put his weight on them. His buttocks hurt. His spine was icy fire. But his feet had headaches and the blood was coagulating in them and swelling them and turning the veins to al dente spaghetti.
  • "The reason all of this is so horrible," McVries said, "is because it's just trivial. You know? We've sold ourselves and traded our souls on trivialities. Olson, he was trivial. He was magnificent, too, but those things aren't mutually exclusive. He was magnificent and trivial. Either way, or both, he died like a bug under a microscope."
  • You'll know the voice when it comes. It'll tell you what to do. It told Jeremiah and Daniel and Amos and Abraham. It'll come to you. It'll tell you. And when it does, Johnny ... do your duty.
  • Ninety-five percent of people who walk the earth are simply inert. One percent are saints, and one percent are assholes. The other three percent are people who do what they say they can do.
  • He felt as if Stillson might have taken the game of the Laughing Tiger a step further: inside the beast-skin, a man, yes. But inside the man-skin, a beast.
  • Well, we all do what we can, and it has to be good enough... and if it isn't good enough, it has to do.
  • She stood and turned around and of course there was nothing there. But she could see him standing there, his hands jammed deep into his pockets, that easy, crooked grin on his pleasant-rather-than-handsome face, leaning lanky and at ease against a monument or one of the stone gateposts or maybe just a tree gone red with fall's dying fire.
  • “It’s gonna be all right,” he told her, and rocked her, not really believing it, but it was the litany, it was the Psalter, the voice of the adult calling down the black well of years into the miserable pit of terrorized childhood; it was what you said when things went wrong; it was the nightlight that could not banish the monster from the closet but perhaps only keep it at bay for a little while; it was the voice without power that must speak nevertheless.
    “It’s gonna be all right,” he told her, not really believing it, knowing as every adult knows in his secret heart that nothing is really all right, ever.
  • Either get busy living or get busy dying
  • Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.
  • Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
    • Sometimes quoted as "Nothing good ever dies."
  • More and more it seemed to Ed that there was a vicious downside of American life, a greased skid of opportunism, cut corners, easy drugs, easy sex, a morality that grew cloudier each year.
  • But maybe there is something about what the Germans did that exercises a deadly fascination over us - something that opens the catacombs of the imagination. Maybe part of our dread and horror comes from a secret knowledge that under the right - or wrong - set of circumstances, we ourselves would be willing to build such places and staff them. Black serendipity. Maybe we know that under the right set of circumstances the things that live in the catacombs would be glad to crawl out.
  • The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.
  • Your friends drag you down, Gordie. Don't you know that?” He pointed at Vern and Teddy, who were standing and waiting for us to catch up. They were laughing about something; in fact, Vern was just about busting a gut. “Your friends do. They’re like drowning guys that are holding onto your legs. You can’t save them. You can only drown with them.”

Christine (1983)

