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Top Ten Stephen King Books

Updated on May 2, 2010

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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