Stephen King Popular Books

Stephen King Biography & Facts

Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author. Called the "King of Horror", he has also explored other genres, among them suspense, crime, science-fiction, fantasy and mystery. He has also written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in collections. His debut, Carrie (1974), established him in horror. Different Seasons (1982), a collection of four novellas, was his first major departure from the genre. Among the films adapted from King's fiction are Carrie, Christine, The Shining, The Dead Zone, Stand by Me, Misery, Dolores Claiborne, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and It. He has published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman and has co-written works with other authors, notably his friend Peter Straub and sons Joe Hill and Owen King. He has also written nonfiction, notably On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Several of King's works have won the Bram Stoker and August Derleth Awards. He has also won awards for his overall contributions to literature, including the 2003 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2007 Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the 2014 National Medal of Arts. Joyce Carol Oates called King "a brilliantly rooted, psychologically 'realistic' writer, for whom the American scene has been a continuous source of inspiration, and American popular culture a vast cornucopia of possibilities." Early life and education King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947. His father, Donald Edwin King, a traveling vacuum salesman after returning from World War II, was born in Indiana with the surname Pollock, changing it to King as an adult. King's mother was Nellie Ruth King (née Pillsbury). His parents were married in Scarborough, Maine, on July 23, 1939. They lived with Donald's family in Chicago before moving to Croton-on-Hudson, New York. King's parents returned to Maine towards the end of World War II, living in a modest house in Scarborough. He is of Scots-Irish descent. When King was two, his father left the family. His mother raised him and his older brother David by herself, sometimes under great financial strain. They moved from Scarborough and depended on relatives in Chicago, Illinois; Croton-on-Hudson; West De Pere, Wisconsin; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Malden, Massachusetts; and Stratford, Connecticut. When King was 11, his family moved to Durham, Maine, where his mother cared for her parents until their deaths. After that, she became a caregiver in a local residential facility for the mentally challenged. King says he started writing when he was "about six or seven, just copying panels out of comic books and then making up my own stories... Film was also a major influence. I loved the movies from the start. So when I started to write, I had a tendency to write in images because that was all I knew at the time." King was a voracious reader in his youth: "I read everything from Nancy Drew to Psycho. My favorite was The Shrinking Man, by Richard Matheson — I was 8 when I found that." King recalls his sudden realization of what he wanted to do for a living: while browsing through an attic with his elder brother, he discovered a box of their father's books: "The box I found that day was a treasure trove of old Avon paperbacks... The pick of the litter, however, was an H. P. Lovecraft collection from 1947 called The Lurking Fear and Other Stories... I was on my way. Lovecraft—courtesy of my father—opened the way for me." King asked a bookmobile driver, "Do you have any stories about how kids really are?" She gave him Lord of the Flies. It proved formative: "It was, so far as I can remember, the first book with hands—strong ones that reached out of the pages and seized me by the throat. It said to me, 'This is not just entertainment; it's life or death.'... To me, Lord of the Flies has always represented what novels are for, why they are indispensable." He attended Durham Elementary School and entered Lisbon High School in Lisbon Falls, Maine, in 1962. He contributed to Dave's Rag, the newspaper his brother printed with a mimeograph machine, and later sold stories to his friends. His first independently published story was "I Was a Teenage Grave Robber", serialized over four issues of the fanzine Comics Review in 1965. He was a sports reporter for Lisbon's Weekly Enterprise. In 1966, King entered the University of Maine at Orono on a scholarship. While there, he wrote for the student newspaper, The Maine Campus, and found mentors in the professors Edward Holmes and Burton Hatlen. King participated in a writing workshop organized by Hatlen, where he fell in love with Tabitha Spruce. King graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and his daughter Naomi Rachel was born that year. King and Spruce wed in 1971. King paid tribute to Hatlen: "Burt was the greatest English teacher I ever had. It was he who first showed me the way to the pool, which he called 'the language pool, the myth-pool, where we all go down to drink.' That was in 1968. I have trod the path that leads there often in the years since, and I can think of no better place to spend one's days; the water is still sweet, and the fish still swim." Career Beginnings King sold his first professional short story, "The Glass Floor", to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. After graduating from the University of Maine, King earned a certificate to teach high school but was unable to find a teaching post immediately. He sold short stories to magazines like Cavalier. Many of these early stories were republished in Night Shift (1978). In 1971, King was hired as an English teacher at Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine. He continued to contribute short stories to magazines and worked on ideas for novels, including the anti-war novel Sword in the Darkness, still unpublished. 1970s: Carrie to The Dead Zone King recalls the origin of his debut novel, Carrie: "Two unrelated ideas, adolescent cruelty and telekinesis, came together." It began as a short story intended for Cavalier; King tossed the first three pages in the trash but his wife, Tabitha, recovered them, saying she wanted to know what happened next. He followed her advice and expanded it into a novel. She told him: "You've got something here. I really think you do." Per The Guardian, Carrie "is the story of Carrie White, a high-school student with latent—and then, as the novel progresses, developing—telekinetic powers. It's brutal in places, affecting in others (Carrie's relationship with her almost hysterically religious mother being a particularly damaged one), and gory in even more." The review of Carrie in The New York Times noted that "King does more than tell a story. He is a schoolteacher himself, and he gets into Carrie's mind as well as into the minds of her classmates. He also knows a thing or two about symbolism—blood symbolism especially." King was teaching Dracula to high school students and wondered what w.... Discover the Stephen King popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Stephen King books.

