My Top Ten Favourite Stephen King Novels – G X Todd
G X Todd, author of DEFENDER, picks her top ten favourite Stephen King novels.
Posted on January 5, 2017 in Guest Author
Tags: Author Content, Defender, G X Todd, Hear the Voices, Misery, On Writing, The Shining, The Voices, stephen king
I’m going to come right out and admit that I haven’t read some of King’s ‘classics’, and before you all start forming a lynch mob to come after me, I’ll explain why in two words:
I like knowing there are more of his books out there, waiting for me to discover them. It makes me happy. So, with that in mind, here are my top ten favourite Stephen King books in descending order.
(Warning: may contain mild spoilers.)
10) The Regulators (1996)
This was released as a Richard Bachman book and it’s a bit mental. I still remember the foil green cover with the reptilian eye on the front. Very effective. It’s probably not a book most people would stick in their top ten, and it certainly can’t be called one of his best, but that story – set on a quiet suburban street where a kid’s toys come to life to terrorise the neighbourhood – has always stuck with me. And if it sticks with me, it’s a keeper.
9) Revival (2014)
Now, this got slated by one of my work colleagues for its ending, and yet the ending is what I liked most about it. It’s very Clive Barker-esque and was a complete departure from a lot of King’s other stuff. The dark, nightmarish imagery was brilliant.
8) The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower series, Book 3, 1991)
I gave up with The Dark Tower series halfway through Book Four (I hear those rumblings of a lynch mob again), but the third book, The Waste Lands, was great. One of King’s strengths is his characterisation, and in Roland, Eddie Dean, Susannah and Jake Chambers he really outdid himself. Plus, any writer who can make the words did-a-chick and dum-a-chum sound completely normal in his prose is a writer I want to be reading.
7) Desperation (1996)
I love this book. I’ve read it twice and listened to it on audio, narrated by. . . wait for it . . . KATHY BATES (who I also love). What with her audiobook narration duties here, and starring in the film adaptations of both Misery and Dolores Claiborne, I suspect Kathy is a bigger King fan than me.
6) 11.22.63 (2011)
I’ve always been interested in the assassination of JFK and this, for me, was the perfect fictionalised use of the event. King plays with time travelling like a pro, and the 1960s setting is beautifully recreated. It breathes life.
5) Misery (1987)
Another iconic King creation in Annie Wilkes. What she puts her favourite author through is enough to make any writer break out in a cold sweat. I take great delight telling people what she really did to Paul Sheldon’s feet, which they changed for the film.
4) Joyland (2013)
A novella King wrote for the Hard Case Crime series. I sometimes think King’s best work comes out in his shorter fiction and, for me, this book proves it. He occasionally runs on a tad too long but when he has only 283 pages to play with (which is what my copy of Joyland runs to), King shows everyone what a master storyteller he is.
3) The Stand (1990)
Ha, right after I say King is better with his shorter fiction, I pick a behemoth of a book for my number three slot. What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said? It’s THE ultimate end-of-the-world novel and, if you haven’t read it yet, you really should give it a go before Trump brings on a real apocalypse and you miss your chance.
2) On Writing (2000)
Out of all of King’s books, this is the one I’ve re-read the most. Easily 10+ times. Not the whole thing, mind –I usually skip to the part where he gets to the nitty gritty of writing and the techniques he employs. It’s a must-read for any writer and definitely a must-read for any King fan. He’s very candid about his accident and his struggles with drugs and alcohol, too.
1) The Shining (1977)
This book makes me strive to be a better writer. What King creates here with The Shining makes me blackly despair I’ll ever reach such heights. The slow-creeping sense of doom. The way King describes Jack Torrance’s mental breakdown. The stunning use of the Overlook’s isolated setting to create the most creepy, unsettling atmosphere. I think it’s a genius book and I loved every minute of it.
I suspect the following books would have made it on this list if I’d read them (I’M SORRY): IT, The Green Mile, Salem’s Lot, Pet Sematary.
DEFENDER by G X Todd is out January 2017