Top Ten Stephen King Books

The Top Ten

1 It

Please don't judge this book by the movie. "It" is from start to finish one of the creepiest, coolest, scariest and most intriguing books you'll ever read. Even though it is 1,300 pages and I only read it before going to sleep at night, I finished it in under two weeks because I couldn't put it down at night until I reached a part where I thought I'd be able to sleep without nightmares.

Not my favorite Stephen King book, way longer book than it should be and has a very slow first half, There was moments that I liked in the first half but honestly got more enjoyable win the loser club meets back up as adults, the book is way more focused.
Side Note: I hope It Chapter 2 will do a flashback to when the kids individually meet It: the killer statue, creepy leprosy, and the werewolf, the only ones that were shown in the first was the bloody bathroom, and the most forgettable encounter that I honestly can't remember in the book and it has only been 2 weeks since I read the book - germshep24

Awesome - Johnny15

I honestly think that the miniseries adaptation of this is good, but the book is amazing! This was one of the few Stephen King books that I felt as if I had a connection with the characters. King wonderfully sculpted the characters as kids and as adults. I couldn't put this book down. It's very scary and has tons of moments when my jaw dropped.

2 The Shining

It's certainly the best of his early work and not unnecessarily long like It or The Stand.

I like the telepathic feel to it

One of the best books that I've ever read, and I've read many books. It's not as scary as people made it sound, but it definitely is a bit creepy. Overall a great book, and I definitely recommend it. - SirSheep

True and terrifying

3 The Stand

One of the best, if not THE best apocalyptic novels of all time. Well-written from start to finish; with a sobering and unsettling description of the collapse of humanity by a man made virus, memorable characters and a deliciously evil villain. For anyone who wants to start reading books by Stephen King, this is must read; along with "The Shining" and "It"

My fave King book by far - I literally couldn't put this down and didn't want it to finish whereas when I read It which is a similar length book, I was pretty glad when I'd got to the end. The characters, the twists and turns, the happiness and the sadness were all just perfectly knitted together - loved it

Such a well-written novel with an intense storyline and in-depth characters that keeps the pages turning. This is a book that will keep you thinking long after you've finished it.

This is by far my favorite Stephen King novel and one of the best novels ever written! The character development is superb and even though it is quite long I was disappointed to finish it because reading it is such a treat!

4 Misery

A Classical Psychologial Thriller - JohnofPatmos

By far his strongest work - NightmareCinema

This book is just plain fantastic... 5/5 stars! - jprg12

This book is great and, along with the Shining, had the best film adaption. Stephen King is definitely the best horror writer of all time.

5 'Salem's Lot

Literary classic.

My favorite novel of all time, of any genre.

The best place and time to read this book is when you are alone at home in a stormy winter night and you just know what true horror is. The terror oozes from the pages and collects at your lap, spiralling down to your legs to cover you and hold you breathless. The best vampire book ever.

My favorite novel from anyone - read it so many times over the years (starting when I was 17 and read again last year at 58)...

6 The Green Mile

A well-written, touching story. My favourite Stephen King book.

This book has great character development and a fantastic story line. It makes the reader realise that capital punishment has no place in modern society.

I love this book because it is so different from his other novels. This one isn't horror, it's a masterpiece. The ending is sad though. John coffey:(

It was just awesome and just because it is Stephen King doesn't mean it has to be all horror and that's why I think this book should be in the top ten!!

7 11/22/63

Loved it more than The Stand.

This is, not only Stephen King's, but one of the best novels ever written. Should be number one on the list, of course :) 11/22/63 is a masterpiece of a craftsman, and once you get into the story (which takes about five pages) it's hard to put it down. And there's a good chance that you, after finishing, will regard the 800 pages or so, far too few.

I started reading this book when I was 13 and never ended up finishing it. I picked it up once again but now 18 and I couldn't put it down. This book's central plot is Jake going back in time to stop Kennedy's assassination, however I found that the side plots (killing Frank Dunning, George/Jake and Sadie) just as intriguing and felt compelled to continue on reading. This book got me through 2 weeks of work and I never wanted it to end. By far King's best work!

Perfect from start to finish. I hesitated buying it originally having heard it wasn't his typical format. Didn't I feel stupid! I made the mistake of "typecasting" one of the greatest story tellers of my generation. 11/22/63 = edge of your seat, heart wrenching, and thought provoking ride you will not want to get off of.

