Rolling Stone Readers’ Poll – The 10 Best Stephen King Books by Andy Greene

The link to this article can be found here.

I happened to be scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when this article popped up.  I am a fan of Stephen King and his work, I have specifically been a huge fan of The Dark Tower Series having read it multiple times since I first came upon it in 2005.  So just for fun, I wanted to go through and give my reactions and thoughts to the final vote.

Stephen King The Dark Tower

10 | Wizard and Glass, book 4 of The Dark Tower Series

I will be honest, this choice actually caught me completely by surprise because this book tends to be one of the more highly criticized books in The Dark Tower Series among fans – you either love this book or you hate it.  The premise focuses largely on Roland’s past, namely as a young adult, telling the story of him and his first ka-tet and his love of Susan Delgado which was doomed before it truly had a chance.  I have come across many mixed impressions about this book – ranging from those who have found it long and difficult to get through because they want to just continue the current journey to the Tower with Eddie, Jake, and Susannah to those who continue to thirst for more knowledge about Roland during this time before he began his quest for the Tower.  Personally, Wizard and Glass has been a novel I have enjoyed reading when I come to it in the series because I always find myself caught up in Roland at this age before he became so battle hardened and I always find myself swept up in the love between him and Susan.

Different Seasons

9 | Different Seasons – Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption

I have yet to read many of King’s novellas and short stories, truthfully I just have not found myself overly interested in short stories or novellas.  I think this mostly stems from the fact that I always worry that they will leave me wanting more and wholly unsatisfied.  I have also never seen the movie The Shawshank Redemption, so I can’t really give much of an opinion on this choice.

Stephen King The Dead Zone

8 | The Dead Zone

While I haven’t read this book I do own it and it is on my “To be Read” list (as are a great many of King’s works honestly).  I am, however, familiar with the television show of the same name which his loosely based on some of the characters from the novel.  I admit to not following the show seriously, but I understand the premise is much the same with a man waking up from a coma to discover he has developed psychic abilities afterwards.  It is an interesting idea, asking the question of how far does your duty to the general public go when you are gifted with extraordinary ability.  I think once I have read this novel I will look into both the movie and the series of the same name.

Stephen King The Green Mile

7 | The Green Mile

Again, I am sad to admit that I have yet to read this novel, but I did manage to catch the movie on television recently.  I instantly became a fan of the movie because of the sheer acting of Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Hanks, even without reading the book I can imagine how they were able to embody these characters.  It is also a stunning piece of literature because it is harsh and doesn’t shy away from some of the moral truths of the time period – in essence, if you were a non-white individual accused of committing a crime it was a guarantee that you were going to be found guilty of the crime and would eventually serve time or be sentenced to death.  I really need to take the time to sit down and read this book then watch the movie – maybe I will make a special post for it in the future.

Stephen King 11/22/63

6 | 11/22/63:  A Novel

I am going to be honest, I read this novel March of 2012 and it instantly became my favorite stand alone read that year.  I found myself falling in love with the story, with the characters, the premise – everything about it was just absolutely amazing to me.  I wasn’t alive and my mother was only a year and half old when the world was robbed of what was esteemed to be a promising presidential career, but this book is about so much more than that.  Sure, the story focuses on the ultimate goal of preventing the assassination of JFK but it also tells the story of a man who learns what it means to live and to love in a time period outside of his own.  I can continue to fangirl about this book endlessly and I typically recommend this book to any individuals who haven’t read a King novel and are unsure of what to read because I find it to be the perfect blend of somewhat loose historical fiction and time travel mixed with his typical supernatural spook – it is honestly one of the best ways to be introduced to Stephen King.

