Top Ten Stephen King Books

Top Ten Stephen King Books


I’ve written about one other favorite author here, now in this I’ll discuss my other favorite author Stephen King.  No other author that I have ever read has been so insanely easy to be scared or terrified in reading their works as Stephen King.  From the great books he has written and that I have read (this is not an all inclusive list as I haven’t read all of his books) many of them have scared me from varying degrees.  In popular culture if you said Stephen King, 99 percent of the population knows who he is and that he is the master of horror stories.  Stephen King has written everything from epic novels, novels, short stories, poems, and screen plays.  More movies have been made from his books than any other author.  This is why Stephen King is my second favorite author.

My Top Ten Stephen King Books

Stephen King Books of My Top Ten
Stephen King Books of My Top Ten

Number 10


From a Buick 8

From a Buick 8 has a copyright date of 2002 and was released by pocket books in 2003.  From a Buick 8 tells the story of an old Buick Roadmaster that is stored in an old shed of the Pennsylvania State Police.  Much like Christine, From a Buick 8 is a haunted car story.  I haven’t read Christine but with this story being as good as it is I would recommend reading it and Christine.  The story follows a young man who hangs out at the police station after his father’s death to help out around the compound.  The young man discovers the car and its special abilities.  He also learns why it has been locked up in the shed.  In all I place this book at number ten because it is a fast read and holds an enchanting story, and I love cars.  It has standard King story weaving and is worthy of this list.

Number 9


Coming in at number 9 is Dreamcatcher with a copyright of 2001 and released by Pocket books in 2001. Dreamcatcher is a wonderful story of friendship and an alien invasion. The story starts out with four lifelong friends who are at different points of their lives. They all have something in common aside from the long friendship they have endured, a gift if you will. They all gather each year for a cabin trip weekend when an invasion occurs. All the animals in the nearby woods congregate past the cabin; all of them are walking side by side as they pass the cabin causing alarm in the four friends. Along the way in the story line, the area is quarantined by the U.S. government and a pursuit ensues. Two of the friends die and an old friend comes back into the picture. The ending of this story is a great plot twist and will have you scratching your head in wonder. This is a fantastic book to read with vivid imagery and realistic characters that you can relate to.

Number 8

Salem's Lot

Salem’s Lot has a copyright of 1975 by Stephen King and was released by Pocket books in 1999. This book is told in classic King horror, with spellbinding characters. Salem’s Lot is really named Jerusalem’s Lot but the road sign had a malfunction. The story follows a young boy on a quest of epic proportions. He is followed by a young woman and a priest. If you have read a lot of King books you will know that the priest can be found in another book of King’s. The group encounters a vampire in their sleepy little town and rapidly discovers that he is converting a lot of people into vampires. As the story winds up to deliver the ultimate ending to any vampire book you begin to sympathize with the boy and the woman and priest. Ultimately, the vampire is destroyed in a glorious fashion. I highly recommend this novel because it is classic King and it leads into the number one story.

Number 7

The Eyes of the Dragon

The Eyes of the Dragon has a copyright of 1987 and was released by Signet books in 1988.  The Eyes of the Dragon is King’s novel of fantasy.  It is the story of an old king and two sons.  One son is destined to be king upon the old man’s death while the other son is not.  But the magician or wizard of the castle (Flagg) is not happy with Peter.  Peter is the prince destined to be king while Thomas is destined to remain prince.  So the evil Flagg sets up Thomas to be king by locking up Peter in the tower.  As the story goes on Thomas screws up everything in the kingdom and Peter plots to escape and reclaim his rightful place on the throne.  The climax of this story will have you cheering as it is a happy ending…or is it?  This is another great novel by Stephen King and it was written for his daughter.  The story also runs parallel to his Dark Tower series with characters of the same name.  Is this king Roland the same as the gunslinger?