8 Pet Sematary

Not quite my favorite but it definitely deserves to be higher. Also, for me, the part with Zelda is the most terrifying part of all of Stephen King.

Loved it. I don't read to much horror (I like other Genres) but I did read this one and it was fantastic. - atrott2

Great book and great movie! - Sabbath

This is literally the best Stephen King book I've ever read! I couldn't put it down, and the ending was so unexpected and incredible! A lot of people think that The Stand is his best, but I think it's boring, probably because I'm 12, but this was my favourite. I haven't watched the movie, but I heard it's bad, so don't judge the book by the movie. This book almost made me cry, and I was literally chanting Louis not to do what he did. It wasn't really scary until the last 30 pages, and in those 30 pages, I was trembling. This book was close to Misery, but I think this is better, please read it. My favourite book by Stephen King. I've only read 6 and 1/2 f his books, but so far, this is my favourite!

9 Carrie

Top three easily. Fantastic read.


Dark and morbid, I love it. - Not_A_Weeaboo

A novel about a friendless girl with telekinesis who takes her final revenge upon the world. Stephen King's first book! - TuckNasty

10 The Shawshank Redemption

Awesome story. More people should read this to "get busy living".

11?! Come on! This one’s a classic. - Smash64

Not many people know that this was a short story written by him in Different Seasons. One of the most beautiful stories (and movies) ever written.

Well the novella from Different Seasons was called Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. - Beatlesboy9


The Contenders

11 Cujo

I love this novel!

I remember going to my local supermarket with a small book stand and purchasing this. Read it in my room everyday and finished it a week later. It was a great page turner that you didn’t want to put down no matter what you had to get up for. The second king nook I read was this one and it doesn’t disappoint

Genius, sad and unique. It takes some time to get rolling but when it does you are in the story completely. One of the best books I ever read. Highly recommended.

It was a great book and really scary but if you don't have patience then I wouldn't read it but it's still a great book

12 The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

This is considered to be King's magnum opus. Why is it only number 12?

I can't believe TDT I is 12. It's the beginning of a legend, it should be, at least, at 5, or even 1. The Gunsliger introduce us to the most amazing adventures of our lifes, and more important than that, introduce us to our beloved Roland Deschain, the guy that we all want to have as a friend. It's awesome, it's perfect.

The Gunslinger has to be higher. I'm only sixteen, and I've read all seven dark tower books. I have to say that the first is the best. Nothing can beat that end palaver between Roland and Walter. The entire book is just so enlightening.

The gunslinger is a little different from other stephen king books but its still probably his best book. Even King admitted that. Also this book "ties in" with other stephen king books like the avengers movies which is pretty cool.

13 The Dead Zone

The main character (John Smith) is just your average American who can see the future. Great story, keeps you intrigued from beginning to end.

The first Stephen King book I ever read, and possibly my pick for the best for sentimental reasons. I love "It" and "The Stand" and so many others, but there is a true tragic arc to this novel that makes the reader truly care about what happens, even though it's practically foreordained.

It is a great book and it really made me think. I think it should be at least top 10

One of the most valuable and memorable boks I have ever read. Not only an emotional rollercoaster, but the science fiction takes you on a crazy ride that captivates your attention. Definitely my favorite by King

14 Under the Dome

This book is horror

The best book ever written. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Perfect characters, and perfect pacing. This needs to be number one.

The best book of him in my opinion.

A real page turner from start to finish..

1 Comment
15 Insomnia

very good

Quite possibly King's most imaginative plot. Creepy and effective.

A book that is very interesting. One of King's bestnovels

The best

1 Comment
16 Dolores Claiborne

And another thing I love about it is there is no undead or rabid dogs or other MONSTERS, it could really happen, and last of all it shows us that the real monsters in this world are people... - Stoshie

It's great because it could happen and it ties in with another great story of his

This is a really good read. The movie is also fantastic.

This is a AWSOME AWSOME AWSOME book. Once you start it you wont put it down till the end... - Stoshie

17 The Long Walk

It's a bloody shame that more people don't know about this masterpiece. This book will leave you thinking long after you've finished the last page. Though she may not admit it, the author of the Hunger Games took inspiration from this book (as well as King's "The Running Man" and the notorious, but incredible, "Battle Royale"). It makes me wonder why the Hunger Games is so poorly written. But I digress. This book is an incredible psychological thriller. The characters were flawless. My favorites were Stebbins and McVries. Best of all is the inherent knowledge that no matter how much the boys try to socialize and hide from the truth, they are essentially competing for their lives, and 99 of them will inevitably die. This factor adds so much tension. Please, even if you are not a fan of Mr. King's works, give the Long Walk a chance. It has made me a more insightful person and I hope that it will have the same effect on you.

