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Stephen King’s books in order, and why you should read each of them

Stephen King
Stephen King is the true Master of Horror. Pic credit: @ImageCollect.com/Fernando-Leon

Stephen King is the most accomplished horror author in history, with over 60 books, countless short stories and novellas, and dozens of movies based on his works.

With so many works of fiction and non-fiction in his bibliography, it is almost hard to know where to start.

If you want to start from the beginning, here is a look at every Stephen King book, listed in order of publication, and what you can expect before you pick up each book.

CARRIE (1974)

Carrie was the first novel written by Stephen King and the book that made him a star.

The book is the story of Carrie White, a bullied high school student whose mother adds to her torture at home until her powers of telekinesis come to life and she seeks her vengeance.

There have been three movie adaptations of this King novel alone.

‘SALEM’S LOT (1975)

‘Salem’s Lot is Stephen King’s vampire novel.

Ben Mears is a novelist who returns to Jerusalem’s Lot to finish writing his new book. However, what he finds there is more horrific than anything he could write in his books as a vampire named Kurt Barlow has arrived in town.

There was a movie directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) in 1979 and a TV miniseries in 2004 with Rob Lowe.

THE SHINING (1977)

The Shining
Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

One of Stephen King’s most famous novels, The Shining is his haunted house story.

Jack Torrance brings his wife and son to the Overlook Hotel in Colorado to work as the winter caretaker while it is closed. Soon, the evil spirits in the hotel possess Jack and tempt him to kill his family.

Stanley Kubrick directed the adaptation, and while King hated the changes he made, it is one of the best horror movies of all-time.

RAGE (1977)

Stephen King wanted to prove he could write and sell stories without using his name and used the pseudonym Richard Bachman to do so.

His first novel as Bachman was the story of a teenager who kills a teacher and then takes his class hostage, forcing them to admit to their base desired.

This is no longer available to buy anywhere as King took it off the market following school shootings in later years.

THE STAND (1978)

Arguably King’s masterpiece, The Stand was released in 1978 about a post-apocalyptic world after almost everyone dies due to a flu-like disease.

The result was two sides, one good and one evil, gathering and preparing for a war for the future of the planet.

In 1990, King released an unabridged version, returning everything his original publisher edited out of the book.

NIGHT SHIFT (1978)

Night Shift was Stephen King’s first short story collection, released in 1978 and includes many of his stories he wrote before he even published Carrie.

Stories in this book include Children of the Corn, The Lawnmower Man, Sometimes They Come Back, Trucks (Maximum Overdrive), and The Mangler.

It also includes what might be his two best short stories, The Last Rung on the Ladder and The Woman in the Room (which was the first major Dollar Baby short film).

THE LONG WALK (1979)

The Long Walk was the second Richard Bachman book, and some consider it the best of them all.

The story is set in a dystopian future where a totalitarian leader forces Americans to take place in a walking contest. If anyone slows down below a pace of four miles an hour for 30 seconds three times, they are killed.

The last one alive wins anything he wants for the rest of his life.

THE DEAD ZONE (1979)

The Dead Zone
David Cronenberg directed The Dead Zone. Pic credit: Paramount Pictures

Released in 1979, The Dead Zone is about a man named Johnny Smith. He was in an accident as a child and suffered brain damage.

However, as an adult, this means that he can touch someone and see things from either the past or future. This allows him to help solve crimes, but it also causes him to see a nuclear apocalypse due to the man running for President of the United States.

A movie by David Cronenberg and a TV show with Anthony Michael Hall were based on this King novel.

FIRESTARTER (1980)

Stephen King continued his work of showing young people involved in extraordinary situations with Firestarter.

This book had a young child named Charlie, whose father has protected her, as both have special powers. Andy is a light telepath while Charlie has pyrokinetic powers.

However, when the Shop that gave them the powers comes for them, Charlie has to fight to save herself. Nine-year-old Drew Barrymore played Charlie in the movie.

ROADWORK (1981)

Roadwork was the third Richard Bachman book. This one is about a man who is driven to instability when he learns that his home will be demolished to create a highway. He loads up with guns and stands pat to protect his home.

