With more than 70 books published, more than 300 million sold and half a century being one of the most successful and famous authors , Stephen King is an author that must be read almost by obligation, even if yours is not the horror or suspense genre. .
Stephen King is one of the most prolific authors of our time, a full-fledged workaholic, he can produce two books a year, also being one of the most adapted with films based on his works such as Carrie , It , The Tower Darkness or the Shining .
With such a vast collection of books behind him, we wanted to make a list of some of the best he’s written so that, if you haven’t already, you can start immersing yourself in a universe as wonderful as it is chilling full of unique characters and individuals.
You can not start a list of the best Stephen King books without starting with what was his first work published in 1974 . Carrie was the launching pad for one of the longest running careers in the history of an author who over the years would become the King of terror.
In Carrie we are told the story of Carrie White, a shy girl who becomes the main recipient of the teasing of her classmates, but apart from those moments where she is mistreated by the other students, she is completely ignored.
The daughter of a deranged religious fanatic, everything changes when the most popular boy in class asks her to the school dance. An unforgettable night but not for the reasons one might believe.
With Carrie you will have access to a story where the bad guys are not so bad and the good guys are not so good. A novel that delves into the human psyche and where we can discover all its complexity, going from the crudest cruelty to moments of pure innocence and compassion.
One of Stephen King’s best works, if not the best, and one of the longest. His more than 1,100 pages of him make it one of his longest auto-conclusive stories to date -The Dark Tower is the longest work but it is composed of several volumes-
Published in 1986, It narrates what happened in the city of Mayne, a town to which King returns many times throughout his works, where a series of disturbing events and disappearances of young children leave the families of the victims baffled and which we find out later in the story were carried off by Pennywise , a scary shape-shifting clown.
One of those missing children is the little brother of one of the protagonists who is part of a group of children who call themselves the losers club.
“Come with me, down here we all float…”
Together, they will try to face the clown Pennywise, a greater and more horrifying danger than one might think at first.
It is a story that will take us back to those childhood years when we fought against our own nightmares and fears. It is a story that magnifies the friendship and camaraderie that the Losers’ Club demonstrates on every occasion that presents itself.
It is a book that hooks you, the kind that makes you unable to stop reading. Its 1500 pages will go by very quickly.
Another of his longer works, co-written with his great friend Peter Straub , another fantastic author of the horror genre. In The Talisman we will meet Jack Sawyer – if you are a fan of King’s books, it sounds like something to you – and his adventures through the Territories, a medieval-style fantasy world to which he is capable of traveling.
Little Jack embarks on an adventure full of dangers and endearing characters in search of a cure for his mother, who is dying of cancer. This cure is a magical talisman that will not be easy to get.
A journey through two worlds, an epic fantasy story where we can appreciate the fantastic side of King and Straub and that has a sequel called the Black House, so if you like this novel, don’t hesitate to continue with its story.
The best-known work of the author and one of the classics of contemporary horror, The Shining tells the story of an aspiring father who accepts a position as a watchman at the Overlook Hotel with his wife Wendy and their son Danny.
An isolated place located in the mountains of Colorado and, due to the isolation itself added to the supernatural atmosphere that reigns in it plus the events that occurred there, will cause Jack such madness that he will go crazy and try to persecute his family to kill her.
This story changes from the typical haunted house tale that focuses more on the curse and the supernatural aspects of the plot, to one more focused on psychology and human behavior, and the evolution suffered by the protagonists throughout the novel.
Curiously, The Shining was recognized worldwide for the film adaptation made by Stanley Kubric, an adaptation that Stephen King himself hated and for which he became willing to direct it himself.
But apart from that blemish, The Shining is a masterpiece that is worth reading even if you are not a fan of horror stories.
As in several of his stories, we find ourselves again before a protagonist who is a writer. In the novel, our protagonist Paul Sheldon suffers an unfortunate traffic accident, although luckily he is rescued by the nurse and self-proclaimed number one fan of his works, Annie Wilkes.
Annie is particularly fond of the series of books that Paul dedicated to Misery Chastain , a character that the writer decides to kill off in his latest work to advance the plot in a different genre.
This decision deeply affects Annie, who tries to “persuade” Paul to reconsider his plans regarding Misery and revive her in his next books.
In this story, Stephen King conveys his own fight against the demons of his addictions reflected in the figure of Annie and being the writer Paul Sheldon himself. During the time he was writing it, King himself was addicted to various different substances.
A highly recommended book, especially if you like the psychological horror genre.
Salem’s Lot Mystery
Twenty years ago, Ben Mears witnessed a terrifying scene inside the Marsten house, motivated by a childhood bet that still gives him terrible nightmares to this day.
Now an established writer, he decides to return to Salem’s Lot to forget once and for all what happened so many years ago and finish writing his new book. A quiet town where something of importance rarely happens.
But as soon as Ben sets foot in the town, disturbing and disturbing events do not take long to happen, as well as the disappearance of children. The question is, does it have something to do with the old Marsten house? Question that Ben will have to discover.
And again we find another writer as the protagonist, in another town found in Mayne , a recurring place in King’s stories. Salem’s Lot is the sequel to a short story called Jerusalem’s Lot found in The Threshold of Night, a series of stories collected in a single volume.
In Revelation we are told about the extermination of the majority of human beings and the end of society as we know it today. Pretty intense, right?
An artificially created flu to be used as a bacteriological weapon called by the survivors as “Captain Globetrotter” has killed 99% of humans, dogs and horses, nothing more and nothing less.
The remaining survivors have dreams in which they are presented with two options, to choose between the good represented by an old woman and the evil represented by a young man.
Apocalypse is one of Stephen King’s best and longest works, although he himself says that it is one of his least favorites. A story that develops like many of the author’s works, showing the development and growth of his characters throughout the plot and seeing “from the inside” how they make different decisions, good and bad, and how they affect his conscience.
The dark tower
To close, we have what Stephen King himself considers his “opus magnus” , or his magnum opus. No list of the best books written by this author can be without this magnificent saga.
“The dark man was fleeing across the desert, and the gunslinger was after him”
A story as vast as it is enveloping that takes place within such a broad universe that covers not only the eight books that make up the saga, but many others that the author has written, found within the same universe and that are related to the story. to a greater or lesser extent.
In The Dark Tower , the last gunslinger alive, Roland Deschain goes on a manhunt against the Man in Black, the play’s main antagonist, as he continues his quest for the Dark Tower.
One of the most important sagas of the last decades, even considered by some to be on a par with fantastic sagas such as “The Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter”.