Number 6


Coming in at number 6 is Insomnia.  Insomnia has a copyright date of 1994 and was released by Signet books in 1995.  Insomnia tells the story of Ralph’s (the main character) plight.  He is suffering from insomnia and is getting less and less sleep each night.  However, this is not the only problem Ralph has to deal with.  Apparently suffering from insomnia can cause a person to see the things they normally wouldn’t.  Ralph continues on his journey with less sleep than the night before but is this just normal human behavior or is someone else pulling the strings with Ralph?  In the end of this magnificent story you will soon realize that it is closely tied with The Dark Tower series of books and will help you understand some of what is going on in that series.  I highly recommend this book because of its scope and depth.

Number 5

The Green Mile

The Green Mile has a copyright date of 1996 and was released by pocket books in 1999.  There is so much that can be said about The Green Mile.  This is a story of regret by Paul Edgecombe as he tells his new dear friend of the summer of 1932.  Paul Edgecombe worked as lead prison guard of E block in the Cold Mountain Penitentiary in 1932.  Of the same year a prisoner that committed a heinous crime is sent to Paul on E block.  That man is John Coffey—like the drink only not spelled the same—he says.  As time goes by Paul learns about John and wonders about the possibility of whether or not this man committed the crime for which he was imprisoned.  Miraculous events and utter savagery of one inmate and one particular prison guard (Percy) flow through this novel with excellent clarity.  In the end Paul is left with extreme guilt over his job and wonders about his life as the mouse silently falls into eternal slumber.  This book is an excellent story much like the Shawshank Redemption by the same author.  Honestly, I cried during this story as you will also have your emotions tested while reading it.

Number 4

The Stand

The Stand has to be the largest novel King has written, weighing in at 1141 pages.  Although this story is so large and in depth it is the fourth greatest story written by King that I have read.  The Stand has a copyright of 1978 and was released by Signet books in 1991.  Stephen King writes an epic novel of apocalypse.  A flu virus strand very much so unlike H1N1, is released by accident and it spreads fast.  This flu virtually wipes out 98% of the worlds population within a short time frame.  The few survivors of this flu then all congregate to a place in Colorado.  The story follows several people on their journey and we meet a great woman along the way.  In every great book there are heroes and villains.  The villains in this book are wicked people bent on destroying the good people that are left.  By the end of the book you will be cheering for the heroes in this story and hoping for a reestablished civilization.  I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves King fiction and hasn’t read the unabridged version.

Number 3

Hearts in Atlantis

Hearts in Atlantis has a copyright of 1999 and was released by Pocket books in 2000.  This story follows Bobby Garfield through the early years of his life.  It also tells of how his father died when he was three.  Bobby meets a man that moves into their apartment building on the third floor.  His name is Theodore Brautigan and he is a mysterious old fellow.  Bobby and Theodore form a fast friendship in spite of his mother’s disapproval.  This story is closely connected with King’s The Dark Tower series but is in itself a great story of friendship.  Just watch out for the low men in the yellow coats.  Teddy and Bobby, through their friendship find themselves helping each other out in ways someone may not expect.  Things do turn badly for Teddy when Bobby’s mother finds Theodore in her apartment with a girlfriend of Bobby’s.  Theodore is doing nothing wrong, he is just popping her shoulder back in place, but Liz Garfield doesn’t like it and calls the police.  Theodore leaves and Bobby helps Theodore by giving him the money he had saved for a bicycle.  At the end of the story Theodore makes an easy choice that is of self sacrifice for his new friend Bobby.  I highly recommend reading this novel as it is a very good book.

Number 2

Bag of Bones

Bag of Bones is ranked as number two of my top ten Stephen King books because of the story.  Bag of Bones has a copyright of 1998 and was released in 1999 by Pocket books.  This is the story of Mike Noonan and how he is still grieving four years after the sudden death of his wife.  Mike Noonan is a bestselling novelist who is unable to write and is plagued by vivid nightmares.  He moves to his summer house called Sara Laughs.  There at the summerhouse he learns of the local millionaire Max Devore.  Max is attempting to take away his granddaughter from the widowed Mattie.  Mike is drawn into their battle and inadvertently falls in love with both of them.  This however, is not just a love story.  True to King’s older stories, there are numerous ghosts and escalating terrors that will test Mike’s resolve.  Oddly enough the end of this story has Mike writing again.  Overall, I loved this story because it is one of hope and perseverance in the face of great adversity.  Every now and then we need stories that will lift our spirits and inspire us to greater accomplishments, which is what this book does.