  • Has it ever occurred to you...that parents are nothing but overgrown kids until their children drag them into adulthood? Usually kicking and screaming?
    • Pt. 1, Ch. 3
  • I think that part of being a parent is trying to kill your kids...Because as soon as you have a kid, you know for sure that you're going to die. When you have a kid, you see your own gravestone.
    • Pt. 1, Ch. 3
  • If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die.
    • Pt. 1, Ch. 5
  • The man's eyes shifted to me. "Another one," he said, as if marveling that there could be so many assholes in the world. "You want me to take you both on? Is that what you want? Believe me, I can do it." Yes, I knew the type. Ten years younger and he would have been one of the guys at school who thought it terribly amusing to slam Arnie's books out of his arms when he was on his way to class or to throw him into the shower with all his clothes on after phys ed. They never change, those guys. They just get older and develop lung cancer from smoking too many Luckies or step out with a brain embolism at fifty-three or so.
    • p. 48
  • Arnie didn't say a lot more, but a kid I knew named Randy Turner was there, and he filled me in on what happened in more detail after school had started again. He said that Arnie might have gotten hurt a lot worse, but he came back at Buddy a lot harder and a lot madder than Buddy had expected. In fact, Randy said, Arnie went after Buddy Repperton as if the devil had blown a charge of red pepper up his ass. His arms were windmilling, his fists were everywhere. He was yelling, cursing, spraying spittle. I tried to picture it and couldn't- the picture I kept coming up with instead was Arnie slamming his fists down on my dashboard hard enough to make dents, screaming that he would make them eat it. He drove Repperton halfway across the garage, bloodied his nose (more by good luck than good aim), and got one to Repperton's throat that made him cough and gag and generally lose interest in busting Arnie Cunningham's ass. Buddy turned away, holding his throat and trying to puke, and Arnie drove one of his steel-toed workboots into Repperton's jeans-clad butt, knocking him flat on his belly and forearms. Repperton was still gagging and holding his throat with one hand, his nose was bleeding like mad, and (again, according to Randy Turner) Arnie was apparently gearing up to kick the son of a bitch to death when Will Darnell magically reappeared, hollering in his wheezy voice to cut the shit over there, cut the shit, cut the shit. "Arnie thought that fight was going to happen," I told Randy. "He thought it was a put-up job." Randy shrugged. "Maybe. Could be. It sure was funny, the way Darnell showed up when Repperton really started to lose."
    • p. 80-81
  • Son, you're probably too young to look for wisdom in anyone's words but your own, but I'll tell you this: love is the enemy... Yes. The poets continually and sometimes willfully mistake love. Love is the old slaughterer. Love is not blind. Love is a cannibal with extremely acute vision. Love is insectile; it is always hungry.
    When asked what love eats:
    Friendship. It eats friendship.
    • Pt. 1, Ch. 11
  • Now, that "school spirit" business is mostly a lot of bullshit made up by school administrators who remember having a helluva time at the Saturday-afternoon gridiron contests of their youth but have conveniently forgotten that a lot of it resulted from being drunk, horny, or both. If you held a rally in favor of legalizing marijuana, you would have seen some school spirit. But football, basketball, and track, most of the student body didn't give a shit. They were too busy trying to get into college or someone's pants or trouble. Business as usual. All the same, you get used to being a winner- you take it for granted.
    • p. 139
  • I wondered if Arnie was dumb enough to think that the Will Darnells of this world ever did favors out of the goodness of their hearts. I hoped he wasn't, but I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure of much about Arnie anymore. he had changed a lot in the last few weeks.
    • p. 161
  • I think that everybody has a backhoe in his or her head, and at moments of stress or trouble you can fire it up and simply push everything into a great big slit-trench in the floor of your conscious mind. Get rid of it. Bury it. Except that that slit-trench goes down into the subconscious, and sometimes, in dreams, the bodies stir and walk.
    • Pt. 1, Ch. 18
  • At the very last moment Moochie tried to jig left, but Christine jigged with him as if she had read his final desperate thought. The Plymouth hit him squarely, still accelerating, breaking Moochie Welch's back and knocking him spang out of his engineer's boots. He was thrown forty feet into the brick siding of the little market, again narrowly missing a plunge through a plate-glass window. The force of his strike was hard enough to cause him to rebound into the street again, leaving a splash of blood on the brick like an inkblot. A picture of it would appear the next day on the front page of the Libertyville Keystone.
    • p. 250
  • It was all very well for him to tell Arnie that he knew the boy could no more commit a murder than he could walk on water. But the mind, that perverse monkey — the mind can conceive of anything and seems to take a perverse delight in doing so. Just maybe, Michael thought, lacing his hands behind his head and looking up at the dark ceiling, just maybe that's the peculiar damnation of the living. In the mind a wife can rut, laughing, with a best friend, a best friend can cast plots against you and plan backstabbings, a son can commit murder by auto.
    • Pt. 2, Ch. 32
  • Buddy Repperton's Camaro rammed ass-backwards into the concrete island where the gatehouse stood. The eight-inch concrete lip peeled off everything bolted to the lower deck, leaving the twisted wreckage of the straight-pipes and the muffler sitting on the snow like some weird sculpture.
    • p. 301
  • He looked at me fixedly. "I'll tell you this much, Dennis. If you're lying, you don't know you are."
    • p. 519
  • A secret needs two faces to bounce between; a secret needs to see itself in another pair of eyes.
    • Epilogue
  • Death is a mystery, and burial is a secret.
    • Stephen King in introduction.
  • Oh, about beer I never lie. A man who lies about beer makes enemies.
    • Jud, to Louis
  • I don't want Church to be like all those dead pets! I don't want Church to ever be dead! He's my cat! He's not God's cat! Let God have His own cat! Let God have all the damn old cats He wants, and kill them all! Church is mine!
    • Ellie on her fears for Church
  • It takes the average human seven minutes to go to sleep, but according to Hand's Human Physiology, it takes the same average human fifteen to twenty minutes to wake up. It is as if sleep is a pool from which emerging is more difficult than entering. When the sleeper wakes, he or she comes up by degrees, from deep sleep to light sleep to what is sometimes called "waking sleep," a state in which the sleeper can hear sounds and will even respond to questions without being aware of it later... except perhaps as fragments of dreams.
  • They are secret things. Women are supposed to be the ones good at keeping secrets, and I guess they do keep a few, but any woman who knows anything at all would tell you she's never really seen into any man's heart. The soil of a man's heart is stonier, Louis - like the soil up there in the old Micmac burying ground. Bedrock's close. A man grows what he can... and he tends it.
    • Jud speaking to Louis, after the burying the cat
  • I'm going crazy, Louis thought wonderingly. Wheeeeee!
  • Maybe I did it because kids need to know that sometimes dead is better.
    • Jud, to Louis
  • Some things it don't pay to be curious about.
    • Jud, to Louis
  • He was waiting to choke you on a marble, to smother you with a dry-cleaning bag, to sizzle you into eternity with a fast and lethal boogie of electricity- Available At Your Nearest Switch plate Or Vacant Light Socket Right Now. There was death in a quarter bag of peanuts, an aspirated piece of steak, the next pack of cigarettes. He was around all the time, he monitored all the checkpoints between the mortal and the eternal. Dirty needles, poison beetles, downed live wires, forest fires. Whirling roller skates that shot nerdy little kids into busy intersections. When you got into the bathtub to take a shower, Oz got right in there too- Shower With A Friend. When you got on an airplane, Oz took your boarding pass. He was in the water you drank, the food you ate. Who's out there? you howled in the dark when you were all frightened and all alone, and it was his answer that came back: Don't be afraid, it's just me. Hi, howaya? You got cancer of the bowel, what a bummer, so solly, Cholly! Septicemia! Leukemia! Atherosclerosis! Coronary thrombosis! Encephalitis! Osteomyelitis! Hey-ho, let's go! Junkie in a doorway with a knife. Phone call in the middle of the night. Blood cooking in battery acid on some exit ramp in North Carolina. Big handfuls of pills, munch em up. That peculiar cast of the fingernails following asphyxiation- in its final grim struggle to survive the brain takes all oxygen that is left, even that in those living cells under the nails. Hi, folks, my name's Oz the Gweat and Tewwible, but you can call me Oz if you want- hell, we're old friends by now. Just stopped by to whop you with a little congestive heart failure or a cranial blood clot or something; can't stay, got to see a woman about a breech birth, then I've got a little smoke-inhalation job to do in Omaha.
  • It's probably wrong to believe there can be any limit to the horror which the human mind can experience. On the contrary, it seems that some exponential effect begins to obtain as deeper and deeper darkness falls - as little as one may like to support the idea that when the nightmare grows black enough, horror spawns horror, one coincidental evil begets other, often more deliberate evils, until finally blackness seems to cover everything. And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity. That such events have their own Rube Goldberg absurdity goes almost without saying. At some point, it all starts to become rather funny. That may be the point at which sanity begins either to save itself or to buckle and break down; that point at which one's sense of humor begins to reassert itself.
  • He could now feel his sanity beginning to give way. This was an actual sensation, a true thing. It was interesting. He imagined a tree overloaded with ice in a terrible storm would feel this way — if trees could feel anything—shortly before toppling. It was interesting... and it was sort of amusing.
  • What you buy is what you own, and sooner or later what you own will come back to you.
  • Something inhuman has come to Tarker's Mills, as unseen as the full moon riding the night sky high above. It is the Werewolf, and there is no more reason for its coming now than there would be for the arrival of cancer, or a psychotic with murder on his mind, or a killer tornado. Its time is now, its place is here, in this little Maine town where baked bean church suppers are a weekly event, where small boys and girls still bring apples to their teachers, where the Nature Outings of the Senior Citizen's Club are religiously reported in the weekly paper. Next week there will be news of a darker variety.
    Outside, its tracks begin to fill up with snow, and the shriek of the wind seems savage with pleasure. There is nothing of God or Light in that heartless sound—it is all black winter and dark ice.
    The cycle of the Werewolf has begun.
    • January
  • Love is like dying.
    • February
  • The smoking butt end of the year, November's dark iron has come to Tarker's Mills.
    • November
  • He could not say goodbye to these three rooms as he could to a house he had loved: hotel rooms accepted departures emotionlessly.
  • Three days after the ’64 earthquake in Los Angeles, a television news reporter asked a survivor who had been near the epicenter how long the quake had lasted.
    “It’s still going on,” the survivor said calmly.
  • Looking back on it, Sloat wasn't sure how he had tolerated Phil Sawyer for as long as he had. His partner had never played to win, not seriously; he had been encumbered by sentimental notions of loyalty and honor, corrupted by the stuff you told kids to get them halfway civilized before you finally tore the blindfold off their eyes.
  • He began to cry, not hysterically or screaming as people cry when concealed rage with tears, but with continuous sobs who has just discovered that he's alone and will be for long. He cried because safety and reason seemed to have left the world. Loneliness was a reality, but in this situation madness was also remotely a possibility.
  • God pounds his nails.
  • Everything goes away, Jack Sawyer, like the moon. Everything comes back, like the moon.
    • Wolf
  • You don’t own a thing unless you can give it up, what does it profit a man, it profits him nothing, it profits him zilch, and you don’t learn that in school, you learn it on the road, you learn it from Ferd Janklow, and Wolf, and Richard going head-first into the rocks like a Titan II that didn’t fire off right.
  • A universe of worlds, a dimensional macrocosm of worlds—and in all of them one thing that was always the same; one unifying force that was undeniably good, even if it now happened to be imprisoned in an evil place; the Talisman, axle of all possible worlds.
  • He never forgot that sweet, violent feeling of having touched some great adventure, of having looked for a moment at some beautiful white light that was, in fact, every color of the rainbow.

Cat's Eye (1985)

  • It takes a son of a bitch to change a habit.

