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Stephen King names his top five Stephen King stories


There are few authors, if any at all, that can match the influence of Stephen King, an ingenious creative who has given a tremendous amount of stories to cinema and television. From low-key dramas like Stand By Me, Misery and The Shawshank Redemption to blockbuster thrillers such as It, The Shining and Carrie, King has done it all. 

Continuing to inspire both the big and small screen to this very day, King has recently seen his novel Firestarter adapted into a new movie starring Zac Efron, as well as his 2006 book Lisey’s Story that has recently been serialised by Apple TV. Despite writing many of his most iconic stories in the late 20th century, King’s influence in the world of literature and visual entertainment is truly impressive. 

Though, whilst everyone has their own favourite Stephen King story, the author himself picked out five of his most beloved works in an interview with Stephen Colbert back in 2021, whilst publicising his new novel Billy Summers.

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The first tale he mentions, is the short story named Survivor Type, a book about “a physician stranded on a little island and he’s smuggling heroin, and he’s starving, so he eats himself piece by piece,” as the author hauntingly describes. “That is family friendly,” King jokes, having just outlined his horrific short story originally published in the 1982 horror anthology Terrors.

Taking second place on Stephen King’s list of favourites is the 1987 novel Misery, a book that he “liked a lot,” revealing that it was “a fun book to write” in conversation with Colbert. Adapted into a celebrated movie in 1991 by Rob Reiner, the film stars Kathy Bates as an obsessive star of a crime writer’s novels, taking the fate of the fictional characters into her own hands when she kidnaps the author himself.

The new Apple TV+ project Lisey’s Story takes the third spot on King’s list, with King revealing that he “held onto” the project for a long time before revealing it to the world in 2006. Though the series, starring Dane DeHaan, Julianne Moore and Clive Owen, received middling reviews, the novel itself received favourable feedback upon its release. 

Originally named The Body, though better known as Stand By Me, King’s coming of age classic takes the fourth spot in his list. Telling the story of a group of four boys who set out on a journey to discover the body of a missing boy, King’s tale is known as one of the greatest childhood films ever made, with its timeless message ringing true from generation to generation. 

King’s somewhat cynical final choice is his latest work, Billy Summers, a story following a hitman and former Marine sniper who accepts one final job only to find himself in more danger than he’d let himself in for.

Take a look at the full list of Stephen King’s top five stories, below.

Stephen King’s top five Stephen King stories:

  • Survivor Type
  • Misery
  • Lisey’s Story
  • The Body
  • Billy Summers