CUJO (1981)

Cujo
Cujo, the dog in the Stephen King adaptation. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

Cujo was the first novel to win Stephen King a major writing award. The novel won the British Fantasy Award’s August Derleth Award.

The book is also the darkest of King’s career to this point. A woman is trapped in a broken-down car by a rabid dog with her young son, and there is no one who can save her.

DANSE MACABRE (1981)

In 1981, Stephen King wrote his first non-fiction novel.

The book is King’s letter of love for horror in print, film, TV, comics, and even old radio shows. The book even has a listing of King’s recommended books and movies from the history of horror.

THE RUNNING MAN (1982)

The Running Man is the fourth Richard Bachman book and the most famous.

This was almost like Stephen King predicted reality TV years before it existed. Released in 1982, the book presents a future dystopian world featuring a televised game where contestants are on the run from Hunters, hired to kill them.

A movie came out based on the book in 1987 with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role.

THE DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER (1982)

In 1982, The Dark Tower story began.

In this first book, The Gunslinger, the last living Gunslinger, Roland, is on the chase of the Man in Black, trying to get answers. However, this is the start of his quest for the Dark Tower.

DIFFERENT SEASONS (1982)

Different Seasons was a collection of four novellas by Stephen King.

Three of these ended up turned into movies. Those include Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil, and The Body (Stand By Me). The fourth story is The Breathing Method.

CHRISTINE (1983)

In 1983, Stephen King was back with Christine, the story of a haunted car.

Arnie is a nerd in high school who gets a 1958 Plymouth Fury, only to find it is haunted and begins to both possess Arnie and seek revenge against the people who tormented him.

A movie directed by John Carpenter arrived in the same year.

PET SEMATARY (1983)

Pet Sematary
Fred Gwynne in Pet Sematary. Pic credit: Paramount Pictures

In 1983, Stephen King published what might be the most nihilistic and hopeless horror novel of his career.

In Pet Sematary, the Creed family moves into a new home, but when the young son Gage is killed by a passing truck, Louis buries him in the legendary Pet Sematary, where the dead does not stay dead.

No one gets out of this story alive.

CYCLE OF THE WEREWOLF (1983)

Stephen King wrote something unique in 1983 with Cycle of the Werewolf.

This was not a regular novel, but a short novel that included fill color illustrations by Bernie Wrightson. Each chapter is a short story comprising the full tale.

There was a movie based on this book starring a young Corey Haim called Silver Bullet.

THE TALISMAN (1984)

In 1984, Stephen King partnered with horror fantasy author Peter Straub, and the two wrote the novel The Talisman.

In the book, a young boy set out to find a crystal called the Talisman that could possibly save his mother’s life as she battles cancer. To find it, Jack Sawyer heads into a parallel Earth where everyone has a Twinner from his Earth.

THE EYES OF THE DRAGON (1984)

In 1984, Stephen King wanted to write something that his young children could read rather than the horror and adult-themed novels he made his name on.

That children’s book was The Eyes of the Dragon, which was a medieval fantasy novel set in the world of his Dark Tower series.

THINNER (1984)

In 1984, Stephen King wrote his fifth Richard Bachman novel, and this was the one that finally unmasked him as the author behind the pseudonym.

This was the first horror novel under the Bachman name, as a man is cursed by a gypsy to lose weight and soon begins to waste away as he tries to find a way to break the curse.

SKELETON CREW (1985)

Stephen King released his second collection of short stories in 1985 under the title Skeleton Crew.

This collection started out with a novella called The Mist, which was made into a movie directed by Frank Darabont and remains one of King’s most beloved shorter works of fiction.

Also included are The Raft (which was part of the movie Creepshow), Gramma (which was the basis for the movie Mercy), and Word Processor of the Gods (which was an episode of Tales from the Darkside).

IT (1986)

It
Pennywise the Clown in It. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

It hit in 1986, and it remains a novel that many consider one of Stephen King’s masterpieces.

