Books by Stephen King

Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his parents separated when Stephen was a toddler, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood wer


DOCTOR SLEEP by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 24, 2013

"Satisfying at every level. King even leaves room for a follow-up, should he choose to write one—and with luck, sooner than three decades hence."
He-e-e-e-r-e's Danny! Read full book review >
JOYLAND by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 4, 2013

"A satisfyingly warped yarn, kissing cousins of Blue Velvet. Readers may be inclined to stay off the Tilt-a-Whirl for a while after diving into these pages."
Great. First we have to be afraid of clowns. Now it's the guy who runs the Ferris wheel. Read full book review >
THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 24, 2012

"Will more likely serve as a footnote for the many fans of the series than a point of entry to expand its readership."
The bestselling novelist scales down his literary ambition with a return to the Dark Tower series. Read full book review >
11/22/63 by Stephen King
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Though his scenarios aren't always plausible in strictest terms, King's imagination, as always, yields a most satisfying yarn."
King (Under the Dome, 2009, etc.) adds counterfactual historian to his list of occupations. Read full book review >
FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 1, 2010

"A collection of page-turning narratives for those who prefer the prolific tale spinner at his pulpiest."
Following an overstuffed feast of a novel (Under the Dome, 2009), King returns with four comparative snacks, each of which deals in some way with the darkest recesses of the human soul. Read full book review >
UNDER THE DOME by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2009

"It hardly matters that, after 1,000-plus pages, the yarn doesn't quite add up. It's vintage King: wonderfully written, good, creepy, old-school fun. "
Maine. Check. Strange doings. Check. Alien/demon presence. Check. Unlikely heroes. Check. Read full book review >
JUST AFTER SUNSET by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"An uneven collection, but King has plainly had a ball writing these stories."
King (Duma Key, 2008, etc.) returns with his first volume of short stories in six years. Read full book review >
DUMA KEY by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

"Edgar's own story in the present is more compelling than the revelations of the key's past, and the novel might have been twice as powerful if it had been cut by a third, but King fans will find it engrossing."
The prolific master of psycho-horror returns to the mysteries of the creative process, a subject that has inspired some of his most haunting work. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2007 by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 10, 2007

"Just one criticism: The diversity on display does not extend to stories of minorities, which, considering all the talent out there, is troubling."
A rich, dense collection of 20 stories—King has harvested a bumper crop. Read full book review >
LISEY’S STORY by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 24, 2006

"One of King's finest works."
The widow of a bestselling novelist reveals that the wellspring for his ideas is a very dark place, indeed. Read full book review >
CELL by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 24, 2006

"The revenge of a cellphone-hater."
King's apocalyptic cautionary tale suggests that cellular communication could be as pernicious as it is pervasive. Read full book review >
THE DARK TOWER VII by Stephen King
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 21, 2004

WHEN KINGS MET AT THE DARK TOWER Will the long-awaited completion of Stephen King's lifework, the seven-volume adventure/action/horror fantasy The Dark Tower, stir fans to love or sadness? Read full book review >
FROM A BUICK 8 by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 24, 2002

"Seven-tenths filler, three-tenths story."
Why does King (Dreamcatcher, 2001, etc.) write such gross stuff ("I have the heart of a small boy . . . and I keep it in a jar on my desk")? Read full book review >
EVERYTHING’S EVENTUAL by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 19, 2002

"Less stylish than The Green Mile (or than Poe), though King remains strong in the short form."
These days, grumbles King (Hearts in Atlantis, 1999), "When you get done, you get done . . . I don't want to finish up like Harold Robbins." (Robbins wrote into his 80s despite aphasia from a stroke and kept publishing despite being dead.) Read full book review >
BLACK HOUSE by Stephen King
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 15, 2001

"Those not knowing King's Dark Tower series or The Talisman will follow all this easily enough. Many admiring King's recent, subtler work, though, may find these blood-spattered pages a step backward into dreamslash & gutspill."
Coauthors King and Straub, together again (The Talisman, 1984), take a Wisconsin Death Trip into parallel universes. Read full book review >
DREAMCATCHER by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: March 20, 2001

"Top suspense with a surreal climax you'd have to read twice if the epilogue didn't spell out its layered complexities."
King's first novel since Bag of Bones (1998) builds on the stylistic improvement begun with his splendidly well-written The Green Mile (1996). Read full book review >
ON WRITING by Stephen King
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 3, 2000

