Once a month a lumbering green van pulled up in front of our tiny school. Written on the side in large gold letters was State of Maine Bookmobile. The driver-librarian was a hefty lady who liked kids almost as much as she liked books, and she was always willing to make a suggestion. One day, after I’d spent 20 minutes pulling books from the shelves in the section marked Young Readers and then replacing them again, she asked me what sort of book I was looking for.
“I thought about it, then asked a question—perhaps by accident, perhaps as a result of divine intervention—that unlocked the rest of my life. ‘Do you have any stories about how kids really are?’ She thought about it, then went to the section of the Bookmobile marked Adult Fiction, and pulled out a slim hardcover volume. ‘Try this, Stevie,’ she said. ‘And if anyone asks, tell them you found it yourself. Otherwise, I might get into trouble.’
—Stephen King, reflecting upon his discovery of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies in the Telegraph’s edited version of King’s introduction to an upcoming centenary edition of the novel