Throughout the entire month of October, Pretty Opinionated will be featuring a myriad of creepy, scary, eerie, suspenseful, or paranormal books. We’ll have guest posts, reviews, reading list roundups, and more. Of course, I’ll still be featuring some books that aren’t in the scary (or at least somewhat scary) genre as I’m signed up for a ton of book tours with the always spectacular Promotional Book Tours, but count on seeing a lot of posts related to the spookier genres this month.
Since it’s Banned Books Week, I thought it would be fitting to do something that ties into that theme. Stephen King is pretty much the undisputed master of the horror novel and an all around writing genius. Did you know that numerous of his novels appeared on the banned/challenged book lists throughout the last three decades?
Banned and Challenged Stephen King Books
Cujo– I think just about everyone knows what Cujo is, even if you’ve never read the book. To be honest, the movie and story just made me sad. I mean, the poor St. Bernard didn’t mean to get rabies! It’s not his fault he became a raving, rabid killer! The book was challenged many times over the years, particularly in the 80s (when scary parent groups cropped up all over the place trying to ban just about everything. Remember the PMRC? Ugh!). One of the most ludicrous reasons a parent wanted it banned? Simply because it was “garbage” in their eyes. It’s pretty scary that just because one person didn’t like the story, they thought they had a right to prevent others from reading it!
Carrie– This was one of the first books I read by Stephen King. It was first challenged the year I was born, in 1975, by the Clark High School Library in Las Vegas, Nevada, again because it was “trash.” Apparently back then you didn’t need to be capable of forming actual thoughts in order to try to censor other’s reading list. In 1978, it was moved to a special monitored shelf at Union High School library in Vermont because the administrators thought that it was capable of causing harm to young girls. Yeah, because I often worried about girls developing telekinetic powers and wiping me out. Then again, I was never a mean girl, so I don’t think I had anything to worry about!
The Dead Zone – I always thought this book had such a cool concept. I remember the movie vaguely, and tried to watch the TV series but lost interest after the first season. Basically, a guy goes into a coma for a while, wakes up and suddenly has the power to see the future. Then he has to decide what to do with that knowledge. Of course, it’s far more complicated than that, and some say it’s even a commentary on the average man. The book was challenged in a school in Indiana because someone felt it was “filthy.” While it does have some language in it, I wouldn’t say it’s particularly dirty!
Suggested Reading on the Banning of Stephen King Books
The Censorship of Stephen King: Challenge Banning Factors– all the information on the books and the challenges that faced them in my post came from this site. I suggest checking it out for more information.
Stephen King’s “Banned” Book and what it means for you.This is an excellent opinion piece on the “banning” of the short story Rage.