All Hail the King: The Best of Stephen King

The Best of Stephen King: Our Mammoth guide to the Master of The Macabre will help you find the best slice of King for your  audiobook needs

“You know, sometimes I wake up in the morning and think to myself, ”There just isn’t enough Stephen King in the world’.” – Nobody. Ever.

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At this point, I think It’s fairly safe to say that nobody ever accused Stephen King of not writing enough.

Putting aside the content of his novels, one of the most unnerving things about the ‘Master of Horror’  is his seemingly supernatural capability to keep coming up with new and ever more frightening ideas and characters. The sheer energy of the man is terrifying.

Looking at his list of works, you’d be forgiven for thinking that, like one of his characters,  he was actually possessed by the ghosts of thousands of stories and was exorcising them from his body one at a time, in an attempt to get them all out before he croaks.

Having written scores novels over his career, most of which are so thick that if you want more than three in your house at one time you need planning permission and a building permit, King’s career has been both astoundingly prolific and notoriously wordy with most of his books containing more letters than the complaints file at Harvey Weinstein’s offices.

He’s written novels, novellas, and short stories, short story collections and screenplays, not to mention the non-fiction and the books he wrote under a pseudonym!

 So popular and ubiquitous are his contributions to the big screen that there have even been discussions in the media recently about whether there are too many ‘Stephen King films’ on the market at once, to which I’d respond, ‘What else can we use to fill the time between superhero movies’?( Though it is worth considering what it says about our society in this decade,  that tales of superhumans and the horrors conjured up by Stephen King dominate the box office, but that’s for another day).

In short, or not so short, as the case may be, there’s an awful lot of Stephen King out there. Which, I would argue, is a good thing.

Whilst nobody can churn out that volume of work and have it all be regarded as classic or essential, King has come astoundingly close

 Yes he has taken a few missteps, written some more mediocre offerings to go alongside his bone fide classics and probably added a few thousand words too many on occasion, but it is simply staggering how he manages to keep the quality control level so high with so much of his copious output being nothing less than fantastic.

However, for the discerning consumer of audiobooks, there is a curse within this blessing. Go on audible or any other audiobook site and enter the name Stephen King and you get more results than a  teenage boy entering the word ‘boobs’ into google for the first time and in a similar outcome, the sheer scale and variety of choice in what’s available can be overwhelming. Especially if you’re a newbie.                

Deciding which King contribution to can be overwhelming.  Do you want an established classic or lesser known masterpiece?  A super long novel  to keep you entertained for a series of long journeys or a bitesize jolt of the jitters from a well crafted short story?  Supernatural horror or the horrors that men unleash on each other? There truly is a King story for all occasions, but unless you’ve been blessed with The Shining it can be difficult to work out where to begin (though if you don’t get that joke, that might be your first clue as to where to start). 

Luckily, we are here to guide you through this cornucopia of creepy content, breaking your choices up into easy to digest sections to help you find the right morsel of the monstrous and macabre to suit your mood.

This is not a comprehensive list, nor does it claim to be – so prolific is King that if I summarised all of his work, this article would probably end up being available as on audiobook in its own right before too long. It is therefore inevitable that some works will be overlooked.

If you do feel that  I have overlooked a classic or missed your favourite slice of King then you have two choices: You can politely share your opinion with other audiobook listeners in the comments below so that everyone can explore the title I missed, or alternatively you get bent. The choice is yours.  

With that caveat made clear, strap in for some fun folks, be warned though, this could get wordy…

The Novels

If you’re brand new to King and want to dip your toe in the water before taking the plunge on a full length (and fully lengthy) novel, then skip to the section on short stories.

For most, however, the natural place to start for King is with his novels.

The beauty of a Stephen King novel for an audiobook listener lies not only in the thrill that comes with a scare but also in the immersive nature of the world he creates.

Once you’ve read a few you’ll come to appreciate the intertextuality of King’s work, both with the works of other authors and amusingly, with himself, with easter eggs, cameos and overlaps all contributing to King’s efforts to build not only an isolated story but a larger and more detailed world.

Like Pennywise dragging a child into a drain, King’s novels pull you in and refuse to let go, which for an audiobook listener is simply perfect.

What better way to spend a rainy afternoon, a boring commute or a long bus journey than wandering the vividly painted worlds and creeping shadows produced by one of the most fertile minds in fiction?