Number One

The Dark Tower Series


The Dark Tower Series of books is by and far the best group of stories that I have read in a long time.  Stephen King successfully takes us on an epic adventure through several worlds in hope of reaching the Dark Tower at the end.

In the Gunslinger, The Dark Tower I, we learn who Roland Deschain is and what his quest involves.  In this first book of The Dark Tower we also meet Jake, a kid from New York.  Roland is the gunslinger and he is chasing the man in black across the desert.  When Roland finally reaches the man in black you may think that the book is over but rest assured it has only just begun.  The Gunslinger was copyrighted in 1982 and published by Signet books in 1989.

In The Drawing of the Three: The Dark Tower II we learn about what happened after the parlay with the man in black at the end of The Gunslinger.  We find Roland on a beach faced down with some lobster monstrosities that end up taking two fingers from Roland of his right hand.  Though Roland can shoot left handed, this event severely cripples Roland and causes him to fall deathly ill.  The Drawing of the Three gives Roland three doorway’s into our world at different times.  The first door opens up and invites Roland to “draw” Eddie.  Eddie is a man conflicted with his brother’s drug problems and has problems of his own.  Roland draws Eddie into his world after a heroic gun fight.  The next door opens up on Odetta Holmes, a sweet natured black woman who was crippled when a train ran over her legs.  In bringing Odetta into Roland’s world he thinks he has but one more to draw.  Roland later finds out that Odetta has a split personality in Detta.  Detta is a vulgar woman who thinks she still has legs and walks on Odetta’s numbs.  Later on Roland discovers that there is one more person to draw into his world and they all find the portal.  The team works together to bring Jake into Roland’s world.

In The Wastelands: The Dark Tower III we follow Roland and his ka-tet through some vivid wastelands.  I think this might be remnants from The Stand but Mr. King is the only one that knows that.  Anyway, we join them as they struggle against some vagabonds from the wastelands and almost lose Jake again.  We also meet Jake’s dog in this story and by the end of the story we are ready for more.

In Wizard and Glass: The Dark Tower IV, we are taken back to Roland’s youth and learn some secrets that he has been keeping from us.  This story tells us about some crystal balls that can quickly ruin a person.  Anyway, this story though very important to the whole quest for the dark tower leads the ka-tet nowhere.  I liked this book a lot because it gives you a chance to delve into the mind of Roland and we learn why he is the way that he is.

In Wolves of the Calla: The Dark Tower V we rejoin the ka-tet on their journey.  We find them in the fields outside of the Calla and we meet a town of people who have been terrorized by the “wolves” for at least four or five generations.  The wolves take children only to bring them back virtual vegetables.  Roland and his ka-tet are asked for assistance and true to the gunslinger code, they help.  At the end of this novel our heroes are celebrated and are then allowed to move on with their quest for the dark tower.

In Song of Susannah: The Dark Tower VI we are told of Susannah’s plight.  Susannah is none other than Odetta and Detta Holmes.  Roland has cured the Odetta of her split personality and helped create Susannah and combination of the two personalities.  In this book Susannah is possessed by a demon-mother Mia.  Mia needs a human body to give birth to her chap.  In order to save Susannah, Eddie’s wife, Roland and Eddie travel to our world via a portal and the wizard’s glass.  The two travel to Maine to meet Stephen King and talk him into finishing the story of The Dark Tower.  In the end Susannah is saved and the ka-tet continues on their journey.

