A list of Lovecraftian stories by Stephen King

Are you a Stephen King fan and a Lovecraft fan?  If so, here’s a list I compiled that I think you’ll enjoy:

LOVECRAFTIAN STORIES BY STEPHEN KING

I Am the Doorway, in Night Shift

Jerusalem’s Lot, in Night Shift

The Mist, in Skeleton Crew

Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut, in Skeleton Crew

Crouch End, in Nightmares and Dreamscapes

N., in Just After Sunset

From a Buick 8 (novel)

In the Tall Grass (novella, with Joe Hill)

I enjoyed all of these, but my favorites are N., Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut, and From a Buick 8.

There are other Stephen King stories that “name-drop” Lovecraftian names, but that doesn’t make a story Lovecraftian.

14 responses to “A list of Lovecraftian stories by Stephen King

  1. I thought there were more, but upon reflection, no others come to mind. IT does have a few Lovecraftian elements, but the whole ‘kids save the day’ aspect of the story is far from how things would play out in an HPL story.

    For the same reason, I cannot add DUMA KEY to the list, despite some aspects of the novel’s big bad being Lovecraftian.

    Actually, maybe I would recommend DUMA KEY. At the least, I’d appreciate others’ opinions on whether that one gets close to making the list. I disapproved of the ending, but the first 4/5th of the book might work.

  2. Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut still resonates with me — haunts? I’m not sure . . . but definitely resonates. There are times out of nowhere when I think of some of the images presented there. By far, From a Buick 8 captured my imagination. I got and get it. I think it represents some of his tightest writing (as does a Bag of Bones) in terms of ‘going along for the ride.’ Funny — I never think of King’s work as a page turner nearly as much as I do a trip. Trippy, man, trippy.

  3. I agree with the inclusion on the list, but I have to say that Buick 8 is far from a favourite; from the privileged post of armchair editor, I think he mishandled the climax with rather more revelation than called for (a similar complaint to the previous one about Duma Key). N., on the other hand, I think is about the best thing he’s ever written.

    • I’ll give you the mishandled climax as too pat. It kind of reminded me of the exit ruminations from the movie The Incredible Shrinking Man. Now that you mention it, I do recall rolling my eyes, but the previous 90% was good enough for me — there were too few pages left to worry about it now (was my thinking). I’ve not read Duma Key, though I own it. sheesh . . . too many books. I’ve not read N or own that collection . . . thanks for the tip.

  4. Never really thought about The Mist as Lovecraftian, probably because I read it before I discovered HPL and hadn’t really thought about it critically since. But the story definitely fits into Lovecraft’s theme on the dangers of science. And the source of the monsters fits into his many worlds theme. Thanks for making me think a little,Mike.

  5. I wouldn’t call it Lovecraftian, but King definitely draws on HPL materials in his Dark Tower series. There is a scene in the final book that feels exactly like a modern HPL story. There is also a scope to the tale that provides an overwhelming sense of the universe. King also talks about portals between worlds he calls “thinnies” which feel similar to the manipulations of space and time that Yog-Sothoth would be able to open up.

  6. And since I’ve dared to invoke the name Yog-Sothoth, I might as well mention Needful Things. There’s a brief scene in the novel where a character stumbles onto some grafitti that reads “Yog-Sothoth Rules”.

    This story always felt like a Christian morality tale and not really related to HPL directly, but one of my favorite things about it is the descriptive depth he uses to describe the town and characters. I’ve often attributed his “wordieness” in this novel, and his other works, to the intensely descriptive nature of HPLs writing.

  7. Haven’t read ‘N’.

    ‘Mrs Todd’s Shortcut’ is nuanced and deep. You can read it multiple times and sense implications anew.

    ‘From A Buick 8’ may disappoint some with it’s ending, but the ending is one of King’s self-described favorite themes in a story. I was, at first, a little disappointed, but the story just plain never leaves you. You will be thinking about this novel not only long after you have read it, but it will pop up in your thoughts years later.

    • I loved From a Buick 8 and Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut — for all the reasons given. I found the ending of 8 satisfying if only because it was frustratingly real. And you’re right, it does stay with you.

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