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Thread: A Definitive Ranking of Every Stephen King Novel Ever

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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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/

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement mhatchett's Avatar
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    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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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Senior Member Hearing Voices
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    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.

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Senior Member Starting to Drool Incessantly Brian861's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
    I'm gonna agree with Ron for the most part (although Needful Things is a fav of mine) and completely agree with you, Jeff in regards to Revival. It was god awful to me and I didn't give a damn either about the folks in that one. I really enjoyed Doctor Sleep which most seemed to have not to. Mr. Mercedes was good but it didn't need to be stretched out into a trilogy. I felt Finders Keepers was just another Hodges' story and End of Watch was just plain silly. IMO, the best modern novel to day is Duma Key. I haven't enjoyed a King read as much as I did that one in a long time. I also enjoyed Gwendy's Button Box. Haven't gotten around to Sleeping Beauties or The Outsider yet but, those will be listens vs. reads. As pretty much all my reading these days is done via my ears.

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