It (1986)

  • Kids, the fiction is the truth inside the lie, and the truth of this fiction is simple enough: the magic exists.
  • (opening lines) The terror, which would not end for another 28 years-if it ever did end-began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.
  • The boat dipped and swayed and sometimes took on water, but it did not sink; the two brothers had waterproofed it well. I do not know where it finally fetched up, if it ever did; perhaps it reached the sea and sails there forever like a magic boat in a fairytale. All I know is that it was still afloat and still running on the breast of the flood when it passed the incorporated town limits of Derry, Maine, and there it passes out of this tale forever.
  • We all float down here!
    • Pennywise
  • Come on back and we'll see if you remember the simplest thing of all – how it is to be children, secure in belief and thus afraid of the dark.
  • The fears of children were simpler and usually more powerful. The fears of children could often be summoned up in a single face... and if bait were needed, why, what child did not love a clown?
  • You could start at a path leading nowhere more fantastic than from your own front steps to the sidewalk, and from there you could go... well, anywhere at all.
  • A child blind from birth doesn't even know he's blind until someone tells him. Even then he has only the most academic idea of what blindness is; only the formerly sighted have a real grip on the thing. Ben Hanscom had no sense of being lonely because he had never been anything but. If the condition had been new, or more localized, he might have understood, but loneliness both encompassed his life and overreached it.
  • You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for... and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you.
  • And almost idly, in a kind of sidethought, Eddie discovered one of his childhood's great truths. Grownups are the real monsters, he thought.
  • We lie best when we lie to ourselves.
  • In the stutter-flashes of light, the clouds look like huge transparent brains filled with bad thoughts.
  • The sun was a molten coin burning a circle in the low-hanging overcast, surrounded by a fairy-ring of moisture.
  • Once you get into cosmological shit like this, you got to throw away the instruction manual.
    • The Voice of The Turtle
  • Maybe, he thought, there aren't any such things as good friends or bad friends — maybe there are just friends, people who stand by you when you're hurt and who help you feel not so lonely. Maybe they're always worth being scared for, and hoping for, and living for. Maybe worth dying for, too, if that's what has to be. No good friends. No bad friends. Only people you want, need to be with; people who build their houses in your heart.
    • Ch. 16 : Eddie's Bad Break, §8
  • You don't have to look back to see those children; part of your mind will see them forever. They are not necessarily the best part of you, but they were once the repository of all you could become.
  • So you leave, and there is an urge to look back, to look back just once as the sunset fades, to see that severe New England skyline one final time...Best not to look back. Best to believe that there will be happily ever afters all the way around - and so there may be; who is to say there will not be such endings? Not all boats which sail away into darkness never find the sun again, or the hand of another child; if life teaches anything at all, it teaches that there are so many happy endings that the man who believes there is no God needs his rationality called into serious question...So drive away quick, drive away while the last of the light slips away from Derry, from memory...but not from desire. That stays, the bright cameo of all we were and all we believed as children, all that shone in our eyes even when we were lost and the wind blew in the night. Drive away and try to keep smiling. Get a little rock and roll on the radio and go toward all the life there is with all the courage you can find and all the belief you can muster. Be true, be brave, stand. All the rest is darkness.
    • Page 1087
  • It's offense you maybe can't live with because it opens up a crack inside your thinking, and if you look down into it you see there are evil things down there, and they have little yellow eyes that don't blink, and there's a stink down there in that dark and after a while you think maybe there's a whole other universe where a square moon rises in the sky, and the stars laugh in cold voices, and some of the triangles have four sides, and some have five, and some have five raised to the fifth power of sides. In this universe there might grow roses which sing. Everything leads to everything, he would have told them if he could. Go to your church and listen to your stories about Jesus walking on the water, but if I saw a guy doing that I'd scream and scream and scream. Because it wouldn't look like a miracle to me. It would look like an offense.
  • (final lines) I will write about all of this one day, he thinks, and knows it's just a dawn thought, an after-dreaming thought. But it's nice to think so for a while in the morning's clean silence, to think that childhood has its own sweet secrets and confirms mortality, and that mortality defines all courage and love. To think that what has looked forward must also look back, and that each life makes its own imitation of immortality: a wheel.
    Or so Bill Denbrough sometimes thinks on those early mornings after dreaming, when he almost remembers his childhood, and the friends with whom he shared it.

Misery (1987)

  • The reason authors almost always put a dedication on a book, Annie, is because their selfishness even horrifies themselves in the end.
  • As always, the blessed relief of starting, a feeling that was like falling into a hole filled with bright light.
    As always, the glum knowledge that he would not write as well as he wanted to write.
    As always the terror of not being able to finish, of accelerating into a brick wall.
    As always, the marvelous joyful nervy feeling of journey begun.
  • In a book, all would have gone according to plan.... but life was so fucking untidy - what could you say for an existence where some of your most crucial conversations of your life took place when you needed to take a shit, or something? An existence where there weren't even any chapters?
  • She was crazy but he needed her. Oh I am in so much trouble he thought, and stared blindly up at the ceiling as the droplets of sweat began to gather on his forehead again.
  • He didn't need a psychiatrist to point out that writing had its autoerotic side — you beat a typewriter instead of your meat, but both acts depended largely on quick wits, fast hands and a heartfelt commitment to the art of the farfetched.
  • He had discovered that there was not just one God but many, and some were more than cruel — they were insane, and that changed all. Cruelty, after all, was understandable. With insanity, however, there was no arguing.
  • Now I must rinse, he thought.
  • Writers remember everything...especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he'll tell you the story of each small one. From the big ones you get novels. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is the ability to remember the story of every scar.
    Art consists of the persistence of memory.
  • He felt as he always did when he finished a book — queerly empty, let down, aware that for each little success he had paid a toll of absurdity.
  • She was a grown up now, and she discovered that being a grown up was not quite what she had suspected it would be when she was a child. She had thought then that she would make a conscious decision one day to simply put her toys and games and little make-believes away. Now she discovered that was not what happened at all. Instead, she discovered, interest simply faded. It became less and less and less, until a dust of years drew over the bright pleasures of childhood, and they were forgotten.
  • Now let many long years pass, all in a twinkling — one of the great things about tales is how fast time may pass when not much of note is happening. Real life is never that way, and it is probably a good thing. Time only passes faster in histories, and what is a history except a grand sort of tale where passing centuries are substituted for passing years?
  • Worlds sometimes shudder and turn inside their axes, and this was such a time. Flagg felt it, but did not grasp it. The salvation of all that is good is only this — at times of great import, evil beings sometimes fall strangely blind.
  • Oh, I suppose all men of intelligence know how fragile such things as Law and Justice and Civilization really are, but it's not a thing they think of willingly, because it disturbs one's rest and plays hob with one's appetite.
  • Did they live happily ever after? They did not. No one ever does, in spite of what the stories may say. They had their good days, as you do, and they had their bad days, and you know about those. They had their victories, as you do, and they had their defeats, and you know about those, too. There were times when they felt ashamed of themselves, knowing they had not done their best, and there were times when they knew they had stood where their God had meant them to stand. All I'm trying to say is that they lived as well as they could, each and every one of them; some lived longer than others, but all lived well, and bravely, and I love them all, and am not ashamed of my love.
  • Her distrust in the way the authorities handled things had begun at the age of thirteen, in Utica. She had been sitting on the sofa in their living room with Anne on one side and her mother on the other. She had been eating a hamburger and watching the Dallas police escort Lee Harvey Oswald across an underground parking garage. There were lots of Dallas police. So many, in fact, that the TV announcer was telling the country that someone had shot Oswald before all those police — all those people in authority — seemed to have the slightest inkling something had gone wrong, let alone what it was.
  • No, of course victims of high-gamma radiation didn't turn transparent, like Claude Rains in The Invisible Man. They didn't start to lose inches as their bodies twisted and thickened. But yes, they were apt to lose teeth, their hair was apt to fall out - in other words, there was a kind of physical 'becoming' in both cases.
He thought again: Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
  • Real terror is the most physically debilitating of emotions. It saps the endocrines, dumps muscle-tightening organic drugs into the bloodstream, races the heart, exhausts the mind.
  • Tomorrowland, it seemed, ended up being an empty place where people smart enough to capture the stars got mad and tore each other to shreds with the claws on their feet.
  • "There really isn't an Altair-4, just as there aren't really any Tommyknockers. There aren't any nouns for some things - they just are. Somebody pastes one name on those things in one place, somebody pastes on another someplace else. It's never a very good name, but it doesn't matter. You came back from New Hampshire talking about Tommyknockers, so here that's what we are. We've been called other things in other places. Altair-4 has, too. It's just a place where things get stored. Usually not live things. Attics can be cold, dark places."
  • "We have no history, written or oral. When you say the ship crashed here because those in charge were, in effect, fighting over the steering wheel, I feel there's an element of truth in that... but I also feel that perhaps it was meant, fated to happen. Telepaths are at least to some degree precognitives, Gard, and precognitives are more apt to let themselves be guided by the currents, both large and small, that run through the universe. "God" is the name some people give these currents, but God's only a word, like Tommyknockers or Altair-4."
  • The FBI was on the scene at 6:00 P.M., the CIA at 7:15 P.M. By 8:00 o'clock, they were yelling about jurisdiction. At 9:15 P.M. a frightened, infuriated CIA agent named Spacklin shot an FBI agent named Richardson. The incident was hushed up, but both Gardener and Bobbi Anderson would have understood perfectly — the Dallas Police were on the scene and in complete control of the situation.
  • More than a dozen were shot down on the first day of the invasion by scared, trigger-happy soldiers, kids, most of them, who pursued the Tommyknockers from house to house. After a while, some of the invaders' fear began to rub off. By afternoon they were actually having fun—they were like men driving rabbits through wheat. Two dozen more were killed before the Army doctors and Pentagon brain-trusters realized that the air outside of Haven was lethal to these freak-show mutations who had once been American tax payers. The fact that the invaders could not breathe the air inside Haven would have seemed to have made the converse self-evident, but in all the excitement, no one was really thinking very well (Gard wouldn't have found this very surprising).
  • The devil's voice is sweet to hear.
  • Sometimes, Delores, you have to be a high riding bitch in order to survive, because being a bitch is all a woman has to hold on to.
  • It's a depressingly masculine world we live in, Delores.
  • Maybe I'm wrong?
  • What if you're right? Husbands die everyday, Delores, why, one is probably dying right now while you're sitting here weeping.
  • They die and leave their wives their money. I should know, shouldn't I? Sometimes they're driving home from their mistress's apartment and their brakes suddenly fail. An accident, Delores, can be an unhappy woman's best friend.