"A useful book for any young writer, and a must for fans, this is unmistakably King: friendly, sharply perceptive, cheerfully vulgar, sometimes adolescent in his humor, sometimes impatient with fools, but always sincere in his love of language and writing."
Generous, lucid, and passionate, King (Hearts in Atlantis, 1999, etc.) offers lessons and encouragement to the beginning writer, along with a warts-and-all account of a less-than-carefree life. Read full book review >
HEARTS IN ATLANTIS by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 14, 1999

"His masterpiece."
King's fat new work impressively follows his general literary upgrading begun with Bag of Bones (1998) and settles readers onto the seabottom of one of his most satisfying ideas ever. Read full book review >
BAG OF BONES by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 22, 1998

"Philosophically limited but a promising artistic shift for a writer who tried something like this with 1995's failure, Rose Madder."
Leaving Viking for the storied literary patina of Scribner, current or not, King seemingly strives on the page for a less vulgar gloss. Read full book review >
THE DARK TOWER by Stephen King
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 4, 1997

"This will be The Ring Cycle on top of The Lord of the Rings."
After a five-year lapse, King's gargantuan cowboy romance about Roland of Gilead (the Gunslinger) hits volume four, with three more planned. Read full book review >
DESPERATION by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 24, 1996

"Knockout classic horror: King's most carefully crafted, well-groomed pages ever."
An astounding fall season for King unfolds with three new novels: the wind-up of his Signet paperback serial The Green Mile, and same-day dual publication of Desperation from Viking and The Regulators from Dutton (as Richard Bachman—see above). Read full book review >
ROSE MADDER by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 10, 1995

"Overwhelmingly uninventive — and if Liz Taylor does the audiobook, believe in miracles."
King's 30th novel (Insomnia, 1994, etc.) gets off to a careful, grand start but quickly turns to a half-pound of story to five pounds of stuffing, or tedium triumphant. Read full book review >
INSOMNIA by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Oct. 17, 1994

"Still, at 800 pages, it ain't no coffee-table book — it's a coffee table."
A small town in Maine again serves as King's (Nightmares and Dreamscapes, 1993, etc.) setting in this deft, steady tale, in which two lovable geezers travel through hyper-reality to balance the books of human existence, or something to that effect. Read full book review >
NIGHTMARES AND DREAMSCAPES by Stephen King
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"Addicts, fear not: the King lives."
King's third collection, after Night Shift (1978) and Skeleton Crew (1985), offers 23 formerly uncollected works, with King as bizarre as ever. Read full book review >
DOLORES CLAIBORNE by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Dec. 7, 1992

"5 million first printing); but Dolores is a brilliantly realized character, and her struggles will hook readers inexorably."
As Jessie Burlingame lies handcuffed to her bed in Gerald's Game (p. 487), she recalls how, on the clay 30 years ago that her dad molested her, she had a vision of a woman—a murderer?—at a well King explains that vision here: Dolores Claiborne is the woman, and her story of how she killed her husband, and the consequences, proves a seductively suspenseful, if quieter, complement to Jessie's shriek-lest of a tale. Read full book review >
GERALD'S GAME by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: July 13, 1992

"This one is really scary."
King takes it over the top, way over the top, in an exquisitely horrifying frightfest about a woman forced to face her deepest fears—and then some. Read full book review >
THE DARK TOWER by Stephen King
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 3, 1992

"2), the generic King fan will enjoy far more the upcoming Needful Things (p. 813)."
Chapter three of King's epic alternate-world saga (1988, 1989) finds Roland the Gunslinger and his sidekicks continuing their quest for the Dark Tower—and the Maine master keyboarding some of his least restrained writing in years, great sagging storm clouds of padded prose that only occasionally thunder or brighten with lightning inspiration. Read full book review >
NEEDFUL THINGS by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"Leland King's glee, or Steven Gaunt's, or rather—well, the author's—as he rubs his palms over his let's-blow-'em-away superclimax is wonderfully catching."
The old horrormaster in top form, this time with a demonic dealer in magic and spells selling his wares to the folks of Castle Rock, scene of several King novels including The Dead Zone, Cujo—and how many others? Read full book review >
FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 3, 1991

