Stephen King is the prolific award winning author of more than fifty books, most of which are worldwide bestsellers. Over the years, King has become known for titles that are both commercially successful and sometimes critically acclaimed. His books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide and been adapted into numerous successful films and TV Shows. Often regarded as the 'King of thrill and chills', the celebrated author made his name in the horror and fantasy genres with books like 'Carrie,' 'The Shining' and 'IT.' He is also well known for Green Mile, Under the Dome and the Dark Tower Series, which has recently been adapted for film as well. Although most of his work has been published under his own name, some of his work has been published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. He has also, on a few occasions, co-authored novels with fellow horror writer Peter Straub. Here is a list of all the major novels written or co-authored by Stephen King (or written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman). Please rank them from most favorite to least favorite and help decide which Stephen King Novels are the best!
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The Green Mile is a 1996 serial novel written by Stephen King. It tells the story of death row supervisor Paul Edgecombe's encounter with John Coffey, an unusual inmate who displays inexplicable healing and empathetic abilities. The serial novel was originally released in six volumes before being republished as a single volume work. The story is set at Cold Mountain Penitentiary, where they call the death row at the Penitentiary “The Green Mile.” John Coffey, sentenced to die for the rape and murder of two young girls, is the latest addition to the Mile. Paul Edgecomb, the ward superintendent, discovers that there is more to John Coffey than meets the eye, for this friendly giant has the power to heal.
The Shining is a horror novel by American author Stephen King. Published in 1977, it is King's third published novel and first hardback bestseller: the success of the book firmly established King as a preeminent author in the horror genre. The setting and characters are influenced by King's personal experiences, including both his visit to The Stanley Hotel in 1974 and his recovery from alcoholism. The novel was followed by a sequel, Doctor Sleep, published in 2013. The Shining centers on the life of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of the historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. His family accompanies him on this job, including his young son Danny Torrance, who possesses "the shining", an array of psychic abilities that allow Danny to see the hotel's horrific past. Soon, after a winter storm leaves them snowbound, the supernatural forces inhabiting the hotel influence Jack's sanity, leaving his wife and son in incredible danger. The novel was adapted into a 1980 feature film of the same name directed by Stanley Kubrick and co-written with Diane Johnson. Although King himself remains disappointed with the adaptation, having criticized its handling of the book's themes and of Wendy's character, it is regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made. A television mini-series later premiered in 1997, with the making closely monitored by King to ensure it had followed the novel's narrative. King wrote the series himself and was reportedly unable to criticize the Kubrick version due to his contract.
The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It expands upon the scenario of his earlier short story "Night Surf" and outlines the total breakdown of society after the accidental release of a strain of influenza that had been modified for biological warfare causes an apocalyptic pandemic which kills off the majority of the world's human population. The novel was originally published in 1978 in hardcover, with a setting date of 1980. The first paperback release in 1980 changed the setting date to 1985. The book was later re-released in 1990 as The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition; King restored some text originally cut for brevity, added and revised sections, changed the setting of the story to 1990, and updated a few pop culture references accordingly. The novel marks the first appearance of Randall Flagg, King's recurring antagonist, whom King would bring back many times in his later writings. The Stand was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1979, and was adapted into both a television miniseries for ABC and a graphic novel published by Marvel Comics. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 53 on the BBC's The Big Read poll.
Carrie is a novel by American author Stephen King. It was his first published novel, released on April 5, 1974, with an approximate first print-run of 30,000 copies. Set primarily in the then-future year of 1979, it revolves around the eponymous Carrie White, a misfit and bullied high school girl who uses her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who torment her. While in this process, she causes one of the worst local disasters in American history. King has commented that he finds the work to be "raw" and "with a surprising power to hurt and horrify." It is one of the most frequently banned books in United States schools. Much of the book uses newspaper clippings, magazine articles, letters, and excerpts from books to tell how Carrie destroyed the fictional town of Chamberlain, Maine while exacting revenge on her sadistic classmates and her own mother Margaret. Several adaptations of Carrie have been released, including a 1976 feature film, a 1988 Broadway musical as well as a 2012 off-Broadway revival, a 1999 feature film sequel, a 2002 television film and a 2013 feature film.