  • When I was a kid I believed everything I was told, everything I read, and every dispatch sent out by my own overheated imagination. This made for more than a few sleepless nights, but it also filled the world I lived in with colors and textures I would not have traded for a lifetime of restful nights.
  • The idea for each of the stories in this book came in a moment of belief and was written in a burst of faith, happiness, and optimism. Those positive feelings have their dark analogues, however, and the fear of failure is a long way from the worst of them. The worst—for me, at least—is the gnawing speculation that I may have already said everything I have to say, and am now only listening to the steady quacking of my own voice because the silence when it stops is just too spooky.
  • Do you know how cruel your God can be, David? How fantastically cruel? ...Sometimes he makes us live.
  • In these silences, something may rise.
  • Life is more than just steering a course around pain.
He looked like he could have snapped the chains that held him as easily as you might snap the ribbons on a Christmas present, but when you looked in his face, you knew he wasn't going to do anything like that.
I'm rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel, boss. I'm tired of bein on the road, lonely as a robin in the rain.
Originally published in a serialized edition with six parts: The Two Dead Girls, The Mouse on the Mile, Coffey's Hands, The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix, Night Journey, and Coffey on the Mile
  • This happened in 1932, when the state penitentiary was still at Cold Mountain. And the electric chair was there, too, of course.
  • There was no death row at Cold Mountain, only E Block, set apart from the other four and about a quarter their size, brick instead of wood, with a horrible bare metal roof that glared in the summer sun like a delirious eyeball.
  • He looked like he could have snapped the chains that held him as easily as you might snap the ribbons on a Christmas present, but when you looked in his face, you knew he wasn't going to do anything like that.
  • "Your name is John Coffey."
    "Yes, sir, boss, like the drink only not spelled the same way."
  • As we walked back to the block, Brutal spoke to me in a low voice, so not even Dean and Harry, who were setting up the last of the chairs behind us, would overhear. "I done a few things in my life that I'm not proud of, but this is the first time I ever felt really actually in danger of hell."
    I looked at him to make sure he wasn't joking. I didn't think he was. "What do you mean?"
    "I mean we're fixing to kill a gift of God," he said. "One that never did ary harm to us, or to anyone else. What am I going to say if I end up standing in front of God the Father Almighty and He asks me to explain why I did it? That it was my job? My job?"
  • "I'm rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel, boss. I'm tired of bein on the road, lonely as a robin in the rain. Not never havin no buddy to go on with or tell me where we's comin from or goin' to or why. I'm tired of people bein ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. I'm tired of all the times I've wanted to help and couldn't. I'm tired of bein in the dark. Mostly it's the pain. There's too much. If I could end it, I would. But I cain't.
  • I leaned forward, gasping. Between my knees I could see every crack in the cement floor, every groove, every flash of mica. I looked up at the wall and saw names that had been written there in 1924, 1926, 1931. Those names had been washed away, the men who had written them had also been washed away, in a manner of speaking, but I guess you can never wash anything completely away, not from this dark glass of a world, and now I saw them again, a tangle of names overlying one another, and looking at them was like listening to the dead speak and sing and cry out for mercy.
  • "He kill them with they love", John said. "They love for each other. You see how it was?" I nodded, incapable of speech.
    He smiled. The tears were flowing again, but he smiled. "That's how it is every day", he said, "all over the world."
  • John's eyes turned to me. I saw no resignation in them, no hope of heaven, no dawning peace. How I would love to tell you that I did. How I would love to tell myself that. What I saw was fear, misery, incompletion, and incomprehension. They were the eyes of a trapped and terrified animal.
  • Old Sparky seems such a thing of perversity when I look back on those days, such a deadly bit of folly. Fragile as blown glass, we are, even under the best of conditions. To kill each other with gas and electricity, and in cold blood? The folly. The horror.
  • Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not. Time takes it all, time bears it away, and in the end there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again. That's all I know, except that this happened in 1932, when the state penitentiary was still at Cold Mountain.
    And the electric chair, of course.
  • I think of John saying that Wharton killed the Detterick twins with their love for each other, and that it happens every day, all over the world. If it happens, God lets it happen, and when we say "I don't understand," God replies, "I don't care."
  • We each owe a death, there are no exceptions, I know that, but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile is so long.
  • This is how we go on: one day a time, one meal at a time, one pain at a time, one breath at a time. Dentists go on one root canal at a time; boat builders go on one hull at a time. If you write books, you go on one page at a time. We turn from all we know and all we fear. We study catalogues, watch football games, choose Sprint over AT&T. We count the birds in the sky and will not turn from the window when we hear the footsteps behind as something comes up the hall; we say yes, I agree that clouds often look like other things - fish and unicorns and men on horseback - but they are really only clouds. Even when the lightning flashes inside them we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, the next pain, the next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.
I don't think time matters much if you're a Breaker.
  • Hearts can break. Yes. Hearts can break. Sometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don't.
  • I cried, all right. I sat there at my desk and I cried for her, for me, for both of us, for all of us. I can't remember hurting any more in my life than I did then. Hearts are tough, she said, most times hearts don't break, and I'm sure that's right ... but what about then? What about who we were then? What about hearts in Atlantis?
    • Hearts in Atlantis, § 42
  • I don't think time matters much if you're a Breaker.
    • Bobby, in Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling
  • Although it is difficult to believe, the sixties are not fictional; they actually happened.
    • Author's Note
  • Mike Anderson: After the contest for Job's soul is over and God wins, Job falls to his knees and and says, "God, why have you done this to me? All my life I've worshipped you, and yet you've destroyed my livestock. You've blighted my crops. You've killed my wife and my children. You gave me a hundred horrible diseases, and all because you had a bet going with the devil? Well, okay. But all I want to know, Lord — what your humble servant wants to know — is, why me?" Job waits, and just about when he's convinced himself that God's not gonna answer him, a thunderhead forms in the sky, lightning flashes, and a voice calls down, "Job, I guess there's just something about you that pisses me off."
  • André Linoge: Born in lust, turn to dust. Born in sin, come on in!
  • The world has teeth and it can bite you with them any time it wants.
  • This is nine!  Nine!  This is nine!  Nine!  This is ten!  Ten!  We have killed your friends!  Every friend is now dead!  This is six!  Six!  ...  Eighteen!  This is now eighteen!  Take cover when the siren sounds!  This is four!  Four!  ...  Five!  This is five!  Ignore the siren!  Even if you leave this room, you can never leave this room!  Eight!  This is eight!
  • Luck was a joke.  Even good luck was just bad luck with its hair combed.
    • Page 457.