Best Seller Stephen King Books of 2024

  • Doctor Sleep synopsis, comments

    Doctor Sleep

    Stephen King

    Now a major motion picture starring Ewan McGregor!From master storyteller Stephen King, his unforgettable and terrifying sequel to The Shiningan instant #1 New York Times bestselle...

  • Carrie synopsis, comments

    Carrie

    Stephen King

    Stephen King's legendary debut, the bestselling smash hit that put him on the map as one of America's favorite writers  "Gory and horrifying. . . . You can't put it down....

  • The Dark Tower II synopsis, comments

    The Dark Tower II

    Stephen King

    The second volume in Stephen King’s #1 bestselling Dark Tower Series, The Drawing of the Three is an “epic in the making” (Kirkus Reviews) about a savage struggle against underworl...

  • Turning Angel synopsis, comments

    Turning Angel

    Greg Iles

    #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mississippi Blood and The Bone Tree keeps the secrets of the South alive in this “powerful…heartfelt…entirely gripping” (The Washington Post...

  • Full Dark, No Stars synopsis, comments

    Full Dark, No Stars

    Stephen King

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, four “disturbing, fascinating” (The Washington Post) novellasincluding the story “1922,” a Netflix original filmthat exp...

  • Stephen King synopsis, comments

    Stephen King

    Bev Vincent

    Take an intimate tour through the life and works of Stephen King, made vivid with rare photos and ephemera from King’s personal collection.Even if you are a diehard fan, you will f...

  • Big Summer synopsis, comments

    Big Summer

    Jennifer Weiner

    A deliciously funny, remarkably poignant “beach read to end all beach reads” (Entertainment Weekly) about the power of friendship, the lure of frenemies, and the importance of maki...

  • Billy Summers synopsis, comments

    Billy Summers

    Stephen King

    Master storyteller Stephen King, whose “restless imagination is a power that cannot be contained” (The New York Times Book Review), presents an unforgettable and relentless #1 New ...

  • Fairy Tale synopsis, comments

    Fairy Tale

    Stephen King

    A #1 New York Times Bestseller and New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice! Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding...

  • A Good Marriage synopsis, comments

    A Good Marriage

    Stephen King

    Now a major motion picture, Stephen King's brilliant and terrifying story of a marriage with truly deadly secrets.Darcy Anderson’s husband of more than twenty years is away on one ...

  • An Ember in the Ashes synopsis, comments

    An Ember in the Ashes

    Sabaa Tahir

    BOOK ONE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIESOne of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All TimeOne of Time Magazine’s 100 Best YA Books of All Time Instant New York Time...