The book is about a demon that returns to Derry, Maine, every 27 years to kill children. The book splits between 1957, where Pennywise the Clown showed up to kill children, and 1984, where several of the kids were now adults, returning to finish off Pennywise.

A TV limited series arrived in 1990 and a two-part movie hit theaters in 2017 and 2019.

THE DARK TOWER II: THE DRAWING OF THE THREE (1987)

Five years after introducing the world to The Dark Tower with The Gunslinger, Stephen King returned in 1987 with The Drawing of the Three.

This book had more to do with the trip to find the Dark Tower than the first and introduced Roland’s traveling companions, Eddie Dean and Odetta/Susannah.

MISERY (1987)

Stephen King approached the idea of rabid and possessive fans with his 1987 novel Misery.

The book had an author of romance novels named Paul Sheldon involved in a car accident in the show. When he wakes up, he is in the home of Anne Wilkes, who is nursing him back to health.

She is also his biggest fan and holds him captive until he writes the next book in his series to her specific specifications. Anne Wilkes remains one of the scariest characters in Stephen King’s novels.

THE TOMMYKNOCKERS (1987)

In 1987, Stephen King wrote his first mishap, which is pretty good for 13 years of production.

This is a science fiction novel about a town that starts to fall apart when a UFO is unburied.

This remains one of King’s less beloved novels, even for hardcore fans. King himself dismisses the book as well. It also had a movie based on it released in 1993.

THE DARK HALF (1989)

In 1989, Stephen King wrote another book about authors, this one about a man named Thad Beaumont.

He had been writing books under a pseudonym of George Stark and when the world discovers this, Beaumont kills off his pseudonym. However, soon George Stark comes to life and comes to get his name back.

It is easy to see this as King dealing with his former pseudonym of Richard Bachman.

FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT (1990)

Just like Different Seasons, Four Past Midnight was another collection of four novellas.

These include The Langoliers, which was also turned into a TV miniseries with what might be the most laughable CGI of any Stephen King movie. This was a movie about the world starting to eat itself as people on a plane race away for their lives.

Also included in this collection are Secret Window, Secret Garden (which was turned into a Johnny Depp movie), The Library Policeman, and The Sun Dog.

THE DARK TOWER III: THE WASTE LANDS (1991)

The third book in the Dark Tower series hit in 1991 with The Waste Lands.

This book brings back Jake, who died in the first movie, and introduces the beloved Oy, a billy-bumbler. It also presents the horrifying Blaine the Mono train.

NEEDFUL THINGS (1991)

When Needful Things hit in 1991, it was advertised as the last Castle Rock book.

Castle Rock was a fictional Stephen King town that was featured in several novels and short stories over the years. However, this story was supposed to kill off the town as a mysterious man named Leland Gaunt showed up and traded people their most wanted items for their darkest secrets.

GERALD’S GAME (1992)

Gerald's Game
Carla Gugino in Gerald’s Game. Pic credit: Netflix

Gerald’s Game was a turn in direction for King, who wrote more adult-themed horror novels over the new few years.

In this book, Jessie and her husband Gerald go to a secluded lakehouse home. However, when a sex game goes wrong, Gerald dies, and Jessie is handcuffed to the bed. Then, she realizes something is outside.

It was made into a horror movie on Netflix.

DOLORES CLAIBORNE (1992)

Dolores Claiborne was a tough book to read. There are no chapters, no section breaks, and it is really just one straight story from start to finish.

The story is about a 65-year-old woman named Dolores Claiborne, a widow suspected of killing her wealthy employer. The novel is set up as a transcript of her statement.

A movie arrived in 1995 with Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

NIGHTMARES AND DREAMSCAPES (1993)

Nightmares and Dreamscapes was another short story collection from Stephen King.

This included stories including The Night Flier, Chattery Teeth, Dolan’s Cadillac, and My Pretty Pony. There was also a TNT anthology series with this name based on some of the stories in the book.

INSOMNIA (1994)

In 1994, Stephen King released Insomnia and brought back a familiar town from a past book.

