Sunday, March 25, 2012

QuickList: The Best/Worst Stephen King Novel Titles

Something that's occurred to me as I've been re-reading Stephen King's The Stand: what a bland (albeit thematically relevant) title for such an epic narrative!  In and of itself, the title suggests a simple piece of bedside furniture, or someplace you might stash an umbrella.  So this led me to consider: what are the best and worst titles that King has come up with for his novels over the course of his illustrious career?  I submit the following as my choices:

The Best
*Bag of Bones: deftly packages mystery and the macabre
*The Dead Zone: polysemously ominous: does the title reference something apocalyptic, something supernatural, or both?
*Pet Sematary: the strategic misspelling makes the concept even more intriguing
*'Salem's Lot: alliterative, cleverly misdirecting (the book has nothing to do with America's witchcraft capital), and portentous of ill fortune

The Worst
*Cycle of the Werewolf: sounds like a case of lycanthropic menstruation
*Dolores Claiborne: inevitably, I hear echoes of "Liz Claiborne"
*The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: a title that fails to resonate outside of Red Sox Nation
*Rose Madder: color me uninterested

Do you have a different choice for best/worst King novel title?  Feel free to list your selections in the Comments section below.

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