In The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower VII we conclude our epic journey in a penultimate showdown that we have been waiting for.  We also discover what Roland is willing to sacrifice to attain the completion of this quest, and what it ultimately means to achieve it.  Eddie, Jake, and Susannah have achieved great things under Roland’s guidance, but is it all for nothing or do they help him get to the top of the dark tower. 

I hope that you enjoy the journey as much as I did and you take that opportunity to go to another world and experience what this epic quest has to offer.  With a combined page total of 4,579 pages it truly is epic.  Remember that all journey’s begin with the turning of a single page and enjoy the read.

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Comments 76 comments

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Thanks for sharing this, Wes. I one of the biggest Stephen King fans of them all! I read 35 of his books so far and always look forward to more of his works. Some of my favorites are The Shining, Firestarter, The Dead Zone, Different Seasons (3 novellas from it were made into movies, including Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me), and Rose Madder. I hope you look into reading them as they can be labeled Stephen King classics...The Stand was perhaps my favorite if I had to choose just one. Great hub, buddy.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Thanks for stopping by Dohn, I have read firestarter and rose madder but I will definitely look into the other ones you mentioned above. I for one loved the Dark Tower books individually and as a whole.

Pachuca213 7 years ago

wow some of these I had heard of but never knew it was a Stephen King book....great hub!

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Thanks for visiting and commenting, I personally was surprised about the Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption too.

eyeofh profile image

eyeofh 7 years ago from New Jersey

Great Hub. Stephen King is one of my two favorite's also...the other one being Clive Barker. I would have to say my top five King books are The Stand, It, The Dark Half, The Shining, and The Dark Tower Series. Like you, there are still a few I have not gotten too, but I have yet to find one that I did not enjoy!

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

I'm definitely going to have to read the Dark Half and the Shining. Thanks for stopping be and reading my hub.

Pachuca213 7 years ago

I know huh...I had no idea that he wrote the Green Mile..what a talented and so diverse writer he is.

rsmallory profile image

rsmallory 7 years ago from Central Texas

Wesleycox- a great hub and top ten compilation. I am a big King fan. My number one is 'IT' because it is one of only a few books to ever make me laugh and cry outloud. I also enjoyed Tommyknockers and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Misery, and Dolores Claiburn. I think Pet Semetary was great too-none of my favs seemed to make your list, but to each his own. Thanks!

Muderboy profile image

Muderboy 7 years ago from Glendale, AZ

Great hub. I too am a big fan but I notice no one mentions one of my all-time favorites - Christine-1983. I met the Director- Taylor Hackford - just as he was completing Deloris Clayborne and he asked me if I had read the book yet. I had it but hadn't started it as yet and told him so. He asked a favor, that I see his movie before reading the book. He was very proud of his accomplishment and wanted an untainted view - that he will never know about unless he reads this. I really enjoyed the movie, and then the book which I must say he did justice to.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Rsmallory: thank you very much for coming by and reading my hub. You mention a lot of great books, but I haven't read IT, TK, of misery and delores claiborn. Tom Gordon was a great book but it was very short like 200 pages so it got cut. Anyway thanks again for stopping by and reading.

Muderboy: I mentioned Christine in number tens From a Buick 8. Thank you for stopping by and reading my hub.

pastella13 7 years ago

Hi wesleycox

What a great hub. You've chosen some brilliant books as your favourites, but he's written so many, it's hard to choose. I really liked "Thinner, Dolores Claiborne, The Green Mile, Pet Cemetary, The Stand, and The Shining."

So many were made into films and my absolute favourite is

"Storm of the Century". I bought a DVD recently called "The Mist" and when I got it home I realised that it was based on a Stephen King novel. It's brilliant. He's so talented.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Yes pastella13, Stephen King is one of my idols as he stands for the success I want to have as a writer. Him and Dean Koontz both.

chammock profile image

chammock 7 years ago

It's hard to see how Pet Sematary didn't make it into the Top 10. I might even throw Christine in there. They were both so gripping that once I picked them up I could not put them down. Well, I guess you could say that about most any SK work.

