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The All-Time Greatest Works Of Stephen King

Updated May 7, 2021 110.7k votes 12.5k voters 262.3k views67 items

List RulesMust be books written by Stephen King and published under his name, not a pseudonym.

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.

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  • 1
    4,286
    985

    It

    1986

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Horror Film

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 2
    3,964
    925

    AuthorStephen King

    SubjectsResearch

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Children's literature, Horror Film, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 3
    3,501
    812

    AuthorStephen King

    SubjectsAdventure, Family

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Horror Film, Fiction, Gothic fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 4
    2,707
    548

    AuthorStephen King

    SubjectsDeath row inmates -- Fiction, Prisons -- Fiction

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Horror Film, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 5
    2,870
    720

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Suspense, Horror Film, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 6
    2,701
    713

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Horror Film, Gothic fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    '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
  • 7
    2,655
    807

    Misery

    1987

    AuthorStephen King

    SubjectsSuspense

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Psychological thriller, Horror Film, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 8
    2,084
    476

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Alternate history, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 9
    2,141
    794

    Carrie

    1974

    AuthorStephen King

    SubjectsClassics

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Suspense, Horror Film, Mystery, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 10
    1,587
    462

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Horror Film

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 11
    1,398
    497

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Horror Film, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 12
    1,864
    704

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Horror Film, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 13
    1,683
    631

    AuthorStephen King

    SubjectsNew England, Adventure

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Horror Film, Mystery, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 14
    1,139
    347

    AuthorStephen King

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 15
    1,125
    388

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Horror Film, Fiction, Short story

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 16

    AuthorStephen King

    SubjectsEpic film

    Genres (Book)Western, Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Horror Film, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 17

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Horror Film, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Nightmares & Dreamscapes is a short story collection by Stephen King published in 1993....  more
  • 18

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Horror Film, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 19

    AuthorStephen King

    SubjectsEpic film

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Horror Film, Fiction, Western fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 20

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Horror Film, Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 21

    AuthorStephen King

    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
  • 22
    1,126
    400

    AuthorStephen King

    SubjectsWomen, Confession, Maine

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Psychological thriller, Horror Film, Thriller

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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
  • 23
    677
    180
    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
  • 24
    1,523
    661

    Cujo

    1981

    AuthorStephen King

    SubjectsEspionage

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Suspense, Children's literature, Horror Film, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Cujo is a 1981 psychological horror novel by Stephen King about a rabid dog. The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1982, and was made into a film in 1983....  more
  • 25

    AuthorStephen King

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Horror Film, Fiction, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    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....  more