In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle reviews The Long Walk, the first novel Stephen King wrote
It’s well-known that Carrie was Stephen King’s first novel. Published in 1974, it tapped into an international appetite for tales of demonic possession: it was just one year since The Exorcist, William Friedkin’s terrifying adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel, had been a smash hit in cinemas. King sold the paperback rights for Carrie for $400,000 and, more or less overnight, went from writer on the breadline to hot property. And according to King himself, it was all down to his wife, Tabitha, who retrieved the early drafts for the novel from the bin and urged King to continue with the novel.
But Carrie, although it was King’s first published novel, wasn’t the first one he wrote. Stephen King actually completed his first novel back in the mid-1960s, when he was still a teenager. Read the rest of this entry