Best Stephen King Books

Best Stephen King Books

best stephen king books

The Shining

Stephen King’s favorite book is also his most-read: The Shining, a horror classic written in 1977 that inspired both a movie and its sequel. It is a paranormal, thrilling story about Jack Torrance. Jack starts work as an Overlook Hotel Caretaker, hoping to spend more with his family, and also write. During the off-season, a chilling winter storm confines Jack to the hotel and sinister forces begin to emerge. The classic haunted house tale has been terrifying readers for over 50 years. Goodreads rating: 589454 7.99$ from Amazon 8.21 from Bookshop

best stephen king books

All 61 Stephen King Books Ranked From Worst To Best

Stephen King’s literary career has seen him write 61 novels, and more than 200 short stories. But how does his work compare with one another?

Stephen King Share Twitter Email

One of the greatest writers of literary horror, Carrie is the author of over 61 books that have captivated readers with stories of the paranormal as well. After he published Carrie, his first novel in 1974 his name was immediately recognizable. Almost instantly, Carrie was picked up by director Brian De Palma to be adapted into a movie starring Sissy Spacek as the titular character, Carrie White. Every year King’s stories have been an inspiration, and each year King is a new powerhouse. How do these stories compare with one another?

King wrote nearly 200 stories and novellas over his almost 50 year career, in addition to 61 novels. Carrie was King’s first film adaptation. But it wasn’t his last. Stanley Kubrick took on the task of transforming The Shining into a major motion picture starring Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance and Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance.

Movie adaptations of Stephen King books are released at the same frequency as his literary tales, with at least one making its debut every single year since 1980. 14 King stories are in production and could soon be made into a movie or series. King collaborates often with other writers. King wrote screenplays over the years with Joe Hill of Locke & Key fame and also co-authored a novel, Sleeping Beauties, with Owen King.

King is quickly becoming the “king” of literary horror. His legacy may make him the de facto definition of the genre. King has written 61 novels, although some of his writings are collections of short stories, such as 2020’s If It Bleeds. King is set to release his next full-length story in 2021, titled Later, under the Hard Case Crime company. King novels all stand alone as masterpieces, though some of them are superior to others. Without further ado, here is every Stephen King novel excluding short story collections ranked from worst to best.

61. The Gunslinger (Dark Tower Book 1) The Gunslinger was the first book in King’s The Dark Tower Series. Roland Deschain is the first gunslinger to be introduced. Deschain has to survive in a world of monstrous creatures and demons. The novel is quite good, though it isn’t the best of his whole bibliography. King is best known for his horror books, and The Gunslinger has a much more fantasy-oriented tone than any of the other works he published before 1982. The author was unfamiliar with it, and his writing reflected this.

best stephen king books

The 13 Best Stephen King Books To Horrify You Or Warm Your Heart

A list of Stephen King’s favorite songs can reveal a lot about people and their fears.

All the products displayed on Vanity Fair have been independently reviewed by our editors. If you shop through our affiliate links, however, we might earn an affiliate commission.

Ranking the best Stephen King books becomes a kind of Rorschach test. The things people select as their favourites will reveal a lot about you and your fears. These are the things that worry or upset us. They can help you find out what matters to you, what your values and what you love.

After four decades of publishing, King’s stories have been a rite of passage for generations. Many consider them a part of growing up. Reading King’s stories at an early age felt like a daring act of defiance and courage. The stories from that period of growing up tend to have a higher ranking.

Another challenge to quantifying King is that the best and worst are obvious to the point of predictability. The Stand, It, or The Shining are the top contenders for number one, with Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman competing for Best DC Superhero. The clunky ones are also evident, even to King, who seems to hold his nose when Dreamcatcher or The Tommyknockers comes up.

The true debate on the Best of King is when you look beyond his semi-autobiographical On Writing and the Dark Tower series, the two best of which, The Drawing of the Three (and The Waste Land), are incomprehensible without the others. We should also forget about his collaborations with Peter Straub and Sleeping Beauties, Owen King’s son, The Talisman, Black House, Gwendy’s Button Box, and Gwendy’s Button Box, Richard Chizmar. The short story collections will also be removed, while the novellas are retained.

Some Constant Readers may find these ground rules irritating, but I’d rather focus on King stories, which are longer and more imaginative. His imagination is so wild that it makes us race for the next page, despite our fear.

best stephen king books

B&N blogs

Kids Teen Sci-fi & Fantasy B&N Reads Search take a stand A Definitive Ranking of Every Stephen King Novel Ever Jeff Somers Stephen King is a literary icon, a status he’s achieved by a) defining a genre; b) writing brilliantly; and c) being prolific. Stephen King is a genius writer, having written 51 novels so far, along with short stories and criticisms.