Seriously underrated. One of my top three favorite king novels. It really made me think and feel for all the characters and even though death was inevitable it shocked and saddened me when another would die. This book keeps you thinking. Don't knock it till you try it, I really is amazing. And like the previous comment I also felt the hunger games was a cheaper warped version of the long walk and battle Royale

This is a fantastic read. Only King (under the name Bachman) could provide such a stirring tale about walking. It serves as a horrific foray into future competitions with deadly intentions. A must.

This book is ridiculously underrated. The character development is top-notch and this plays a key role in the story. The plot is also kept a secret until about 15% into the book, which builds suspense. LOVE this book!

18 The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower

The ending contains the most glorious moment I've ever read in a book (Although it goes on to a completely frustrating ending). I highly recommend it. - higgsboson2142

The final battle was really anticlimactic, but the ending itself? That was mind blowing, and fit the series perfectly. - Yoshilord

I couldn't let there be a stephen king list without have at least one dark tower book on it - slbrown

Best series, most captivating characters I have ever met and grew to love. The movie is sacrilegious and an insult to this masterpiece.

19 Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

I love this book! Stephen king made this book amazingly start to finish an amazing mystery detective book written by him

"From start to finish I didn't know where this book was going, it was a hell of a ride and I enjoyed every part. A completely different and refreshing book, not only by King, but of the genre also."

A very enjoyable read, and not the typical horror story of King's earlier novels. Along with 11/22/63, it just proves that King has not lost his touch after all these years.

OH how I love Mr. King!

20 Christine

1 Wizard & Glass
2 It
3 'Salem's Lot
4 Pet Sematary
5 The Stand
6 The Shining
7 Carrie
8 Christine
9 The Waste Lands
10 22/11/63
11 Misery
12 Night Shift
13 Different Seasons
14 The Dark Half
15 The Dead Zone
16 The Drawing of the three
17 Cujo
18 Thinner
19 The Mist
20 Firestarter

Love the book and the movie. - Stalin

This was the first King book I ever read. My favorite King trait is that he makes you fall in love with one of his characters and then they die.

Me too, I read it in 4th grade and went on a Stephen King book spree for the next few years. - GuitarGodSam

It should not be as low as this; its both hilarious and horrifying in turn. King's skills are so good that after a while you see Christine as a breathing evil thing that has every right to live on this damn earth, not a simple car. There is a scene where Leigh wakes up in the middle of the night just to see Christing granting outside the windows on the snowy night and if this does not horrify you, you are a zombie...

21 The Running Man

Honestly, this should be higher.

Amazing book that I can't put it down if I start it again! Hunger games holds nothing against this book, I cry, scream and laugh while reading this I love it

I just finished reading this a few days ago and really putting it 28 is drastically under ratting The Running Man! It might become one of my all time favorite books.

I CHALLENGE Hunger Games fans to read this. Then again, they're so easily satisfied by poor writing, they probably won't be able to appreciate it, let alone comprehend its quality. This book is THE ORIGINAL dangerous reality T.V. show story. Even though The Long Walk is my favorite book by Mr. King, I love it to the end.

1 Comment
22 Finders Keepers

I finished Finders Keepers today and I thought it had some spooky yet extremely humorous moments which I loved.

This was the first King book that truly captivated me from start to finish. - prestongyates

This book should be higher! Its one of my favorites - YOUnique253

23 Gerald's Game

Love the sick and twisted plot
It's a good book, not the best but really good

24 Night Shift

No weakness

This has multiple stories in one book, which is totally awesome. Stephen King is so creative, one reason I like him so much!

The best book I've ever read - Rusty665

25 The Dark Half
26 Firestarter

A novel about a corrupt government agency and its pursuit of an unwilling family. - TuckNasty

Charlie McGee survives her photokinesis power.

It's heartbreaking.

I wish I had pyrokinesis.

27 The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

I love this book! I think IT is overrated. IT is such a horrible book and 100% Stephen Kings worst book, and one of by least favorite books altogether (too inappropriate)
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is amazing! I loved the book, should be higher rated on this list. My 13 year old son read this book before he went to Phil Mont and I got a phone call from him CRYING because he was so scared that what happened to Trisha would happen to him. Its amazing how one book could have such a big impact on him! Loved it!

