Over 60 books. You read that right. Stephen King has written more than 60 books (counting his short-story collections). Almost 40 years of writing. It boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
Love him or hate him, you have to give the mighty King of Horror his due. So here I am, counting down my favorite five works of the man who describes himself as ‘the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.’
It: King must be one of those people who is freaked out by clowns. I sure can’t look at one now without wondering if it’s going to yank me down a sewer. Yikes. A beautifully crafted tale that goes beyond the surface scarefest to also trace the heartbreak of being an outsider kind of kid.
The Green Mile: Originally published as a six-part serial with a cliffhanger at the end of each installment, The Green Mile was like King crack for me. Yes, I bought each individual piece of this story, read it within a couple of hours, then breathlessly waited for the next one to be released. It may very well be one of the most satisfying of his many works for me.
‘Salem’s Lot: One of the greatest vampire books ever written, perhaps second only to Dracula. It takes the age-old monster and puts him in a present-day small town with totally believable results. King is absolutely inspired in this one.
The Shining: This book does for the ghost story what ‘Salem’s Lot does for the vampire tale. Forget Kubrick’s take on it, because this book is far more terrifying. Watching a good man spiral down the rabbit hole of alcoholism while malicious spirits egg him on until he turns on his own family … it’s as good as scary gets.
The Stand: We start off with mankind’s mindless ambition unleashing the ‘Super Flu’ and wiping out 99 percent of the Earth’s population. We end with the ultimate battle of good versus evil. In between are some of fiction’s most compelling characters, hero and villain alike. This is King at his absolute best.