Everyone knows the name Stephen King, who has captivated readers for decades.
He is undisputedly the “Horror King”.
In his illustrious career he has written over 50 novels, over 200 short stories, and many other works such as novellas, nonfiction books, plays, and screenplays.
Many of his works have been adapted into both movies and television series.
If you’re looking for a great book to read, look no further than these top picks from the master of horror himself.
With so much material to choose from, it can be tough to figure out which of his books are the best.
But fear not!
Here’s a list of the five best Stephen King books that you should check out right away.
Carrie is a widely popular film from 1976 that remains a classic today.
It follows the story of Carrie White, a young girl who is bullied by her peers and faced with an oppressive mother at home.
As her life takes dark turns she discovers a supernatural power within herself, leading to devastating consequences. The gripping story of terror and suspense is set in motion when Carrie’s high school classmates pull an insensitive prank on her at the prom that drives her over the edge.
This powerful tale of revenge teaches us lessons about standing up to bullies and staying true to oneself.
It has been delightfully remade multiple times throughout the years, and each adaptation captures the chilling horror story beautifully.
The Shining (1977)
The Shining is arguably one of the most iconic books ever written.
Stanley Kubrick’s classic horror movie The Shining has frightened generations of viewers since its release in 1980. Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same title, the film tells the story of Jack Torrance and his family, who are snowed-in at an isolated hotel during a particularly harsh winter.
After struggling to resist strange, supernatural forces, Jack takes advantage of the seclusion to become increasingly more unstable and violent.
In the end, Jack’s descent into madness is ultimately foiled when his son Danny releases the power of his “shining” abilities.
The Shining is a timeless horror classic that has earned its place in cinematography history with iconic quotes such as “here’s Johnny,” genre defining imagery, and chilling music.
It, pubíshed in 1986, remains one of King’s most beloved and famous works.
It follows the story of seven children living in Derry, Maine who are terrorized by a malevolent entity that takes the form of an evil clown.
It ‘s story is best summed up by King himself:
Misery by Stephen King is a classic novel of horror and suspense.
It tells the story of novelist Paul Sheldon who is kidnapped by his ‘number one fan’ Annie Wilkes after he crashes his car in a snowstorm.
She takes him to her remote home, where she forces him to write a novel according to her own twisted ideas.
As Paul gets to know her better, he realizes that she is dangerously unstable and unpredictable.
He must use his wits to outwit her and escape before it’s too late.
Misery combines psychological horror with thrilling suspense in a compelling story about the dangers of obsessive fandom.
The novel was made into an acclaimed film in 1990 starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, and Richard Farnsworth.
It remains one of Stephen King’s most popular and beloved novels.
Whether you’re a fan of horror or just looking for an exciting read, Misery is a perfect choice.
The Stand (1978)
Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic horror novel, The Stand, has been a classic since its publication in 1978.
It tells the story of a few survivors who must fight to protect their lives and the world from an evil dictating force.
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The characters’ strength and courage leads them on a journey to battle against hate, greed, and ignorance in order to preserve their values and humanity.
The Stand paints a dark picture of what can happen if we fail at our most basic moral responsibilities to one another.
It is an engrossing read that causes readers to reflect on their own beliefs as they move through an apocalyptic landscape.
Pet Sematary (1983)
Stephen King’s 1983 horror novel Pet Sematary is a spine-tingling classic.
Its themes of grief, loss and mortality have made it an enduring presence in popular culture for nearly four decades.
When their young son dies, the Creeds discover the power of an ancient burial ground near their home through which they can briefly resurrect the dead – though at a terrible price.
As tragedy continues to befall the Creeds, this eerie novel delivers bone-chilling suspense and explores some of life’s hardest issues such as death, morality and love.
Rachel’s sister, Gage Creed, was suffering from a rare and fatal condition known as Spinal Meningitis.
The illness left Gage with physical and mental disabilities, becoming bedridden and unable to communicate.
Rachel’s brother was desperate to find a cure for his son but ultimately failed, resulting in Rachel burying Gage in an ancient burial ground known as “Pet Sematary” near their new home.
Unfortunately, this resulted in Gage coming back from the dead with supernatural powers that soon turned him into a creature of pure evil.
It’s safe to say that any fan of horror fiction will find Pet Sematary an unforgettable experience.
The Dark Tower
The Dark Tower series is an epic fantasy adventure spanning eight books written by Stephen King over several decades.
