My Top 10 Favorite Stephen King Novels

I’ve put together a list of my ten favorite Stephen King novels. This list doesn’t mean the best novels he’s ever written, just my ten favorites. I didn’t include any of his collections (Night Shift, Different Seasons, etc.) because I’ll make a list of my favorite short story collections by all horror authors later.

So … here’s the list.

  1.  Christine – This was the first book I ever read by Stephen King, and maybe that’s why it’s my favorite. It’s one of the few books that I’ve read more than once (Lonesome Dove was the other). I was fourteen years old when I read this book for the first time, and when I finished reading it I knew I wanted to write novels like this.
  2.  It – This one was almost a toss-up for number 1. It’s a long book, but well worth reading. I also love the mini-series that was made from It – I watch It whenever It comes on TV.
  3.  The Stand – Many people say this is King’s masterpiece. I would agree that this might be the best book he’s ever written. Definitely a classic. I would also recommend “Swan Song” by Robert McCammon.
  4.  Bag of Bones – I really liked this book when I read it. I’m not sure why I liked it so much, I can’t really explain it. I just did.
  5.  ‘Salem’s Lot – I’m not a huge fan of vampires, so I haven’t read a lot of vampire books. But of all the vampire books I’ve read, this one is still my favorite. Just reading the first few chapters takes me back in time to fourteen years old again. This was the second book I ever read by Stephen King.
  6.  The Gunslinger – I got this book in one of those book clubs back in the day where you could order like seven or eight books for .99 cents to get started (and agree to buy so many at regular price over the next two years). I remember reading the catalog and I saw The Gunslinger – and it was my first selection. I must admit that I didn’t get all the way through the Dark Tower series – I stopped at book four, but one day I plan on finishing it. But for me, the first book is still the best of the four that I read so far.
  7.  The Talisman – I loved the road adventure type story in this novel. This is another book that takes me back in time.
  8.  Pet Sematary – One very scary book. I don’t think the film measured up to the book at all. I remember reading the scenes where the dead jogger keeps creeping back up the stairs every few nights, and each time he’s more and more decomposed.
  9.  Duma Key – I read this one a few years ago. It’s a long book, and after reading the description I didn’t think I was going to like it. But like with so many of King’s novels I had read the first fifty or sixty pages without even realizing I’d gotten that far – just effortless reading. I don’t think Duma Key would make a great movie, but I really liked the book.
  10.  The Tommyknockers – Another favorite of mine.

Here are a few that almost made my top 10 list – but it was a difficult choice to make:

The Shining, Misery, and Dreamcatcher.

I haven’t read every Stephen King book out there, but of the ones I’ve read, these are my ten favorites. What are your favorites? Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you!


3 thoughts on “My Top 10 Favorite Stephen King Novels

  1. I would say IT is still my favorite, but the Dark Tower series would be a close second. I am one of the few people that liked the Stand but thought the ending was rushed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Matt,

      Looks like we agree on two out of the top three on my list (“It” and “The Stand”). I must admit that I haven’t read the whole Dark Tower series yet. I read the first book – “The Gunslinger” – a long time ago and I loved it. Then I read the second one, the third, and started the fourth but never finished it. My son read the whole series and he told me mostly what happens in it, but I do plan on completing the series at some point in the future. The last Stephen King books I read were “Just After Sunset” and “Full Dark, No Stars.” I’ve just started reading “Dr. Sleep” on my Kindle.

      If you want to read another list I put together, my latest post is a list of the best horror films of all time.

      Thanks for the comment – great to hear from you!


  2. Interesting list, Mark. The Talisman doesn’t show up on many lists, interestingly. I think some people just don’t think of it as a “King” book. I loved it, and the sequel.

    The Stand is on a level all it’s own. It is rare that I get into so many diverse characters in one book. And this writer believes that Good v. Evil will always generate the best stories. I was about done with exorcist crap until I came across APPRENTICE this past week and your story completely re-invigorated that genre for me! Holy crap, I couldn’t put it down the beginning chapters played out in my head and completely creeped me out.

    Do you have any thoughts on the new movie version of IT? I love the old mini-series so I wanted to hate the movie but I must be fair – there were some genuinely scary scenes. What they do with part 2 will decide it for me I think.

    Certainly glad that I discovered your work! I was seeking out exorcism stories and here we are. I am sitting down with the Vampire Game and Ghost Town this weekend.

    Take care,
    Joe Elliott


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