Top 10 Best Stephen King Books

Top 10 Best Stephen King Books: Stephen King is a well-known American author who has authored some of the bestselling and critically acclaimed books in the horror, crime, science-fiction and suspense genres. In his more than fifty novels, two hundred short stories, and nine collections of short fiction, he uses his unique and effective style of storytelling and suspense-building to present psychological and supernatural horrors. 

Best Stephen King Books

Stephen King is a recipient of numerous awards including the National Medal of Arts, one of the most prestigious and the highest honour given by the United States Government for his contribution to literature. His many books have inspired many blockbuster Hollywood movies.

Stephen King’s books are fascinating. However, if you are planning to read Stephen King Books and don’t know how to begin with, you might find some difficulty in choosing the Best Stephen King Books. Hence in this article, we provide you with a list of the Top 10 Best Stephen King Books along with their summaries.

Top 10 Best Stephen King Books

The list of Top 10 Best Stephen King Books is as follows

1) The Shining (1977)

The first book in our list of Top 10 Best Stephen King Books is titled “The Shining”. It is a classical horror literature which demonstrates King’s remarkable writing skills and his uncanny ability for triggering our innermost fears. The novel inspired a 1980 film and a 1997 mini-series, both going by the same name. The sequel to the book, titled Doctor Sleep, was published in 2013 and was adapted into a movie with the same name in 2019.

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King’s skill at deftly fusing paranormal themes with thorough psychological understandings distinguishes the book from other horror books of the same genre. He skillfully probes into the minds of his characters, tackling themes of addiction, loneliness, and the breakdown of the human mind. The reader is haunted by the horrifying incidents blurring the boundaries between reality and the supernatural through the characters’ slow decline into lunacy.

2) It (1986)

The second book on our list of Top Best Stephen King Books is perhaps the most popular one. The book owes its popularity to the film It and its sequel It Chapter Two, directed by Andy Muschietti. The book has also inspired a 1998 Hindi Television series titled “Woh”, directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar.

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A captivating classic, “It” continues to haunt the readers after they’ve finished reading the book. The book, which was first published in 1986, explores the most terrifying aspects of the human imagination while fusing themes of coming-of-age with complicated character development.

The plot of the book revolves around the “Losers’ Club”, a group of old friends who live in a small town in the US. The narrative switches back and forth between two times – almost three decades apart- as it explores the club members’ terrifying encounters with an evil force. This ancient evil, which has a proclivity for preying on kids, reappears every 27 years, forcing the club members to face their pasts and the darkness that has pervaded their town for decades.

3) The Stand (1978)

Published in 1978, the third book in our list of Top 10 Best Stephen King Books is another epic horror book written by King but with a distinct theme of the aftermath of the apocalypse. The book fantasises about the battle between good and evil after the extinction of much of the world’s civilization after a deadly pandemic wipes out much of humans from Earth.

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King’s examination of the human condition distinguishes the book from other post-apocalyptic novels. The book goes deeply into complicated subjects including morality, religion, hope, and Man’s inherent dichotomy. The story develops into a potent allegory for the conflict between darkness and light within each of us as the survivors are attracted to either side.

4) Misery (1987)

The fourth book on our list of Top 10 Best Stephen King Books was published in 1987 and is a psychological thriller. The story is about a renowned author named Paul Sheldon, who is kidnapped by his biggest fan Annie Wilkes. King puts Sheldon and the reader in an unsettling situation by evoking claustrophobic horror. He skillfully combines themes of addiction and obsession that blur the boundaries between the author and the audience.

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5) Carrie (1974)

The fifth novel on our list of Top 10 Best Stephen King Books was his debut book. The story revolves around the main character Carrie White, a quiet and reclusive adolescent with telekinetic abilities. 

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White is a tragic and empathetic figure in the story. Readers can relate to her loneliness, vulnerability, and hunger for acceptance on a profound level. She changes from being a victim to a strong force out for vengeance as the story goes on. Carrie’s inner anguish is brilliantly depicted by King, letting readers identify with her even as she turns into a destructive force.

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6) Pet Sematary (1983)

The sixth book on our list of Top 10 Best Stephen King Books is a chilling story, which was published in 1983, and is a prime example of King’s skill at combining horror with a profound psychological depth that will leave readers feeling both afraid and moved. The book explores the most troubling aspects of human loss and grief as well as the adverse consequences of interfering with the natural course of life and death.

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The extent to which people will go in order to avoid the anguish of loss is another topic covered in the book. King skillfully captures Louis Creed’s (the main character) profound anguish and desperation as he struggles with the disastrous effects of his actions. 

7) 11/22/63 (2011) 

The seventh book on our list of Top 10 Best Stephen King Books became a best seller immediately after its release in 2011 and stayed for 16 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list. The title of the book – 22nd November 1963 – is the date of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.

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The book is meticulously researched and paints a vivid and complete picture of the period between the late 1950s and early 1960s, accurately and methodically capturing the spirit of the era, completely submerging the reader in the milieu of mid-century America, from the music and dress to the political climate and social mores.

8) Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (1982)

The eighth book on our list of Top 10 Best Stephen King Books is an inspiration for another Hollywood blockbuster. In this novella, the author depicts the resilience of hope in the face of overwhelming odds by masterfully conveying the cruelty, monotony, and crushing sense of despondency in prison life which is overcome by hope and friendship which develops between the two characters Andy and Red. The novella is an apt depiction of the painful life and despair behind bars. 

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9) ‘Salem’s Lot (1975)

The ninth book on our list of Best Stephen King Books is the author’s second book, while is his personal favourite out of all his works. This chilling narrative transports readers to Jerusalem’s Lot, a small town, that is being terrorised by a malicious power, and combines supernatural suspense, psychological terror, and compelling storytelling.

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10) The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982)

The last but certainly not the least book on our list of Top 10 Best Stephen King Books is The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. The book is the first part of an epic series, “The Dark Tower” and is an engrossing read. This book, released in 1982 and then revised in 2003, exposes readers to a distinct fusion of fantasy, western, and post-apocalyptic themes and sets the stage for a remarkable voyage through a beautifully imagined and intricately constructed universe.

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