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Top 10 Best Stephen King Books in 2021

A summary for the Top 10 Stephen King novels that gives you the opportunity to enjoy the work of one of the finest authors the world has ever seen. Full of stories set in different genres and wicket twists that keep you engaged till the very page, we take you through some of the classic works of Stephen King himself.

Reasons to look for a good Stephen King book

The Horror genre has always been sought after Stephen King. People consider him the great of this genre, but many don’t know about the other brilliant stories he has told over the years. This list brings you the top 10 novels King has written, bringing forth a variety of different narratives and stories. To truly appreciate the brilliance of this man, we at OwlRatings want to break down some of his best books ever. In hopes to entice you to make this your next late-night read, here is a short and compact guide of what to expect from Stephen King’s best ever novels.

Best book of all time

The Stand Stephen King Book

The Stand Stephen King Book

The Stand is simply the best choice for you if you are into compelling storytelling mixed in with gory imagery and a wonderful culmination of different story arcs.

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Set in the post-apocalyptic world, The Stand is one of King’s greatest ever written pieces. Referencing the perfect story of good vs evil, this story takes you through two different perspectives of surviving in a world full of horror, terror and bloodshed. Two worlds collide as The Stand builds to a satisfying ending which gives us the ultimate showdown between good and bad. This is simply a must-read for all those who are looking for a guide to perfect storytelling and character building and some of Stephen King’s finest writing.

Best mystery book

The Outsider Stephen King Book

The Outsider Stephen King Book

The Outsider is the best choice if you are looking for a mysterious read full of horror and grotesque imagery.

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Set up as murder-mystery, The Outsider showcases Stephen King’s brilliant expository writing, which is subtle yet giving. After the brutal murder of a child, Flint City police detective Ralph Anderson leads the investigation which opens up many twists and turns along the way. This is a mystery novel as much as it’s a horror novel, full of grotesque imagery and dark scenes. This is a must-read for all the fans of classic murder mysteries but expect the added spice of what King brings to each novel.

Best crime book

Later Stephen King Book

Later Stephen King Book

Later is the best pick if you are a fan of crime-novels and drama but with the combined charm of Stephen King’s eccentric characters and the brutal decisions they take along the way.

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Later has a very interesting concept – A young boy named Jamie Conklin sees dead people. He can talk and interact with them, and then needs to catch one of them. A very bizarre and strange narrative, yet it makes for a highly engaging story. But, despite the concept on inviting spirits into our world, this story may not be as great as some of the classics like IT and The Stand. Overall, it is very entertaining and explores a plot that have made many movie-goers crazy.

Best non-fiction book

On Writing Stephen King Book

On Writing Stephen King Book

This is a great pick for other writers looking to gain inspiration, and what better way than to hear from one of the best in the industry!

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Very different from his other novels, on writing is a non-fiction book in which Stephen King describes his experiences and learnings as a writer. He looks to provide help to aspiring writers by giving anecdotes of his own writing experiences. From his early-life to the time when he started writing best-selling novels, this book is a great way to writers to learn from one of the best in the field. It is a very helpful book for anyone looking to get into the field of writing, so make sure to have this at the top of your list.

Best detective book

Mr. Mercedes Stephen King Book

Mr. Mercedes Stephen King Book

It is best for those looking for a novel full of memorable characters who run around the clock to save the day.

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According to Stephen King, Mr. Mercedes is the first full-blown detective book that he has written. It follows a classic plot of all detective films, the good guys race to beat the clock and stop the device that can potentially blow up thousands of innocent victims. The protagonist, William Hodges is a very relatable and likeable character, making him easy to relate to because of his flaws and imperfection. Ultimately, this book keeps you guessing till the very end and never feels to clichéd despite the simple storyline. Since it was written to become a trilogy, the ending sets up the series perfectly for the next part as it keeps you captivated and wanting more.

Best multi-genre book

If It Bleeds Stephen King Book

If It Bleeds Stephen King Book

If It Bleeds is the perfect novel if you are looking for a variety of different genres combined under the same roof.

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If It Bleeds is the collection of four different unpublished novels that Stephen King had previously written. King has managed to combine a variety of genres in one book, each story having its own unique storyline and still managing to cross-over and share similar themes. Each of the tales is a return to the well-trodden ground for King, but for the most part, they’re written with such charm that the old-fashioned feel refreshing in its sincerity. All four of these stories have been adapted into TV shows, which goes to show how popular they are amongst the public. It is the perfect read if you are a fan of horror and thrillers.

Best grotesque novel

Finders Keepers Stephen King

Finders Keepers Stephen King

Finders Keepers is the best book if you are into the classic ‘Who Dunnit’ type of storytelling, the book revolving around the brutal murder of writer, John Rothstein.

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Another great thriller written by Stephen Kings, Finders Keepers follows the murder of writer, John Rothstein. After his killer is released 35 years later from prison, it gives rise to a very exciting narrative, filled with twists and turns. It also happens to be a sequel to Mr. Mercedes and manages to pick up on the last book’s plot while creating new and interesting narratives to keep the reader excited. The book is full of blood, gore and horror, as you would expect from a King novel. . For those who are interested in an amazing story, entertaining plot twist, and an accomplished thriller, the ‘Finders Keepers’ is a must-read.

Best book to movie

‘Salem’s Lot Stephen King Book

‘Salem’s Lot Stephen King Book

Salem’s Lot is the best book for all readers who are fans of horror-gothic fiction. Featuring a lot creatures such as vampires, this novel is full of action, romance and entertainment.

