The Top Stephen King Novels

 

Famous author, Stephen King, might have named the best book he ever wrote to be “Lisey’s Story”, a 2006 novel that portrays a woman who is coping with the death of her husband, who happened to be a best-selling author. However, readers’ opinion has proven him otherwise, as they have other titles in mind to be the best King novels. Here is a list of the horror master’s most suspenseful and scariest page-turners:

 

  1. The Stand
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The Stand
3634 Reviews
The Stand
  • Stephen King
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • Edition no. 0 (06/28/2011)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 1472 pages

The original draft for this novel was so long that printing presses were literally not able to handle it, forcing King to cut out a huge chunk of the book. The novel’s plot tells of a super virus, called Captain Trips, that is wiping out about 99% of humans on the planet. For the survivors, they are coming together in 2 camps and waging war against the eminent evil. Although it is seen by many as a crazily ambitious book, King managed to write it flawlessly. With regards to the uncut version, it was still released in 1990 and was turned into a miniseries by ABC 4 years later. There were even talks about making a proper movie, or a series rather, but neither has yet to be realized.

 

All in all, “The Stand” is one of the most incredible novels by any author of any given genre. As one might expect, a novel with such an ambitious plot and such prodigious length would touch upon numerous themes, but this title by King shows strengths in various categories, including the plot, theme, characters and how words are built.

 

  1. It
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It: A Novel
3688 Reviews
It: A Novel
  • Scary
  • Stephen King
  • Horror
  • Book
  • Publisher: Scribner

Published by King in 1986, this novel has caused more people to fear clowns than, probably, any book, TV show or movie in history. It is an epic story that spreads across 30 years of a group of friends in Maine who are battling a demented clown, named Pennywise, who is living in the town’s sewers. Thinking that they managed to kill him in the 1950s, the group found themselves forced to reunite 30 years later for a final battle against the antagonist.

 

Now, here lies the ingenious of the novel—the story is not as simple as a battle with a specter that is told twice, but the theme is far darker and easily identifiable for a reader who has lived through his/her teens. Each character is so finely detailed, from their young age to later in life, allowing for countless emotions. For the central character, who is clearly King himself, he constantly questions the lack of magic in his adult life and keeps recognizing that at some point between the past and present narrative, he managed to grow up. At 1,142 pages, this is one of the longest books King has written, but, amazingly, many people find themselves reading it in just a matter of days.

 

  1. The Shining
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The Shining
3591 Reviews
The Shining
  • Great product!
  • Stephen King
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • Edition no. 0 (06/26/2012)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 688 pages

This novel was inspired by the trip King and his young family took when they moved to Colorado for a brief period in the 1970s. When they were out, they spent a night at the historic Stanley Hotel, which was about to close up for the winter. As King wandered around the nearly empty building all by himself, he imagined what it would be to spend the entire winter trapped inside it, giving him the idea for “The Shining” almost at once. Also, his struggle with a drinking problem became a major element of the story plot.

 

The book is really well written that the way a character says something and King writes it shows they are subconsciously and really thinking in italics underneath, giving readers a lot of insights into what is happening. With the characters being instantly believable, readers can really feel for them, which is definitely a sign of a great book. In fact, readers would be engrossed in the story that they would forget everything else while reading.

 

Stanley Kubrick adapted the novel for the big screen in 1980, and since, it has become a beloved classic, though the author has been very vocal about his dislike for the movie version.

 

  1. Salem’s Lot
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'Salem's Lot
1604 Reviews
'Salem's Lot
  • Great product!
  • Stephen King
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • Edition no. 0 (12/27/2011)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages

After enjoying a big break with his debut novel “Carrie”, King proved that he was not a one-trick pony by releasing this follow-up novel in 1975. “Salem’s Lot” has a rather-simple premise that assumes what would happen if a Dracula-like vampire moved to a small town in Maine. It portrays much of the town transforming into vampires, until a high-school teacher, along with his young girlfriend, started fighting back. For years, King contemplated writing a sequel, but instead decided to simply fold one of the novel’s characters, Father Callahan, into the final books of the “Dark Tower” series.

 

For starters, this novel is surely scary, with a chilling opening and an entire story line going on to dish up plentiful helpings of creepiness. This was written in the 1970s, so it is just normal that the author’s traditional interest in the horror genre rings true. Moreover, King seems to have a deeper understanding of a vampire story, which is something the novel has pulled off better than, perhaps, any other vampire novel or film.

 

  1. The Green Mile
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The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel
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The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel
  • Stephen King
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages

Released in 6 monthly installments in the spring and summer of 1993, this prison drama tells the story of a large black man who is sentenced to death for raping 2 young girls. While he is quiet and timid, he possesses the ability of healing through touch. Though some people accused King of creating a “magical black man” character, the author strongly disagrees by stating, “When I was writing the book I said to myself, ‘What can I do to make sure that this character goes to the chair even if he’s innocent?’” He adds, “And I said, ‘Well, it’s 1933. If he’s black, nobody is going to let him off the hook no matter what the evidence is. They’re going to fry him.’ So I made him a black guy.”

 

As for establishing the characters, King did it quickly, not seeming that there was a lot of padding to make the novel longer, unlike many of his books. The result was a series of easy-to-read titles that are split into 6 books with interesting things always going on.

 

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Kari Johnson " I teach English and Marketing at a local community college in the Asheville NC area. I enjoy getting outdoors whenever I can and spending time with my family. I have the opportunity to write reviews on topics I enjoy for Reviewsie.com, and always try to provide the most comprehensive information on the topics I review".

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