Born on September 21, 1947, Stephen King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, and many have been adapted into films, television series, miniseries, and comic books.
In 2003, the National Book Foundation awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He has also received awards for his contribution to literature for his entire bibliographies, such as the 2004 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement and the 2007 Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America.
In 2015, King was awarded a National Medal of Arts from the US National Endowment for the Arts for his contributions to literature. He has been described as the “King of Horror,” a play on his surname and a reference to his pop culture’s high standing.
Furthermore, King, who has also received Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, and British Fantasy Society Awards, has published 61 novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman, and five non-fiction books. He has also written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in book collections. And here’s just a few of the best book he ever wrote:
11/22/63 is a novel about a time traveler who attempts to prevent the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy, which occurred on November 22, 1963 (the novel’s titular date).
It is the 60th book published by Stephen King, his 49th novel, and the 42nd under his own name. The novel was published on November 8, 2011, and quickly became a number-one bestseller. It stayed on The New York Times Best Seller list for 16 weeks.
Furthermore, 11/22/63 won the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller and the 2012 International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel and was nominated for the 2012 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel and the 2012 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.
2. THE GREEN MILE
The Green Mile is a 1996 serial novel that tells the story of death row supervisor Paul Edgecombe’s encounter with John Coffey, an unusual inmate who displays inexplicable healing and empathetic abilities. The serial novel was originally released in six volumes before being republished as a single-volume work. The book is an example of magical realism.
The Green Mile won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel in 1996. In 1997, The Green Mile was nominated as Best Novel for the British Fantasy Award and the Locus Award. In 2003 the book was listed on the BBC’s The Big Read poll of the UK’s “best-loved novel.”
3. THE DEAD ZONE
The Dead Zone is a science fiction thriller novel published in 1979. It is his seventh novel and the fifth under his own name.
The story follows Johnny Smith, who awakens from a coma of nearly five years and now experiences clairvoyant and precognitive visions triggered by touch. These visions have limitations and when information is beyond his perception, Johnny refers to that information as being trapped in the part of his brain that is permanently damaged, “the dead zone.”
The novel also follows Smith’s search for a serial killer in Castle Rock, and the life of Greg Stillson, a rising politician, both of whom are evils Johnny must eventually face.
Though earlier King books were successful, The Dead Zone was the first of his novels to rank among the ten best-selling novels of the year in the United States. The book was nominated for the Locus Award in 1980 and was dedicated to King’s son Owen.
The Dead Zone is the first story by King to feature the fictional town of Castle Rock, which serves as the setting for several later stories and is referenced in others. The TV series Castle Rock takes place in this fictional town and makes references to the Strangler whom Johnny helped track down in The Dead Zone.
Carrie is an epistolary horror novel and King’s first published novel, released on April 5, 1974, with a first print-run of 30,000 copies.
Set primarily in the then-future year of 1979, it revolves around the eponymous Carrie White, an unpopular friendless misfit and bullied high-school girl from an abusive religious household who uses her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who torment her. During the process, she causes one of the worst local disasters the town has ever had. King has commented that he finds the work to be “raw” and “with a surprising power to hurt and horrify.”
It is one of the most frequently banned books in United States schools, because of Carrie’s violence, cursing, underage sex, and negative view of religion. Much of the book uses newspaper clippings, magazine articles, letters, and excerpts from books to tell how Carrie destroyed the fictional town of Chamberlain, Maine while exacting revenge on her sadistic classmates and her own mother Margaret.
5. MR. MERCEDES
Stephen King calls Mr. Mercedes his first hard-boiled detective book. In this novel, a retired police detective, a teenage black boy, and a neurotic woman team up to form an unlikely group of heroes who stop a killer known as Mr. Mercedes from detonating a bomb during a sold-out pop concert. It was published on June 3, 2014.
On June 10, 2014, the author described Mr. Mercedes on Twitter as the first volume of a projected trilogy, to be followed in the first half of 2015 by Finders Keepers, the first draft of which was finished around the time Mr. Mercedes was published, and End of Watch in 2016.
The novel won the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America and Goodreads Choice Awards for 2014 in the “Mystery and Thriller” category. Mr. Mercedes received positive reviews, with many critics responding well to the book being different from King’s “standard horror stories” and being a “compelling crime novel.” It received a 4.07/5 score on Goodreads, dropping to 3.87 as of 19 January with 43,562 ratings and a 4/5 on Barnes and Noble.