Entertaining

The 13 Best Stephen King Books for Fans of “It”

it movie
Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

* One of America’s most prolific authors
* Practically invented the modern horror genre
* See the extent of King’s work, from soaring epic to hardboiled detective fiction

Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series of books is considered one of the masterpieces of American fantasy literature. It took him over twenty years to write the books, and King is thought of as a “fast” writer.

However, as we’ve seen with George RR Martin and others, epic fantasy is, shall we say, not a speedy genre. The stories of King Arthur took hundreds of years to come together, though, so we suppose we shouldn’t be too hard on these guys.

In 2017, the “Dark Tower” finally made it to the big screen in a film starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Meantime, King’s novel, “It,” was remade into a film and promptly debuted at number one at the box office, with a whopping $117 million opening weekend. It’s one of the best fall openings of all-time, proving that when it comes to horror, Stephen King is still, well, king.

For those who’ve made the journey all the way from 1982’s The Gunslinger and are craving more of Stephen King’s unique, expansive and darkly surreal universe, don’t worry, there’s plenty more. Here are 13 of the best Stephen King books for “Dark Tower” and “It” fans.

1. The Green Mile

This story of a man gifted with incredible empathic and healing powers locked on death row is one of King’s most nuanced books of the supernatural. Here we see King’s mastery of the form, using science fictional elements to explore very real aspects of human society.

The Green Mile Image courtesy of Amazon

  

2. Salem’s Lot

“Salem’s Lot,” Stephen King’s second novel, is a classic of small town horror. One of the most iconic books in its genre, it practically invented the tropes of what would become the horror genre in film.

Salem's Lot stephen king Image courtesy of Amazon

  

3. Bag of Bones

“Bag of Bones” is a haunting thriller set in an isolated lake house. Like many of King’s most iconic novels, it uses the framing of a lonely, struggling writer as the starting point of an eerie, supernatural journey.

Bag of Bones Image courtesy of Amazon

  

4. Lisey’s Story

Hailed as a breathtaking mixture of romance and horror, “Lisey’s Story” is inspired by the real-life trauma that befell King when he was hit by a speeding van in 1999.

Lisey's Story Image courtesy of Amazon Courtesy Amazon

  

5. Misery

“Misery,” adapted into an acclaimed film in 1990, is a great example of all the things Stephen King’s work is known for. In it, the recurrent themes of isolation, claustrophobia and escalating insanity appear in their most sharpened forms.

stephen king misery book Image courtesy of Amazon

  

6. Pet Sematary

“Pet Sematary,” a #1 bestseller, shows Stephen King as a master of the unconscious. Like no other contemporary author, here King takes childhood symbols of the unknown and forges something as terrifying as the discovery of death itself.

Pet Sematary Image courtesy of Amazon

  

7. Carrie

Made into the iconic 1976 film starring Sissy Spacek, “Carrie” was the first of Stephen King’s novels to be published and adapted for the big screen. It’s often credited with launching the author’s career. A 2013 remake stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore.

carrie stephen king Image courtesy of Amazon

  

8. Mr. Mercedes

“Mr. Mercedes” was originally planned to be a small short story, but has since evolved into the genesis of a new trilogy. The first book in the Bill Hodges Trilogy, this novel showcases King’s versatility, deftly adding elements of Hardboiled Detective fiction and recalling the aesthetic of film noir.

Mr. Mercedes Image courtesy of Amazon

  

9. It

Called King’s most mature work, “It” has been adapted for film in 2017. The story begins with a familiar horror set up: a group of preteen friends who have to face a monster, but then, “It” adds the complexities of adulthood, framing the action as a return to the site of childhood trauma some 28-years later. Like Stranger Things, It locates the essence of horror as a function of the way we construct childhood and innocence.

it stephen king book Image courtesy of Amazon

  

10. The Shining

“The Shining” may be one of Stephen King’s most famous novels, thanks to the classic film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick. The tale of a mentally-unraveling writer who takes his family to a remote chateau, it gives us chills to this day.

the shining stephen king Image courtesy of Amazon

  

11. 11-22-63

In “11.22.63,” King takes us on a time-traveling thrill ride that stands out for the way it makes the grand shifts of its plot hinge on mundane details. A dense yet fast read, it’s both an examination of American culture at the peak of its power and a meditation on hubris and loss. The title refers to the date JFK was shot.

11-22-63 stephen king Image courtesy of Amazon

  

12. The Stand

Now restored in its entirety, the uncut version of this eerie post-apocalyptic thriller from 1978 remains shockingly relevant today. It presents a haunting vision of a world changed utterly by the most seemingly-casual of errors.

The Stand stephen king Image courtesy of Amazon

  

13. The Mist

“The Mist” is one of Stephen King’s most renowned masterworks of horror. Elemental and claustrophobic, “The Mist” is a portrait of fear itself.

the mist stephen king Image courtesy of Amazon

The 10 Best TV Shows for Mystery Lovers

If you buy something because we told you about it, we may receive compensation from retail partners.