He's one of the most recognizable names in fiction and easily one of the most prolific American authors. With so many great works, this list of books by Stephen King, voted on by the Ranker community, attempts to rank his top novels and best books ever. This list of King's writings is the definitive ranking of his body of work. King's stories range from thick novels to short stories and collections, and include some of the most popular horror novels of our time. Many Stephen King books and stories have been adapted into popular horror movies as well, including The Shining, Misery, Carrie, and The Shawshank Redemption.
What are Stephen King's best books? This list is focused only on Stephen King's published work, not the resulting movies or TV shows. Enjoy this list of Stephen King books ranked, and vote for the novels you think are the best Stephen King books of all time. Then, see if they're available on audiobook.
Ranking Stephen King books isn't easy, with so many to choose from, so help us out and vote! His works cover many genres, primarily horror, fantasy, supernatural fiction, and dark fantasy. He has written memorable series such as The Dark Tower series, as well as stand-alone horror novels, like The Stand. King has also branched out from horror writing during his career, such as with the time-travel novel, 11/22/63, about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
The best Stephen King novels on this list have combined to sell over 350 million copies, and King himself has received numerous writing and literature awards throughout his career. So vote for the best among his many top works below, or rerank the list if you don't agree with the order.
- The Green Mile is a 1996 serial novel written by Stephen King. It tells the story of death row supervisor Paul Edgecombe's encounter with John Coffey, an unusual inmate who displays inexplicable ...more
- The Shining is a horror novel by American author Stephen King. Published in 1977, it is King's third published novel and first hardback bestseller, and the success of the book firmly established King ...more
- It is a 1986 horror novel by American author Stephen King. The story follows the exploits of seven children as they are terrorized by the eponymous being, which exploits the fears and phobias of its ...more
- The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It expands upon the scenario of his earlier short story, "Night Surf". The novel was originally published in 1978 ...more
- 11/22/63 is a novel by Stephen King about a time traveler who attempts to prevent the assassination of President John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, which occurred on November 22, 1963. The novel was ...more
- Pet Sematary is a 1983 horror novel by Stephen King, nominated for a World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1984, and adapted into a 1989 film of the same name. In November 2013, PS Publishing ...more
- 'Salem's Lot is a 1975 horror fiction novel written by the American author Stephen King. It was his second published novel. The story involves a writer named Ben Mears who returns to the town where ...more
- Misery is a psychological horror novel by Stephen King. The novel was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1988, and was later made into a Hollywood film and an off-Broadway play ...more
- Different Seasons is a collection of four Stephen King novellas with a more serious dramatic bent than the horror fiction for which King is famous. The four novellas are tied together via subtitles ...more
- Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is a novella by Stephen King, from his 1982 collection Different Seasons, subtitled Hope Springs Eternal. It is loosely based on the Leo Tolstoy short story ...more
- Carrie is an American epistolary novel and author Stephen King's first published novel, released on April 5, 1974, with an approximate first print-run of 30,000 copies. Set in the then-future year of ...more
- Dolores Claiborne is a 1992 psychological thriller novel by Stephen King. The novel is narrated by the title character. Atypically for a King novel, it has no chapters, double-spacing between ...more
- The Waste Lands is the third book of the The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. The original limited edition hardcover featuring full-color illustrations by Ned Dameron was published in 1991 by ...more
- Doctor Sleep is a novel by Stephen King, a sequel to King's novel The Shining, released in September 2013. King first mentioned the idea in November 2009. The author's official website confirmed the ...more
- Night Shift is the first collection of short stories by Stephen King, first published in 1978. In 1980, Night Shift received the Balrog Award for Best Collection, and in 1979 it was nominated as best ...more
- The Drawing of the Three is the second book in The Dark Tower series of novels written by Stephen King and published by Grant in 1987. The series was inspired by Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came ...more
- Wizard and Glass is the fourth book in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King published in 1997. Subtitled "Regard", it placed fourth in the annual Locus Poll for best fantasy novel.
- The Gunslinger is a novel by American author Stephen King, and is the first volume in the Dark Tower series, which King considers to be his magnum opus. Initially a fix-up novel that strung together ...more
- Skeleton Crew is the second collection of short fiction by Stephen King, published by Putnam in June 1985. A limited edition of a thousand copies was published by Scream/Press in October 1985, ...more
- Needful Things is a 1991 horror novel by American author Stephen King. It is the first novel King wrote after his rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol. According to the cover, it is "The Last Castle ...more
- The Dead Zone is a supernatural thriller novel by Stephen King published in 1979. It concerns Johnny Smith, who is injured in an accident and enters a coma for nearly five years. When he emerges, he ...more
- Nightmares & Dreamscapes is a short story collection by Stephen King published in 1993.
- The Mist is a horror novella by the American author Stephen King, in which the small town of Bridgton, Maine is suddenly enveloped in an unnatural mist that conceals otherworldly monsters. It was ...more
- Four Past Midnight is a collection of four novellas by Stephen King, published in 1990. The four stories are "The Langoliers"; "Secret Window, Secret Garden"; "The Library Policeman"; and "The Sun ...more
- Firestarter is a science fiction novel by Stephen King, first published in September 1980. In July and August 1980, two excerpts from the novel were published in Omni. In 1981, Firestarter was ...more