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Listomatic/Ordering - Stephen King Edition [Updated]

Stephen King books I've read, in order of preference from best to worst, not including collections, short stories (that's another list), The Green Mile series or the Dark Tower series or screenplays. So..novels

  • The Talisman
  • Eyes of the Dragon
  • The Stand
  • It
  • The Shining
  • Black House
  • 'Salem's Lot
  • The Dead Zone
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999)
  • Insomnia
  • Christine
  • Carrie
  • Cujo
  • Firestarter
  • Misery
  • Pet Sematary
  • Dolores Clairborne
  • From a Buick 8
  • The Dark Half
  • Needful Things
  • Gerald's Game
  • The Regulators
  • The Tommyknockers
  • Desperation
  • Dreamcatcher

I want to do an ordered list of Stephen King books made into movies, but I need a definitive list...anyone?

Favorite SK short stories that I can think of off the top of my head, but not in order

Graveyard Shift
The Mangler
Gray Matter
The Raft (I think that's the title)
Lawnmower Man
The Mist
Apt Pupil
Quitters, Inc.
Children of the Corn
The Body
Night Surf
I am the Doorway


My top two match your top two (with the clear exemption of the Dark Tower series you outlined).

The Talisman led me to Straub: Ghost Story, Mystery, and Shadowland were pretty amazing books.

I never understood why The Eyes of the Dragon wasn't more well-known. Great fantasy.

From that list:

The Stand (mini-series)
It (mini-series)
The Shining (movie + mini-series)
'Salem's Lot (movie + mini-series)
The Dead Zone
Pet Sematary
Dolores Claiborne
The Dark Half
Needful Things
Tommyknockers (mini-series)

Cycle of the Werewolf
Riding the Bullet
The Running Man
Night Shift
Hearts in Atlantis

Cat's Eye
Silver Bullet
Maximum Overdrive
Golden Years
Rose Red
Storm of the Century

Eyes of the Dragon is one of the most underrated books EVER.

I plan on reading EotD to my daughters when they're a bit older.

Fantastic book. I hope they never ruin it by making it into a 'blockbuster' movie.

forgot Secret Window (,Secret Garden)

Funny that 10 of those books are all "part" of the DT series. I'm still undecided as to whether I liked the way the last one ended...

Cross referencing doesn't really make them "part" of the series. King's stories are notoriously incestuous as far as characters/settings.

IMDB: http://imdb.com/name/nm0000175/

He has 87 writing credits.

Stewie: How deliciously evil. It's like something out of Stephen King.
Stephen King: Now for my 300th novel, a couple... is attacked... by a giant lamp monster.
Editor: You're not even trying anymore are you?

Eric, I laughed really hard at that exchange because it's true.

Notice how most of the titles at the bottom are more recent efforts.

With the exception of Tom Gordon and Black House (which is a continuation of Talisman) my favorites are the early titles.

Don't get me started on the Dark Tower. What an epic it could've been if he hadn't injected himself and his accident into the series. Instead, we got "what might have been." bleh.

The Body was made into Stand By Me. I think that launched Wil Wheaton Dot Net.

I agree with Doc. SK ruined Dark Tower when he put himself into the story. That's just freaking WEAK and amatuerish.

My fave short story/novella is The Long Walk.

Books, the ones I've read; the top 3 are the classics:

The Shining
The Dead Zone
'Salem's Lot
Cujo, Pet Sematary (they blur now in my mind)
The Stand (beginning sucked, and I gave up a third of the way in)

The bottom three on your list would be mine, I think, considering that those were the three that I started, and put them down without finishing.

I didn't care for Insomnia, either, but I read that one awful vacation car ride instead of talking to my future brother-in-law. I had to pretend that it was great and that I was really sucked into the story, or talk about fishing boats for 6 hours each way.

The Stand and theTalisman are my 1 & 2. Started reading the Stand one Christmas break when I was sick with the flu...I was feeling horrible, so it did me some good to see the rest of the world (at least in the book) feeling worse than I did....

Michele - Eric, (above), got it dead on . (Sorry about that). The Internet Movie Database, imdb.com, lists 87 titles made into movies. All the best, Terry Reynolds

For short stories, I would also throw in

The Jaunt
Word Processor of the Gods


Has everyone forgotten Shawshank Redemption? (from "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption)

It's is the same 4 story novella collection as "the Body" (made into Stand by Me) and Apt Pupil

Personally I'd put "It" (the book, not the abortion of a "tv") at the top of the list. Stephen King writes kids better than just about anyone.

erp...typo ...should be "abortion of a tv MOVIE"


I really think SK jumped the shark with the sh*tweasel stuff.

It's going to take an extraordinary effort for me to part with any $$$ in his general direction again.

Julie, I agree - long walk was definitely a good short story.

I think the DT series kicked a whole lotta ass up until the last story. Song of Susannah was good, but it kinda started getting way wacky around there.