University of Maine Commencement Address (2005)

Commencement Address, University of Maine at Orono (7 May 2005)
  • Hug and kiss whoever helped get you — financially, mentally, morally, emotionally — to this day. Parents, mentors, friends, teachers. If you're too uptight to do that, at least do the old handshake thing, but I recommend a hug and a kiss. Don't let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.
  • Don't live in this place. If you're a grad student or if you have a few more courses to pick up, fine. But if you're still hanging out in Orono or Old Town three years from now, living like an undergraduate in some sleazy apartment or trailer park, there's something wrong with you. This is not Never-Neverland. Peter Pan graduated back in '73 and now has a nice little farm in Bethel. You are not the Lost Boys and Lost Girls, but if you stay here too long, you will grow the equivalent of donkey ears. For most of you, it's time to move on. If you didn't have a better time here than you did in high school, you're weird. If you want to stay here and keep being an undergraduate, you're very weird.
  • Don't forget that you're a physical being with a power-plant to take care of and maintain. I'm talking about the bod under the blue gown. I'm not going to say that we're a lazy, overweight society, a fast-food eatin', SUV-ridin', soda-guzzlin', beer-chuggin', TV-watchin', size-XL-wearin', walk-don't-run generation...except I guess I just did.
  • Don't forget that you're a mental being, with a humongous trillion gigawatt hard-drive at your disposal. Most of you have been running it like crazy for four years, moaning about all the books you've had to read, the papers you've had to write, and the tests you've had to take. Yet thanks to that hard-drive and about a thousand cups of coffee, you made it. Just...let me put it this way. I can find out where you live. I have my resources. And if I show up at your house ten years from now and find nothing in your living room but The Readers Digest, nothing on your bedroom nighttable but the newest Dan Brown novel, and nothing in your bathroom but Jokes for the John, I'll chase you down to the end of your driveway and back, screaming "Where are your books? You graduated college ten years ago, so how come there are no damn books in your house? Why are you living on the intellectual equivalent of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?" I sound like I'm joking about this, but I'm not. You've got a brain under the cap you're wearing. Take care of the damned thing. Try to remember there's more to life than Vin Diesel and Tom Cruise. It wouldn't kill you to go to a movie once a month that has subtitles on the bottom of the screen. You can read them, you went to college, right?

Cell (2006)

  • Civilization slipped into its second dark age on an unsurprising track of blood, but with a speed that could not have been foreseen by even the most pessimistic futurist. It was as if it had been waiting to go. On October 1, God was in His heaven, the stock market stood at 10,140, and most of the planes were on time (except for those landing and taking off in Chicago, and that was to be expected). Two weeks later the skies belonged to the birds again and the stock market was a memory. By Halloween, every major city from New York to Moscow stank to the empty heavens and the world as it had been was a memory.
    • Preface
  • The event that came to be known as The Pulse began at 3:03 p.m., eastern standard time, on the afternoon of October 1, 1999. The term was a misnomer, of course, but within ten hours of the event, most of the scientists capable of pointing this out were either dead or insane. The name hardly mattered, in any case. What mattered was the effect.
    • The Pulse, ch. 1
  • Phoner: "Blet ky-yam doe-ram kazzalah a babbalah!"
    Clay Riddell: "I'll a-babbalah your a-kazzalah, you fuck!"
    • The Pulse, ch. 3
  • He had a wife who was still sort of his responsibility, and when it came to his son there was no sort-of at all. Even thinking of Johnny was dangerous. Every time his mind turned to the boy, Clay felt a panic-rat inside his mind, ready to burst free of the flimsy cage that held it and start gnawing anything it could get at with its sharp little teeth. If he could make sure Johnny and Sharon were okay, he could keep the rat in its cage and plan what to do next. But if he did something stupid, he wouldn't be able to help anyone. In fact, he would make things worse for the people here.
    • The Pulse, ch. 12
  • The phone crazies own the days; when the stars come out, that's us. We're like vampires. We've been banished to the night. Up close we know each other because we can still talk; at a little distance we can be pretty sure of each other by the packs we wear and the guns more and more of us carry; but at a distance, the one sure sign is the waving flashlight beam. Three days ago we not only ruled the earth, we had survivor's guilt about all the other species we'd wiped out in our climb to the nirvana of round-the-clock cable news and microwave popcorn. Now we're the Flashlight People.
    • Gaiten Academy, ch. 3
  • What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the Earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle.
    • Gaiten Academy, ch. 16
  • Alice had managed to get herself back under some sort of control, but it was thin. Thin enough to read a newspaper through, his bingo-playing mother might have said. Although a kid herself, Alice had managed to keep herself shiny-side up mostly for the other kid's sake, so he wouldn't give way entirely.
    • Gaiten Academy, ch. 24
  • To the public eye, the spouses of well-known writers are all but invisible, and no one knew it better than Lisey Landon. Her husband won the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, but Lisey had given one interview in her life. This was for the well-known women's magazine that publishes the column "Yes, I'm Married to Him!" She spent roughly half of its five hundred word length explaining that her nickname rhymed with "CeeCee". Most of the other half had to do with her recipe for slow-cooked roast beef. Lisey's sister Amanda said that the picture accompanying the interview made Lisey look fat.