The series follows Roland Deschain, an enigmatic gunslinger on a quest to reach an enigmatic tower at the edge of reality in search for answers about his past life and future destiny.
Along with his Ka-tet (a term used for those bound together by fate), they traverse through an alternate version of America while encountering strange creatures and mysterious characters along their journey filled with danger and excitement around every corner.
This sweeping saga is one not easily forgotten once you begin reading – it’s truly something special!
‘Salem’s Lot’ (1975)
‘Salem’s Lot’ is one of Stephen King’s best books and continues to be a bestseller more than four decades after its original publication.
The novel tells the story of an author who returns to his hometown, Jerusalem’s Lot, only to find it plagued by vampires.
As he discovers more about the town and its dark secrets, he must confront the powerful forces that threaten to turn his hometown into a living nightmare.
The novel is widely praised for its effective use of horror elements, character development, and suspense-filled plot.
It has been adapted into two television miniseries and is considered one of King’s best works.
Published in 2011, this best-selling novel follows Jake Epping as he travels back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Along his journey, he faces many challenges and discovers secrets that could alter the future forever.
With a gripping narrative and an unforgettable cast of characters, King offers readers a thought-provoking story that will keep them captivated until the end.
An excellent choice for any reader who enjoys time travel and alternate histories, “11/22/63” is sure to be a favorite Stephen King novel for years to come.
Different Seasons (1982)
Different Seasons contains four novellas, each of which explore different themes: “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” “Apt Pupil,” “The Body,” and “The Breathing Method.”
All four stories are classics in the horror genre, giving fans plenty to enjoy.
“Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” tells the story of a man who breaks out of prison with the help of an old friend, while “Apt Pupil” follows an adolescent boy whose obsession with the Holocaust leads him to make some dark choices.
In “The Body,” four young boys take a journey across the state to find the body of a missing boy, encountering some mysterious and dangerous people along the way.
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Lastly, “The Breathing Method” follows a woman’s pregnancy and the struggles she has with her unborn child.
The best part about these stories is how King manages to take horror elements and blend them with more heartwarming themes.
Each story has something to offer, so you’re sure to find something that resonates with you. Whether you’re a fan of horror or just looking for an interesting read, Different Seasons is a must-read.
Different Seasons serves as an excellent showcase of Stephen King’s gift for storytelling, making it one of his best books.
For fans of Stephen King, Different Seasons is essential reading.
Mr. Mercedes (2014)
Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King, is one of the best books written by the renowned author.
It tells the story of retired detective Bill Hodges and his pursuit of a psychotic killer who terrorizes a small city with stolen Mercedes-Benz automobiles.
This thrilling novel is filled with suspense and tackles mental illness in an honest and thought-provoking way.
The characters are well-rounded and the plot is gripping, making it a must-read for fans of suspenseful crime fiction.
Mr. Mercedes is a captivating page-turner that will have readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
It’s an engrossing story with moments of horror and terror, as well as moments of courage, strength and redemption.
It’s also one of the best books on serial killers out there – full stop.
If you are looking for an intense read with a page-turning plot, then Mr. Mercedes is the perfect book for you.Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Mr. Mercedes today!
The Green Mile
In 1996, Stephen King released one of his most iconic works – The Green Mile.
Set in a 1930s Louisiana prison, this novel follows the story of John Coffey, a Black man convicted of murder who is said to have mysterious healing powers.
During his time on death row, he helps those around him with his gifts and ultimately becomes an inspiration to many of those who know him.
The story is told from the point of view of the prison guard, Paul Edgecomb, and focuses on themes such as redemption, faith and justice.
In 1999, it was adapted into a film starring Tom Hanks and Michael Clark Duncan which was met with critical acclaim.
Despite its dark subject matter, The Green Mile is a powerful story that is remembered even decades later.
Through its complex characters and adept exploration of themes, the novel continues to stand out as one of Stephen King’s best works.
The Green Mile has inspired many people since its release in 1996.
Many readers have found solace in John Coffey’s story and his positive outlook on life despite the oppressive circumstances.
His character serves as a reminder that no one is beyond redemption and any hope of change should be embraced. It has also been seen as a commentary on institutional racism, showing the unfairness of John’s death sentence because of his race.
Conclusion: Best Stephen King Books
Stephen King is one of the most prolific authors in history, so narrowing down which books are worth your time can be daunting task!
However, these three offer something unique within each page turn – from supernatural horror to post-apocalyptic fantasy adventures – there’s something here for everyone!
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