Best Stephen King Classics:

Some of King’s better-known works were so popular that they have been absorbed into mainstream pop culture, chances are that even if you haven’t read any of the titles listed below you will have encountered the characters, heard the premise or recognise the content simply by virtue of being media literate in the 21st Century. These then are the books you may have heard of but may not have read and the reasons why you absolutely should.

IT

For those of you might consider this one ticked off, because you’ve seen either the recent films, or the original childhood scarring TV mini-series version of King’s classic, I have some advice for you. Don’t.

This actually goes for most of King’s work, for whilst many of his stories have made it to the big screen, it’s safe to say that condensing everything that makes a Stephen King novel great into the limited time frame of a film (or even two) is impossible.

A lot of the movies are great (and of course some are utter dogshit) but there is so much more to the novels than can be conveyed on screen. IT is a perfect example.

Aside from being a genuinely terrifying story about a group of misfits battling  a murderous shape shifting entity that can become whatever scares them most, not to mention a serious blow to the professional clowning industry, (there were actual complaints from clowns about the impact of IT upon their livelihoods, I shit you not) IT is also a well structured, expansive and beautifully paced novel about adolescence and growing up, that paints a vivid and deeply evocative picture of its time period, setting and the fraternal love between its main characters.

 Much of the enjoyment gained from the novel comes not from the supernatural goings on, but from the way in which King manages to develop such well rounded, believable and nakedly vulnerable characters.

It is  King’s great talent to heighten the tension and stakes in the more horrific scenes, by first taking the time to ensure that the reader is emotionally invested in the characters.  You’re frightened for the Losers because you feel like you know them. Scaring is caring.

A masterpiece of horror fiction and a great novel besides, this is essential King.

The Shining

You know, I don’t know what it was, but I had a funny feeling this novel would make the list, sort of a premonition or something. It’s probably nothing.

Another novel that can’t be considered without mentioning its classic on screen interpretation (which incidentally King himself hated) this story, made famous by a wild eyed Jack Nicholson, is another that is far more rewarding in its literary form.

As a novel  The Shining is a fantastic demonstration in text of  how to build tension and portray mounting pressure.

 The literary equivalent of watching a balloon slowly inflate  to a point far beyond what it should be able to contain, The Shining builds and builds to a terrifying climax, the dicky boiler featured in the novel serving as the perfect metaphor for the protagonist’s attempts to contain what is mounting up inside him.

            The story itself revolves around an author who takes a job as a caretaker at a hotel whilst it is shut up for the winter. If ever there was any doubt as to the genius of  Stephen King and his ability to instill fear, pay attention to how he somehow manages, through his words alone, to make an uncoiled firehose and topiary shrubbery seem like spine chilling threats.

Not to mention the fact that the film’s ending (about which King made a point of expressing his dissatisfaction) is entirely different to the novel

If planning to listen on a bus journey ask for a discount on your seat, you’ll only ever use the edge of it.

Carrie

From a story that bottles up the tension and allows the pressure to build to one in which you wish the bottle would explode, all over some very specific targets.

 A claustrophobic tale of skewed religious fervor coupled with the trauma of an abusive parent, Carrie is another tale which, although it made for great viewing on the big screen, barely had its surface scratched by the movie.

The beauty of Carrie is that the character development in King’s original novel  has you feeling along with her, and almost wishing that you could exact horrific revenge on her tormentors yourself.

The fact that you have already justified her revenge to yourself long before there is even the possibility of it happening, makes the emergence of her supernatural gifts and the crippling way in which she uses them all the more impactful, leaving the reader feeling to feel oddly guilty as if they too had been somehow complicit in the act.

Needful things

A beautiful depiction of small town frictions, a clever study of our selfish desire to possess and an underappreciated King classic, Needful Things is one of  a list of King tales that actually seems to have been diminished by its film adaptation.

In book form, it is the slow building story of a junk shop/ antique store that stocks precisely what your heart desires. Who is the proprietor of this most wonderful of stores? A charismatic newcomer who somehow knows just what you need and is willing to sell it to you, for a price.

King’s own take on the classic ‘deal with the devil’ trope this immersive tale also features cameos from characters present in King’s other works, something King tends to do a lot and which only serves to once again illustrate the scope of the man’s imagination.

The Stand

The Stand is King’s lengthiest novel, and that’s saying something. Actually it’s saying a lot of things. An awful lot of things.

Ironically, King almost didn’t finish the novel because of writer’s block- guess he got over that then..

 The Stand is a post apocalyptic novel which imagines a scenario in which a strain of influenza intended for use as a weapon is released, wiping out 99% of the world’s population (which probably makes it the King novel with highest body count too).

