Stephen King: Top 10 best-selling novels

When it comes to horror literature, few authors are as influential as Stephen King. The horror maestro has a staggering 64 books under his belt, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down any time soon. There are plenty of books to choose from, but finding a place to start can be daunting for newcomers. Today, we’ll be looking at the best-selling King novels to date in an effort to find a starting point for newcomers. While it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many copies sold, this list includes the books that sold the most consecutive copies.

10. Under the Dome

Cover of the novel Under the Dome by Stephen King

Chester’s Mill, Maine is a small town where nothing out of the ordinary happens until one fall day a large dome falls from the sky and cuts the town off from the rest of the world. The dome is seemingly indestructible and will destroy any vehicle that attempts to pass through it. A small group of townspeople led by an Iraqi veterinarian set out to uncover the secret of the dome. The novel has an isolated feel and even comes across as claustrophobic at times. The novel was adapted as a television series in 2013, and it is there that he receives many of his fans. The story is classic Stephen King, and it’s no wonder it’s sold so many copies.

9. The dead zone

Dead Zone novel cover

Another title that many fans may recognize as a show is The dead zone. The novel was released in 1979 and follows schoolteacher Johnny Smith. A car accident puts Johnny in a five-year coma and he wakes up with terrifying ability. Johnny can now see someone’s past and future just by touching them. This causes those around him to ask him to solve their problems, and Johnny’s problems begin to pile up. Things go awry when he shakes hands with a politician and has to make a serious choice. The book is frequently listed among King’s best novels, and for good reason. The book was adapted into a film directed by Christopher Walken in 1983 and a six-season television series running from 2002 to 2007.

8. The Gunslinger

Cover of Stephen King's novel The Gunslinger

Although many of Stephen King’s novels have details linking them to his other works, they all mostly stand on their own. Of the few sequels he wrote, none were as prolific as his dark tower series. The series has eight novels, and it all started with The gunslinger. The novel combines five short stories written by King and follows Roland Deschain, the last armed bandit. Roland is on a quest to catch his longtime adversary, The Man in Black. Roland’s ultimate goal is to reach the legendary Dark Tower, and The Man in Black is just the first step. The novel blends sci-fi, horror, and Western in a way that only Stephen King can. The book was loosely adapted into a movie, but it falls far short of King’s best adaptations.

7. IT

Computer coverage

When it comes to King’s legendary tales, the IT giant is one of the best. While modern audiences know the history of recent movies (perfect summer horror movies), it all started here. The novel is a staggering 1,138 pages, a feat only surpassed by one. The book follows a group of friends as children and later into adulthood. As children, they defeated a deadly creature that takes the form of a clown and feeds on children’s fears. 27 years later, he’s back and stronger than ever. This epic novel is an ordeal to get through, but it’s the perfect way to experience the story. The book may be long, but each page captures the reader’s mind and fears.

6. The grandstand

cover the booth

Stephen King’s apocalyptic masterpiece is often hailed as one of his best. The novel was originally published in 1978 to rave reviews. Besides its favorable reception, it was incomplete. in 1990 the complete edition was finally released. The final version of the novel is an astonishing 1,152 pages, making it Stephen King’s longest novel. After a man escapes from a bioweapons lab, a deadly virus plagues the world. The survivors are divided between two factions and they are about to go to war. Epic is the best way to describe this colossal story. The novel was adapted into a miniseries in 1994, and a modern version was released in 2020.

5. Pet sematary

Cover of the novel Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy. Whether it’s a pet or a family member, we always wish there was a way to bring them back. In king’s romance pet sematary, it’s possible. Although those buried in the cemetery return, they are far different and more deadly. When tragedy strikes the Creed family, a grieving father buries his son in hopes of bringing him back. The thing that returns may look like his son, but it’s something far more sinister. The novel has a simple philosophy, sometimes death is better.

4. Misery

Misery novel cover

Anyone with any level of fame will probably say that a crazed fan is one of their biggest fears. For Paul Sheldon, this nightmare becomes reality. The story follows Sheldon, a writer, kept in the hostile custody of his biggest fan, Anne Wilkes. Wilkes reunites with Paul after he suffers a near-fatal car accident. Sheldon quickly realizes that Anne is crazy and her life is at stake. This story is terrifying at its core and is the perfect definition of a page-turner. The film was made into a feature film starring Kathy Bates, a role that won her a well-deserved Oscar.

3. The Salem Ground

Stephen King's Novel

Only Stephen King’s second published novel is known as one of his greatest. It is, if nothing else, a true testament to King’s genius. The novel follows Ben Mears, an author who returns to his hometown for his latest story. He soon learns that the town is infested with vampires, and it’s up to him to stop them. With the help of a small group of believers, Ben sets out to fight the undead and save his hometown. The book is one of the best vampire stories ever told, and it’s no surprise given who wrote it. The book has had several adaptations, and a new one is planned for later this year.

2. Carrie

cover to Carrie

The first published King novel has become one of the best horror novels of all time. Carrie follows social outcast, Carrie White. Carrie is a high school student who suffers from relentless bullying from her classmates. Things don’t go much better at home, as her over-religious mother is just as mentally abusive. What Carrie’s attacker doesn’t know is that something has grown inside Carrie and it’s about to come out. The story is as tragic as it is frightening. It usually takes a few tries for authors to make a name for themselves, and King did it in one try.

1. Shiny

The Shining cover

the brilliant evolved into something much more than another Stephen King book. It’s one of the scariest and most personal stories King has ever told, and it just gets better with age. Many, including King himself, agree that the book is a slow burner. However, once things start, they grab the reader and suck him into the terrifying Overlook Hotel. The film received a feature film adaptation in 1980 and is a film that can rival even The Exorcist in terms of fear. While director Stanley Kubrick and the incredible cast are to thank for the film’s success, Stephen King is responsible for the terrors hidden in the story of The brilliant.

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