Stephen King Misery

5 | Misery

Misery is, again, another one of the many King novels which I just haven’t read yet.  The entire idea of it is incredibly creepy, the whole being found by your biggest fan and forced to fulfill her desire of writing a sequel to her favorite series is a little weird.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am sure all of us have entertained notions such as these about our favorite series *cough* J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter *cough* but none of us have gone to such lengths to make it happen.  What I find to be interesting though is King’s own description of what this book is about because he stated to Rolling Stone in an interview,  “Misery is a book about cocaine.  Annie Wilkes is cocaine.  She was my number-one fan.”  I admit, knowing King’s own thoughts on the book and the metaphor he finds in it is interesting and makes me even more curious about the nature of the book and movie as well.

Stephen King Salem's Lot

4 | Salem’s Lot

I am familiar with one of the main characters of King’s Salem’s Lot through my past reading of the last novels of the final novels in The Dark Tower Series, but I haven’t read his novel yet admittedly.  I honestly keep asking myself why I haven’t – it has anything I could ever want with a small town becoming infested with vampires and the ultimate fighting back of its citizens even as they are forced to watch as they lose people they love.  What I find to be fascinating about this story too is its focus on the idea of faith.  It is common for vampire stories to touch on matters of faith and how religion impacts the vampires themselves and I find King’s handling of the subject to be interesting strictly based on what I know of Father Callahan from his appearance in The Dark Tower Series and his explanation of the events of Salem’s Lot.  This is a book which has been on my “To Be Read” list for a while and I think the next time I decide to re-read The Dark Tower Series I will read it after I finish either Wizard and Glass or Wind Through the Keyhole, I think this book will fit in really well between either of those and Wolves of the Calla.

Stephen King The Shining

3 | The Shining

I am slightly embarrassed because I had decided last year that I was going to read The Shining for a creepy October read, but I somehow never got around to reading and wound up moving on.  This is another movie that I have also not seen, though my boyfriend has and he assures me that it is just as creepy as I could imagine based upon what little I know of the book itself and what photos/videos I have seen of the movie itself – I mean, just those few pictures have been enough to give me some serious creep out thoughts.  I am even more keen on reading The Shining since King released a sequel, Doctor Sleep, fall of last year.  Perhaps I will schedule them as my creepy October reads for next year?  Yes, let’s go with that idea!  Maybe after I read the books and post my reviews of them, I will watch the movie and post my thoughts on it a la The Green Mile style.

Stephen King IT

2 | It

I have the horrid feeling that this is going to probably be one of those King novels I will only read once and then I will never ever pick up again just because I already have a very strong dislike of clowns.  I am not going to say that I am afraid of clowns, but I am most definitely not a fan of them and I don’t even have a valid reason as to why.  I just for some reason don’t like clowns – end of discussion.  One of my very close friends suggested that I should read It, but I just haven’t done it and I don’t know if I will.  Maybe I will lump it in with my October creepy reads next year of The Shining and Doctor Sleep – looks like next October is going to turn into the month where I read all of the creepy Stephen King novels I have been putting off.  Maybe I will even turn it into an event where I liveblog my reading of the novels and eventual watching of the movies or something.

Stephen King The Stand

1 | The Stand

I am ultimately ashamed to say that I haven’t read the top book of this list though it is a book I have heard a lot of opinion on – all of which has been positive.  I find the premise of this to be an interesting novel based in a dystopian world which lost almost the entirety of its population in an instant and now those that are left are forced into one of the longest standing battles – the war between good and evil.  What I find to be so exciting about this novel is the presence of King’s famed character Randall Flagg.  If you have read  The Dark Tower Series, then this is a name which you recognize because he is an architect of the evil which Roland and his ka-tet come across through their journey to the Tower.  I find Flagg to be an interesting character, a character shrouded in mystery and would enjoy being able to learn more about him and his role in King’s other works and how they ultimately affected him through Roland’s journey for the Tower.

Definitely an exciting read and I loved seeing how King’s novels were ranked by fans of his work – now I ask you my lovely followers:  What are your favorite King works?  Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts!

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: #BookBlogWriMo – Day 10 and 11 | Reviews from a Self Proclaimed Bibliophile

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