"5 million."
A double-double Whopper hot from the grill of "America's literary boogeyman," as he puts it in his introduction: four sizzling horror novellas sandwiched within the theme of "Time. . .and the corrosive effects it can have on the human heart." Read full book review >
THE STAND by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: May 5, 1990

"Tiresome, man."
King's fifth novel returns, 12 years after its first publication, with 230 of its original pages restored. Read full book review >
THE DARK HALF by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Oct. 23, 1989

"A potent, engrossing blend of occult and slasher horror, not as fully riveting or grandly ironic as Misery, but without the pomposities of much other recent King—It; The Tommy-knockers—and certainly slick and scary enough to make it the book to beat on the fall lists."
Book #1 (of four) of King's celebrated megabucks publishing contract—and it's King at his effusive near-best, with a long, ultra-violent, suspenseful story of a best-selling writer whose pseudonym comes to life and goes on a murderous rampage. Read full book review >
THE DRAWING OF THE THREE (THE DARK TOWER, BOOK 2) by Stephen King
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1989

"In an afterword, King previews volumes 3 and 4: an epic in the making, and, if the quality of this one sustains, a series to be savored as it grows."
Hot on the heels of The Gunslinger (1988) comes the second volume of King's gargantuan alternate-universe omnibus. Read full book review >
NIGHTMARES IN THE SKY by Stephen King
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 7, 1988

"What stands out here, though, are Fitzgerald's 100 black-and white and 24 color photographs of the gargoyles perched high above New York and other East Coast cities—forceful, mournful, frightening depictions in light, shadow, and color of these usually unnoticed symbols of darkness."
A striking collaboration between King and photographer f-stop Fitzgerald, whose stark photographs of city gargoyles are what the Maine horror master ponders upon in a lengthy introductory essay. Read full book review >
THE GUNSLINGER (THE DARK TOWER, BOOK 1) by Stephen King
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 28, 1988

"Heavy, real heavy—as sales undoubtedly will be too."
Begun by King while at college in 1970; serialized episodically in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1978-1981; printed in limited-editon hardcover, 1982: this King novelty at last achieves mass publication. Read full book review >
NIGHT VISIONS 5 by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1988

"And reader—a more sophisticated horror collection by far lurks in the forthcoming Prime Evil (p. 570)."
Seven old-fashioned, mostly dead-weight horror tales by three high-profde monster-mongers; only Martin's closing—and rousing—werewolf novella saves this collection from the Hall of Shame. Read full book review >
MISERY by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: June 8, 1987

"Note: the publisher plans an unprecedented first printing of one-million copies."
Fans weary of King's recent unwieldy tomes can rest easy: his newest is slim, slick, and razor-keen. Read full book review >
IT by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 1, 1986

"The King of the Pulps smiles and shuffles as he punches out his vulgarian allegory, but he too often sounds bored, as if whipping himself on with his favorite Kirin beer for zip."
King's newest is a gargantuan summer sausage, at 1144 pages his largest yet, and is made of the same spiceless grindings as ever: banal characters spewing sawdust dialogue as they blunder about his dark butcher shop. Read full book review >
THE EYES OF THE DRAGON by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Feb. 2, 1986

"Some of King's smoothest writing and slickest effects, with the usual supercosmic horror scaled down to reasonably familiar villainy—though the sales, one assumes, will be supercosmic."
Featuring 21 charming illustrations by David Palladini, this is an adventure fantasy for young adults—or very old prepubescents—and among King's most accomplished works (though readers who groan at King's unremitting vulgarity in his adult novels will again have a few quarrels to pick). Read full book review >
THRILLERS
Released: Oct. 31, 1985

"King has published duller books (The Dead Zone, Night Shift) than the late Bachman—but King at his best (Salem's Lot, and in a yeasty recent script he wrote for TV) shines far brighter than Bachman."
Despite a Halloween pub date, these four reprints are not King as a horror novelist. Read full book review >
SKELETON CREW by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: June 21, 1985

"So, bizarre little spellbinders, but more pulpy and concocted than truly driven in their bizarreness."
Twenty-some items, mostly collected from magazines, by America's most prolific living horror-master, including a doggerel called "Paranoid: A Chant" that sounds like an amazingly accurate parody of Absolutely Bob Dylan. Read full book review >
THE TALISMAN by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 1, 1984

