Really, I think with King, the storytelling — the sheer "I want to see what happens next"-ness of it — is a huge part, but maybe not enough credit is given to his voice. The simple folksiness of it. The common-sense vibe of it. This may be why I keep bouncing off the Dark Tower series, only the first two of which I've read; maybe it changes in later volumes, but when I've gone back to re-read the first one, the style blocks me out, not to mention I've gotten a whole lot less tolerant of fiction that needs a glossary as I've gotten older. I'll keep trying, though.
Oddly, Carrie has maybe the least amount of what we think of as King style, being salted with newspaper articles and feeling, to me, far more exterior than the later peak stuff. Maybe I need to re-read that again. But all I can think of is stuff like The Shining and Salem's Lot where King slips us so easily and seemingly effortlessly into someone's emotional and thought processes. With Carrie he's kind of sheepishly standing on the outside and imagining, and I'm not at all saying it's a bad book or anything, but obviously he can feel his way into writing an alcoholic writer more readily than he can with a teenage girl getting her first period and not knowing what it is. It's a testament to King's talent that he stuck that landing as skillfully as he did, considering all he had going against him. I'm also not saying King sucks at writing people who aren't like him. I'm just saying, it was a ballsy book to debut with (even though he'd written lots of other stuff first). Carrie is also short and painful and feels like he bled the fucking thing out of him. It doesn't have the garrulous generosity of his later books, where he maybe felt free to stretch his legs a bit more. It's intense and every time I've read it I've come away feeling like I have the flu or something.