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‘Salem’s Lot is another horror novel written by King. The story follows the character Ben Mears, who returns to his home-town to find that the locals have slowly been turning into zombies. It is a story filled with many relatable, engaging characters might make you question your surroundings. The story is built around the contrast between the community of the town and the community of the vampires. On the one hand, the two communities are opposed: the townsfolk are good, and they try to fight the vampires. It is the perfect horror novel that perfectly encapsulates everything you would expect from a great Stephen King novel.

Best horror book

Elevation Stephen King Book

Elevation Stephen King Book

Elevation is the perfect novel for those looking for a great message conveyed through brilliant storytelling. Although slow-paced, the book contains nuances writing blended with some brilliant character development as the plot progresses.

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Unlike any other novel Stephen King has written before, Elevation follows the story of a man who mysteriously loses a lot of weight. Scott Carey lives in Castle Rock and faces a mysterious illness where he rapidly loses a lot of weight but does not appear to get weaker or change in any which manner. This is a very different novel from King, since it focuses on this character’s lifestyle and experiences after losing all the weight. Scott’s lightness comes from a condition that causes him to lose weight but not mass. The things that would generally weigh other people down do not make any impact on Scott’s weight. This is a great metaphor that King tries to showcase the readers. King once again proves that he is great at executing the strangest of ideas and somehow still manages to make it work.

Best Stephen King series novel

End of Watch Stephen King

End of Watch Stephen King

End of Watch is the perfect novel for fans of great trilogies. It is the final chapter, full of emotions and character arcs coming to a wonderful end, yet the continuation of a brilliant story with new and beautiful plots to make for a very engaging read.

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End of Hodge follows the Bill Hodge trilogy, as it started from Mr. Mercedes. The novel is amazingly intertwined with its predecessors and a good end to the trilogy. For those who want to read a good crime thriller for the weekend, this is the book, you must pick up. With a supernatural threat lurking around the plot of the book, the trilogy comes to a frightening end. With the introduction of new foes for the cast to face, it makes for a brilliant and entertaining read.

What to look for in a good Stephen King book

Stephen King is like a genre of his own. He may be the king of horror, but he is so much more than that. He has this charming ability to write sadistic and crazy stories but wrap them up in such a satisfying way which keeps the reader engaged till the very end. But given the sheer number of novels he has released in the last 3 decades, we want to navigate your way into the kingdom of Stephen King’s most prized reads. Thus, we have broken down the above-mentioned books into four main criteria. These have been explained in-depth in our full reviews which you can find on the OwlRatings website.

The first main criteria is the story of the novels. The interesting part about Stephen King novels is that the narrative never feels repetitive. In one book you could have a blood hungry clown attacking kids and then move on to a post-apocalyptic world where people are trying to out-run a deadly virus. The only thing to consistently expect is a lot of grotesque and simply horrifying scenes. In our analysis, we looked to describe the main plot of the story without spoiling any of the major twists or events. That was you get to assess whether or not the book is a good fit for you.

The second criteria we have rated the novels are on the entertainment factor. While we would say all of Stephen King’s novels are highly entertaining, they do follow a different format. Some may be out-right horrific and gory, which may be preferable to some. But some slow-burners which explore the characters and their lives may be more entertaining to others. That’s why we try to explain just what makes the book so thrilling and entertaining to read. This way you do not have to purchase a book and realize afterwards that it may not be the right fit for you.

The next criteria on the list is the writing. Stephen King always manages to keep readers entertained with his brilliant writing and storylines. We have tried to describe the writing style he chooses to implement to make the book easier to understand. Sometimes, he may choose a more intricate and complex style, which suits well with thrillers and mysteries. But, Stephen King is also a massive fan of creating the most bizarre scenarios that leave you horrified at the end of the day. This way, you can assess the best fit according to your interests.

Finally, the fourth criteria are the characters. In books like Elevation, most of the plot is about one character as he tries to figure out his bizarre weight loss. But other times, Stephen King gives life to his books by creating brilliant and eccentric main characters like he has done in The Stand. Your central characters are the blood and soul of the novel, each important plot point originating from your choices. So it’s beneficial if you get more details about the beloved heroes and feared foes that Stephen King has to offer.

FAQ

What is the best Stephen king novel of all time ?

IT, the horror novel is supposed to be one of Stephen King’s all-time great novels. Another novel which is right up there on the list is ‘The Stand’. Both these novels were also made into films and TV shows, showing just how popular they are in the mainstream media as well.

What is Stephen King’s all-time best-seller ?

The Shining is Stephen King’s most bought book. Released way back in 1976, the book is remembered for its brilliant characters such as Jack Torrence. The Shining was also made into a film of the same name, which was very critically acclaimed.

How many books has Stephen King written ?

After having written at least 60 novels and over 200 short stories, Stephen King has managed to sell more than 350 million copies of all his books worldwide.

Which is Stephen King’s most underrated book ?

Salem’s Lot is a horrifying read which is meant to be one of Stephen King’s finest reads. Although, it does not get as much love as IT or The Stand, but still holds up very well in comparison.

Final verdict

We hope that by going through this list, you have gotten. Good sense of what to expect from some of Stephen King’s most popular novels. You can check out a more in-depth breakdown to each one of the above mentioned 10 books, on OwlRatings. Check out our full reviews per book and we promise you; that you won’t be disappointed.

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