The quasi-cosmic, picaresque journey of twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer—across America on foot, "flipping" in and out of a parallel universe called the "Territories"—in quest of a magical talisman that will save his widowed mother (a former B-movie star) from dying of cancer. Read full book review >
PET SEMATARY by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 4, 1983

"Filled out with overdone family melodrama (the feud between Louis and his father-in-law) and repetitious inner monologues: a broody horror tale that's strong on dark, depressing chills, weak on suspense or surprise—and not likely to please the fans of King's zestier, livelier terror-thons."
This novel began as a reworking of W.W. Jacobs' horror classic "The Monkey's Paw"—a short story about the dreadful outcome when a father wishes for his dead son's resurrection. Read full book review >
CHRISTINE by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: April 29, 1983

"King's blend of adolescent raunch, All-American sentiment, and unsubtle spookery has never, since Carrie, been more popcorn-readable—with immense appeal for all those fans interested in the 522-page equivalent of a drive-in horror movie."
The Exorcist meets My Mother, The Car. . . in a chiller that takes a nifty Twilight Zone notion and stretches it out to King-sized proportions—with teen-gab galore, horror-flick mayhem, epic foreshadowing, and endlessly teased-out suspense. Read full book review >
DIFFERENT SEASONS by Stephen King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 27, 1982

"Thin gimmicks, weighed down with King's weak characters and weaker prose (unlike his crisp short stories)—but the fans may come around yet again, despite the clear evidence that King needs the supernatural to distract from his awesome limitations as a mainstream storyteller."
It will take all of King's monumental byline-insurance to drum up an audience for this bottom-of-the-trunk collection: four overpadded novellas, in non-horror genres—without the gripping situations needed to transcend King's notoriously clumsy writing. Read full book review >
CUJO by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 1, 1981

King goes non-supernatural this time—and the result, despite the usual padding, is a tighter, more effective horror novel. Read full book review >
STEPHEN KING'S DANSE MACABRE by Stephen King
Released: April 20, 1981

"King-fiction readership."
An informal overview of where the horror genre has been over the last thirty years"—by its most financially successful practitioner. Read full book review >
FIRESTARTER by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 29, 1980

"The built-in readership will not be disappointed."
An improvement over The Dead Zone, with King returning to his most tried-and-true blueprint. Read full book review >
THE DEAD ZONE by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Aug. 16, 1979

"Yes, the King byline will ensure a sizeable turnout, but the word will soon get around that the author of Carrie has this time churned out a ho-hum dud."
The Stand did less well than The Shining, and The Dead Zone will do less well than either—as the King of high horror (Carrie) continues to move away from the grand-gothic strain that once distinguished him from the other purveyors of psychic melodrama. Read full book review >
THE STAND by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 3, 1978

"Some King fans will be put off by the pretensions here; most will embrace them along with the earthier chilis."
Striking a far less hysterical tone than in The Shining, King has written his most sweeping horror novel in The Stand, though it may lack the spinal jingles of Salem's Lot. Read full book review >
NIGHT SHIFT by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 20, 1977

Twenty New England horror shorts by Stephen King (and a painfully lofty introduction by old pro John D. MacDonald). Read full book review >
THE SHINING by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 28, 1976

"Back-prickling indeed despite the reader's unwillingness at being mercilessly manipulated."
A presold prefab blockbuster, what with King's Carrie hitting the moviehouses, Salem's Lot being lensed, The Shining itself sold to Warner Bros. and tapped as a Literary Guild full selection, NAL paperback, etc. (enough activity to demand an afterlife to consummate it all). Read full book review >
'SALEM'S LOT by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: Oct. 17, 1975

"Vampirism, necrophilia, et dreadful alia rather overplayed by the author of Carrie (1974)."
A super-exorcism that leaves the taste of somebody else's blood in your mouth and what a bad taste it is. Read full book review >
CARRIE by Stephen King
THRILLERS
Released: April 8, 1974

"But as they still say around here, "Sit a spell and collect yourself.""
Figuratively and literally shattering moments of hoRRRRRipilication in Chamberlain, Maine where stones fly from the sky rather than from the hands of the villagers (as they did in "The Lottery," although the latter are equal to other forms of persecution). Read full book review >