Today I am going to be sharing my five favourite books from the master of horror himself: Stephen King! Even if you’ve never read one of his novels before, you cannot deny you haven’t heard of him. I am slowly, SLOWLY, making my way through his entire works. It will probably take me many years but in the meantime, here are the best of the best (in my opinion). Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1.) The Shining
The Shining is in my top 10 favourite horror movies of all time but before it was adapted to screen by Stanley Kubrick, it was a book! The novel and film are vastly different and yet I enjoyed both equally. The story follows Jack, Wendy, and Danny Torrance, during an isolated winter in which Jack becomes the caretaker of Colorado’s Overlook Hotel. It deals with themes of parenthood, isolation, addiction, and the bonds of family. I believe it is one of his scariest works. The hedge animals alone had me struggling to sleep at night!
Also, in my top favourite horror movies of all time, is Misery. The book to screen adaptation is one of the most accurate I’ve come across. The novel’s narrative is based on the relationship of its two main characters – the romance novelist Paul Sheldon and his deranged, self-proclaimed number one fan: Annie Wilkes. Even though I knew how the story ended, I was still on edge every time Annie was in the scene…or on the page rather. I am glad I watched the film first, as I had the vision of Kathy Bates in my mind. This is a must-read for those new to King.
It’s no secret that IT is my favourite book of all time, the best King novel I’ve come across and my number one favourite horror movie. This is one of his longest works but trust me, it’s worth the journey. The story follows the experiences of seven children, as they are terrorized by an evil entity that exploits the fears of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. It’s a coming-of-age tale about the bonds of friendship and underdogs rising against adversity. Oh, and there is a killer demon clown named Pennywise. If you only read one book on this list, let it be this one!
4.) Gerald’s Game
I believe that Gerald’s Game is highly underrated. It has an excellent film adaptation by Mike Flanagan, but the book is even better. The story follows a woman whose husband dies of a heart attack, whilst handcuffed to a bed in a remote location. It doesn’t take long for her to realise she is trapped with little hope of rescue. Dehydrated, delirious and full of trauma, our protagonist struggles to discern what is real and what isn’t. The ending to this novel is truly horrific. It’s empowering but violent. You just have to see for yourself!
5.) Pet Sematary
Last but certainly not least, we have Pet Sematary. The 1989 adaptation is also on my favourite horror films list. Sensing a pattern here? We read this for my bookclub in December 2022. If you wish to check that post out, click here. When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth-more terrifying than death itself and hideously more powerful. The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better. It’s haunting, gripping and terribly sad. If you’re a parent, like myself, the reading experience is going to hit harder. It’s a horror classic and a must for your shelves.
Thank you so much for reading! Let me know your favourite Stephen King novels!
Peace & Love xoxo