At the risk of stating the obvious, few authors past or present have achieved the level of success experienced by Stephen King. But then again, few authors are as prolific as Stephen King. With over 350 million copies of more than 70 titles sold worldwide, many adapted to film, television, and even broadway musicals and comic books, King’s impact on popular culture is irrefutable.
Launching his career with the 1974 publication of his debut novel, the horror classic Carrie, King has released at least one book every year since - frequently more than one, sometimes as many as three or four in a single year, under both his own name and his pen name, Richard Bachman. He has kept up this pace in spite of threatening to stop or slow down after being struck by a car and seriously injured in 1999.
Even among those who don't consider themselves fans of either the horror genre in general or Stephen King specifically, it's difficult to find an avid reader who hasn't read at least one Stephen King book. Noted as much for his ability to create fully developed, complex characters as his ability to masterfully foster suspension of disbelief and scare people silly, King's appeal crosses all genre boundaries, sending his books to the top of the bestseller lists more often than not.
In addition to being highly readable, Stephen King's books can also be highly collectible. First editions can often fetch hundreds or thousands of dollars. King has also frequently teamed up with independent publishing houses to create beautiful - and expensive - limited editions of some of his most popular titles, sometimes illustrated and often signed by the author. Look for editions published by Cemetery Dance, Lord John Press, Philtrum Press, Phantasia Press, Mark V. Ziesing Books, and, aptly, Scream Press.
10 Underrated Stephen King Books › Play Video