At one of the MLB playoff games in 2008 they panned over to SK in the stands and he was sitting there reading a book. I would really like to know what he was reading at a playoff game. So would the author of that book probably. It would have been a great PR opportunity.

Good list though.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Chammock: That's funny and I didn't know about that. I would also imagine that if they had announced who the author and the title of the book was, that author would have sold millions of books just from that. Thanks for reading bud. Also, sorry that pet sematary and christine didn't make it but I didn't read Christine, though I did read pet sematary, I liked others better.

SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 7 years ago from NJ, USA

Some pretty good books here..(and movies for that matter)..I agree with your final choice although I hated the ending!

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

SimeyC: Thank you for reading my article. The Dark Tower took us on a grand adventure with a scope virtually unimagineable. The end could have been different but I believe it wasn't too bad though.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

Hello fellow Texan, I have been reading Stephen King for years since he was writing under the name of Richard Bachman. He has scared me to death and has the greatest sense of humor that borders on creepy. I agreed with most of your selection, however my all time favorite Stephen King book is Lisey's Story. That book is amazing and kept me captivated til the end. Right now I am reading Duma Key that I got for Christmas. Anyway, just wanted to say I liked your hub and good job.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Thank you very much ladyjane1. I have not read lisey's story yet but if you say it is good I'll have to read it. Thanks for the comments.

Kloves2write21 profile image

Kloves2write21 6 years ago from Illinois

Hey! It's Kloves. I sent you an email asking you to check out my profile, but you needed a link to my profile, so here it is through my comment. Please leave any helpful comments on my hub on Thinner:Stephen King's Hidden Treasure.

Tom 6 years ago

At a glance I noticed that you left Shawshank off, but chose to add Dreamcatcher. I'm confused.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

The Shawshank redemption was a good story and it does deserve a spot but I would have to write a top fifteen to add it. Maybe I'll write about it someday. Thanks for glancing.

eslevy17 profile image

eslevy17 6 years ago

I once injured my eye and had to wear an eyepatch for a week. Blind in one eye and unable to wear my glasses, my mom thought to buy me a book on tape by Stephen King. Unfortunately it had sound effects of the Langoliers scratching away as they chase you down. So there I was in the dark, blind and helpless, at 3 am, listening to monsters coming to kill me. Good job, mom.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Thats an awesome story, made me chuckle though I'm sure it was pure horror at the moment. I hope you still read Stephen King's books though.

creativeON 6 years ago

Great post! I started following your blog about a month ago and I like your honesty. Good example to emulate.

Toby Hansen 6 years ago

Thanks for a great Hub on a topic you are obviously well versed on!

My personal favourite King stories are both found in Different Seasons. They are The Body (filmed as Stand By Me, of course) and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

CreativeON: Thank you for reading my work and enjoying my writing. I am honored to have you follow my work. Thanks again.

Toby: Stephen King is one of my role models of what I would like to accomplish in life. I am not speaking of anything other than being an accomplished writer. His stories are always well written and interesting. I have not read Different Seasons but it is on my list of books to get. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 6 years ago from New Jersey

Great job! I've been reading Stephen King for ages! I love It, the story about how the kids revisit their childhood horrors as adults somehow comes off as a little nostalgic too! Bag of Bones was very good. I love his short (and long) stories, and am reading Full Dark, No Stars right now.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Thank you for reading Jean, I have quite a few of his books to read yet but know that as long as he is writing I'll have stuff to read.

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 6 years ago from New Jersey

I just began Full Dark, No Stars. It's pretty creepy. I read the first story and it was dark, even for SK. I love the way he has tried to keep short (or long) story writing alive and even tried the serial stuff with The Green Mile. He always makes you feel like he appreciates the fans that made him famous and he stays grounded.

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

My newest fav King book is "Full Dark, No Stars." Riveting short stories. I highly recommend it.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Esmeowl12: I am definitely going to get that book soon, I also want to read "Under the Dome." Thank you for reading.

cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 5 years ago from Los Angeles

Stephen leads the pack and Dean Koontz follows. They both got me started on this genre.

