What Order to Read Stephen King Books

Stephen King is one of the most prolific and successful authors of our time, with over 60 novels and 200 short stories to his name. His books span a wide range of genres, from horror and supernatural to science fiction and fantasy. With so many titles to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start when diving into the world of Stephen King. In this article, we will discuss the best order in which to read Stephen King books, along with some interesting facts about the author himself.

1. Start with King’s debut novel, “Carrie” (1974), which tells the story of a high school girl with telekinetic powers. This book established King as a master of horror and launched his career as a bestselling author.

2. Next, delve into one of King’s most famous works, “The Shining” (1977), which follows the Torrance family as they stay at the haunted Overlook Hotel. This novel is considered a classic of the horror genre and has been adapted into a popular film by Stanley Kubrick.

3. After “The Shining,” consider reading “It” (1986), a sprawling epic about a group of friends who battle a shape-shifting monster in their small town. This novel is known for its rich character development and exploration of childhood trauma.

4. Another essential King novel is “Misery” (1987), which tells the story of a novelist held captive by his deranged fan. This thriller is a gripping tale of obsession and manipulation that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

5. For fans of supernatural fiction, “The Stand” (1978) is a must-read. This post-apocalyptic novel follows a group of survivors as they struggle to rebuild society after a deadly pandemic wipes out most of the population. “The Stand” is a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of good vs. evil.

6. “Pet Sematary” (1983) is another classic King novel that should not be missed. This chilling tale follows a family who discovers a cursed burial ground in the woods behind their home, with terrifying consequences. “Pet Sematary” is a haunting meditation on grief and the lengths we will go to for our loved ones.

7. If you’re looking for a more psychological thriller, check out “Gerald’s Game” (1992), which follows a woman handcuffed to a bed in an isolated cabin after her husband dies unexpectedly. This novel is a tense and claustrophobic exploration of trauma and survival.

8. “11/22/63” (2011) is a departure from King’s usual horror fare, blending elements of science fiction and historical fiction. This novel follows a high school teacher who travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. “11/22/63” is a compelling and emotional journey through history and the consequences of our actions.

9. Finally, consider reading King’s most recent novel, “The Institute” (2019), which tells the story of children with psychic abilities who are held captive in a mysterious facility. This gripping thriller explores themes of power, control, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Now that you have a starting point for your Stephen King reading journey, let’s explore some interesting facts about the author himself:

1. Stephen King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine. He began writing stories at a young age and sold his first short story, “The Glass Floor,” to a men’s magazine in 1967.

2. King’s wife, Tabitha King, is also a successful author in her own right, with several novels and short story collections to her name. The couple has three children and live in Bangor, Maine.

3. In addition to his novels, King has also written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. The Bachman books include “The Long Walk” (1979), “Thinner” (1984), and “The Running Man” (1982).

4. King is a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox and frequently references the team in his novels. He even wrote a non-fiction book, “Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season,” with fellow author Stewart O’Nan.

5. King has won numerous awards for his writing, including the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has also been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

6. In addition to his novels, King is also a prolific screenwriter, with adaptations of his work appearing in film and television. Some of the most famous adaptations of King’s novels include “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994), “Stand By Me” (1986), and “The Green Mile” (1999).

7. King is known for his distinctive writing style, which often includes vivid descriptions, complex characters, and a focus on the supernatural and macabre. His ability to create suspense and tension has earned him a devoted following of readers around the world.

8. King is an avid reader himself and has cited authors such as H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, and Richard Matheson as influences on his own work. He is also a fan of classic literature and has written essays and introductions for books by authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Ray Bradbury.

9. King is a philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to charitable organizations, including libraries, schools, and literacy programs. He is also an outspoken advocate for freedom of expression and has spoken out against censorship and book banning.

Now that you have a better understanding of Stephen King and his body of work, here are some common questions about the author and his books:

1. What is Stephen King’s best-selling novel?

– Stephen King’s best-selling novel is “It,” which has sold over 35 million copies worldwide.

2. What is Stephen King’s favorite book that he has written?

– Stephen King has stated that “Lisey’s Story” (2006) is his favorite book that he has written, as it was inspired by his own experiences and emotions.

3. How many movies have been made based on Stephen King’s novels?

– Over 50 movies have been made based on Stephen King’s novels, including classics like “Carrie,” “The Shining,” and “Misery.”

4. What is Stephen King’s writing routine?

– Stephen King is known for his disciplined writing routine, which involves writing every day for several hours in the morning and afternoon.

5. Has Stephen King ever won a Pulitzer Prize?

– No, Stephen King has never won a Pulitzer Prize, but he has received numerous other awards for his writing.

6. What is Stephen King’s favorite genre to write?

– Stephen King’s favorite genre to write is horror, although he has also written in other genres such as science fiction and fantasy.

7. How many books has Stephen King written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman?

– Stephen King has written five books under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, including “Rage” (1977) and “The Regulators” (1996).

8. What was Stephen King’s first published novel?

– Stephen King’s first published novel was “Carrie” (1974), which was a commercial and critical success.

9. Has Stephen King ever appeared in any of the film adaptations of his novels?

– Yes, Stephen King has made cameo appearances in several film adaptations of his novels, including “The Shining” (1980) and “Pet Sematary” (1989).

10. What is Stephen King’s stance on e-books and digital publishing?

– Stephen King has embraced e-books and digital publishing, making many of his novels available in electronic format for readers to enjoy.

11. Does Stephen King believe in the supernatural and paranormal?

– Stephen King has stated that he is agnostic about the supernatural and paranormal, but he enjoys exploring these themes in his writing.

12. What is Stephen King’s process for developing characters in his novels?

– Stephen King often draws inspiration for his characters from real-life people and experiences, creating complex and relatable individuals that readers can connect with.

13. Has Stephen King ever written a non-fiction book?

– Yes, Stephen King has written several non-fiction books, including “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” (2000), which offers insights into his writing process and advice for aspiring authors.

14. What is Stephen King’s favorite horror movie?

– Stephen King has cited “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) as one of his favorite horror movies, praising its innovative storytelling and social commentary.

15. How does Stephen King come up with ideas for his novels?

– Stephen King has stated that he gets his ideas from a variety of sources, including dreams, newspaper articles, and personal experiences that spark his imagination.

16. What is Stephen King’s most recent novel?

– Stephen King’s most recent novel is “Billy Summers” (2021), a crime thriller about a hitman who takes on one final job that changes his life forever.

17. What advice does Stephen King have for aspiring writers?

– Stephen King advises aspiring writers to read widely, write every day, and never give up on their dreams of becoming published authors.

In summary, Stephen King is a master storyteller whose novels have captivated readers for decades. By starting with some of his most famous works and exploring the breadth of his writing style, you can experience the full range of King’s talent and creativity. Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to his work, there’s something for everyone in the world of Stephen King. Happy reading!

Scroll to Top