 Those who do survive are drawn either to an elderly woman named Mother Abigail or to a sinister supernatural being named Randall Flagg.

Inspired by the structure and scope of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, King’s take on the fantasy quest has similarly dualistic oppositions of dark and light forces and is similarly epic.

 If possible try to get hold of an uncut version. Whilst this may seem like adding water to an already overflowing glass, some versions have the epilogue ‘The circle closes’ which provides a slightly different and slightly darker ending.

Misery

An exploration into the dangers of obsession and the creepy turns that fandom can take, Misery traces the story of  author  Paul Sheldon, who, having maintained a series of books featuring a popular lead character decides to kill his creation off.

Unfortunately, before he is able to do this he is involved in a car wreck, rescued and nursed by his ‘biggest fan’.

What might initially have seemed like a stroke of luck however, turns out to be far from it, as his saviour learns of the plans to kill off her most beloved character and doesn’t take it well. At all.

She traps Sheldon in the house, bringing him a typewriter to work from and insisting that he complete a new novel in which the character ‘Misery’ is resurrected.

Containing a variety of autobiographical references both to his alcoholism and his feelings of frustration after his attempts to branch out from the horror genre met with disapproval from fans, Misery as a novel is even more violent than the famously gruesome film adaptation.

This is another King classic that overflows with suspense and nail biting tension as Sheldon repeatedly tries to move around the house undetected.

His savior and tormentor Annie is a brilliantly drawn character. Paradoxically repressed and offended by foul language and yet happy to lash out with terrifying violence when displeased.

Salem’s Lot

King’s classic take on the vampire novel evolved out of an earlier short story and  achieves its stated  aim of giving vampires back their bite, restoring them to  their rightful position as  savage and predatory creatures, an interpretation that made them terrifying in their original folkloric incarnations.

A recent article in The Guardian newspaper interviewed horror writers to ask them which novels scared them, the fact that this was the only book to appear twice on that list should be enough of a review to make you want to listen immediately. If it scares the scarers then it should do the trick for you too.

The novel is covered in more detail in my list of the best vampire novels on audiobook that you can also find on our site.

Pet Semmetary

The book that King himself has said scared him the most, Pet Sematary (his deliberate misspelling not mine) is the story of a family that move to an area by a major road and of course the ‘Pet Semmetary’ of the title.

 The latter is an area where local children bury their animals but also a place that holds other even more sinister powers, namely the power to resurrect those who are buried there.

Whilst this might sound like a useful and even miraculous plot of land to have close to your house, that is to overlook the unsavory side effects as those buried and resurrected come back ‘changed’.

 When they’re cat is killed by a vehicle on the road the protagonist decides to put the cursed place to use with predictable results.

All the more reason why he wouldn’t use the place’s magical qualities when his young son is also killed. Would he?

A modern retelling of W.W. Jacob’s The Monkey’s Paw, Pet Semmetary is a genuinely creepy novel that  is definitely better as an audiobook, having a great deal more atmosphere and authentic spookiness than its more slash and gore reliant on screen interpretations.

Doctor Sleep

Once you’ve read The Shining dive straight into its sequel. A particularly exciting prospect as, since the movie has only just been released, you have the perfect opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and read the book before seeing the film.

Lesser-known classics

Whilst the multitude of big-screen adaptations have led certain King novels to be staples in the public consciousness, the sheer scale of his output means that there are many other novels which though of very high quality are sadly still overlooked by many in favour of the more popular titles.

The Outsider

Blurring the edges of genres with admirable skill, King mixes elements of crime drama in to this tale of monsters and doppelgangers.

When a beloved teacher and baseball coach is accused of a horrendous act of sexual violence and murder, the case looks open and shut, with eyewitness and physical evidence set to send the perp down for life.

 Until that is, his alibi turns out to also be provable. How can he have been in two places at once, and if he wasn’t then who committed the horrendous murder?

Though less popular than the established classics this is considered one of King’s best of his later period.

Elevation

What if one day, gravity stopped working, just for you?

 That’s the basic premise behind this novel, in which the protagonist, though appearing exactly the same to everyone else, continues to become lighter and lighter.

Billed as a novel, this one probably fits better into the novella category and definitely feels ‘lighter’ by comparison to some of King’s other much heftier tomes. It’s shorter length and intriguing premise makes it ideal for audiobook consumption though.  