  • In a Dark, Dark Wood synopsis, comments

    In a Dark, Dark Wood

    Ruth Ware

    AUTHOR OF THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 and THE LYING GAME INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, AND LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE An NPR Best Book of the Yea...

  • The Dark Tower I synopsis, comments

    The Dark Tower I

    Stephen King

    “An impressive work of mythic magnitude that may turn out to be Stephen King’s greatest literary achievement” (The Atlanta JournalConstitution), The Gunslinger is the first volume ...

  • Bag of Bones synopsis, comments

    Bag of Bones

    Stephen King

    From international bestseller Stephen King, a tale of grief, of love’s enduring bonds, and the haunting secrets of the pastthe inspiration for the A&E miniseries.Stephen King’s...

  • End of Watch synopsis, comments

    End of Watch

    Stephen King

    Now an AT&T Audience Original SeriesThe fabulously suspenseful and "smashing" (The New York Times Book Review) final novel in the Bill Hodges trilogy from the #1 New York Times...

  • The Institute synopsis, comments

    The Institute

    Stephen King

    From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King whose “storytelling transcends genre” (Newsday) comes “another winner: creepy and touching and horrifyingly believable” (The ...

  • Holly synopsis, comments

    Holly

    Stephen King

    #1 New York Times Bestseller New York Times Notable Book NPR Best Book of the Year Holly Gibney, one of Stephen King’s most compelling and ingeniously resourceful characters, ret...

  • Mr. Mercedes synopsis, comments

    Mr. Mercedes

    Stephen King

    WINNER OF THE 2015 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL #1 New York Times bestseller! In a highsuspense race against time, three of the most unlikely heroes Stephen King has ever created try...

  • The Colorado Kid synopsis, comments

    The Colorado Kid

    Stephen King

    On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There's no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in fore...

  • If It Bleeds synopsis, comments

    If It Bleeds

    Stephen King

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Includes “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone”now a Netflix original film starring Donald Sutherland and Jaeden Martell! From the legendary storyteller and master of...

  • The Green Mile synopsis, comments

    The Green Mile

    Stephen King

    Masterfully told and as suspenseful as it is haunting, The Green Mile is Stephen King’s classic #1 New York Times bestselling dramatic serial novel and inspiration for the Oscarnom...

  • Sleeping Beauties synopsis, comments

    Sleeping Beauties

    Stephen King & Owen King

    In this spectacular New York Times bestselling father/son collaboration that “barrels along like a freight train” (Publishers Weekly), Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest o...

  • Pet Sematary synopsis, comments

    Pet Sematary

    Stephen King

    Now a major motion picture! Stephen King’s #1 New York Times bestseller is a “wild, powerful, disturbing” (The Washington Post Book World) classic about evil that exists far beyond...

  • A Torch Against the Night synopsis, comments

    A Torch Against the Night

    Sabaa Tahir

    THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLEROne of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time Book two in the New York Times bestselling seriesA USA Today bestselle...

  • The Talisman synopsis, comments

    The Talisman

    Stephen King

    Soon to be a Netflix series!The iconic, “extraordinary” (The Washington Post) collaboration between bestselling authors Stephen King and Peter Strauban epic thriller about a young ...

  • Falling synopsis, comments

    Falling

    T. J. Newman

    #1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Terrifying…buckle up for a chilling summer read.” People (Best Books of the Week) “The perfect thriller! A mustread.” Gillian Fly...

  • The Shining synopsis, comments

    The Shining

    Stephen King

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 100 BEST MYSTERY AND THRILLER BOOKS OF ALL TIME  Before Doctor Sleep, there was The Shining, a classic of modern...

  • Robopocalypse synopsis, comments

    Robopocalypse

    Daniel H. Wilson

    NATIONAL BESTSELLER  This terrifying tale of humanity’s desperate stand against a robot uprising is the most entertaining scifi thriller in years.  “Terrific, pageturning...

  • The Dark Tower III synopsis, comments

    The Dark Tower III

    Stephen King

    The third volume in the #1 nationally bestselling Dark Tower Series, involving the enigmatic Roland (the last gunfighter) and his ongoing quest for the Dark Tower, is “Stephen King...

