The Best Stephen King Book: Readers’ Picks

Gabe Habash -- July 13th, 2012

Earlier this week, we asked you, our adored xyzists, to tell us your favorite Stephen King book using the #bestking hashtag, and boy, did you deliver. We were curious to see which book would top them all. Did you agree with NY Mag’s recent ranking of his books and put The Stand #1?

Yes, you did. With its elephantine weight, The Stand crushed all other books, receiving more than double the votes received by the #2 book, clown epic It (Jen Zeman, who picked It, said the book changed how she felt about sewer grates). In total, nearly 1 out of 4 of you Kingnuts chose The Stand. And you were adamant, too–responses included Felicia GeekyBlogger who has read The Stand 10 times¬†and Jack W Perry who says the book “transcends genre.”

Old favorites like On Writing and The Shining also stuffed the ballot box, but newcomer 11/22/63 already has a number of fans, receiving more votes than Carrie, Pet Sematary, and any of the Dark Tower books.

Let us know on Twitter or in the comments which author which should do next!

*The following books received 4 or fewer votes:

4 votes: Under the Dome, Different Seasons, Carrie, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass

3 votes: The Long Walk, The Green Mile, Duma Key, Pet Sematary

2 votes: The Dark Half, The Eyes of the Dragon, The Tailsman

1 vote: Dark Tower III: The Waste Land, Hearts in Atlantis, Insomnia, Cujo, Rose Madder, Danse Macabre, The Wind Through the Keyhole, Christine, Bag of Bones, Lisey’s Story, Night Shift, Cell, Gerald’s Game

22 thoughts on “The Best Stephen King Book: Readers’ Picks

  1. Unitedxstew

    I loved Hearts In Atlantis, Salem’s Lot, The Shining and The Dead Zone. Oh, and Gerald’s Game, Christine, and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I’ve lost alot of sleep over those books. Thanks Stephen.

  2. Gary Bremer

    With some quick number crunching…
    The “Other” category contained exactly 50 votes, added up as per how many votes they got per book.
    Soooo, 35% of the total votes makes 50, which means a total of 143 votes were cast. (rounding up)

    Every percentage equals approx 1.4 votes.
    So The Stand, in theory, got 24×1.4, or about 34 votes.

    Not very impressive when it’s put in raw numbers.

  3. David Greybeard

    I’ve read nearly everything he’s written.

    I always have a hard time picking out a favorite.

    I loved Carrie, The Shining, ‘Salem’s Lot, The Dead Zone, Under The Dome, Delores Claiborne, Duma Key, Cell, Needful Things, Different Seasons, Skeleton Crew, Night Shift, Four Past Midnight. I think those titles are the cream of the crop.

    But I don’t care for the Dark Tower series.
    Neither am I passionate about The Stand. I liked it a lot though.

  4. Ann

    Gerald’s Game was incredible. How King can write a woman so well is insane, AND I got physical shivers each time the villain showed up. Awesome.

    1. Chelsea

      Reconsider. You may not enjoy ALL of his works, but to completely disregard an author as “not worth reading” is simply ignorant. No offense intended, but Mr. King is my idol as a writer, and I feel as though you should give a couple other books of his a shot.

  5. rose key

    I think The Dark Tower series should have been an option as one pick. I think that would have tied with or come in a close second to The Stand. I would have picked the DT books as my number one choice as favorite SK novel(s).

  6. Jim Seybert

    Am I the only person on the planet who read Dreamcatcher? No votes for this one? The story arc that put one character inside own brain trying to protect himself and others from an evil that was attempting to take over his body was genius. I still run that scenario through it’s paces and try to imagine how King came up with it.

  7. Kevin A. Lewis

    When all is said and done, I have to pick Salem’s Lot because the sheer implausibility of the concept makes an effective vampire book really hard to pull off, and since King sets all his best works in real time it’s also an excellent time capsule of a small town in the 70′s. Why hasn’t Garrison Keillor ever done an audio version? I think Stephanie Meyer’s fans should be forced to read this…Vampires are NOT your friends, kids!

  8. Nancy

    Yes, hands down the Stand is my number one favorite. But, I was struck dumb by his 11/22/63! Months after reading it, it’s still with me almost daily.

  9. Jon G

    The Long Walk is definitely my favorite, even though it doesn’t get much love. Its a great read that I could do over and over.

  10. Sig

    I cut my King teeth on Carrie, Cujo and Christine… I spent nights without sleep after Night Shift.. I loved my Salem’s lot enough to name my cat after it. BUT it was and is the The Stand that I can read and reread at least twice a year. When I got my hands on the Unabridged version I was gleeful. Thank you Mr. King for decades of fantastic fiction.

  11. Meredith Rutter

    Two comments: (1) Not fair to use number of votes for the books getting 4 or fewer, and yet not to mention total number of votes that make up that pie chart. You know? Mixing percentages and numbers is always misleading. (2) I’d love to see the next author be Anne Tyler.

  12. rachel

    I’d also vote for Duma Key. That book stayed with me long after I read it and is definitely the most memorable for me. Just looking at it on my book shelf gives me the creeps!

  13. Roz Gold

    I agree my favorite Stephen King book was The Stand. But it was also my first read. I agree with Stephen King when he said he like Lisey’s Story, Duma Key, The Cell which no one picked, and Different Seasons. I actually enjoyed all of them very much but these are my favorites.

  14. Richard Sutton

    My favorite didn’t get mention — Hearts in Atlantis — the book! Not that gawdawfgul movie! I am also torn between two he made with Peter Straub, The Talisman and The Black House, which picks up where the first left off. Any of those three,

  15. Kat B

    I have to say that I really enjoyed Duma Key… not so much because it’s the best story, but because you can really feel that he is enjoying writing. He’s having fun with it, exploring in newfound ways with newfound passion. Loved it.

  16. Marc Schultz

    Worth noting: King said during a Q&A in Savannah that his own favorite is Lisey’s Story. (Though I think he hedged a bit by using a different term, like “most successful.”)

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