Note, however, the use of the word “some” up there. While we’d argue that King has never written a bad novel, there’s certainly a spread between the good and the great and the best of the best. Stephen King books are not only a favorite of ours. We also enjoy rereading them in order to discuss and contrast them. Let’s get to it. Here is our Stephen King Book List, which we have ranked, beginning with the ones that we like and ending up with the ones that we like. Note: King’s short stories collections have been ranked separately.

The Institute

Hardcover $23.99

King’s next novel, due to release in September 2019, sounds great and could rank high on this list. We know it involves a strange and sinister institution where “special” children children with extra-normal abilities like telepathy and telekinesis are experimented upon like rats, and one such boy, Luke Ellis, who winds up a prisoner there after his parents are murdered. Mrs. Sigsby has a strict and cruel way of keeping the children under her watch. While life at The Institute is tough, nothing compares to the fear children have about the prospect of one day being admitted into the experiment’s Back Half. No one has ever left. It sounds like this one brings back everything we loved about King’s ’80s hits Firestarter and It. The Institute, in short, is something we are eager to explore.

$19.99 Add to Bag Add to Bag See All Formats & Editions > The Tommyknockers King has been open about his past drug abuse and other issues, and admits he wrote this book while high as a kite. It shows. It does. There’s an intriguing germ under all the self-pitying and heart-pounding self-loathing. It seems that alien artifacts including an entire spaceship are being compulsively discovered by people in a small community. The only word that fits the product is “hot chaos.”

Paperback $1.20 King was the author of this novel. He later went on to publish it under the Bachman pseudonym. The story of a teenager who murders two teachers and takes a classroom of students hostage, it’s quite simply not very good in comparison to what followed, filled with the sort of overheated writing that young authors often engage in while thinking they’re being provocative. King discontinued distribution of the book following a spate of shootings in schools. The book is difficult to locate these days, so it’s not worth looking for, except out of super-fandom or curiosity.

best stephen king books

Top 10 Stephen King Novels

Steve Foxe This is why it’s difficult to pick the best Stephen King book. King, one of the most important American writers, helped launch a horror boom through the ’70s, ’80s, and outlived it with a near-fatal car accident. This month sees King release The Institute. It is King’s 61st book since 1974. This astonishing number does not include scripts, short-story collection, or nonfiction. And while King hasn’t maintained a perfect batting average across those dozens and dozens of releases, he hasn’t lost his spark, either; early buzz on The Institute is highly positive, and recent releases The Outsider, Revival, Mr. Mercedes and more all continue to garner praise and enviable sales.

King’s story is seeing a revival in television and film, beyond what’s printed on the paper. King’s films and adaptations include Gerald’s Game (coming soon), Doctor Sleep (coming soon), and It (2-part). It Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti has Pennywise back in the theaters. Click below to float into our Stephen King Books List and discover where the source material is located on our King’s Best Novels list. The list excludes novella collections and short stories that King considered his best work.

The Long Walk was published as Richard Bachman. It is the original Stephen King novel. However, he didn’t complete it or sell it before Carrie. A few of his most beloved classics had already been on shelves. King created the Bachman identity primarily to make it easier to publish more novels faster. Fans like to recognize Bachman books for King’s other supernatural outings. Thinner however bucks this trend, and King has since branched into many different genres. Known best today as a precursor to Battle Royale, The Hunger Games and countless other “teens compete to the death at the behest of a totalitarian society” iterations, The Longest Walk takes place in a world in which 100 teenage boys annually participate a walking competition. Walking may not sound as thrilling as a fast-paced sci-fi death-match, but these boys must maintain a minimum speed throughout their march, and the contest only ends when all but one walker has dropped dead or been eliminated for violating rules. There is no denying that King represents a nation willing to sacrifice its young men for a happy, better life. The Longest Walk is a powerful example of this anger. Steve Foxe

Thanks in part to Kathy Bates’s Oscar-winning turn as Annie Wilkes in Rob Reiner’s 1990 film adaptation, Misery is easily one of King’s best-known and most widely read stories. Paul Sheldon, novelist, suffers an injury in a car crash on a snowy highway. Annie Wilkes rescues her. Annie is Sheldon’s greatest fan. Annie finds it hard to believe that Paul has become bored with Miserychastain’s protagonist and decided to kill her off in his most recent novel. Paul will regret it, however, Annie won’t accept that ending. She’ll do all she can to get Paul a better one. Originally intended as a Bachman book, Misery finds Stephen King unpacking toxic fandom decades before Twitter would allows Annie Wilkeses the world over to vent their frustrations around the clock. Since then, King says that Misery isn’t just about what his followers expect of him but also about the hold cocaine had over him through much of 1980s. King’s skill in creating tension is evident in the novel, which shows Wilkes in terrifying all-too human form. If you thought Jack Nicholson hefted the most iconic ax in King history, you haven’t read Misery yet. Steve Foxe

