Stephen King

The Best Reading Order For Stephen King Books

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Stephen King is one of the most prolific writers still alive today, and without a doubt, the master of modern horror. He has so many different titles to offer his readers that there seems to be an option for even the most fickle terror aficionados. In this article, we’ll discuss the best possible reading orders for Stephen King’s books. And believe us… they are more than a handful!

We’ll be handling two reading orders, though we are certain that there are countless different possibilities! The first one will start us off with Roland Deschain’s stories, and then we’ll jump onto King’s standalone books, finishing with his short story and novellas compilations.

Starting with Roland’s journey

The Dark Tower series follows the adventures of Roland Deschain and the many friends and enemies he makes across his journey. It’s a fascinating saga filled with dark humor, mystery, horror, drama and sci-fi themes. It was the one story King had been shaping in his head ever since he was a teenager. It took a near-death experience to finish and publish it in its entirety. It’s also the epic series that makes sense of the grand multiverse in which all Stephen King’s stories coexist. 

We feel that to help the reader comprehend the rest of his work, King offers them The Dark Tower saga as the key to solve the mystery. And because of that, it should be your starting point when approaching his work. 

  1. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982) 
  2. The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (1987) 
  3. The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (1991) 
  4. The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (1997) 
  5. The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla (2003) 
  6. The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (2004) 
  7. The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (2004) 
  8. The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012)

Once you are done with Roland’s story, we recommend you jump right into King’s standalone novels and finally to his collections of novellas and short stories. It’s an arduous and thrilling road, but you’ll have a fascinating new narrator each time to guide you through it.

  1. Carrie (1974) 
  2. ‘Salem’s Lot (1975) 
  3. The Shining (1977) 
  4. Rage (1977) as Richard Bachman 
  5. The Stand (1978) 
  6. The Long Walk (1979) as Richard Bachman 
  7. The Dead Zone (1979) 
  8. Firestarter (1980) 
  9. Roadwork (1981) as Richard Bachman 
  10. Cujo (1981) 
  11. The Running Man (1982) 
  12. Christine (1983) 
  13. Pet Sematary (1983) 
  14. Cycle of the Werewolf (1983) 
  15. The Talisman (1984) 
  16. Thinner (1984) 
  17. It (1986) 
  18. The Eyes of the Dragon (1987) 
  19. Misery (1987) 
  20. The Tommyknockers (1987) 
  21. The Dark Half (1989) 
  22. Needful Things(1991) 
  23. Gerald’s Game (1992) 
  24. Dolores Claiborne (1992) 
  25. Insomnia (1994) 
  26. Rose Madder (1995) 
  27. The Green Mile (1996) 
  28. Desperation (1996) 
  29. The Regulators (1996) 
  30. Bag of Bones (1998) 
  31. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999) 
  32. Dreamcatcher (2001) 
  33. Black House (2001) 
  34. From a Buick 8 (2002) 
  35. The Colorado Kid (2005) 
  36. Cell (2006) 
  37. Lisey’s Story (2006) 
  38. Blaze (2007) as Richard Bachman 
  39. Duma Key (2008) 
  40. Under the Dome (2009) 
  41. 11/22/63 (2011) 
  42. Joyland (2013) 
  43. Doctor Sleep (2013) 
  44. Mr. Mercedes (2014) 
  45. Revival November (2014) 
  46. Finders Keepers (2015) 
  47. End of Watch (2016) 
  48. Sleeping Beauties (2017) 
  49. The Outsider (2018) 
  50. Elevation (2018) 
  51. Night Shift (1978) 
  52. Different Seasons (1982) 
  53. Skeleton Crew (1985) 
  54. The Bachman Books (1985) 
  55. Four Past Midnight (1990) 
  56. Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993) 
  57. Hearts in Atlantis (1999) 
  58. Everything’s Eventual (2002)
  59. Just After Sunset (2008) 
  60. Full Dark, No Stars (2010)
  61. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (2015) 

In chronological order

Sometimes it’s better to start from the very beginning. This allows the reader to truly comprehend an author’s evolution over the years. What themes they were most interested in different stages in their lives.

With this order, you’ll get a better sense of King’s style and how it changed and adapted to the times he was living in. 

  1. Carrie (1974) 
  2. ‘Salem’s Lot (1975) 
  3. The Shining (1977) 
  4. Rage (1977) 
  5. The Stand (1978) 
  6. Night Shift (1978) 
  7. The Long Walk (1979) 
  8. The Dead Zone (1979) 
  9. Firestarter (1980) 
  10. Roadwork (1981) as Richard Bachman 
  11. Cujo (1981)  
  12. The Running Man (1982) 
  13. Different Seasons (1982) 
  14. The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger (1982)  
  15. Christine (1983) 
  16. Pet Sematary (1983) 
  17. Cycle of the Werewolf (1983) 
  18. The Talisman (1984) 
  19. Thinner (1984) 
  20. Skeleton Crew (1985) 
  21. The Bachman Books (1985) 
  22. It (1986) 
  23. The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (1987) 
  24. The Eyes of the Dragon (1987) 
  25. Misery (1987) 
  26. The Tommyknockers (1987) 
  27. The Dark Half (1989) 
  28. Four Past Midnight (1990) 
  29. Needful Things(1991) 
  30. The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (1991) 
  31. Gerald’s Game (1992) 
  32. Dolores Claiborne (1992) 
  33. Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993) 
  34. Insomnia (1994) 
  35. Rose Madder (1995) 
  36. The Green Mile (1996)  
  37. Desperation (1996) 
  38. The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (1997) 
  39. The Regulators (1996) as Richard Bachman, twin novel of Desperation 
  40. Bag of Bones (1998) 
  41. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999)  
  42. Hearts in Atlantis (1999) 
  43. Dreamcatcher (2001) 
  44. Black House (2001) 
  45. From a Buick 8 (2002) 
  46. Everything’s Eventual (2002) 
  47. The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla (2003) 
  48. The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (2004) 
  49. The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (2004) 
  50. The Colorado Kid (2005) 
  51. Cell (2006) 
  52. Lisey’s Story (2006) 
  53. Blaze (2007) as Richard Bachman 
  54. Duma Key (2008) 
  55. Just After Sunset (2008) 
  56. Under the Dome (2009) 
  57. Full Dark, No Stars (2010) 
  58. 11/22/63 (2011) 
  59. The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012) 
  60. Joyland (2013) 
  61. Doctor Sleep (2013) 
  62. Mr. Mercedes (2014) 
  63. Revival November (2014) 
  64. Finders Keepers (2015) 
  65. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (2015) 
  66. End of Watch (2016) 
  67. Sleeping Beauties (2017) 
  68. Gwendy’s Button Box (2017)  
  69. The Outsider (2018) 
  70. Elevation (2018)

Stephen King is not only prolific but also brilliant and detail-oriented. The reader is promised a thrilling and sometimes vertiginous ride. What’s best, there is a book for everyone’s tastes. If you prefer psychological thrillers, you have Misery and Gerald’s game. If you prefer ghosts and apparitions, Pet sematary. Curses? Thinner. A story of a man being corrupted by unknown forces? The shinning. Cruel serial killers? Mr. Mercedes. Coming of age stories tied together by bone-chilling horror? It! The list goes on and on and on!

Many of Stephen King’s stories as located in the state of Maine, and it’s really no wonder. King was no only born and raised in The Pine Tree State, but he continued to live his entire adult life there. 

Not all is horror and monsters in the King residence. He had been married to his wife, Tabita, since 1971, and considers her to be the ideal reader he keeps in mind whenever he writes a new book. 

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