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A Definitive Ranking of Every Stephen King Novel Ever

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    A Definitive Ranking of Every Stephen King Novel Ever

    This is from Barnes and Noble. While I do not agree with a lot of the rankings I think many of the comments on individual books are pretty good.

    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/...g-book-ranked/

    #2
    Thanks for sharing! I skew so much towards the older stuff because that was "my" stuff. I haven't read King in years, other than Joyland, which is lite fare for sure, but really enjoyed it. Maybe I'll start dabbling again.

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      #3
      Originally posted by mhatchett View Post
      Thanks for sharing! I skew so much towards the older stuff because that was "my" stuff. I haven't read King in years, other than Joyland, which is lite fare for sure, but really enjoyed it. Maybe I'll start dabbling again.
      I enjoyed Joyland and felt he rated it too low but I agreed with his assessment of the book. Rage was rated way to low for me but I have not read it in many years. I may need to re-read it to see if I still feel the same. King has some new work that is fantastic although very different than his early work. 11.22.63 is great, The Outsider is great for the first 75% and then really drops off. I also really enjoyed Mr. Mercedes.

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        #4
        I think his classic works are beyond reproach, but the later stuff...well...

        Post the turn of the century (from DREAMCATCHER (2001) on), I'd only put 11/22/63 and JOYLAND as recommended reading...UNDER THE DOME gets an honorable mention. Everything else, I'd put 'em all in the latter half of Definitive Ranking of Every Novel. I've not yet THE OUTSIDER (or REVIVAL or the Hodges trilogy), but from what I understand the last quarter of the book really disappoints. So everything from CARRIE to 1990 in the first half of ranking, everything else from the '90s and from 2000 on in the latter half, save for THE GREEN MILE, which also goes in the first half.

        I see King's career / body of work in thirds: the first third ('74 - '90) is phenomenal (though I see '90's NEEDFUL THINGS as somewhat disappointing, and as such an apparent transition to the even-more disappointing second stage), while the second ('91 to '00) and last thirds ('01 to present) are disappointing with a few noteable exceptions, e.g. THE GREEN MILE, 11/22/63, and JOYLAND (and UNDER THE DOME if I'm in a good, lax mood).

        Guess this explains why when the rest of the world seems to be get in an annual tizzy over an upcoming new King release, I typically find myself tizzyless...too many disappointments to keep that fire of anticipation burning any longer. If a good one comes along that people seem to love, I'll give a shot...his work has been too impactful in my life and maturation as a genre fan to refuse it outright. But I certainly won't be first in line at the bookstore.
        Twitter: https://twitter.com/ron_clinton

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          #5
          Originally posted by RonClinton View Post
          I think his classic works are beyond reproach, but the later stuff...well...

          Post the turn of the century (from DREAMCATCHER (2001) on), I'd only put 11/22/63 and JOYLAND as recommended reading...UNDER THE DOME gets an honorable mention. Everything else, I'd put 'em all in the latter half of Definitive Ranking of Every Novel. I've not yet THE OUTSIDER (or REVIVAL or the Hodges trilogy), but from what I understand the last quarter of the book really disappoints. So everything from CARRIE to 1990 in the first half of ranking, everything else from the '90s and from 2000 on in the latter half, save for THE GREEN MILE, which also goes in the first half.

          I see King's career / body of work in thirds: the first third ('74 - '90) is phenomenal (though I see '90's NEEDFUL THINGS as somewhat disappointing, and as such an apparent transition to the even-more disappointing second stage), while the second ('91 to '00) and last thirds ('01 to present) are disappointing with a few noteable exceptions, e.g. THE GREEN MILE, 11/22/63, and JOYLAND (and UNDER THE DOME if I'm in a good, lax mood).

          Guess this explains why when the rest of the world seems to be get in an annual tizzy over an upcoming new King release, I typically find myself tizzyless...too many disappointments to keep that fire of anticipation burning any longer. If a good one comes along that people seem to love, I'll give a shot...his work has been too impactful in my life and maturation as a genre fan to refuse it outright. But I certainly won't be first in line at the bookstore.
          Don't read REVIVAL. I've never cared less about King's characters. It would have been an awesome novella.

          The Hodges trilogy was OK. The last one was meh.

          I haven't read THE OUTSIDER. I didn't even buy it. Odd for me. And I'm trying to get around to reading SLEEPING BEAUTIES. But I'm in the grip of impatience that borders on madness waiting for CD's editions of THE STAND. And I know I'll be waiting a long time.

          So I completely agree with you on your overall assessment. Though I might disagree with some of your thoughts on individual books. I really liked CELL and I have a soft spot for BAG of BONES.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jeffingoff View Post
            Don't read REVIVAL. I've never cared less about King's characters. It would have been an awesome novella.

            The Hodges trilogy was OK. The last one was meh.

