Are you looking for comprehensive information about the best books written by Stephen King? Well, this is the right place for you. As you surely know, Mr. Stephen King has written 61 novels and over 500 short stories during his long writing career started in the 1960s. The great skill of this author has always been the one to create compelling stories, starting from the most secret feelings of people. This way of writing made Stephen King the true King of horror literature. Amid his great literary stuff, it is often hard to find the absolute best books written. I am an avid fan of Stephen King and in my view, all the books written by him are the best. However, if you want to start reading some books written by him or if you are looking for another stunning Stephen King novel you have not still read , you must absolutely read the following paragraphs where I split the literary career of Mr. King in categories. To make your choice easier, I started with the best horror novels written by this author. In every paragraph, you’ll find only the best books in chronological order, namely starting from the date of their first release. I did all this for you, my dear reader,  even though many of Stephen King books,  released in the past century,  have been recently reprinted.

Best Stephen King Horror Novels

According to many readers and me, also, one of the best Stephen King horror novels is Salem’s Lot. A creepy vampire novel released in 1975 and always evergreen for horror lovers. Mr King couldn’t overlook the vampire topic during his career. The main character of Salem’s Lot is an author who returns to his hometown to write a book in an ancient house that has haunted him since his childhood. Unfortunately, he finds the house and the town isolated and infested by a sect of vampires…

The second best horror novel to be read is The Stand. This novel was released in 1978 and is based on the apocalyptic vision of the world according the author. In the following years, the novel endured cuts and in 1990 the uncut edition was released again. Today, you can find the new complete edition released in 2012. The novel tells about a patient escaping a biological experiment. Due to his escape, he spreads a deadly virus that wipes out the most of people in the world, in a few weeks…

The third stunning horror book I recommend you read is Pet Sematary, released in 1983. I promise that as soon as you read this book you won’t look at your cat in the eyes, anymore.

I also suggest that you read The Talisman, released in 1984, is a superb horror, fantasy novel telling about the Twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer, who, in order to save his dying mother, embarks on a journey to a parallel medieval universe, where most people have analogs called “twiners.” The queen of the Territories, Jack’s mother’s Twinner, is also dying. Also, this book is believed to be turned into a movie, but this movie is currently only in development.

Another horror novel is Cycle of the Werewolf , released in 1985 and available on limited edition. As you understood through the title, Stephen King has also written horror novels about werewolves, but always following his unique and original writing style, namely: scaring readers, telling about the hidden secrets of people.

Insomnia, instead, released in 1994, tells about a man who has had troubles to sleep since his wife died. Even though many people believe that the book has turned into a movie, in reality the namesake film starred with Al Pacino in 2002 relates to a remake of a Norwegian movie.

An excellent  horror novel is Doctor Sleep . Released in 2013, it seems an improved version of the horror stories written by Howard Phillips Lovecraft, but with the genial imagination of Stephen King. A tribe of apparently harmless hold people defeated the death, exploiting the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

About the best horror books, I have also a little curiosity for you. According to Stephen King, the best horror book has not been written by him, but by another author, namely Arthur Machen. Indeed, his favorite horror book is The Great God Pan, a gripping and scary novella that Stephen King defined as the best horror English story ever written ”. This book, released in 1894, was strongly criticized because of its impressive  and creepy content. Also in my view, this book is absolutely to read, because the horror style of the XIX century, the one called “”Cosmic” is still unsurpassed.

Best Stephen King books made into movies

Stephen King is surely the author who gained the highest number of books turned into movies, both novels and short stories. The reason for this extraordinary success is due to the capacity of the writer to write his stories as a perfect screenplay. Indeed, Mr. King also works as a screen player. Since the books by Stephen King are really awesome and that is extremely easy drawing a screenplay from them, here is the answer about why the books of this author have always been turned into movies. This news can be helpful to you, as an author, in order you learn the little secrets of Stephen King’s writing, but also as a reader, to choose the best books from the titles below and enjoy their unforgettable plots. The best and most famous Stephen King books made into movies, in a chronological order, are:

