Stephen King Bibliography Chronological Resume

Here is the list of Stephen King’s books we’re reading as part of Stephen King Revisited, along with links to the essays and other content we have posted for each book.

Carrie (1974)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Ray Garton * Richard’s follow-up
‘Salem’s Lot (1975)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Christopher Golden
The Shining (1977)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Michael Koryta
Rage (1977)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Norman Prentiss
Night Shift (1978)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Brian Keene
The Stand (1978)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Josh Boone
The Long Walk (1979) [by Richard Bachman]
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Ed Gorman
The Dead Zone (1979)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Chet Williamson
Firestarter (1980)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Ian Rogers
Roadwork (1981) [by Richard Bachman]
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts
Danse Macabre (1981)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Hank Wagner
Cujo (1981)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Kealan Patrick Burke
The Running Man (1982) [by Richard Bachman]
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Bev Vincent
Different Seasons (1982)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts
Christine (1983)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by James Newman
Cycle of the Werewolf (1983)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts
Pet Sematary (1983)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Stewart O’Nan
The Eyes of the Dragon (1984)
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts * Guest Essay by Joseph Madden
The Talisman (1984) with Peter Straub
Historical Essay * Richard’s Thoughts
Thinner (1984) [by Richard Bachman]
Skeleton Crew (1985)
IT (1986)
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three (1987)
Misery (1987)
The Tommyknockers (1987)
The Dark Half (1989)
The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition (1990)
Four Past Midnight (1990)
The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands (1991)
Needful Things (1991)
Gerald’s Game (1992)
Dolores Claiborne (1992)
Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993)
Insomnia (1994)
Rose Madder (1995)
The Green Mile (1996)
Desperation (1996)
The Regulators (1996) [by Richard Bachman]
The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass (1997)
Bag of Bones (1998)
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999)
Hearts in Atlantis (1999)
Storm of the Century (1999)
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000)
Dreamcatcher (2001)
Black House (2001) with Peter Straub
Everything’s Eventual (2001)
From a Buick 8 (2002)
The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla (2003)
The Dark Tower: Song of Susannah (2004)
The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower (2004)
Faithful (2004) with Stewart O’Nan
The Colorado Kid (2005)
Cell (2006)
Lisey’s Story (2006)
The Secretary of Dreams: Volume One (2006)
Blaze (2007) [by Richard Bachman]
Duma Key (2008)
Just After Sunset (2008)
Under the Dome (2009)
Blockade Billy (2010)
The Secretary of Dreams: Volume 2 (2010)
Full Dark, No Stars (2010)
11/22/63 (2011)
The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012)
Joyland (2013)
The Dark Man (2013)
Doctor Sleep (2013)
Mr. Mercedes (2014)
Revival (2014)
Finders Keepers (2015)
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (2015)
End of Watch (2016)
Charlie the Choo-Choo (2016) [by Beryl Evans]
Six Scary Stories selected by Stephen King (2016)
Gwendy’s Button Box (2017) with Richard Chizmar
Sleeping Beauties (2017) with Owen King

** Other Posts of Interest:
Richard’s SK Top Ten Novels List (as of the beginning of this re-reading process)

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Stephen King, Stephen King Books, Stephen King Revisited News

I once had an argument with somebody about The Shawshank Redemption. It wasn't complicated: they didn't believe me that it was written by Stephen King. When I assured them that it was, and that it was published in the same novella compendium as the story that became the classic 80s movie Stand By Me, it was possible to see their belief system crumble. This film that they loved – like so many people, their favourite film (going by the fact that it's currently rated the best movie of all time over at IMDB – was based on a story by the man who wrote that book about the killer clown. That it says it at the very start of the movie, in the opening credits, is almost immaterial: to most people, it doesn't feel as they imagine a Stephen King story should. There's nothing weird, mystical. There's no horror, and he is, after all, a horror writer. (Of course, now I see that there is horror in the stories, just maybe not the horror that I was used to from him: instead, it's the horror of emotional lurches, of war crimes, of being an overly inquisitive kid, of telling stories designed to unsettle and shock: but it's a horror you have to want to see, I suspect.)

Way back when – and I actually can't remember the first time that I read this, only that I did; and possibly more than once, given the state of my collapsing copy – I didn't read this with any baggage. It's a King book, I thought. And the cover of my edition was about as "generic horror book" as it's possible to find. Based on that cover (bats, full moon, screaming woman, slash of blood), I expected Salems Lot 2: A Lot More. So, I read the stories, but found myself marginally disappointed. Different Seasons is a collection of four novellas, published together because they were, according to King, "mainstream (almost as depressing a word as genre)", and yet sold as any other of his novels was. So, my misunderstanding of what I was coming to read was understandable; my relative dislike my fault, however, not his.