            I haven't read THE OUTSIDER. I didn't even buy it. Odd for me. And I'm trying to get around to reading SLEEPING BEAUTIES. But I'm in the grip of impatience that borders on madness waiting for CD's editions of THE STAND. And I know I'll be waiting a long time.

            So I completely agree with you on your overall assessment. Though I might disagree with some of your thoughts on individual books. I really liked CELL and I have a soft spot for BAG of BONES.
            Your thoughts on Revival basically natch my thoughts on Rose Madder. I enjoyed but did not love Revival. Rose Madder was just a waste of my time. Cell was just OK for me and I enjoyed Bag of Bones. Sleeping Beauties is worth reading but could have been a shorter story.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Martin View Post
              Your thoughts on Revival basically natch my thoughts on Rose Madder. I enjoyed but did not love Revival. Rose Madder was just a waste of my time. Cell was just OK for me and I enjoyed Bag of Bones. Sleeping Beauties is worth reading but could have been a shorter story.
              I couldn't even finish Rose Madder.

              Comment


                #8
                Interesting list. Too often these lists will intentionally contain a very contentious entry just to spark debate and drive up hits on the site. I don't really see that here, however there are some entries towards the bottom of the list that I would place higher.

                Am I the only person who liked DREAMCATCHER? I enjoyed that book a lot and I would put it solidly in the middle of that list instead of near the bottom. It is WAY better than FROM A BUICK 8 in my opinion.

                I loved CUJO as well and I would put it much higher than #39.

                I'm not sure that I would put CARRIE as high as #7 but it should probably be in the top third of the list.

                Other than that I don't see anything that is more than 4-5 positions out of place if I were to construct my own list.

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                  #9
                  I enjoyed Revival (it has a bit of bite, and I did like the characters), although I kind of wish the first 2/3 of it had only taken 1/3 of the pages. He did spread the whole "woe to us, these terrible things that would come to befall us" thing on a bit thick, but not enough to ruin it for me.

                  I liked Rose Madder, but I would call it interesting and not great.

                  I wanted to like Dreamcatcher (especially given the Derry angle), but it had too many things that struck me as just plain silly (shit weasels, Duddits, I could go on).

                  From A Buick 8 was no classic, but it was fun and succeeded at what it did.
                  Always looking to rent out a hidden floor above or below an old library, preferably brick or stone with hidden passageways. No pets (except cats).

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                    #10
                    I am happy to see Thinner at such a high spot. I think it's one of his most underrated works.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Jeffingoff: "And I'm trying to get around to reading SLEEPING BEAUTIES."

                      My suggestion -- don't. I tried reading that book, and gave up 10 or 20 percent of the way in. Godawful.

                      Marmaduke: "Am I the only person who liked DREAMCATCHER?"

                      Yes. But then again, I used to think I was one of the few people around who had a generally favorable view of THE TOMMYKNOCKERS, and that turned out to not be quite the case...so there's hope for you. Maybe...

                      Tommy: "I am happy to see Thinner at such a high spot. I think it's one of his most underrated works."

                      Agreed -- I really like THINNER...he did his Bachman pseudonym proud with that one.
                      Twitter: https://twitter.com/ron_clinton

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                        #12
                        This sort of thing is so subject. I don't think it's possible to make a definitive ranking of anything, let alone Kings work.
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                          #13
                          I loved Dreamcatcher, it would definitely appear in the top half of my list. On the other hand I re-read Carrie a couple of years back and it was just as bad as I remembered, great idea of course but very poorly written. The movie made a much better job of it.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by JasonUK View Post
                            I loved Dreamcatcher, it would definitely appear in the top half of my list. On the other hand I re-read Carrie a couple of years back and it was just as bad as I remembered, great idea of course but very poorly written. The movie made a much better job of it.
                            I read CARRIE for the very first time two, three years ago (just one of those books that I never got around to, figuing the movie was burned enough into my brain that I didn't need to read the book), and it was not as good as I'd imagined. It was okay (and I agree, the film does seem to tell the story better), but certainly not up to the level of the other early Kings ('SALEM'S LOT, THE SHINING, et al). I was kind of surprised, actually.
                            Twitter: https://twitter.com/ron_clinton

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by RonClinton View Post
                              Jeffingoff: "And I'm trying to get around to reading SLEEPING BEAUTIES."

                              My suggestion -- don't. I tried reading that book, and gave up 10 or 20 percent of the way in. Godawful.

                              Marmaduke: "Am I the only person who liked DREAMCATCHER?"

                              Yes. But then again, I used to think I was one of the few people around who had a generally favorable view of THE TOMMYKNOCKERS, and that turned out to not be quite the case...so there's hope for you. Maybe...

                              Tommy: "I am happy to see Thinner at such a high spot. I think it's one of his most underrated works."

                              Agreed -- I really like THINNER...he did his Bachman pseudonym proud with that one.
                              I feel Sleeping Beauties is worth reading. It is not a classic and could have been shorter but it was a good read.

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