Anyway, Stephen King always struck me as an ace storyteller whose true metier was the short story, although he could write a bang-up novel when he brought his A Game, which was about one try in four, by my tastes, with the rest being workmanlike tales with a certain 'contractual obligation' feel about them.
The only novel of his that ever really scared me... I mean really gave me the creeping willies... was Pet Sematary. I was living in a rented room in a lake house in the middle of the woods at the time, and I had finished reading the book at closing time at the little local pub. I found myself sitting there in the front seat of my Z-car after pulling into the driveway just after midnight, and for some reason I just had to reach over and flip the book upside-down before I could get out of the car, because I was actually too creeped out to look at the cover.
It was therefore with some interest that I read this at John Ross's recently-revamped website:
King is alleged to have said that he always wanted to write a book so scary he couldn’t finish writing it, and Pet Sematery came the closest. True story: In 1986 I had to make an emergency weekend trip to London as an underwriter for Lloyds. I decided to stay on Midwest time, staying up at night and sleeping during the day, since I’d be back home in two days. I bought a paperback to read in my hotel room. It was Pet Sematery. Reading that book at 4:00 AM in a strange hotel room in London was an experience I find difficult to put in words.Incidentally, the only other thing I've read by King that honestly scared me was the short story "1408", from Everything's Eventual, and that had the distinction of doing so in a well-lit, crowded restaurant at lunch.