So, I haven’t read all of Stephen King’s work (it takes awhile), but amongst what I have read, these are my personal favorites. Sometimes the positions change, though. And I imagine when I read more of his stuff, there might be some shifting. Maybe some of these will pique your interest.
10. Black House. Why: I thought this is an example of how to do a sequel right. It hit all the right spots for me, and I think has a very satisfying conclusion. Also, it has some nice tie-ins to the Dark Tower. I don’t know if I’d suggest this without having read the Dark Tower though, because without it, these character’s mission loses just a little weight and importance.
9. The Wastelands. Why: Come on, this is brilliant. Things really start heating up in the series. A lot of interesting elements introduced.
8. Wolves of the Calla. Why: From reviews I’ve read, I imagine a lot of people wouldn’t put the last three Dark Tower books on a top ten list, but I loved this one. It had so much mythology, mystery, and great characterization. It felt like it had everything to me, and I thought it is the book where the ka-tet is at their prime and you get to see that on display. You get some down-time in the story too where you get to see the ways of life of the people of this other world, and I really enjoyed that.
7. Desperation. Why: I feel this is kind of different from a lot of King’s other works. Very similar themes and characters yes, but it just struck me as different…in a good way.
6. The Mist. Why: This one just gets me. I love the being trapped inside with this complete mystery outside and then beginning to explore that mystery.
5. ‘Salem’s Lot. Why: Just a straight-up example of a nice standalone story where King does what he does excellently. Great portrayal of small-town life, too.
4. The Talisman. Why: Almost like a mini Dark Tower in a way. Different enough though. Thought the pacing was really good.
3. It. Why: I’d almost say the same as I said for the Stand. But you get the whole childhood/coming of age stuff here, which King does great.
2. The Stand. Why: A near perfect work in my opinion. Hits all the right spots for a reader.
1. Gunslinger. Why: The beginning of something utterly unique and epic. I felt like I was amongst something truly great when I read this.
If you’ve read any of these, I hope you enjoyed them, too. Anyone else have a Stephen King top ten?