I am a self-proclaimed horror junkie. And as that junkie, I am embarrassed to say I have not read a single one of Stephen King’s books. (Shame on me!) I assumed the task of ranking his novels from spooky to sinister, would prove to be an easy task – wrong! It wasn’t the length of the list (49 books) that threw me off, it was the variety – one who finds aliens frightening may not have nightmares over psychological thrillers. Therefore, I have ranked the books in genres. Between research and taking daily brakes to avoid King-like dreams (true story!) This project has become the most badass book report, I have ever done.
A simple premise; think the Slasher of Hunger Games. The deeply dark novel describes physical pain while the characters descend into madness as they struggle to outlive each other. You can feel the words in this book.
Stephen King frequently used an alias while writing, which makes this disturbing tale of a pseudonym finding independence and becoming far eviler than its creator intended, that much more of a psychological thriller.
This book is high on my personal list, not because of its likelihood to scare me, rather, for its ode to strong female characters. This book disregards chapters completely and reads like a monologue as the main character tells the story of her life; murder, motherhood, and disintegration of her marriage.
A childhood nightmare brought to life by King himself. Twisted isn’t a good enough word – yet, I’ll use it. it’s suspenseful, evil and dark. I believe most of us can relate to the whole, psycho-clown storyline.
How far would you go to get your most desired possession? This story explores those answers in dark and twisty way. King appears to be brilliant at using our own human flaws against us to create the horror we are craving.
Our minds are inescapable, and King knows how to penetrate that. A novel that touches on topics such as abortion and mental illness, it’s been described as weird – and I personally love me some weirdness. Read the Dark Tower series first so you can fangirl over all the connections.
A sequel to the shining. Psychic abilities reemerge for Danny, now a sobered up alcoholic, and he spends his time comforting the dying. Meeting a young fellow psychic girl, he enters the war of good versus evil. It doesn’t unnerve me, though it does peak up my eerie heart.
A father-son story in a world of humans-turned-zombie by a global cellular network. Doesn’t necessarily call out ‘scary’; though, it is relatable, as our cell phones can turn us rather zombie-like. The darkness of our present is always unsettling.
An African-American man with healing-type abilities has been wrongly prosecuted for the murder of two white girls, and now awaits the electric chair. This book examines racial issues, while it might not make you feel afraid, it absolutely will make you feel.
This hair-raising novel takes place in the future yet reads like the present. A reality game show in which the contestants are hunted, the one who remains alive, wins the prize. It begs the question – Just how desperate could we become without healthcare?
Written by King after surviving a near fatal accident; it has vicious aliens, body horror, and suspense. The story of four lifelong friends that become haunted by a childhood decision. The viciousness and dark past make it a harrowing narrative.
An odd object transforms people into alien-like beings. King has admitted to writing this while high af. I am not a fan of aliens, however, I am a fan of drug-fueled tales, therefore, I personally cannot wait to read this one.
Stephen King rewrites the Kennedy assassination using an English teacher and time travel. While not a horrifying story, it is suspenseful and powerful. This has been said to hold some of King’s best writing.
I left these out of the ranks completely, not because I doubt it’s fear factor, more because it is a world all on its own. This is science fiction though it concerns many genres, including western and dark fantasy. The eight book series itself seems fascinating. It is described as an encompassing epic quest with well-imagined characters and multi-dimensional plots.
So, that’s my hair-raising list, and I’m sticking to it (until I read them all). What I’ve learned throughout all of this; Stephen King’s books are never as one would imagine. From graphic gore to twisted thoughts, he keeps his readers fascinated. Pick a book and descend down his rabbit hole. His new novel The Outsider is scheduled to be released this May – I’ll just add it to my reading list now.