Michele - regarding your comment about the stories simply being "cross-referenced", I kind of agree, and I kind of disagree. Yes, they're tangential, but they do add sheer depth to the DT series.

Speaking of which, I forgot to mention I'd rank insomnia much higher on my list of books I liked. Probably right below the stand.

This list also reminds me, I have to go back and re-read Talisman and EoD - haven't read those since middle school. Damn.

I liked "FROM A BUICK EIGHT"...but it never got going!

I started reading, thinking "Ah this is going to be good!". But I still thought that as I read the last page. It never got off the ground.

Missed opportunity.

Weeds, short story made into a segment of the Creepshow screenplay mentioned above (and King played the main character). Killer movie.

"The Mist" STILL haunts me, and I read it when I was a teenager. STILL!

My Pretty Pony.

The story itself is fairly unremarkable & I only bring it up because it's kind of hard to miss: bright red oversized book with a hard slipcase. Won't fit on the shelf like a normal book, so it lays on top of some other titles.

Not to keep hammering on Dark Tower, but the conspiracy nuts hold that Tabitha King, not SK , acutally wrote the last two books post accidente. It would explain a few things.

I stopped reading King after the debacle of the aptly named Insomnia. The guy can write convincing psychopaths, precogs, werewolves and vampires, but not a sane or kind person who believes that abortion is wrong. I thought that kind of odd. Indeed, in the book most anyone against abortion is either a terrorist--and I mean that literally--or about one step from becoming one. As well, the book was at least 400 pages too long.

A dreadful read. I still shudder to think of it.

I think my problem with King is that I've never actually read his books and treated them as a story in and of themselves. I'm always looking for the DT connection, which is probably why I liked insomnia so much.

Doc - interesting about TK writing the last two DT books. I liked VI though you could tell he was rushing to finish the series. Then VII came out and I was pissed. What a friggin cop out. Then I got to thinking about how it ended more and more, and I have to say it's growing on me. If you think about it, he really couldn't have ended it many other ways. He writes fantasy stories (not horror IMO). He left us with the ultimate cliff-hanger - no closure, nothing. I think the point was for it to be disturbing/annoying.

I guess the overall lesson would be it's all about the journey, not the destination - which is some good perspective if you ask me. Especially these days. :)

I am surprised that no one has mentioned Bag of Bones, which I think is the best thing King has ever written. Although I have read most everything King-ish, I only have five books that are on my "re-read perodically" list. In order of preference, they are:

Bag of Bones
The Green Mile
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Dolores Claiborne
Rose Madder

Stylistically, Bag of Bones is just in a class by itself. On a dust jacket blurb it was described as "a haunted love story", and I think that sums it up just about perfectly.

For development into screen productions, I liked Dolores Claiborne and The Green Mile. I actually liked the movie version of The Green Mile a bit more than the book, because the gratuitous tragedy at the end is omitted (i.e. the mouse survives).

fat kid,

Your point is right on - what ending would have been more satisfying? Seriously, any single answer/discovery would have been a disappointment.

A mystery totally and neatly resolved cannot be larger than life, and I think the entire series was larger than life.

I don't think its the actual ending that honks people off . Its safe to say that Roland will eventally come to rest, given he's recieved an object from Gan that he didn't have in the prior cycle. Its the rush and muddle getting there. The Crimson King. The fate of Walter. Susanah. Eddie. what purpose Mordred served I've no Idea. It fell flat in comparison to what came before.

I'll agree with you on the rush toward the end.

I agree, I think walter and mordred got off waay to easy. Given the lead up the kid mentioned in insomnia got, he should have played more of a role than farking erasing the goddamn crimson king. So, yeah, the last couple books were rushed, but didn't King (in the prologue or something) admit that this was one of those stories that could just go on forever and he had to wrap it up one time or another...

OTOH how crappy would it be if he never did get to finsih it due to that accident?

One final note, ending aside (which I've come/am coming to terms with) I had hopes that the DT series would be my generations' LoTR or something. It had all the makings of it, and with all the crazy tie-ins to his other works, but at the end, I just don't think it amounted to the same thing. It's definitely a more "American" version of it, but it doesn't strike me on the same level the hobbit/lotr books did.

I loved SK's books and have a lot of the older ones in hard back (packed in a box in the basement), but got ticked off when he released "Rose Madder" instead of the next DT installment!

SK led me to Dan Simmons..."Carrion Comfort" is amazing.

Oh and "Misery" scared the crap out of me...it could happen so easily.

I had a paperback copy of Misery that had a "romance novel" cover just inside with a stylized SK as the lusty, muscular hero...too funny

Its no LOTR, but its still "epic" in nature. He created an entire linked multiverse that was rich in characters and history that left you wanting more. Whether or not this can be translated to the screen...I dunno. I've no idea whom I would even cast as Roland. Susannah, yes. Roland, no.

Walter Would be Rutger Hauer.

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