The Stand is defintely at the top of his best, but Misery, It, and The Tommynockers also come close. Under the Dome is my favorite of his later books.

I recommend Thomas Harris, Silence of the Lambs for anyone that enjoys well-crafted grisly thrillers.


cindi h profile image

cindi h 5 years ago

Wow! What a great hub and an even greater homage to my all time favorite author. Dean Koontz is a very close second, but my first true love is Stephen King. I was his #1 fan until I read "Misery" lol. I just finished (today) reading his newest book, "Full Dark, No Stars". I find most of his stories so scary because of their plausibility. If you haven't read it yet, you must!!

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

cat on a soapbox: You are exactly right about those two they are my two favorites with James Patterson nipping at their literary heals. Thank you for reading.

Cindi H: Your Misery reference caught me off guard and elicited a laugh. Thank you for reading and I do have Full Dark No Stars on my Kindle that I look forward to delving into.

cindi h profile image

cindi h 5 years ago

I won't spoil it for you but these stories left me 'haunted'. As have many of his books. I think that's why I love him so. The story isn't over just because I put the book down--they go on and on in my head!! Happy kindling.

marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan

I enjoyed Thinner and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Maximum A profile image

Maximum A 5 years ago

oh i love stephen king!! his nnovels are brilliant and i agree with most of your ranking on the books! the stand, hearts in atlantis, salem's lot, the green mile.. i found the talisman really cool too. thanks for sharing this!

KingFisher 5 years ago

Well, I am a late comer here (reading King books). I have read his latest Full Dark-No Stars (may be the worst I don't know). I did not think anything special of it, actually I think it is a below par book for me. Did I pick the wrong one to stat???

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

King fisher: I guess we all have our own tastes, if you didn't like that book, try some others.

Jamesmbailey profile image

Jamesmbailey 5 years ago from Portsmouth

Some of the short stories are very good too, four seasons I enjoyed it contains Shawshank, Green Mile apt Pupil and the body which was made into the film, Stand by me. Great hub

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

I absolutely agree with you on Stephen King's short stories being great but the book I have with those titles is "Different Seasons." Again thank you for reading and enjoying his books.

dontmakemeover profile image

dontmakemeover 5 years ago from Primarily Chicago

I enjoyed your article. My personal favorite is Night Shift, particularly Quitter's Inc. That totally scared me away from smoking when I was still probably too little to read it.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub here, and yes Stephen King can scare the crap out of anyone. I am still afraid of clowns.

krazikat profile image

krazikat 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Steven King is absolutely my favorite author ever, and I love his books! Your top picks are great and is close to what mine would be. I also like the Talisman, Needful Things, Tommyknockers...actually I could keep going- I love pretty much all of his books. Great job with the summary. So to all you Steven King readers out there- have you noticed the tie in with many of his books (the commonality most of them have?) I was surprised when I was having a discussion with a group of Steven King fans that no one knew what I was talking I am any of you know?

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Krazikat: I know what you are referring to here. Many of his books tie in with the Dark Tower series, like Salem's Lot, Insomnia, and The Stand tie together with The Dark Tower. Other than those I don't know if they connect at all. Thank you for reading and being a King fan.

joawmeens profile image

joawmeens 5 years ago from Hopewell, Ohio

The Dark Tower series would be at the top of my list, too. I've read five of your other nine, and I like them all. I would have to put The Shining up there, though. The movie is creepy, but the book is downright terrifying.

dmcrofton 5 years ago

the dark tower is the best series of books i have ever read even better than lord of the rings and that is saying something!!!!

Matthew 5 years ago

i have only read one stephen king book different seasons but i will be definitely reading the ones you have put on the list

guest 5 years ago

What about The Shining?

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Thank you all for reading. I would put the shining on my list if I had read it. Unfortunately for it I have not read it. I will though.

margaretmang 5 years ago

Thank you for sharing the above.