Dolores Claiborne

A king novel for people who don’t really like King novels.

 Much more reliant on real life drama than any supernatural element, Dolores Claiborne is a gorgeously gothic story of one woman’s struggles against her rich employer and abusive husband.

On the page, Dolores Claiborne stands out from King’s other novels as a result of not having the usual chapters and formatting common to his work.

Instead, the novel is presented as one, long, uninterrupted piece of writing and therefore works to make the text appear like a transcription of a confession (which it is supposed to be).

This effect, which makes the narrative unspool in with real cathartic weight,  transfers brilliantly to audio as we are taken into a first-person account which begins as a confession but eventually unravels to be a life story told by a salty, stubborn and brilliantly likeable narrator.

What this novel lacks in supernatural happenings is more than made up for in human drama and realistically painted emotion. One of King’s most underrated novels.

Revival

 Another of King’s newer novels and one which is yet to make it to the big or even small screen as an adaptation ( if you’re reading this Netflix I expect royalties for suggesting it).

In some ways it’s always a treat to read a King novel without having ever seen or even heard of the film.

By resisting any outside influence, your imagination is then free to work on a blank canvas and create your own pure vision of the narrative.

The only downside is that when you do eventually see the movie it’s invariably a disappointment, lacking the depth, detail and creativity of your own personal version.

Revival,  is just such a novel. Wearing its influences proudly on its sleeve, this novel, which picks up elements of Frankenstein, Arthur Machen and Lovecraft, centres around a young minister named Charles Jacobs.

When his life is turned upside down by a tragedy, Jacobs turns against the God he once loved in a polemic from the pulpit like no other.

Jacobs, who has been experimenting with an electricity-based energy source to provide cures to health problems, begins to use these experiments for more extreme purposes.

 For those who are fans of the cosmic level horror of H.P. Lovecraft, the ending to revival offers one of the bleakest, most nihilistic terrifying visions in his entire oeuvre and rips a page right from Lovecraft’s playbook with its inclusion of enormous and enormously malevolent forces.

Best Stephen King Novellas

Shorter than the novels, longer than the short stories, for many the Goldilocks’ porridge of audiobook consumption.

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption

Yes,THAT Shawshank Redemption. It is surprising to find how many people are blissfully unaware that a film regarded by many to be in the top ten ever made and one that doesn’t contain anything supernatural, is based on a story by none other than the master of the macabre himself, one Mr S. King.

The movie adaptation is one of three by director Frank Darabont, all of which appear on this list and which are worth both watching as films and listening to as audiobooks for the further depth and nuanced detail that is missed by the films.

Darabont also owns the rights to two more King works ‘The Long Walk’ and ‘The Monkey’ and, if his previous efforts are anything to go by, these should be highly anticipated works, when he eventually gets around to making them.

For those who haven’t seen the film, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, is the story of Andy Dufrane who is wrongly incarcerated in the titular prison.

 The novel details Dufrane’s years behind bars, the inner workings of the prison and the interactions between its inmates and the dark undercurrent of corruption and mistreatment that seems to have been built into the institutions impenetrable walls.

As the title suggests this is a tale of redemption and of stalwart, patient determination, though explaining how Ms Hayworth fits into the narrative would be too much of a spoiler.

The Mist

A group of people are trapped inside a supermarket when a mysterious ‘mist’ descends upon their town.

This fog is revealed to conceal dangerous and monstrous creatures and, fearing to venture into it, the narrative’s characters decide to remain inside, hoping it will eventually clear.

 Brilliantly atmospheric,‘The Mist’ gets much of its horror and tension not, as one might expect, from the threat posed by the things in the fog ( though of course they are terrifying, particularly the only partially seen creature that would ‘make a blue whale look like a trout’) but also from the ‘cabin fever’ tension that escalates within the supermarket.

The religious fervour of some of the characters and the direction this takes in the resulting hysteria is chilling.  Particularly unsettling is the entirely plausible ease with which it takes hold, as terrified people are pressed and manipulated into becoming a living vision of the adage ‘desperate times desperate measures’ .

 Another of King’s tales that was adapted for the screen by Darabont, I would recommend listening to the audiobook version before seeing the film, especially because they have different endings. I’ll leave it to you to decide which you prefer. 

The Body

Adapted for the screen as ‘Stand By Me’ another movie that many do not realise is based upon a King story.

The premise behind the story, that a group of young boys set off on a camping trip, spurred on by the promise of seeing a dead body, provides the framework for a story that explores ideas of friendship, rites of passage and particularly the realisation of mortality and the effect that has on the transition from youth to adulthood.

