10 Best Stephen King Audio Books

Doctor Sleep, the highly anticipated sequel to The Shining was released this week on audio book. To celebrate the new release from this bestselling author, we thought we’d take a look back at our 10 favorite Stephen King books.


Carrie
(1974)

King became so frustrated writing this horror story about an outcast high school girl with supernatural powers that he tossed the manuscript in the trash. Luckily, his wife convinced him to keep at it and it became his first of his books to be published. It’s fitting that this is Banned Books Week because Carrie is one of the most frequently banned books in schools. The 1977 movie adaptation starring Sissy Spacek became an instant classic of the horror genre.

Salem’s Lot (1975)

Count Dracula meets Richard Nixon. King has said that his second published work, the story of a small town inhabited by vampires, was one of his favorites. Inspired by Dracula, King also drew on the growing distrust of the establishment fostered by covert activities uncovered during the Watergate era to pen this psychological thriller about an evil, invasive scourge.

The Shining (1977)

King’s third book cemented his place as a master of the horror genre. The tale of an alcoholic writer attempting to escape his demons by moving his family to Colorado and taking up residence as the caretaker of an empty, isolated hotel was his first book to become a bestseller in hardcover. Although King was reportedly unhappy with director Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation starring Jack Nicholson, audiences weren’t.

The Stand (1978)

This post-apocalyptic story begins with the accidental release of a biological agent from an army base. The virus ravages the population and the book follows the ensuing chaos, leading to a final battle between the survivors.  Much as Dracula and Watergate inspired Salem’s Lot, King’s idea for The Stand came from the unlikely pairing of The Lord of the Rings and the Patty Hearst kidnapping.

It (1986)

Ugh – King brings all of our worst fears about clowns to life in this creepy tale of children terrorized by a mysterious entity.

Misery (1987)

King drew on his own experiences as a writer for this story of an author held against his will by a rabid fan unhappy with the resolution of one of his books. Negative fan reaction to The Eyes of the Dragon led to King feeling confined to the horror genre.

The Green Mile (1996)

The Green Mile began as six volumes published separately. Set in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, it tells the story of a prison guard whose life is forever changed by his encounter with an inmate on death row who displays unusual abilities. The movie version starring Tom Hanks was nominated for four Academy Awards.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000)

Part autobiography, part treatise, On Writing covers various aspects of King’s life including his struggles with alcoholism and the 1999 car accident which nearly cost him both his legs. It’s also a practical guide to writing offering tips to aspiring writers and includes drafts of his story ‘1408’.

Under the Dome (2009)

King revisited an unfinished manuscript from 1972 for this story of a town trapped under a mysterious dome. Affected by the ecological problems confronting us today, King wanted to illustrate, on a smaller level, how we all live ‘under a dome’ and the challenges faced when we neglect to care for our environment.

 

11/22/63 (2011)

This novel, combining alternative history with science fiction, was a departure for King. He did exhaustive research to ensure he accurately captured the feel of the 60s for this story of a time traveler attempting to go back and prevent the assassination of JFK.

All Hallows Listen

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All Hallows Listen!

Halloween normally involves costumes, candy and scary, spooky fun. Author, Neil Gaiman wanted to start a new tradition, he suggested that Halloween is the perfect time to give someone a scary story! If you have a Twitter account you can join in the conversation with the hashtag #allhallowsread. I think this is a great idea to help encourage a love of reading (or listening!) in children and teenagers and a great reminder to adults about the fun they can have getting lost in a story.

I asked our Twitter followers what audio books they think would be great for All Hallows Listen. The most popular audio book was Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard book.

Here are a few  other books that the Audiobooks.com team think are great scary audio books:

What audio book would you give to someone for All Hallows Listen?

Girls Have “Chick-Lit” Novels, But What Do Boys Have?

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Girls Have “Chick-Lit” Novels, But What Do Boys Have?