It is a 1986 horror novel by American author Stephen King. It was his 22nd book and 18th novel written under his own name. The story follows the experiences of seven children as they are terrorized by an entity that exploits the fears and phobias of its victims to disguise itself while hunting its prey. "It" primarily appears in the form of a clown to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes that eventually became King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma and its recurrent echoes in adulthood, the ugliness lurking behind a façade of small-town quaintness, and overcoming evil through mutual trust and sacrifice. King has stated that he first conceived the story in 1978, and began writing it in 1981. He also stated that he originally wanted the title character to be a troll like the one in the children's story Three Billy Goats Gruff, but who inhabited the local sewer system rather than just the area beneath one bridge. He also wanted the story to interweave the stories of children and the adults they later become. The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1987, and received nominations for the Locus and World Fantasy Awards that same year. Publishers Weekly listed It as the best-selling book in the United States in 1986. It has been adapted into a 1990 two-part miniseries directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, and into a 2017 film directed by Andy Muschietti.
Under the Dome is the 58th book published by Stephen King; it was his 48th novel, and the 41st under his own name. The book was released by Scribner on November 10th 2009. The novel begins with an an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, when suddenly the town is inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when—or if—it will go away. Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens—town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a selectwoman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing—even murder—to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.
'Salem's Lot is a 1975 horror novel by American author Stephen King. It was his second published novel. The story involves a writer named Ben Mears who returns to the town of Jerusalem's Lot (or 'Salem's Lot for short) in Maine, where he had lived from the age of five through nine, only to discover that the residents are becoming vampires. The town is revisited in the short stories "Jerusalem's Lot" and "One for the Road", both from King's story collection Night Shift (1978). The novel was nominated for the World Fantasy Award in 1976, and the Locus Award for the All-Time Best Fantasy Novel in 1987. In two separate interviews King said that, of all his books, 'Salem's Lot was his favorite. In his June 1983 Playboy interview, the interviewer mentioned that because it was his favorite, King was planning a sequel, but King has said on his website that because The Dark Tower series already continued the narrative in the Wolves of the Calla and Song of Susannah, he felt there was no longer a need for a sequel. In 1987 he told Phil Konstantin in The Highway Patrolman magazine: "In a way it is my favorite story, mostly because of what it says about small towns. They are kind of a dying organism right now. The story seems sort of down home to me. I have a special cold spot in my heart for it!"
Misery is a 1987 psychological horror thriller novel by Stephen King. The novel was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1988, and was later made into a Hollywood film and an off-Broadway play of the same name. When King was writing Misery in 1985 he planned the book to be released under the pseudonym Richard Bachman but the identity of the pseudonym was discovered before the release of the book. The novel focuses on Paul Sheldon, a writer famous for Victorian-era romance novels involving the character of Misery Chastain. Novelist Paul Sheldon has plans to make the difficult transition from writing historical romances featuring heroine Misery Chastain to publishing literary fiction. One day he is rescued from a car crash by crazed fan Annie Wilkes, who transports him to her house. The former nurse takes care of him in her remote house, but becomes irate when she discovers that the author has killed Misery off in his latest book. Annie keeps Sheldon prisoner while forcing him to write a book that brings Misery back to life.