Chad 5 years ago

I have to agree, the Dark Tower series is just completely and utterly mindblowing. It's really hard to get through the first one, because it doesn't seem to make much sense when you're first reading it, but when you finish the last one everything that you were confused about throughout the series magically clicks into place. I cried my eyes out when I finished the epilogue in the 7th was just that intense.

It's extremely sad that a very few amount of people in the world will read this series, it deserves SO MUCH more credit than it has been given. I honestly think it's the best story I have ever read. And I'm a huge bookworm, so that's saying something. I absolutely LOVE The Dark Tower series!!!

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Chad: Indeed you are right, the Dark Tower was awesome in its story and scope. Fear not, Stephen King has commented on his web page about another Dark Tower book to come out soon. Its called From the Key Hole or Out of the Key Hole. Its about the time between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. I can't wait to get a hold of it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Jake 5 years ago

Hey Wes, what book would you MOST recommend for me? I have read only one book (Desperation) and sadly it seemed to drag on FOREVER! I'm currently reading Cell but haven't got to deep, so I need a great SK book to kinda get me re-hooked. Luckily, my family is some of the biggest SK fans ever so you recommend a book, and I can definitely look into it. By the way, plot would be a major factor for me, seeing as how I'm an aspiring writer myself. (PS Don't recommend The Dark Tower series, I don't want a series of any kind.)



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wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Jake: Thank you for reading my hub on Stephen King books. I cannot recommend the best Stephen King book that he has written but I can recommend a book that he wrote that I found to be amazing. It is not in my top ten but it is a very smooth flowing book, it is Bag of Bones. That book is about a writer that returns to his summer home that he shared with his wife, who died. He returns for inspiration to write and discovers some terrifying things. Its a ghost story with a fantastic twist to it. Another great SK book is Hearts in Atlantis. It is a great story but also has ties to the Dark Tower. Misery is also a good book about a writer. You said you aspire to be an author, I must recommend his book On Writing. It has great stories and pointers on the craft. Hope this helps.

Jake 5 years ago

Thank you Wes, I will look into Bag of Bones and Misery.

Alex 5 years ago

Well.... an interesting list. I think that for what you seem to have read, every decision seems fair. Myself, I am a lover of Misery, I would have loved to have seen that on there. However, awesome list!

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wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Alex it is extremely hard to figure out a top ten list of books when the author in question has written over fifty novels, plus short stories, novellas, and series. I did read Misery and liked it but Stephen King has so many awesome stories.

Gorm 5 years ago

I have to commend you on placing many post 1999 books on your list; a brave move but nevertheless an honest move. It hurts me how many "King fans" tend to write off anything the man has written post '99. Just a question, since you ranked The Dark Tower as number one (and they are 7 books)' it would help if you could rank those 7 in order...

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wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Sure thing Gorm: The only way to rank a series of books as such is from 1 to 7. If you read 4 before 1 you could get lost and not get the series. Read 1 through 7 in numerical order to get the best effect. I have a lot of his books left to read, the majority of those books have been written prior to 1999.

Gorm 5 years ago

Thanks for the rep; but i just want to add that MANY of King's book post 1990 have some tie in with the Dark Tower: Insomnia, From a Buick, Everythings Eventual etc. and you might find it dull to read his earlier books once you are a Dark Tower fan. Personally I have never read the Dark Tower; my only encounter with it was via Hearts in Atlantis (which BTW was the BEST King book I read so far from the 20 odd I have read.) I am currently reading From a Buick which I feel is VERY underated.I have to say the most OVERATED King book is probably The Shinning-its not bad, but I ws expecting much more considering all the fuss. I dont know what to read next: Im thinking Rose Madder(also DT related in a way) or maybe IT... Will keep u informed...

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wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Gorm: I would read Bag of Bones. If you haven't already. It's a powerful story and I really enjoyed it.

