Which Stephen King novel is the best?

So Stephen King has written 62 books – novels, nonfiction and short stories collections. 62! Now, I’m a Stephen King fan and I’ve read a lot of his books, but not all. Not all his books are good though – some are really bad. (Tommyknockers, I’m looking at you!). But which Stephen King book is the best?

So at Vulture.com, they decided to make a list of all 62 books – and rank them! So which Stephen King book do they think is the best?

They think Rose Madder is the worst of all his books. I don’t think so – I think it’s an amazing book up to a point and then it’s just … confusing. Tommyknockers – the book that turned me off reading English novels for a while since I thought it must be me being lousy at English that made the book so bad – is nr. 61 and Dreamcatcher is nr. 60. I haven’t read Dreamcatcher but the movie version is on my top two of all time bad movies (the other being Dungeons & Dragons).

Gerald’s Game is at 54. I remember it as having the 2-3 creepiest pages ever. Pages, that it took me days to read. I don’t remember anything about the rest of the book so the ranking is probably okay but those few pages …

The have Christine at 46 and Duma Key at 45. I’m not sure I agree with that. Christine – well, maybe. It was a teenage favorite of mine and I’m looking forward to reading it again to see how it holds up. I really liked Duma Key though – I liked it’s focus on art. I also really like Bag of Bones and I don’t quite agree with it being ranked as no 40.

The Dark Half is no 28 – hm. I love it when Stephen King looks at his own trade as he does in this one and he writes about an author burying his pseudonym at the same time as he gave up his pseudonym. I liked that! And if 11.22.63 is only no 24, well, then all I can say is that King has written some pretty good books since 23 of them are better than this one.

But if they think I’m going to agree with putting Under the Dome as no 12, they are so mistaken. That was an excellent book – but King messed up the ending so badly that it broke the entire book.

This is their top 10:

10. Lisey’s story

9. The Dead Zone

8. Salem’s Lot

7. The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass

6. Misery

5. Different Seasons

4. The Shining

3. It

2. On Writing

1. The Stand

I’ve read 5 of this top 10 and I like them all. I definitely agree with The Stand being the best of all King’s books – and On Writing was amazing and so was Itand The Shining. I’m also okay with The Dead Zone being in the top 10.

You can see the entire list here.

Anyone disagree with The Stand being the best King book?

12 thoughts on “Which Stephen King novel is the best?

    • If you have read every single Stephen King book except The Stand … wow, yes, you did something wrong. You read Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher and all the other bad ones and not The Stand? Oh, you really need to read it! But which one are your favorite then?

      • Well, maybe not every one of them, but there’s only a few I didn’t read. But I’ll read it as soon as i have the chance! I thought Tommyknockers and Dreamcatcher were very bad, yes, and The Shining has been my all-time favorite so far. But I like most of his books, it’s hard to decide on the best one haha.

  1. The Stand is great, but I prefer The Shining and maybe even IT. I agree with what you said about Under the Dome also; I loved it until the ending just destroyed it.

    • That ending is the worst! Although Rose Madder has a pretty lousy ending too. It’s been years since I’ve read It so I need to reread it and see how it is to read now – I loved it back then. The Shining is so good too and I’m very excited about the sequel!

  2. I don’t think you can argue that The Stand is not his best work. But for readers of On Writing, you will find it is the one he hates the most and had the most trouble writing.

    There is a short story collection called Skeleton Crew, which has a long short story (novella?) at the start, set in a supermarket, called The Mist. Although I read it many years ago when I was a young teen, I remember enjoying it a lot.

    I stopped reading King when I was about 16, just as Misery and Geralds Game were published, as I thought he had hit his peak and was on his way down.

    I have been tempted to pick up a newer King novel, but could not decide if (a) It was worth it. and (b) Which one to read.

    • Oh I need to reread On Writing. It’s been a while since I read it and I remember it as being so amazing. I remember The Mist – really good short story/novella. I think it’s definitely worth it to read the newer King novels. I think he has improved a lot as an author. 11.22.63 is a great novel, very different from a lot of his other work (but still with a visit to Derry).

      • I think I will give him another go.

        I have heard people say his writing got back on schedule after his accident, frightenly sometimes a near death experience can help someones mind get focused on what they do best.

  3. I agree with the list in general, although Misery is by far my favourite of all the King’s I’ve read. I’m in a minority too as I really didn’t like The Stand, but I know that’s not a popular opinion!

  4. I think the stand was the best book i ever read.its the only book I’ve ever read more than twice. By contrast i cant believe the same author wrote Salem’s lot. What a sad excuse for a book that was.i also can’t believe that it made the top 10 list or any list for that matter. And lastly i can’t believe I’m not reading more people saying the same thing.shame on all of you.if someone had warned me i could have saved time and money.

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