I didn't necessarily want to read him writing about a prison escape or a Nazi war criminal, so I actually gave up on Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (to give it its full title), and on Apt Pupil, because I thought they were really quite boring. The first half of the book, culled. I did, however, love The Body, where four teenage friends, about my age, go off to find the body of another teenage boy, presumed dead. The narrator in it, Gordon, is now older, but he tells the story looking back at his teenage self: a boy who loved reading, who wanted to be a writer. (The narrative even features some short stories that Gordon supposedly wrote, although they are rather more fully-formed and complete than those a real 12-year-old would write, I suspect.) So there, I saw myself, or what I wanted to be.

Where I didn't see myself was in The Breathing Method, my favourite of the four. A story within a story (a structure that immediately appealed), it's about a woman desperate to give birth to her baby, even though she can't afford doctors. I couldn't tell you why I loved it, until I began rereading it: there's a sense of something curiously macabre from the start, which lends this – the least traditionally King story in the collection – an atmosphere that spoke to me.

So, in true obtuse style, the novella I perhaps liked least has become the most famous, through its film adaptation. I prefer the film of Shawshank to its written counterpart, no question. Even rereading it now, it was hard to shake the shadow of the film, which I feel is stronger, slightly, in pacing and storytelling. Don't get me wrong. It's good! Great, even, probably. But it works better as a movie. Some things just do. I could maybe be argued that The Body is the same – Stand By Me is a tremendously tense hug of a movie, tonally astonishing, nailing the hazy feeling of being a teenager in the most incredible way. The book does it as well, but – and the written-word heresy continues – I think I actually now prefer the film. I love it, because of how it makes me feel. It makes me remember being a kid rather than reading the story the first time around, and the two are very different things.

Apt Pupil has also been turned into a film, by Bryan Singer. It's a pretty good one, as well, and so I thought I knew what to expect. I did, apart from one major omission in the adaptation: that the novella is actually about serial killer. Reading it now, it's pretty nasty stuff: two characters, both killing the homeless in an attempt to either understand death, or to gear up towards killing each other. And there's some slightly uncomfortable content in there: one dream sequence, where the 16-year old main character, Todd, fantasises about the rape of a young Jewish girl, is a little clunkier than King-now would write; and some of the language, dealing with the notions of antisemitism, is similarly rather heavy-handed. Despite being maybe closer to King's usual oeuvre than the rest of the collection – serial killers! – it's actually my least favourite of the four. Another one where I prefer the film …

And so, to the last story in the collection: the one that I remember loving the most, but actually remembered the content of the least, simply because it hasn't been turned into a film. Truthfully, it couldn't be: it's a little slight, and there's not much plot. It's all atmosphere. I'm also pleased to report it's still my favourite: slightly odd, more than a little askew, it's got a fascinating narrative voice, questioning and curious. The story within a story holds up brilliantly well – there's a peculiar thing where one first-person narrator gives way to another with only a chapter break between them, and they have something of the same voice to them, a simplicity to their speech that makes you wonder if King isn't playing with that as a concept to unsettle you, to make you question the narrator – and the stories that both tell (one of hearing a story, another of a woman giving birth in the back of a crashed cab) quiet and strange enough that I can't help but love them. The final moments of both unsettle: fact blending into fiction, truths unspoken, neither narrator nor reader sure of what to believe.

I feel guilty, a little. Here are four novellas that are each at least pretty good in their own right – I might not like Apt Pupil, but there's nothing wrong with it on a fundamental level – but I prefer the film adaptations of them to the written versions; and the one I love most, there's not even a film of, and it's the smallest in the collection by some measure (and in every way that term can be applied). Maybe there's nothing wrong with that, though: they were shuffled out of the publishing house first time around, mis-sold, mis-represented. They're probably not anybody's favourite examples of King's writing, but maybe, in this case, the stories being well known regardless of the medium they're told in, maybe that's enough.

Connections a-plenty, here. The novellas reference each other in subtle ways throughout, but also reference a number of other early King works. In The Body, Cujo is mentioned, as is Jerusalem's Lot; and Chamberlain, the town where Carrie is set. Ace Merrill, one of the characters, pops up in Needful Things; and Evvie Chalmers is in both Cujo and The Dead Zone. Apt Pupil references Springheel Jack, a serial killer from the short story Strawberry Spring. And Rita Hayworth mentions Steve Dubay, later to turn up in It.


A story about being young, dumb and owning your own (possessed, murderous) car: it's Christine.

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