11/22/63 is a novel by Stephen King about a time traveler who attempts to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which occurred on November 22, 1963 (the novel's titular date). It's the 60th book published by Stephen King, it is his 49th novel and the 42nd under his own name. The novel was announced on King's official site on March 2, 2011. A short excerpt was released online on June 1, 2011, and another excerpt was published in the October 28, 2011, issue of Entertainment Weekly. The novel was published on November 8, 2011 and quickly became a number-one bestseller. It stayed on The New York Times Best Seller list for 16 weeks. 11/22/63 won the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller and the 2012 International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel, and was nominated for the 2012 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel and the 2012 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel The story focuses on Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk. Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
The Dead Zone is a science-fiction thriller novel by Stephen King published in 1979. It is his seventh novel and the fifth novel under his own name. It concerns Johnny Smith, who is injured in an accident and remains in a coma for nearly five years. Upon emergence, he exhibits clairvoyance and precognition with limitations, apparently due to a "dead zone", an area of his brain that suffered permanent damage as the result of his accident. The Dead Zone was nominated for the Locus Award in 1980. The book is dedicated to King's son Owen. The book spawned a 1983 film adaptation, and a television series.
Wizard and Glass is a fantasy novel by American writer Stephen King, the fourth book in The Dark Tower series, published in 1997. Subtitled "Regard", it placed fourth in the annual Locus Poll for best fantasy novel. Part IV of this epic quest sees Roland the Gunslinger and his followers contend with a sentient monorail intent on killing itself and taking them with it. While seeking to return to the Path of the Beam that will lead them to the Dark Tower, Roland tells his friends a story about the tragic loss of his first love, Susan Delgado.
Revival is a novel by American writer Stephen King, published on November 11, 2014 by Scribner. This was King's second novel published during 2014, and his fourth since 2013. The novel starts with the arrival of Charles Jacobs, a new minister, to a tiny main town where everyone including the young Jamie Morton is excited. Almost everyone in the tiny Maine hamlet comes to love Jacobs, his beautiful wife, and his young son. Things change all too suddenly when Mrs. Jacobs and her child die in a gruesome auto accident. Half-crazed, the reverend denounces God and religion during a sermon, is banished from the town, and thereafter pursues successive careers as a sideshow huckster and then a faith healer, fueled by his lifelong experiments with electricity. Jamie meanwhile, grows up to be a musician and develops an addiction to heroin, which ends after Jacobs uses an unorthodox electrical treatment to heal Jamie and cure him of his addiction. Afterwards, Jamie experiences strange side effects, including sleepwalking and jabbing himself in the arm with sharp objects while in a fugue state, as if trying to inject heroin. This leads him to start looking into the many others that Jacobs has healed. As it turns out, many of them have experienced similar side effects, and some have killed themselves and others as a result. Later, Jacobs contacts him; Jamie's childhood sweetheart, Astrid, has developed terminal cancer. Jacobs agrees to heal her, but only if Jamie will become his personal assistant for one last experiment. Jamie reluctantly agrees, and Astrid is cured. Jamie helps Jacobs prepare for his final experiment: Jacobs has discovered something he terms "secret electricity", an all-powerful energy source that he has been using to achieve his miraculous cures over the years. He now intends to harness a massive surge of this energy from a lightning rod and channel it into a terminally ill woman named Mary Fay, whom he has relocated to his lab. Jacobs' plan is to revive Mary Fay after her death, not in the conventional manner, but in the sense that she will be clinically dead and yet able to communicate with Jacobs and tell him of the afterlife and what fate befell his wife and child after their death. The experiment works, but not in the way Jacobs intends. The revived Mary Fay does become a doorway to the afterlife, but to the horror of both Jacobs and Jamie, there is no heaven and no reward for piety. Instead, the fate awaiting every living person is revealed to be "The Null", a dimension of chaos, where dead humans are enslaved for eternity by insane, Lovecraftian beings, the most powerful of which is known as Mother. Mother inhabits the body of Mary Fay, transforming her into a grotesque monster, and attempts to kill Jacobs. Jamie shoots Mother with Jacobs' gun, and she leaves Mary's body. Jacobs has a fatal stroke, and Jamie arranges his body to make it look like he shot Mary. Jamie flees the scene and relocates to Hawaii. Later, many of the people cured by Jacobs go insane and kill themselves and others, including Astrid, who kills her partner and herself. Ja