This was the first Stephen King novel I ever read and it was amazing. I had never gotten a taste of King's literary mastery, so when I read this, it gave me a whole different perspective on writing. Amazing

Wonderful story that makes full use of ones imagination.

Loved this book

28 Thinner

This book proved that King's success wasn't an accident. It was written under Bachman and ended up exposing King as the real author. It sold I think around 30,000 copies before his true identity was found out and of course sales exploded thereafter.

Bloody great so creepy but at the same time you can't put it down

Great book and best stephen king book I ever read

29 Dreamcatcher

Please don't judge by the film this book is incredible! The friendship side (which king is a master of writing) the horror of being taken over by a strange being, bravery on all levels! First king book I ever read and I still go back to reading it all the time.

This is the only Stephen King book that I didn't like. It didn't make sense, and I stopped reading 100 before the end because I stopped caring about the story line. This happens very rarely for me.

Ridiculously underrated, don't judge it on the awful film. Duddits has to be one of King's best characters, along with Beaver. Funny, disturbing, gripping and genuinely bizarre and original. Couldn't ask for more! Brilliant writing.

30 The Tommyknockers

One of my personal favorites. The surreal feel of the entire book is magnetizing and interesting. For a book written by King when he was high, it's pretty damn good.

I admit this story is strange, but it's also different and interesting. Stephen King is creative and definitely deserves the title " Master of Horror".

31 End of Watch

I've only read a few titles by King but this one is so far my favorite. - trowland4

Gotta love Holly and the strange yet tender relationship between her and Hodges. Best novel of the series.

32 Revival

Although it's one of his newer ones, it's an utterly terrifying ending. With a great plot that is so addicting to follow.

Just finished it today, and it's just so horrifying, so well written and the ending is so dark that will make you fear the afterlife

The first act in this book brought me to tears.

Another incredibly underrated one. It was thought provoking and horrifying. - Yoshilord

33 The Mist

My single favorite horror story of all time, and in the running for my favorite story of any genre. I'm a big Stephen King fan, although I read across a variety of authors and genres. But after reading dozens and dozens of horror/thrillers, nothing got my blood pumping like 'The Mist'.
As great as King's novels and series are (The Dark Tower is superb) he's underrated as a short story/novella writer (The Long Walk, The Raft, Shawshank Redemptions, etc etc)

34 Needful Things

Great characters! I have read so many books from Stephen King but this is my favorite!

Getting into the book now. I'm really into. It has a great plot and great characters.

One of the longest king books, needful things is epic, sad, dark, scary, smart, and simply Fun read. The characters are sad and creepy, but extremely loveable. The horror here found not in a monster or inhoumen beast (don't worry, the book has this things to), but in the humen soul darkness and weakness. The first king book I have read, and very Well may be my favorite.

Loved the book... Couldn't put it down...

35 Bag of Bones

I've only just started getting into Stephen King - and this novel has a very interesting style and perspective. It very slowly draws you into the rather weird, subjective point of view of the protagonist, and his acceptance of the real/supernatural events occurring to him. However it DID hook me in! Sad and very perceptive of human nature as well as a darn good read.

Criminally underrated

36 Desperation

Great story/movie. Creepy too, which is half the reason it's so great. Good work, Stephen King!

Without doubt the best book

Weird, weird story. But I recommend that you read it.

Great book crap movie

37 The Langoliers
38 Doctor Sleep

I loved "The Shining" both book and movie I'm not saying this is possibly a bad book it is probably amazing I just don't want to read it because I am afraid that it may ruin the greatest movie ever and one of the greatest books ever.

This book surprised me. It was a good sequel to The Shining. I expected an average, pulp fiction, story line, but it was actually pretty good.

I've read a lot of King's work and, so far, this is my favorite. The story doesn't digress and the prose is spot on. Plus, it's a fun read.

Needs to be higher in the list. I'm actually remorseful now that I've finished this book.

39 Black House

The story of a grown up Jack Sawyer (The Talisman).

40 The Body

Don’t get me wrong... I love a good, classic, horror story. But I also love this story better than any other Steven king story.

This book was just WOW. I finished it in 16 hours I just could not put it down. The chapters are amazing and the plot is awesome. I know it's not one of his scary ones but you learn how 4 boys on a journey to find a dead body find friendship.

This is my favorite of Stephen's works. It is truly amazing and the characters are great. It's so under rated and should be way higher on this list. The movie adaption, Stand by Me, is my favorite movie of all time, might I add.