  1. Carrie, released in 1974, subtitled the eyes of the devil. That is the story about a mocked school girl who finds her revenge thanks to a supernatural and diabolical power.
  2. The Shining, released in 1977, is the most famous Stephen King book turned into a movie starred with Jack Nicholson. It tells about a writer’s family who relocates to a mountain hotel where evil possessed all those who inhabited it!
  3. The Dead Zone, released in 1979, tells about a man who wakes up from a five year coma caused by a car accident.
  4. Cujo, released in 1981, tells about a once friendly St. Bernard which turns into a killer after the bit of a rabid bat.
  5. Christine, subtitled the infernal car, released in 1983. That is the story of a possessive and jealous car capable to kill those who deprive it from the attention of its loved driver.
  6. IT, released in 1986, tells about a club of former students who meet back after 28 years to defeat a disguised clown monster that killed and preyed the village’s children.
  7. Misery, released in 1987. That is a psychological thriller telling about the insane obsession of a fan, for her favourite writer. As you can see, Stephen King used his same job to create his characters and many of his books are also set in his homeland , namely Maine.
  8. The Tommyknockers, a science fiction novel written in 1987 and turned into a movie and in a TV series in 1993. Stephen King wrote this novel, using his own personal vicissitudes. In this novel, evil, which has the look of an alien, is buried under the ground of a village.
  9. Needful Things, released in 1991. That is the story of a shopkeeper to let people buy amulets which can satisfy their desires. Unfortunately, the buyers must perform a little and apparently innocent deed to get what they want from their amulet.
  10. Gerald’s Game, released in 1992 and turned into a movie only last year, tells about the painful journey toward craziness of a bored couple.
  11. The Green Mile, a simultaneously touching and creepy book series released for the first time in 1996. The book turned into a movie is titled The Green Mile: The Two Dead Girls and has been starred with Tom Hanks.

There are also further books and short stories turned into movies and TV series, among these, I want to remind you: Desperation and Under the Dome. Both of them have been turned into Tv movies. The first book was released in 1996 and is set in a thin and desolated village with no connections with the rest of the world. The second book was released in 2009 and immediately turned into a Tv movie. Set in Maine, it tells about an invisible force field that imprisoned an entire village, making it isolated from the rest of the world.

Best Stephen King short stories

Here I am at the last paragraph about the best short stories written by this worldwide famous novelist. Even though the author has written over 500 short stories, they were always collected in thick books containing several titles. The best are:

  • Different Seasons, released in 1982 and containing, in my view, one among the scariest stories coming from the imagination of Stephen King, namely Apt Pupil, turned into a movie in 1998.
  • Everything’s Eventual: 14 Dark Tales, released in 2007 and containing an awesome collection of unforgettable scary stories, such as the famous 1408, turned into a movie, Autopsy Room Four and The Man in the Black Suit.
  • Full Dark, No Stars, released in 2011 and containing four stunning, creepy stories turned into movies, such as 1922, Big Driver, Fair Extension and a Good Marriage. This collection is about the topic anybody really knows anybody.
  • Night Shift, a short story collection released in 2011 where Stephen King shows the vast depths of his great narrative imagination.
  • Four Past Midnight, four horror stories starting from the bedtime up to the four past midnight. What happens? Read this stunning collection, to discover it.
  • The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories. Released in 2016, this book includes the most outstanding short stories Stephen King has ever written, such as Afterlife, That Bus Is Another World, A Death, The Bone Church and Morality.
  • Six Scary Stories, a captivating anthology of six scary stories released in 2016.

There would be many other books to list, but after reading and checked carefully, I preferred showing you only the best ones, for me, obviously, and for Stephen King readers.

A special mention goes to the 11/22/63: A Novel regarded as terrific by the New York Times and released in 2012. That is a fascinating fantasy, historical novel about a likewise stunning travel into time. I read the Italian edition, but, maybe this edition was not translated well.

I also remind you one of the latest books written by Stephen King and his son Owen, namely: Sleeping Beauties. An homage to women, set in a strange future, where females acquire a strange behavior when they go to sleep.

Don’t forget reading The Outsider, a mystery thriller regarded as one of the best recent books written by Stephen King.  The plot starts with the finding of the corpse of a murdered boy… As you can see, the start is as absolutely creepy as the usual style of this novelist. A character of this mystery, Holly Gibney, returns in the namesake novel released in 2023, and set in the dreadful and controversial time of the pandemic.

What can I say more? Only that I am an avid fan of Mr. King. I also sent him email messages and he replied to me through his assistant  Masha De Filippo.

In one of these replies, Masha also said to me, on behalf of Stephen King, that I can attend the presentations in Italy to receive a copy of one of the books by Stephen King with the signature of the author! Wow! I am very happy to know that this great writer follows me! And you? Have you bought and read one of the best books by Stephen King? Leave me your comment. I’ll be very happy to inform Mr. King and Mrs. De Filippo about your opinion.

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