Gorm 5 years ago

Yes, thanks. I acyually did read Bag of Bones last year in December.... and WOW it was one of the most intense, enjoyable and fulfilling reading experiences I've had in years. Bag of Bones was my best King book, but after Hearts it has now moved to number 2. Still BOB was a great read (esp. considering at the time of reading I was going through the same trauma of a mother and daughter- very similar to one in the story...hell even the description of the little girl mirrored my own!) Thanks for all the insight. What would be great if you couild compare Koontz and King- their writing style' strenghts and weaknesses etc... I must admit Im not a Koontz fan. As an English student of literature I actually dont read anythng contempry... My passion lies in 18 and 19 century literature (Wilde, Dickens, Jules Vern). Besides King's work the oldest book I read was written in 1960!! My top 5 books would be :The picture of Dorian Grey, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Hound of the Beskevilles, Jane Eyre, Great Expectations- so Im sure this gives you an idea of what kind of reading I like; However I made King the odd exception. Anyway great Blog..; keep the posts coming!

AB 5 years ago

Nice post, Wes.

I have been reading Stephen King for more than 20 years. Over Christmas, I started Bag of Bones and it is also one of my favorites by far. As several others have mentioned, Stephen King books stay with you long after you have finished reading them. He has a talent for getting into your mind and staying there...

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wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

AB thank you for reading my hub and loving Stephen King books. I personally loved Bag of Bones. I have to get busy reading the rest of his books so one day I can make a complete acurate list of his best books.

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Daniel Brommer 4 years ago

Great list! I'm a huge Stand fan, but that made for tv movie was awful. I hear Ben Affleck is trying to reboot it. Hearts of Atlantis is really good too. I'm surprised there's no Shawshank on this list? Great list though, Salems Lot had to be on here!

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wesleycox 4 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Good point Daniel, Shawshank Redemption was phenomenal as was The Body. Great stories but unfortunately they were not books. I should do a top ten Stephen King Short Story hub.

kinglerxt 4 years ago

Definitely could of added my favs: Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, IT, The Cell, Under the Dome, The Body, The Long Walk, The Dark Half, The Mist, Needful Things, The Shining, but with So many King novels its hard to choose. I do agree with most of yours esp The Stand. Dark Tower series, Green Mile and Eyes of the Dragon.

kinglerxt 4 years ago

How could I forget Misery on my list. A mustread. Also there are now 8 books in the Dark Tower series as Wind Through the Keyhole is now out. It is # 4.5 in the series between 4 and 5 even though it came out last.

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wesleycox 4 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

you're absolutely right, there are a ton of great King novels that narrowing it down to ten is a tough task. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption is the same story and its a short story in the same book (I believe) as The Body. Thank you for reading.

kinglerxt 4 years ago

Yes. the collection of novellas was called Different Seasons and 2 of the 4 in there became 2 of the best movies made from his works (Shawshank and Stand By Me). Apt Pupil (also became a movie) and the Breathing Method were the other 2 stories included in that one.

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wesleycox 4 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

I didn't think I was going to like The Breathing Method, but it turned out to be a fun read, taught me to never doubt Stephen Kings ability to storytell. Thanks for reminding me of it.

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Nathan Orf 3 years ago from Virginia

Thanks for adding "Bag of Bones" on here. It was such a great book; it had me laughing and crying almost at the same time at parts! Really a treasure, it was...

But you should definitely read "Christine." It was an extremely intense read, almost as good as... well, I'm getting carried away, because Stephen King is one of the best authors around and nearly all of his books that I have read ere books that I enjoyed immensely.

Voted up and away.

wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 3 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

I'm glad you enjoy reading Stephen King as much as I do. You are absolutely right in that all his books/stories are great.

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findwholeness 3 years ago from Midwest

Somehow I've made it to my 30's without ever having read a Stephen King novel. However, I intend to remedy this as soon as I'm done reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I've loaded the entire Dark Tower series onto my Kindle and can't wait to dive in!

Stevie 2 years ago

Great Review!! Love it!

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