    None of Lisey's sister were immune to the pleasures of setting the cat among the pigeons ("stirring up a stink" had been their father's phrase for it), or having a good natter about someone else's dirty laundry, but the only one Lisey had a hard time liking was this same Amanda. Eldest (and oddest) of the onetime Debusher girls of Lisbon Falls, Amanda currently lived alone, in a house which Lisey had provided, a small, weather-tight place not too far from Castle View where Lisey, Darla, and Cantata could keep a eye on her. Lisey had bought it for her seven years ago, five before Scott died. Died Young. Died Before His Time, as the saying was. Lisey still had trouble believing he'd been gone for two years. It seemed both longer and the blink of an eye.

    • PART I: BOOL HUNT, ch.1
  • "Lisey?" Amanda asked. Her brow was deeply furrowed.

    "I'm sorry," Lisey said. "I just kind of...went off there for a second".

    "You often do," Amanda said. "I think you got it from Scott. Pay attention, Lisey. I made a little number on each of his magazines and journals and scholarly things. The ones piled over there against the wall." Lisey nodded as if she knew where this was going. "I made the numbers in pencil, just light," Amanda went on. "Always when you're back was turned or you were somewhere else, because I thought if you saw you might have told me to stop."

    "I wouldnt've." She took the little notebook which was limp with its owner sweat. "Eight hundred and forty six! That many!" And she knew the publications running along the wall weren't the sort she herself might read and have in the house, ones like O and Good Housekeeping and Ms., but rather Little Sewanee Review and Glimmer Train and things with incomprehensible names like Piskya.

    "Quite a few more than that," Amanda said, and cocked a thumb at the piles of books and journals. When Lisey really looked at them, she saw that her sister was right. Many more than eight hundred and forty-some. Had to be. "Almost three thousand in all, and where you'll put them or who'd want them I'm sure I can't say. No, these eight hundred and forty-six is just the number that have pictures of you."

    • I. Lisey and Amanda (Everything the Same), ch. 1
  • He told himself that everything was fine — he only had to look at the sleeping dog on the floor if he doubted — but in the middle of the night it was hard to be an optimist. When the dawn was still long hours away, bad thoughts took on flesh and began to walk. In the middle of the night thoughts became zombies.
    • Nyuck-Nyuck-Nyuck, 11, p. 286-287 (First Scribner hardcover edition November 2009)
  • "A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men."
    • p. 349, Julia to Barbie : Simon and Schuster edition (June 2013), ISBN 1476743940
  • Selectman Rennie's assumption that no one had seen Brenda come to his house that morning was correct. But she was seen in her morning travels, not by one person but by three, including one who also lived on Mill Street. If Big Jim had known, would the knowledge have given him pause? Doubtful; by then he was committed to his course and it was too late to turn back. But it might have caused him to reflect (for he was a reflective man, in his own way) on murder's similarity to Lay's potato chips: it's hard to stop with just one.
    • In the Jug, 1, p. 499 (First Scribner hardcover edition November 2009)
  • Denial gives way to acceptance; acceptance breeds dependence. Anyone who's ever cared for a terminal patient will tell you that, too. Sick people need someone who will bring them their pills and glasses of cold sweet juice to wash them down with. They need someone to soothe their aching joints with arnica gel. They need someone to sit with them when the night is dark and the hours stretch out. They need someone to say, Sleep now, it will be better in the morning. I'm here, so sleep. Sleep now. Sleep and let me take care of everything.
    • Play That Dead Band Song, 18, p. 739 (First Scribner hardcover edition November 2009)
  • America's two great specialties are demagogues and rock and roll, and we've all heard plenty of both in our time.
    • Busted, 16, p. 803 (First Scribner hardcover edition November 2009)

11/22/63 (2011)

Love is a uniquely portable magic. I don’t think it’s in the stars, but I do believe that blood calls to blood and mind calls to mind and heart to heart.
  • The past is obdurate. it doesn't want to change.

Message Board (2013)


I wasn't really thinking of the sexual aspect of it. The book dealt with childhood and adulthood –1958 and Grown Ups. The grown ups don't remember their childhood. None of us remember what we did as children–we think we do, but we don't remember it as it really happened. Intuitively, the Losers knew they had to be together again. The sexual act connected childhood and adulthood. It's another version of the glass tunnel that connects the children's library and the adult library. Times have changed since I wrote that scene and there is now more sensitivity to those issues. [citation needed]

  • This time Brady wonders what Freddi would say if he told her what life was like for him when he was a kid. That was when he killed his brother. And his mother covered it up.
    Why would she not?
    After all, it had sort of been her idea.
    • DET.-RET., 11
  • Suicide proves guilt. He remembers Lieutenant Morrissey saying that, but Hodges himself has always had his doubts, and lately those doubts have been stronger than ever. What he knows now is that guilt isn't the only reason people commit suicide.
    Sometimes you can just get bored with afternoon TV.
    • DET.-RET., 13
  • Every religion lies. Every moral precept is a delusion. Even the stars are a mirage. The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That's all history is, after all: scar tissue.
  • These girls will remember this night for the rest of their lives. The music. The excitement. The beachballs flying above the swaying, dancing crowd. They will read about the explosion that didn't happen in the newspapers, but to the young, tragedies that don't happen are only dreams.
    The memories: they're the reality.

Rolling Stone Interview (2014)


Stephen King: The Rolling Stone Interview October 31, 2014)

  • The Tommyknockers is an awful book. That was the last one I wrote before I cleaned up my act. And I've thought about it a lot lately and said to myself, "There's really a good book in here, underneath all the sort of spurious energy that cocaine provides, and I ought to go back." The book is about 700 pages long, and I'm thinking, "There's probably a good 350-page novel in there."
  • Well, I don't like Dreamcatcher very much. Dreamcatcher was written after the accident. [In 1999, King was hit by a van while taking a walk and left severely injured.] I was using a lot of Oxycontin for pain. And I couldn't work on a computer back then because it hurt too much to sit in that position. So I wrote the whole thing longhand. And I was pretty stoned when I wrote it, because of the Oxy, and that's another book that shows the drugs at work.
  • Lisey's Story. That one felt like an important book to me because it was about marriage, and I'd never written about that. I wanted to talk about two things: One is the secret world that people build inside a marriage, and the other was that even in that intimate world, there's still things that we don't know about each other.
  • The first movie I ever saw was a horror movie. It was Bambi.

Cell (2016)


(Film adaptation of the novel, for which King is credited as a screenwriter.)

  • Jordan: "I thought when you get older, the nightmares go away?"
    Clay Riddell: "No. You still have them. They just grow up, too."
    • at 50:30

The Outsider (2018)

