Quotations by King, Stephen


America’s two great specialties are demagogues and rock and roll, and we’ve all heard plenty of both in our time.

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Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
“Busted” (2009)
Added on 2-Nov-16 | Last updated 2-Nov-16
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Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
“Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (1982)
Added on 3-Aug-16 | Last updated 3-Aug-16
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Part of my function as a writer is to dream awake. And that usually happens. If I sit down to write in the morning, in the beginning of that writing session and the ending of that session, I’m aware that I’m writing. I’m aware of my surroundings. It’s like shallow sleep on both ends, when you go to bed and when you wake up. But in the middle, the world is gone and I’m able to see better.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
“Stephen King,” in N. Epel, ed. Writers Dreaming (1993)
Added on 3-Jun-09 | Last updated 13-Feb-14
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Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.

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Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
“Stephen King’s Most Memorable Books of 2007,” Entertainment Weekly (21 Dec 2007)
Added on 14-Dec-16 | Last updated 14-Dec-16
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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.

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Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Cell, “Gaiten Academy,” ch. 16 (2006)
Added on 28-Sep-16 | Last updated 28-Sep-16
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Has it ever occurred to you … that parents are nothing but overgrown kids until their children drag them into adulthood? Usually kicking and screaming?

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Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Christine, Part 1, ch. 3 (1983)
Added on 17-Aug-16 | Last updated 17-Aug-16
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If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Christine, Part 1, ch. 5 (1983)
Added on 6-Feb-09 | Last updated 6-Feb-09
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Hearts can break. Yes. Hearts can break. Sometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don’t.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Hearts in Atlantis (1999)
Added on 21-Sep-16 | Last updated 21-Sep-16
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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?

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Misery (1987)
Added on 24-Aug-16 | Last updated 24-Aug-16
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The devil’s voice is sweet to hear

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Needful Things (1991)
Added on 14-Sep-16 | Last updated 14-Sep-16
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Books are a uniquely portable magic.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000)
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I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day … fifty the day after that … and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s — GASP!! — too late.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
On Writing, “Toolbox” (2000)
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Added on 4-Jul-12 | Last updated 29-Jun-12
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Mostly, when I think of pacing, I go back to Elmore Leonard, who explained it so perfectly by saying he just left out the boring parts. This suggests cutting to speed the pace, and that’s what most of us end up having to do (kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings).

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
On Writing, ch. 12 (2000)
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Added on 13-Feb-14 | Last updated 13-Feb-14
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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.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Pet Sematary (1983)
Added on 10-Aug-16 | Last updated 10-Aug-16
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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.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
The Eyes of the Dragon (1987)
Added on 31-Aug-16 | Last updated 31-Aug-16
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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.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
The Eyes of the Dragon (1987)
Added on 7-Sep-16 | Last updated 7-Sep-16
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That truth is that monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
The Shining, Introduction to 2001 ed. (1977)
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Added on 7-Apr-14 | Last updated 7-Apr-14
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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.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
The Stand (1978)
Added on 27-Jul-16 | Last updated 27-Jul-16
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A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Under the Dome (2009)
Added on 12-Oct-16 | Last updated 12-Oct-16
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They pay me absurd amounts of money for something that I would do for free.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Interview with Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman’s Journal (blog) (28 Apr 2012)

Unabridged version of a Sunday Times Magazine interview. Full text.
Added on 3-May-12 | Last updated 3-May-12
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I never think of stories as made things; I think of them as found things. As if you pull them out of the ground, and you just pick them up. Someone once told me that that was me low-balling my own creativity. That might or might not be the case. But still, on the story I am working on now, I do have some unresolved problem. It doesn’t keep me awake at nights. I feel like when it comes down, it will be there ….

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Interview with Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman’s Journal (blog) (28 Apr 2012)

Unabridged version of a Sunday Times Magazine interview. Full text.
Added on 7-May-12 | Last updated 7-May-12
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