For those of us who have had the pleasure of reading a Stephen King novel, it’s not hard to see why he’s considered to be the greatest horror writer that’s ever lived.
His books have become a part of the cultural narrative, to the point where we can’t see a patterned carpet without experiencing a vision of two creepy twin girls standing before us.
Stephen King first began writing in the late seventies, where he was working as a schoolteacher at the time, bringing in very little money.
The setting in which most of his novels are based take place in Derry, Maine, a fictional little town that’s filled with supernatural occurrences.
This mimics King’s own life, and as a young boy, he too grew up in a small town in Maine.
He would often read horror periodicals such as ‘Tales From The Crypt’, in order to escape the mundanity of everyday life.
All of this reading inspired his own work, and eventually, he published the phenomenon we now know as ‘Carrie’, a tale of a young, awkward girl who just so happens to have supernatural powers, allowing her to unleash terror on bullies.
As the 80s drew in, King began publishing more and more books which catapulted him into stardom. Some of the most popular, of course, include ‘The Shining’, and ‘IT’.
King hasn’t stopped writing for all of these years, and continues to publish fiercely, recently releasing his high fantasy book, ‘Fairy Tale’.
If you loved the works of Stephen King, you’re going to adore Grady Henrdrix and Mira Grant. Both of these author’s capture the nostalgia presented in King’s work, not to mention the spine tingling chills.
Books By Stephen King
Now that we’ve taken a brief look at Stephen King’s background, we can move on to discuss some of the author’s most famous works.
When we’re talking about Stephen King, it’s impossible not to mention the book which made him famous, ‘Carrie’.
Carrie is a shy and awkward girl who’s bullied by her peers. As she continues with her mundane, day to day life, she gradually discovers that she has supernatural powers.
She’s invited to the prom by her date Tommy, only to find out that it was a ploy to play a cruel prank on her.
As a result, Carrie unleashes her powers on her unwitting victims, and chaos ensues.
Another novel which follows a young protagonist with supernatural powers is King’s ‘The Shining’.
This is a fantastic novel that tells the story of a family who must move to a remote cabin in the snow to act as caretakers for the winter.
Like in Carrie, the child in our story faces a difficult childhood, as his father is an alcoholic who has previously hit him during a drunken binge.
We witness the supernatural mingle with the social one again in this important work produced by King.
Another novel that requires mentioning when talking about Stephen King is ‘IT’.
IT follows 7 young children who all come from equally unstable families, as they come together to face an evil lurking in their little town.
A shapeshifting clown who manages to take on the victim’s worst fears appears throughout the book, and specifically targets children, as more and more go missing.
The children must band together, and use their friendship with one another to overcome their deep seated fears.
The result is an unforgettable tale of courage, lifelong ties, and beating the odds.
Authors Like Stephen King
If you love Stephen King, then you’re going to absolutely adore new horror writer Grady Hendrix. Hendrix is making waves in the horror genre, and has only been writing since 2014.
His books are incredibly innovative and compelling, and often feature stories that stand out from others on the market.
For example, one of his very first novels, called ‘Horrorstor’, features paranormal goings on in a furniture store.
This might not seem overly scary at first, but we can guarantee that by the time you finish it you’ll have chills rolling down your spine.
Another novel published by Hendrix is ‘Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires’.
Much like Stephen King, Hendrix enjoys writing from a small town perspective, and in this instance, it includes a group of 40 something year old women who get together to read crime novels.
As it happens, a real vampire moves into town, and the women must employ the skills they’ve learnt from their reading to tackle the evil.
We also witness themes of friendship in Hendrix’s work, much like King’s, as in ‘My Best Friend’s Exorcism’, we witness a young girl who must go to the ends of the earth to rescue her friend from the evil lurking inside of her.
- Fun – Hendrix’s books are an enjoyable and not too heavy read for when you just want to be entertained.
- Character Development – Hendrix does a great job of following the perspective of a character throughout a novel, transforming their perspective along with the plot.
- Nostalgic – The majority of the books produced by Hendrix are set in the backdrop of the 1980’s, so if you love a bit of nostalgia, you’ll adore these novels.
- Not Too Terrifying – If you’re looking for a book that will make you afraid to turn out the lights, these might not be right for you. Although they are frightening, they’re not overly scary, and won’t give you too many nightmares.
Themes: Coming of age, monster horror, battle between good and evil.
If you really want to be scared out of your wits, then we’d recommend picking up a book by Mira Grant.
Grant was born and raised in California, and has spent her whole life researching the paranormal.
Her dedication to the genre saw her voted ‘Most Likely To Summon Something Horrible In The Cornfield’, in college.
If you want to read a wide variety of horror tales, written across a number of varying sub genres, then you’ll adore Grant.
One of her most popular books is ‘Parasite’, which is a dystopian thriller. If you love all things medically terrifying, then this is a great book to pick up.
She’s also written a book ‘Into The Drowning Deep’, which features mermaids who have a deep desire to conquer the world.
Because Grant has spent such a long time researching horror folklore, we see these themes woven closely in her work.
These mythical creatures are spoken about in great detail, and hark back to some of the descriptions found in classic mythology.
If you love classic pulp horror, then we’d recommend reading ‘Newsflash’, which features a group of parasite stricken zombies who threaten to take over the world.
Her stories are both innovative and nostalgic of some of our favorite tropes within the horror genre.
Indeed, her books mimic classic horror cinema, and the REX movies of yesteryear.
- Bone Chilling – Nobody can deny that Grant knows how to write a good horror story, her books are truly spine tingling.
- Page Turners – One you pick up a book written by Grant, you won’t be able to put it down anytime soon.
- Classic Tropes – If you love classic horror tropes, then you’ll love the themes explored in Grant’s work.
- Familiar Themes – If you want to read a horror story that’s completely against the grain, Grant might not be the author for you. Although her stories are incredibly innovative and compelling, she does rehash familiar tropes such as zombies.
Themes: Classic horror tropes, dystopian, pulp fiction.
To sum up, if you love Stephen King, you’re going to absolutely adore both Grady Hendrix and Mira Grant.
Both authors present something new and compelling within the genre, but manage to do so amidst the backdrop of classic tropes and nostalgia.
If you love horror stories set within the 1980’s, we’d recommend checking out Hendrix for some much needed nostalgia. If you love classic horror folklore, then Grant is the author for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve covered some of the very best books to read if you’re a lover of Stephen King, we can move on to cover a few frequently asked questions.
What Is Stephen King’s Best Selling Book?
With such a wide range of books published over the years, some of you might find yourselves wondering which book is actually recognized as Stephen King’s number 1 bestseller.
Well, the answer is ‘The Shining’, which was published in 1977, and is known as the number one horror novel of all time.
What Is Stephen King’s Biggest Book?
The longest book published by Stephen King is ‘The Stand’, which is 1,152 pages long.
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