  • "Terry," Ralph said. He could see drops of sweat from his forehead falling onto Terry's face, where they mixed with the blood from the head wound. "Terry, you're going to die. Do you understand me? He got you, and he got you good. "You are going to die". "No!" Marcy shrieked. No, he can't! The girls need their daddy! He can't!" She was trying to get to him, and this time it was Alec Pelley- pale and grave- who held her back. Howie had gotten to his knees, but he did not attempt to interfere again, either. "Where... get me?" "Your chest, Terry. He got you in the heart, or just above it. You need to make a dying declaration, okay? You need to tell me you killed Frank Peterson. This is your chance to clear your conscience." Terry smiled, and a thin trickle of blood spilled from either side of his mouth. "But I didn't," he said. His voice was low, little more than a whisper, but perfectly audible. "I didn't, so tell me, Ralph... how are you going to clear yours?"
    • p. 186-187
  • "Please." He thought to say, Don't make me beg, but that was wrong because it wasn't enough. "I'm begging you. Please talk to me." She held up the cigarette and uttered a terrible toneless laugh. "I thought, now that the little lice are gone, I can have a smoke on my doorstep. And look, here's the big louse, the louse of louses. Last warning, Mr. Louse who got my husband killed. Get... the fuck... off my doorstep." "What if he didn't do it?" Her eyes widened and the pressure of her hand on the door slackened, at least for the moment. "What if he...? Jesus Christ, he told you he didn't do it! He told you as he lay there dying! What else do you want, a hand-delivered telegram from the Angel Gabriel?" "If he didn't, whoever did is still out there, and he's responsible for the destruction of the Peterson family, as well as yours." She considered this for a moment, then said: "Oliver Peterson is dead because you and that sonofabitch Samuels had to put on your circus. And you killed him, didn't you, Detective Anderson? Shot him in the head. Got your man. Excuse me, your boy." She slammed the door in his face. Ralph again raised his hand to knock, thought better of it, and turned away.
    • p. 229
  • Go down, Jack. Get them and I'll take the cancer away. Oh, but right now he had more immediate concerns, didn't he? He was swelling up like a waterlogged sponge. The snakebite poison, too. I can make you well. Jack wasn't sure he could believe Tat-Man, but he understood he had no choice. Also, there was Anderson. Mr. No Opinion didn't get to walk away from this. It was all his fault, and he didn't get to walk away. He started down the path at a shambling trot, clutching the barrel of the Winchester and using the stock as a cane. His second fall came when the rocky scree slid away under his left foot and his swollen, throbbing right leg wasn't able to compensate. The leg of his pants split open the next time he went down, disclosing flesh that was turning purplish-black and necrotic. He clawed at the rocks and got to his feet again, his face puffing and running with sweat. He was pretty sure he was going to die on this godforsaken chunk of rock and weeds, but he was goddamned if he was going to do it alone.
    • p. 503-504

The Institute (2019)

  • According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States. Most are found. Thousands are not.
    • Preface
  • Great events turn on small hinges.
    • p. 9
  • He was out.
    • p. 256
  • There was a perfunctory knock at the door, and then Rosalind stuck her head in, looking apologetic. "I'm sorry to disturb you, ma'am, but it's Fred Clark, asking to see you. He seems-" "Refresh me. Who is Fred Clark?" Mrs. Sigsby took off her reading glasses and rubbed the sides of her nose. "One of the janitors." "Find out what he wants and tell me later. If we've got mice chewing the wiring again, it can wait. I'm busy." "He says it's important, and he seems extremely upset." Mrs. Sigsby sighed, closed the folder, and put it in a drawer. "All right, send him in. But this had better be good." It wasn't. It was bad. Very.
    • p. 284
  • Mrs. Sigsby sat down on the bare mattress and looked at the woman hanging from the shower head. And at the message she had written with the lipstick Mrs. Sigsby now observed lying in front of the toilet. HELL IS WAITING. I'LL BE HERE TO MEET YOU.
    • p. 288
  • But they always come back, she thought, looking at a sand beach she sometimes visited but where she would never live. They always come back and no matter how sloppy some things have become around here, they don't talk. That's one thing they are never sloppy about. Because if people found out what we're doing, the hundreds of children we've destroyed, we'd be tried and executed by the dozens. Given the needle like Timothy McVeigh.
    • p. 295
  • "We'll find him," Stackhouse said. Because if we don't, he thought, I'm toast. This whole place might be toast.
    • p. 312
  • "The Dixon boy hasn't had the tank, has he?" "Of course not." Donkey Kong looked vaguely offended at the very idea. "He's not a pink. Farthest thing from one. To risk damaging a BDNF as high as his would be insane. Or to risk damaging his abilities. Which would be unlikely but not impossible. Sigsby would have my head." "She won't and he goes in it today," Stackhouse said. "Dunk that little motherfucker until he thinks he's dead, and then dunk him some more." "Are you serious? He's valuable property! One of the highest TP-positives we've had in years!" "I don't care if he can walk on water and shoot electricity out of his asshole when he farts. Have the Greek do it as soon as he comes back on duty. He loves putting them in the tank. Tell Zeke not to kill him, I do understand his value, but I want him to have an experience he'll remember for as long as he can remember. Then take him to Back Half." "But Mrs. Sigsby-" "Mrs. Sigsby agrees completely." Both men swung around. She was standing in the door between the office and her private quarters. Stackhouse's first thought was that she looked as if she had seen a ghost, but that wasn't quite right. She looked as if she were a ghost. "Do it just the way he told you, Dan. If it damages his BDNF, so be it. He needs to pay."
    • p. 341
  • For a moment Luke stayed where he was, thinking that if he remained perfectly still and perfectly silent, the man would decide he'd been mistaken and go away. But that was childish thinking, and he was no longer a child. Not even close. So he crept out and tried to stand, but his legs were stiff and his head was light. He would have fallen over if the white guy hadn't grabbed him. "Holy shit, kid, who tore your ear off?"
    • p. 344
  • Luke had to use all his willpower to keep from drinking the whole sixteen-ounce bottle of water at a single go. He left a quarter of it, set it down, then snatched it up again and screwed on the cap. He thought if the train took a sudden yaw and it spilled, he would go insane. He gobbled the sausage biscuit in five snatching bites and chased it with another big swallow of water. He licked the grease from his palm, then took the water and the Hostess pie and crept back into his nest. For the first time since riding down the river in the S.S. Pokey and looking up at the stars, he felt that his life might be worth living. And although he did not exactly believe in God, having found the evidence against just slightly stronger than the evidence for, he prayed anyway, but not for himself. He prayed for the highly hypothetical higher power to bless the man who had called him outlaw and thrown that brown bag into the boxcar.
    • p. 348
  • "Julia, I really think this is a mistake. It ought to be me." She faced him. "Say it again, and I'll haul off on you." She walked to the van. Denny Williams unrolled the side door for her. Mrs. Sigsby started to get in, then turned to Stackhouse. "And make sure Avery Dixon is well dunked and in Back Half by the time I return." "Donkey Kong doesn't like the idea." She gave him a terrifying smile. "Does it look like I care?"
    • p. 362
  • "That's right, you tell Sheriff John. You-all need to be on your guard. They're apt to come locked and loaded. There's a town in Maine, Jerusalem's Lot, and you could ask the people who lived there about the men in the black cars. If you could find any people, that is. They all disappeared forty or more years ago. George Allman talks about that town all the time." "Got it." She went to the door, serape swishing, then turned. "You don't believe me, and I ain't a bit surprised. Why would I be? I been the town weirdo for years before you came, and if the Lord doesn't take me, I'll be the town weirdo years after you're gone." "Annie, I never-" "Hush." She stared at him fiercely from beneath her sombrero. "It's all right. But pay attention, now. I'm telling you... but he told me. That boy. So that's two of us, all right? And you remember what I said. They come in black cars."
    • p. 364


  • He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.
  • William "Stuttering Bill" Denbrough recites this in IT (1985), but the line is not originally King's, as is often believed. It is part of a tongue-twister that dates at least to its publication in "Exercises in Articulation" in The Dayspring (March 1874), p. 39:
Amid the moist and coldest frosts,
With barest wrists and stoutest boasts,
He thrusts his fists against the posts,
And still insists he sees the ghosts.
  • Alvin Schwartz presents a slightly different version of the tongue-twister in his collection A Twister of Twists, A Tangler of Tongues (HarperTrophy, 1972, p. 80):
Amidst the mists and coldest frosts
With barest wrists and stoutest boasts
He thrusts his fists against the posts
But still insists he sees the ghosts.
  • In his notes, Schwartz comments that the tongue-twister dates to 19th-century New England and that it was often referred to as "The Drunken Saylor."