In this book, a man in Derry, Maine (the town from It), was suffering from insomnia and started to see creatures no one else could see who were waiting for people to die to take them to the other side.

ROSE MADDER (1995)

Rose Madder came out in 1995, a book that was disappointing for many fans of the horror novelist.

The book deals with fantasy as well as horror and pulls from Greek mythology, something rare for his novels.

Rose is a woman whose police officer husband has beat her for years and even caused her to miscarriage at one time after a severe beating. She finally leaves home after nine years, and he sets out to find and kill her.

She then finds a painting that seems to change every time she looks at is, and it gives her the strength to fight back.

THE GREEN MILE (1996)

The Green Mile
Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

In 1996, Stephen King did something very different. For The Green Mile, he released it in six short, inexpensive monthly books, similar to old-school serials with cliffhanger endings.

The story is about a man falsely accused of murder who is found guilty and sentenced to death. The Green Mile is the death row, where he changes the lives of everyone he meets.

The book won the Bram Stoker Award in 1996 and was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks.

DESPERATION (1996) / THE REGULATORS (1996)

In 1996, Stephen King released two books that were interconnected. Desperation was by Stephen King, and The Regulators was under the name Richard Bachman.

Both books had characters that shared the same names but were involved in two different stories.

In Desperation, a deranged sheriff arrested multiple people and tortured them. In Regulators, a young boy is able to control things happening on his street. The first is a horror novel, and the second more of a fantasy story.

THE DARK TOWER IV: WIZARD AND GLASS (1997)

The fourth Dark Tower novel came in 1997 with Wizard and Glass.

This story begins immediately following The Waste Lands where the ka-tet escapes Blaine the Mono and continues on their journey to the Dark Tower.

This is the book that really delves into the past of Roland, specifically his romance with Susan Delgado.

BAG OF BONES (1998)

Bag of Bones was Stephen King’s first novel after leaving Viking and signing with Simon & Schuster, which he considered a more prestigious publishing company.

The story deals with another writer, this time, a man named Mike Noonan, who is suffering from writer’s block.

The novel won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel in 1998 and the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1999. Pierce Brosnan starred in the movie adaptation in 2011.

THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON (1999)

Stephen King published one of his shortest novels in 1999 with The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

This was a simple story of a little girl who ends up lost in the woods while on a hiking trip with her mom and brother and ends up going deeper and deeper, with little hope of rescue.

All she has to keep her sane is her Walkman that allows her to listen to a baseball game featuring her favorite player, pitcher Tom Gordon.

HEARTS IN ATLANTIS (1999)

In 1999, Stephen King released another book of novellas, this one titled Hearts in Atlantis.

The five stories all remain connected, told in chronological order with recurring characters. The main focus for King was how the Baby Boomer generation failed to live up to their ideals.

There was a movie released with the same name as the title story, but it was based on the stories Low Men in Yellow Coats and Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling.

ON WRITING (2000)

Stephen King wrote a memoir about his life as a writer in 2000 with On Writing.

While a memoir, this is also one of the most recommended books for aspiring writers, as it is not only King talking about his own writing but also talking about how he became a successful writer in general.

The book has five sections: CV (his memoir), What Writing Is (why writing should be taken seriously), Toolbox (the importance of English mechanics), On Writing (advice for writers), and On Living: A Postscript (King talks his accident where a van hit him).

DREAMCATCHER (2001)

Dreamcatcher
The movie Dreamcatcher hit in 2003. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

Another slightly disappointing book that Stephen King released hit in 2001 with Dreamcatcher.

This is the fiction novel that King wrote after the van hit him, almost ending his life. A normally fast writer, this book took a year and a half to write, as he did it by hand, the entire novel written in cursive.

King admitted he doesn’t like Dreamcatcher as much as other novels he wrote, a story about four friends reuniting for a hunting trip, only to face an alien invasion.

BLACK HOUSE (2001)

Black House was a sequel to The Talisman, as Stephen King and Peter Straub teamed up once again to tell the story of the two parallel Earths.