 Some critics have noted that on the page, the transitions between time periods and the insertion of mini stories told by one of the boys can be confusing, on audiobook however, where shifts in tone and voice can allow these distinctions to be more clearly pronounced and clearly identified, the shifts enhance rather than detract from the experience.  

The Green Mile

Come on, you had to know this one was a Stephen King story! Listed here as a novella but technically a novel that was serialised, The Green Mile is another story which was gorgeously adapted for the screen by Darabont and another that is set in a prison.

The Green Mile of the title refers to the walk the inmates do to the electric chair, the narrative being primarily set on death row.

Much more tinged with the supernatural than ‘Rita Hayworth’ The Green Mile details the arrival at ‘The Mile’ of John Coffey, an enormous, but mentally challenged inmate who seems to display empathic healing abilities.

Another example of a King story told in the first person, the narrator inviting the reader to see the events through their eyes allows for a deeply immersive and vividly descriptive audiobook adaptation.

Bear in mind that some King novellas also appear in his short story collections (for example a clipped version of The Mist is included in King’s Skeleton Crew collection) so be sure to check before downloading that you aren’t doubling up and getting the same story twice.

Best Stephen King short stories & collections

Whilst King will always be synonymous with whopping great tomes, many audiobook listeners prefer shorter instalments of fictiony goodness. Especially if they’re the kind that makes your hair stand on end or induce you to listen to the next one because after the first there’s no chance of you sleeping.

 Luckily,  King has also produced a number of excellent short stories to chill spines and haunt minds. Indeed,  there is a wide range of collections available as audiobooks, from his official collections like Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Night Shift or Skeleton Crew, to more thrown together selections compiling stories from different collections or just anthologising choice cuts from a larger group.

Forrest Gump famously said that ‘life is like a box of chocolates’ (all the best ones are gone?) and so are King’s short stories, albeit with a rather bitter after taste. Like a box of chocolates, sometimes you feel like just having just the one bite-sized sweet treat, whilst at other times you feel like you could devour the whole box. I have therefore borne this in mind.

 Whilst my recommendation as a fan would be to stick to the larger collections, working through and enjoying them as a collection, as you might a great album,  kids nowadays have no idea what an ‘album’ is and prefer to simply order the tracks they like individually (in my day we called them ‘singles and listed to them on the stereogram).

Since there is also the option to pick up individual King Tales on audiobook if you just fancy a taster, (an option ideal for audiobook listeners on short journeys or lunch breaks),  I thought that rather than going through every title in every collection systematically, I would instead offer a  list of individual King classics that are worth seeking out, either as part of a collection or on their own. That way if you are looking at buying a collection, you can be sure to see if any of these classics are included.

The Boogeyman

Though short and superficially quite simple, the effectiveness of The Boogeyman comes from the interplay between carefully overlapping elements.

Playing on every child’s simple, but all too real fear of the ‘thing in the closet’,  The Boogeyman features a character who,  though sympathetic, is also well rounded enough to have deep flaws,  a device which is key to making the story work.

As he pours his heart to a psychiatrist, mulling over the deaths of his children,  the  listener’s ambivalence towards him as a character encourages us to doubt him, his explanations and his terrors.

Is this an unreliable narrator making monsters to explain away his own failings, or a terrified victim of a thing truly deserving of terror?

 Featuring some truly creepy moments and quotable lines, the boogeyman speaks to the frightened child in all of us. Just don’t try teaching it to a class full of children, the parents won’t appreciate it. Trust me.

The Jaunt

Speaking of quotable lines, the impactful sucker punch of these tales’ final few sentences are amongst King’s best and most haunting.

 A sci-fi horror yarn that explores the idea of teleportation, this is one that really stays with you and one of my top recommendations for those looking for an intro to King’s short fiction.

The Crate

King has spoken of his childhood love for horror comics in many platforms. The pre ban likes of EC comics Vault of Horror and Tales from the Crypt enthralled the young King with their gruesome tales and lurid artwork by the likes of Graham Ingles (who actually gets a mention in King’s story, ‘The Boogeyman’ listed above).

This influence is clear to see in many of King’s short stories which retain the ‘ just desserts comeuppance’ narratives in which punishment or retribution is meted out by some gruesome or supernatural means.