This was made into a movie called Stand By Me, that is a must- watch because it is absolutely fantastic.

1 Comment
41 Full Dark, No Stars
42 The Talisman

This book is so incredible. Love everything about it. The characters are great, the plot is great, and just about everything in this book is awesome. I think when Stephen King and other authors collaborate to make one book (ex: the Talisman, Sleeping beauties) it makes the book even better. The Talisman is totally underrated.

One of the scariest books I ever read!

I loved this book and the depth of the characters. King takes you to another world that somehow feels familiar. I read this many years ago and still feel it drawing me back.

The best fantasy book I have ever read. King's description of food in the territories rivals Dickens. I am thunderstruck that this book isn't further up the list.

43 Duma Key

His best book in like 15 years

The most underrated King book ever.

I agree with the previous review. The most underrated King Novel.

One of kings best! Loved it! Definitely top 5 muchacho!

44 The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands

Fantastic. Blaine was a treat.

45 The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three

Just an absolutely insane introduction to the metaphysical quality that is woven through the dark tower novels. This book is a gem because it takes everything to a whole another level after "The Gunslinger".

I'll always love this one. Even though I loved the first DT book, this was the one that got me hooked. It introduces such awesome characters, and such insane situations...

Da da chum, da da chin! Watch out for lobstrosities!

46 Blaze

One of his lesser known works. written under the name of richard bachman. its not as known but still a great read

So sad. I was depressed for like a week after reading this one. Definitely one of Stephen Kings best books. - Fjunegull

Makes me cry every time.

47 Different Seasons

Apt Pupil, The Body (Stand By Me) and Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption in one book. My god, it doesn't get any better than that.

The body while forever be a fave of mine. So many memories. Also apt pupil makes my hair stand on edge evil man evil boy fab story

Has forever left an impact on me. It will forever be one of my favourite books and I will always read it once every summer.

The fact that this is 42 right now tells me many people have not read this fantastic collection. EASILY worthy of being in the top FIVE of this list.

1 Comment
48 Joyland

The name of the amusement park is adorable... But despite the childrens knowledge something is lurking within this park which wants them to be dead... It is revealed that some innocent children who visits the park dies in different various grotesque death... Now the protagonist learns that there is someone in this park who is wrapped over with its sadistic insanity and he has to find it, before it kills his friends, this park isn't a joyland it is a terrible bloodyland... I love the way king named the park the park adorably that will fear the reader of its darkest secrets...

I would'nt be surprised if this book is down here low... Because joyland is one of stephen kings newest novel... It is only released this 2013 and only few people had read the particular novel... But then according to my opinion this book is one of stephen kings novel which equips such a disturbing story... I had my chest heavy while reading the book, just like I felt when I happened to read his top rating book the "IT", still I knew that IT is his most disturbing novel, but the joyland has a different style which happened to catch my fear... Espesially that the characters struggle is in the amusment park along with the heavy storm that no one will hear them screaming...

Story of a college kid's summer job experiences in an amusement park ('73). No horrors but a ghost is there and so is a boy with premonition. If you do not know life as a carny (or a person working in amusement parks, carnivals), then this is a story to read.. enjoyed the fluent flow

49 The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass

I love all the Gunslinger books. I like this one best overall because it focuses almost completely on a (fascinating) story of Rolands youth. If only the movie wasn’t the worst movie in history.

Who knew that the Master of Horror could write such a poetic, heart-felt, tragic love story? One of the very few books that I cried (remember Susan's death) and the best Dark Tower for me...I randomly pick up this and read passages from. Incredible...

I'm going to throw a "Ka, like a wind" and a "ROLAND! I LOVE the! " and while you cry, you're going to press that vote button.

The best of The Dark Tower series and another novel that should be in the top ten, have people that voted even read these novels?

50 Hearts In Atlantis

One of Stephen King's greatest books - a collection of connected stories, some of them exceptionally weird, but what has rattled around in my brain all these years after reading it is that it felt as if it was a meditation on the origins of violence.

This book has my favorite King story of all time, "Low Men in Yellow Coats". Nothing can beat that story!

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List StatsUpdated 11 Apr 2018

3,000 votes
65 listings
13 years, 245 days old

Top Remixes (25)

1. 11/22/63
2. Dolores Claiborne
3. Misery
1. 'Salem's Lot
2. The Long Walk
3. The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
1. The Stand
2. 'Salem's Lot
3. Misery

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