Jack Sawyer, the child from the first book, is now a police officer investigating a case of murders in the town of French Landing, Wisconsin, which leads to more murders in Los Angeles.

King and Straub have talked about a third book, but it has yet to happen.

FROM A BUICK 8 (2002)

Nineteen years after publishing the haunted car novel Christine, Stephen King released a second horror novel surrounding a car.

This book was From a Buick 8 and told the story of a vintage 1953 Buick Roadmaster that is more than just a car.

It isn’t a real car, as it can heal itself from all damage, and when people get into the car, they never return.

EVERYTHING’S EVENTUAL (2002)

In 2002, Stephen King released his next short story collection, this one titled Everything’s Eventual.

There are 11 stories in this novel, with two of them eventually becoming movies in Riding the Bullet (starring David Arquette) and 1408 (starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson).

The book also features one of King’s most acclaimed short stories in The Man in the Black Suit.

THE DARK TOWER V: WOLVES OF THE CALLA (2003)

In 2003, Stephen King decided to finish his Dark Tower series and released three books in a row to finish off his story.

The ka-tet continues traveling to the Dark Tower but realizes they are being followed. Father Callahan from ‘Salem’s Lot appears in this book with an explanation of what happened after he disappeared in that earlier novel.

THE DARK TOWER VI: SONG OF SUSANNAH (2004)

One year later, King released the sixth book in The Dark Tower series with Song of Susannah.

As the title signifies, this story deals heavily with Susannah Dean, who starts off trapped in her own mind by a demon named Mia. The end of this novel does the unthinkable — it makes Stephen King a character in the story.

THE DARK TOWER VII: THE DARK TOWER (2004)

The Dark Tower
There were seven novels in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Pic credit: Grant

Three months after Song of Susannah, Stephen King released the seventh and final book of the main Dark Tower series.

This book tells the end of the story as Roland and his ka-tet finally complete their journey, which includes saving Stephen King from dying in an accident with a van (pulled from King’s real life).

Everything comes full circle in this finale, ending The Dark Tower storyline.

FAITHFUL (2004)

One book no one really talks about was the 2004 non-fiction novel Faithful, which was co-written by Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan.

King is a massive baseball fan and is an even bigger Boston Red Sox fan. In this book, King and O’Nan publish their correspondence during the 2004 Boston Red Sox season, where the team broke the curse and won the World Series.

THE COLORADO KID (2005)

In 2005, Stephen King signed on with Hard Case Crime to publish an old-school pulp crime novel.

This was a new imprint where famous authors wrote these pulp crime novels, rather than their normal genres.

The Colorado Kid deals with the investigation of a dead body that washed up on the coast of Maine. The staff of the newspaper breaks out the cold case with a new rookie reporter.

The TV show Haven was loosely based on the novel.

CELL (2006)

In 2006, Stephen King published one of the most violent and bloody novels of his career.

Cell was a look at the fears of everyone always being attached to their mobile devices. In this story, everyone who had their mobile devices on had a “Pulse” sent out that turned them into mindless killers.

The book was similar to The Stand when it comes to a post-apocalyptic landscape, but it was much darker than even The Stand. A movie arrived in 2016 with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson.

LISEY’S STORY (2006)

Lisey’s Story is a polarizing book, with as many people online saying they could never get into it, while many others consider it one of their favorites.

Critically, it won the Bram Stoker Award in 2006.

This story was written as a reaction to the accident with the van that almost killed him. King said he arrived home from the hospital and saw his books and belongings in a box and realized what it would look like if he had died.

The book is about Lisey Landon, the widow of a novelist, that is split into the present with her moving on and the past, as she remembers her life with her late husband, Scott.

BLAZE (2007)

In 2007, Stephen King returned to his pseudonym of Richard Bachman. There is a reason for this.

King wrote Blaze before he wrote Carrie. However, Doubleday rejected the manuscript and chose to move on with ‘Salem’s Lot as King’s second novel, so he put Blaze in his “trunk” in the attic.