Carrie was an explosive start, but Stephen King’s second published novel best forecasted what to expect from the horror genre’s most outstanding author. An epitaph that was referred to as “Peyton Place meets Dracula”, a comparison that makes little sense to modern readers, ‘Salem’s Lot was King’s first published novel. The book brought the myth of the vampire to the yards of semi-rural Americans and showed him at his most ruthless. Characters you fall in love with will find themselves facing grisly endings. Funnyly, King is featured in this novel as one of many author protagonists. King was able to sell ‘Salem’s Lot at an extraordinary price by modern standards. This is hardly a small amount compared with 1975’s. And he didn’t stop there. Last year’s The Outsider even touches upon some of the same themes, to chilling effect. Steve Foxe

For most modern readers, legendary director Stanley Kubrick’s stay at the Overlook Hotel looms large over Stephen King’s original novel. Nearly every moment you see on The Simpsons is parodied are in The Simpsons. The elevator of Blood, the twin sisters in the corridor, and the typewriter that says “Here’s Johnny!” reveal King’s most important achievement. It’s a compelling glimpse into a man in trouble’s descent to madness. King’s novel is more sympathetic toward Jack Torrance, a recovering-alcoholic writer (sound familiar?) In an attempt to make his family better, Torrance takes up a position as a caretaker in a remote resort. The resort has a hidden violent past. Jack’s talented young son Danny wants the Torrance family to kill him. Kubrick’s adaptation has been criticized by King. Although it is difficult to dispute the movie’s quality, or the place of horror films in general, the novel offers a more complete and frightening story with many topiary beasts and other scares. Steve Foxe

They might be among the King books that focus on the lives of plucky little kids. A variety of stereotypes characterize the protagonists, including geek, fat, sickly, and “the girl” among others. Although the story is an over-simplification of 1950s American life, it does make the point. King was and is obsessed with early teenage life. The titular “IT,” on the other hand, is probably King’s most enduring and iconic monster, an interdimensional being of pure malevolence and alien mindset that seems so much simpler on the surface. Is this an evil clown that murders children? That could at least be dealt with in ways accessible to adults. To combat the evil that It actually causes is far more complex. That requires the perfect combination of mysticism with childhood faith. And the ability to convince a town to forget about all of the terrible things they have done. Its end is frequently cited by critics as the flaw. It is, however, a large, thick novel that is far more about a journey in the 50s and ’80s. It shows the horrors of what happened along the way. Jim Vorel Stephen King’s monumental opus was almost not included in Paste’s Best Horror Novels of All Time. This novel fits better with post-apocalyptic literature or fantasy than most other horror novels. The Stand, with its 800+ pages and 99.4% population-killing virus, is as scary as King’s novels. World-ending scenarios were on everyone’s minds in the ’70s and ’80s, as global tensions escalated and means of mass destruction proliferated. King does not want to explore just a post-pandemic wasteland. The Stand represents his greatest standoff between good & evil. This concept is embodied in Randall Flagg who is a regular antagonist and becomes integral to King’s sprawling Dark Tower story. It doesn’t take much knowledge to read The Stand. All you need is a few months of dedication reading and an intense resistance to nightmares. Stephen Foxe Horror Stephen King: More by Tara Bennett. September 19, 2021. 10:13am Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller Will Write/Direct A New adaptation of Stephen King’s Christine. By Brianna Zgler. June 8, 20, 2021. 1:19pm

What is The Most Outstanding Stephen King Book of All Time?

  1. The Shining (1977) If you don’t know this story, shame on you.The Green Mile (1996)
  2. Pet Sematary (1983).
  3. 1987 Misery
  4. It (1986)
  5. The Stand (1978).
  6. The Craft of Writing: Memoirs of the Art (2000)
  7. The Dark Tower, The Gunslinger (82).

Where can I find the Stephen King Book of Excellence?

  1. These are the Best Stephen King Books for Beginners. 1. Carrie.
  2. 2 out of 10. Shining.
  3. Three of the 10. It.
  4. Four of the 10. Pet Sematary.
  5. 5. Misery.
  6. 6 out 10. Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger.
  7. 7 from 10. Different Seasons.
  8. 8 out of 10. The Stand.

Stephen King thinks his favorite book is “The Book That Made Him Happy”

King has three favourite novels in terms of novels. Misery, Lisey’s Story (which he adapted recently at Apple TV due the deeply personal nature of it) and The Stand.

Stephen King: What is Stephen King’s Scariest Book?

  1. 1 It. It.2 Salem’s Lot.
  2. Three Black Houses
  3. 4 Pet Sematary.
  4. Five The Shining.
  5. 6 Signs of Despair
  6. 7 Cujo.
  7. 8 Carrie.

.Best Stephen King Books