Quotes about King

  • I'm not saying that you will, right off the bat, with no author experience, make the kind of money Stephen King makes. Achieving that level of success can take literally months.
    • Dave Barry, You Can Date Boys When You're Forty (2014), chapter "How To Become A Professional Author"
  • (Name a book that made you want to write.) My uncle gave me Stephen King’s Pet Sematary one Christmas. I guess he was thinking: “It’s a bestseller, the girl likes to read, it has a cat on the cover…” I read it when everybody was asleep, probably passed out after the celebrations, and I was so scared I had to throw it away. But I picked it up again and went on reading. I remember thinking, wow, I’d really like to make people feel something so real as this under their skin. It’s clearly a novel about how scared he is to lose his family. I was 12 or 13 but you understand it at that age too; you never think it’s only about the supernatural. Everything I learned about blending reality and horror, I learned from Stephen King.
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Works by Stephen King
  Novels     Carrie (1974) · 'Salem's Lot (1975) · The Shining (1977) · The Stand (1978) · The Dead Zone (1979) · Firestarter (1980) · Cujo (1981) · Christine (1983) · Pet Sematary
  (1983) · Cycle of the Werewolf (1983) · The Talisman (1984; with Peter Straub) · It (1986) · The Eyes of the Dragon (1987) · Misery (1987) · The Tommyknockers (1987) ·
  The Dark Half (1989) · Needful Things (1991) · Gerald's Game (1992) · Dolores Claiborne (1992) · Insomnia (1994) · Rose Madder (1995) · The Green Mile (1996) ·
  Desperation (1996) · Bag of Bones (1998) · The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999) · The Plant (2000; unfinished) · Dreamcatcher (2001) · Black House (2001; with
  Peter Straub) · From a Buick 8 (2002) · The Colorado Kid (2005) · Cell (2006) · Lisey's Story (2006) · Duma Key (2008) · Under the Dome (2009) · 11/22/63 (2011) ·
  Joyland (2013) · Doctor Sleep (2013) · Mr. Mercedes (2014) · Revival (2014) · Finders Keepers (2015) · End of Watch (2016)  
  The Dark Tower series     The Gunslinger (1982) · The Drawing of the Three (1987) · The Waste Lands (1991) · Wizard and Glass (1997) · Wolves of the Calla (2003) · Song of Susannah (2004) ·
  The Dark Tower (2004) · The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012)  
  Richard Bachman books     Rage (1977) · The Long Walk (1979) · Roadwork (1981) · The Running Man (1982) · Thinner (1984) · The Bachman Books (1985) · The Regulators (1996) · Blaze (2007)  
  Short fiction collections     Night Shift (1978) · Different Seasons (1982) · Skeleton Crew (1985) · Four Past Midnight (1990) · Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993) · Hearts in Atlantis (1999) ·
  Everything's Eventual (2002) · Just After Sunset (2008) · Full Dark, No Stars (2010) · The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (2015)  
  Non‑fiction     Danse Macabre (1981) · Nightmares in the Sky (1988) · On Writing (2000) · Secret Windows (2000) · Faithful (2004; with Stewart O'Nan)  
  Screenplays     Creepshow (1982) · Cat's Eye (1985) · Silver Bullet (1985) · Maximum Overdrive (1986; also director) · Pet Sematary (1989) · Sleepwalkers (1992) · A Good Marriage
  (2014) · Cell (2015; with Adam Alleca)  
  Teleplays     "Sorry, Right Number" (1987) · Golden Years (1991) · The Stand (1994) · The Shining (1997) · "Chinga" (1998; with Chris Carter) · Storm of the Century (1999) · Rose
(2002) · Kingdom Hospital (2004) · Desperation (2006) · "Heads Will Roll" (2014)  
  Comics     Creepshow (1982) · Heroes for Hope (1985) · The Secretary of Dreams (2006) · The Dark Tower (2007–) · The Stand (2008–2012) · The Talisman (2009–2010) ·
  American Vampire (2010) · N. (2010) · Road Rage (2012) · The Dark Man (2013)  
  Musical collaborations     Michael Jackson's Ghosts (1997; with Michael Jackson) · Black Ribbons (2010; with Shooter Jennings) · Ghost Brothers of Darkland County (2012; with John
  Anthologies edited     The Best American Short Stories 2007 (2007; with Heidi Pitlor)  
  See also     Last words in the works of Stephen King · {{Media based on Stephen King works}}  
Adaptations of works by Stephen King
  Films     The Shining (1980) · Cujo (1983) · The Dead Zone (1983) · Christine (1983) · Cat's Eye (1985) · Silver Bullet (1985) · Stand by Me (1986) · The Running Man (1987) · Tales from the
  Darkside: The Movie
(1990) · Graveyard Shift (1990) · Misery (1990) · The Lawnmower Man (1992) · Sleepwalkers (1992) · The Dark Half (1993) · Needful Things (1993) · The
  Shawshank Redemption
(1994) · Dolores Claiborne (1995) · Thinner (1996) · The Night Flier (1997) · Apt Pupil (1998) · The Green Mile (1999) · Hearts in Atlantis (2001) · Dreamcatcher 
  (2003) · Secret Window (2004) · Riding the Bullet (2004) · 1408 (2007) · The Mist (2007) · Dolan's Cadillac (2009) · A Good Marriage (2014) · Cell (2016) · It (2017) · It Chapter Two (2019)  
  Carrie     Carrie (1976) · The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999) · Carrie (2002) · Carrie (2013)  
  Creepshow     Creepshow (1982) · Creepshow 2 (1987) · Creepshow 3 (2006)  
  Children of the Corn     Children of the Corn (1984) · The Final Sacrifice (1993) · Urban Harvest (1995) · The Gathering (1996) · Fields of Terror (1998) · Isaac's Return (1999) ·
  Revelation (2001) · Children of the Corn (2009) · Genesis (2011)  
  Firestarter     Firestarter (1984) · Rekindled (2002)  
  Trucks     Maximum Overdrive (1986) · Trucks (1997)  
  Pet Sematary     Pet Sematary (1989) · Pet Sematary Two (1992) · Pet Sematary (2019)  
  The Mangler     The Mangler (1995) · The Mangler 2 (2001) · *The Mangler Reborn (2005)  
  Television     Episodes     "Gramma" (1986) · "Sorry, Right Number" (1987) · "The Revelations of Becka Paulson" (1997)  
  Series     Golden Years (1991) · The Dead Zone (2002–07) · Kingdom Hospital (2004) · Haven (2010–present) · Under the Dome (2013–15) · 11.22.63 (2016)  
  Films or miniseries     It (1990) · The Tommyknockers (1993) · The Stand (1994) · The Langoliers (1995) · The Shining (1997) · Quicksilver Highway (1997) · Storm of the Century
  (1999) · Stephen King's Desperation (2006) · Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (2006) · Bag of Bones (2011) · Big Driver (2014)  
  Salem's Lot     Salem's Lot (1979) · A Return to Salem's Lot (1987) · Salem's Lot (2004)  
  Sometimes They Come Back     Sometimes They Come Back (1991) · Sometimes They Come Back... Again (1996) · Sometimes They Come Back... for More
  Rose Red     Rose Red (2002) · The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer (2003)  
  See also     {{Stephen King}}