King rewrote the novel and released it in 2007. It is about a mentally handicapped con artist who kidnaps the baby son of a wealthy man with the help of his partner George Rackley. The only problem is that George is dead.

DUMA KEY (2008)

Duma Key was another Bram Stoker winning novel, and while some people decry “later year King novels,” this is proof that it might just be a change of style for the Master of Horror.

King writes another novel about a person suffering a serious injury that almost costs him his life as it seems he was still dealing with his own mortality after the van accident.

Edgar is a man who is involved in an accident that cost him his arm and caused head injuries that compared his speech, vision, and memories. His doctor convinces him to recuperate in a paradise, which in this case, is a beach house on the island of Duma Key.

It is here that he faces an evil force known as Perse, who manifests itself in Duma Key.

JUST AFTER SUNSET (2008)

Stephen King’s fifth short story collection hit in 2008 with Just After Sunset.

King said he was going to write a new novel but instead chose to write short stories for an edited short story collection.

Some highlights in Just After Sunset include Rest Stop, The Things They Left Behind, N, and Mute.

UNDER THE DOME (2009)

Under the Dome
Under the Dome lasted for three seasons. Pic credit: CBS

Up next was Under the Dome, another sci-fi story with horror undertones.

In this book, a giant dome appears over a small town in Maine called Chester’s Mill. No one can get in, and no one can get out, and the town has to learn to survive separated from the world.

A CBS TV series aired starting in 2015 based on the novel that ran for three seasons.

FULL DARK, NO STARS (2010)

Two years after releasing his short story collection Just After Sunset, Stephen King released his next collection of novellas.

This one included four novellas, three of which have been made into movies. These include 1922 (a Netflix horror movie with Thomas Jane), Big Driver (a Lifetime movie with Maria Bello), and A Good Marriage (a movie starring Joan Allen).

The fourth novella was titled Fair Extension.

11/22/63 (2011)

After a few years of releasing books that polarized fans and critics, Stephen King released one of the best novels of his career with 11/22/63.

The book is about a teacher named Jake Epping who is divorced and has little direction in his life. However, that changes when he learns that a local restaurant owner has a door that takes a person to September 9, 1958.

The restaurant owner has been working to try to stop the assassination of John Kennedy, but every time he goes through the door, everything starts over, and history is reset again. Now, Jake is taking over the role to try to change history.

THE DARK TOWER: THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE (2012)

While Stephen King finished The Dark Tower series with seven books, he returned to the world again in 2012 for a new story.

This does not continue the storyline but instead takes place in between the fourth (Wizard and Glass) and fifth (Wolves of Calla) novels in the series. The book is basically a story by Roland, described by King as a fairy tale.

JOYLAND (2013)

Stephen King returned to the Hard Case Crime imprint again in 2013, and this time he made it a little more supernatural than The Colorado Kid.

This story was about a carny in North Carolina who ends up working at Joyland and realizes when people start to disappear that there is an evil force at work here.

DOCTOR SLEEP (2013)

Doctor Sleep
Ewan McGregor in Doctor Sleep. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

Doctor Sleep is the long-awaited sequel to The Shining.

This book takes place many years later when little Danny Torrance is now an adult. He has become an alcoholic, following in his father’s footsteps.

However, he is a recovering alcoholic and is using his powers of The Shine to help people pass on in peace at the time of their deaths in a hospice.

When he meets a little girl with The Shine, he learns there are vampiric monsters killing children with The Shine to extend their own lives, and Danny sets out to save her.

MR. MERCEDES (2014)

After two stints with the Hard Case Crime imprint, Stephen King decided he wanted to create a hard-boiled detective novel.

Mr. Mercedes was about a retired cop named Bill Hodges, who was still haunted by a murder of several people by someone in a Mercedes that he was never able to solve.

Years later, the killer (Brady Hartsfield) decides he wants to torture and torment Hodges, and the novel flips between these two characters as they set off in a battle of wits.

REVIVAL (2014)

In 2014, Stephen King returned to straight horror with the novel Revival.

Unlike many of King’s novels over the last decade, this was a straight-up horror tale of a lapsed preacher who begins to experiment in horrific scientific experiments as he tries to see if there is something on the other side after death.