Highlight of the brilliantly schlocky anthology movie ‘Creepshow’ The Crate was also available as part of a bone fide comic book, illustrated by none other than comics legend Berni Wrightson ( which was  a match made in heaven, Wrightson being to horror art what King is to horror fiction).

As such it is about as EC comics as King gets and is the story of a henpecked professor who, having discovered a crate containing a ravenous lurking monster, decides that he might have found a way to rid himself of his termagant wife. Brilliant creature feature fun.

The Ledge

Another story in the EC comics mold, though this time without any supernatural element, the ledge is the story of a jealous mob boss who hatches an elaborate plan for vengeance on a man he finds has been sleeping with his wife.

Rather than simply killing his enemy outright, the jealous husband agrees to let him go and even give him money, provided he climbed out of the window and do an entire circuit of the skyscraper he lives in, balancing only on a tiny, narrow, ledge. A simple but brilliantly effective idea.

Weeds

Another slab of science-fictiony goodness and another that wears its Lovecraft influences prominently, this humorous tale was adapted for the screen in the anthology movie Creepshow 2 with King himself playing the main character.

Also known as The Strange Death of Jordy Verill the story concerns an isolated country hic who finds, to his great delight, a meteor that landed on his property. Imagining his find might be worth the money, he takes it inside only to find that the strange weed growing on the rock has attached itself to his hands, and begun to spread.

Graveyard Shift

A good old fashioned creature feature, this one is built around the story of workers in an old textile mill being enlisted to clean out the basement of the building and take care of the rat infestation.

What they don’t realise, of course, is that shut off from the world, the verminous denizens of the basement have evolved in strange, hideous and terrifying shapes and that’s before they even reach the sub basement…

The Monkey

In an early episode of Family Guy, the writers take a pot shot at King, suggesting that he may have run out of ideas.

The sketch involves him meeting his agent and when asked what his new idea is, fixating on the lamp in front of him before shouting ‘lamp monster’ which his agent wearily accepts.

 Whilst this joke does have teeth, there is a humorous irony in the fact that, as demonstrated by the topiary animals and firehose in The Shining, should King chose to make an inanimate object scary, you wouldn’t bet against him being able to do it lamp monster or no lamp monster.

 Another great example of this is his short story ‘The Monkey’ which centres around a child’s wind up toy. A monkey holding a cymbal in each hand and which claps them.monotonously together. And that’s it.

No many tentacled things from the nether regions, no hideous beast under the bed. Just a toy monkey. Is it scary? Of course it fucking is, it’s Stephen King.

Children of the Corn

It often surprises people to learn that this folk horror story of religious fanaticism and human sacrifice is a short story.

Owing to the fact that it was made into a feature length film people assume it to have been based upon a novel,  but not so. King’s vision of a murderous cult lead by a group of children in rural America is short, but, like the best stories has several disturbing ideas at its core.

Best Non-fiction by Stephen King

Just in case you thought King only wrote fiction…

As a non-fiction writer King’s former career as a teacher shines through. As always, his amiable, knowledgeable and at times genuinely funny prose is as engaging when dealing with real-world concerns as with terrors that haunt the imagination.

 It is therefore worth checking out some of his non-fiction contributions available as audiobooks especially if you have an interest in the actual mechanics of how a great horror story or a great story, in general, is put together.

Danse Macabre

Originally suggested to King as a way to avoid answering repetitive questions in interviews ‘Danse Macabre’ is essentially the King of horror writing about horror.

A detailed and expansive overview of the genre from Victorian classics to the present day. A fascinating insight into the madness behind the method.

On Writing

Essentially King’s memoir, covering his career and offering advice to aspiring authors, this is essential reading for anyone thinking of making their own forays into the world of literature and an interesting and entertaining read for those who aren’t.

Bachman

Since there’s so much Stephen King to choose from and get through you might find yourself wanting a break.

 In which case you could do worse than picking up the novels by Richard Bachman. Only trouble is, Bachman is also where Stephen King goes when he wants a break from Stephen King.

King’s pseudonym allowed him to continue publishing at pace at a time when publishers believed that for an author to put out more than one novel a year would saturate the market.

To get around this and, unbelievably, write, even more, King adopted the pseudonym Richard Bachman. 

The resulting novels including Thinner and The Running Man are pacy action-packed sci-fi horror stories that are wildly entertaining and retain many of King’s stylistic traits, including (in true Stephen King style) being adapted for the big screen,  albeit with Bachman listed as the author in the credits, at King’s insistence : After all it’s not like there isn’t enough Stephen King in the world is it?