  • Joyland synopsis, comments

    Joyland

    Stephen King

    A STUNNING  NEW NOVEL FROM ONE OF THE BESTSELLING AUTHORS OF ALL TIME! The #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! Set in a smalltown North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland ...

  • It synopsis, comments

    It

    Stephen King

    It: Chapter Twonow a major motion picture! Stephen King’s terrifying, classic #1 New York Times bestseller, “a landmark in American literature” (Chicago SunTimes)about seven adults...

  • Revival synopsis, comments

    Revival

    Stephen King

    Stephen King presents “a fresh adrenaline rush of terror” (People) in this electrifying #1 New York Times bestseller!The new minister came to Harlow, Maine, when Jamie Morton was a...

  • Under the Dome synopsis, comments

    Under the Dome

    Stephen King

    Don’t miss the “harrowing” (The Washington Post) #1 New York Times bestselling thriller from master storyteller Stephen King that inspired the hit television series, following the ...

  • On Writing synopsis, comments

    On Writing

    Stephen King

    Twentieth Anniversary Edition with Contributions from Joe Hill and Owen KingONE OF TIME MAGAZINE’S TOP 100 NONFICTION BOOKS OF ALL TIMEImmensely helpful and illuminating to any asp...

  • Later synopsis, comments

    Later

    Stephen King

    “Part detective tale, part thriller…touching and genuine.” The New York Times #1 bestselling author Stephen King returns with a brandnew novel about the secrets we keep buried and ...

  • Mile 81 synopsis, comments

    Mile 81

    Stephen King

    Mile 81 is Stand by Me meets Christinethe story of an insatiable car and a heroic kid.At Mile 81 on the Maine turnpike is a boarded up rest stop, a place where high school kids dri...

  • The Kings of Cool synopsis, comments

    The Kings of Cool

    Don Winslow

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Cartel, The Force, and The Border In Savages, Don Winslow introduced Ben and Chon, twentysomething best friends who risk everythin...

  • Third Degree synopsis, comments

    Third Degree

    Greg Iles

    From New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles comes his latest tour de force thriller an unforgettable plunge into a world of sex, violence, marital betrayal, medical malpracti...

  • Throttle synopsis, comments

    Throttle

    Joe Hill & Stephen King

    Inspired by Richard Matheson's classic "Duel," "Throttle," by Joe Hill and Stephen King, is a duel of a different kind, pitting a faceless trucker against a tribe of motorcycle out...

  • The Stand synopsis, comments

    The Stand

    Stephen King

    #1 BESTSELLER The apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as rivetingand eerily plausibleas when it was ...

  • Elevation synopsis, comments

    Elevation

    Stephen King

    From legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting story about “an ordinary man in an extraordinary condition rising above hatred” (The Washington Post) and bringing the fi...

  • Stephen King synopsis, comments

    Stephen King

    Ariel Bosi

    Una interesante introducción a la vida y obra del maestro del horror.De la mano de Ariel Bosi, uno de los mayores expertos en la vida y obra del Rey de Reyes, conocerás los inicios...

  • Night Shift synopsis, comments

    Night Shift

    Stephen King

    Stephen King’s first collection of short stories, originally published in 1978, showcases the darkest depths of his brilliant imagination and will "chill the cockles of m...

  • Finders Keepers synopsis, comments

    Finders Keepers

    Stephen King

    The second book in Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch)now an AT&T Audience Original Series!“Stephen King’s superb stayupallnight th...

  • The Dark Tower IV synopsis, comments

    The Dark Tower IV

    Stephen King

    The fourth volume in the brilliant Dark Tower Series is “splendidly tense…riproaring” (Publishers Weekly)a #1 national bestseller about an epic quest to save the universe.In Wizard...

  • The Outsider synopsis, comments

    The Outsider

    Stephen King

    Now an HBO limited series starring Ben Mendelsohn!​Evil has many faces…maybe even yours in this #1 New York Times bestseller from master storyteller Stephen King. An elevenyearold ...