This is intercut with a man named Jamie, who met the preacher as a child and is now an adult facing mental problems when he meets up with him once again.

THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS (2015)

In 2015, Stephen King released his sixth collection of short stories, this one titled The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

This book was packed with 20 stories. These include the former e-book exclusive Mile 81, as well as the previously released novella Blockade Billy.

It also includes new stories never published anywhere else before, including Obits, Mister Yummy, and Bad Little Kid.

FINDERS KEEPERS (2015)

In 2015, Stephen King continued the Bill Hodges story with Finders Keepers.

By this time, Brady is in a coma, and Hodges is now working as a private investigator. The mystery here is about a murdered author who is killed before he can finish his book trilogy.

When the murderer gets out of prison, he goes in search of the missing notebooks from the author. Hodges is brought in to help a new family living in the murderer’s old home, a family who received help from a mysterious benefactor since the Mr. Mercedes murders.

END OF WATCH (2016)

The Bill Hodges trilogy ends with the book End of Watch.

Hodges and Hully are still running their agency called Finders Keepers, when Bill finds out he has cancer with only months to live. At the same time, suicides rocked his town, all from people connected with Mr. Mercedes murderer Brady Hartsfield.

This book leads the hard-boiled detective storyline into the more supernatural arena that Stephen King fans love.

GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX (2017)

Stephen King had made a return to Castle Rock in his story stories after bidding farewell to the town in Needless Things.

However, in 2107, a new Castle Rock story came out called Gwendy’s Button Box. King and author Richard Chizmar co-wrote this.

The story took place in 1974 when a 12-year-old girl named Gwendy met a man in dark clothes and a hat who invites her over for a palaver. A sequel came in 2019, but King was not involved, and it was a book by Chizmar alone.

SLEEPING BEAUTIES (2017)

The same year that Stephen King teamed with Richard Chizmar for a book, he had an even more emotional collaboration.

King’s son Joe Hill has become a successful horror novelist on his own, and in 2017, King teamed with his other son Owen King for the novel Sleeping Beauties.

In this book, women go to sleep and end up in a cocoon. If someone wakes them up, the cocoon is broken, and the women become extremely violent. When they are asleep, they are in another place.

With that said, the men are left alone and left to their primal device until a woman immune to the curse shows up.

THE OUTSIDER (2018)

The Outsider
Stephen King’s The Outsider was adapted by HBO. Pic credit: HBO

The Outsider brought back Holly from the Bill Hodges’ trilogy in a supporting role. This is a new crime novel, taking place in Oklahoma.

A young boy is murdered violently, and all evidence points to a beloved little league baseball coach named Terry. However, Terry has proof he was out of town during the murder even though the evidence against him is ironclad.

This is a novel about an evil doppelganger, and it is up to a police detective named Ralph Anderson and Holly to solve the crime.

ELEVATION (2018)

The same year that Stephen King wrote the novel The Outsider, he also published the stand-alone novella called Elevation.

King said this was almost a spiritual sequel to Gwendy’s Button Box and was another Castle Rock story. The story is about a man named Scott, who has an illness where he is losing weight rapidly and has no idea why.

Meanwhile, he sets out to help a married lesbian couple who want to start a restaurant, despite the prejudices against them in the small Maine town.

THE INSTITUTE (2019)

The Institute almost seems like a long-lost sequel to Firestarter, at least thematically.

The story starts with a boy’s family being murdered, and then he wakes up in The Institute, where he has a bedroom, but it is in a large building with other children in similar living situations.

All the children have some sort of supernatural powers, and when they graduate to the next level, no one ever sees them again. The kids then decide it is time to try to escape.

IF IT BLEEDS (2020)

The newest book by Stephen King hit in 2020, and it is another collection of novellas.

There are four novellas in this book, including Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, The Life of Chuck, If It Bleeds, and Rat.

If It Bleeds is a Holly Gibney story, bringing back the character from the Bill Hodges’ trilogy and The Outsider.


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