It’s funny; I came across an article today that made me think about something I have never really thought about, but probably should have. Let me ask you, have you thought about why boys/men don’t have “man lit” novels but we have “chick lit” novels? And I’m not talking about John Grisham or James Patterson novels who are open for anyone to read. Sure, lots of guys like them, but so do some women! Women that read these novels by Grisham, Patterson, and even Stephen King etc. are not subjected to being labeled any less of a woman. But a man reading a “chick lit” novel, that’s a whole other story.

I bet if I looked hard enough I could probably find a series of “boy books”, or maybe better yet, find a man to attempt to write them! But why aren’t they easily accessible. There are lots of stories directed at men but the difference is they can also be read by women, not like a “chick lit” novel. I know as a girl, I could easily find hundreds of “girly” books in minutes…but “man” books, I’m not so sure.

I would assume that a “man lit” novel, as I have cleverly named this new genre, would involve nonstop action, the occasional illustration, topics about gross food and music. Maybe they don’t exist because conventional wisdom states that boys don’t like to read a lot , especially romance, primarily what chick lit novels are based on. But even so, why not just have a book about characters in love with sports instead of a girl, falling for a car instead of falling head over heels for his girlfriend etc.

I guess the question is would boys find these topics appealing to read? I do find it troubling though to even suggest we reinforce stereotypes in these books, but that’s exactly what I find chick lit novels doing! They are stories that most women could probably relate to. So what books do men relate to? I mean by calling the genre “chick lit” we are already cutting off boys from reading any of these types of books. But girls aren’t really cut off from anything or at least nothing I can think of.

So, I ask you audio book fans, what would you call a genre strictly created for boys/men? Do you think they exist already in the same fashion as a chick lit novel?

Stephen King Is At It Again!

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Stephen King Is At It Again!

Our favorite spine chilling, master of horror author, Stephen King is at it again…and not in the same way as you’d think.

Stephen King, owner of the Bangor radio station, will be shaking things up on a new talk radio show. The show is said to feature a former Vice Presidential candidate and a former Maine Secretary of State’s Communications Director.

King stated that WZON 103.1 FM and 620 AM will be launching “The Pulse Morning Show” on Sept 12th, which will be airing every morning on weekdays and online at www.zoneradio.com. King is thrilled to see his station grow at a time where others are forced to cut their staff and decrease programming. He is excited to see what lies ahead.

“We’re going to try to be informative. We’re gonna be provocative. We’re going to be amusing, and we’re going to try to be a positive community force,” King said.

I have to admit, this doesn’t surprise me. I’m quite used to Stephen King’s audio books ruffling up a few feathers already, now he is doing it on the radio!

James Patterson Earns More Than You Can Imagine!

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James Patterson Earns More Than You Can Imagine!

It’s no surprise, but the American author James Patterson has topped the Forbes magazine list for the world’s highest paid authors for the second year in a row. From May 2010 to April 2011, he has earned a whopping $84 million US. I wonder what he does with it all.

Apparently, he has made twice as much as his nearest competitor, Danielle Steel. Now that is crazy. Steel “only” earned $35 million with bestsellers such as Family Ties and 44 Charles Street.

Stephen King ended up in third place, earning $28 million US. Of course there were others who topped the list, I figured by mentioning the top 3 you’d understand how much more Mr. Patterson has earned, more than doubling his competitors earnings.

But we can’t say that Patterson doesn’t work for it. In 2009, he signed a 17-book deal with his publisher Hachette Book Group. With his release of 10 books this past year he has branched out into other lucrative markets, such as young adult and teen books.

Among the top 10 on the Forbes list were other authors who wrote for young adults, like Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riodran and Jeff Kinney.

As a fan of James Patterson’s murder mysteries, I can’t say I’m surprised. I haven’t listened to an audio book by James Patterson that I haven’t liked. Keep them coming Patterson, and we’ll keep you on the Forbes top 10 list!