The Great Stephen King Reread

The Great Stephen King Reread Final Analysis

A lot of people make a lot of assumptions about Stephen King: he writes about writers too much; he sets all his stories in Maine; he writes horror. Now I’m giving you the tools you need to argue with anyone about any of these propositions. I read every single book published by Stephen King under his own name, so I leave out three of the Bachman books, books that are collaborations (no Talisman, no Sleeping Beauties, no Black House, no Gwendy’s Button Box), and I leave out the Dark Tower books (all eight of them). Also, I didn’t read Eyes of the Dragon because I forgot. So that means I didn’t read sixteen of his books.

Nevertheless, all told, I read 38 novels, 15 novellas, 111 short stories, and 5 poems by Stephen King. And here’s how they break down by the numbers.

Books with female main characters: 10 / 38

Books named after women: 5 / 38

  • Carrie
  • Misery
  • Dolores Claiborne
  • Rose Madder
  • Lisey’s Story

Books written in first person: 7 / 38

(NOTE: Christine is not entirely first person, and From a Buick 8 has multiple first person narrators, so neither were included.)

Main characters who are writers: 12 / 38

Main characters who are teachers: 9 / 38

Books set in Maine: 19 / 38

(NOTE: Cell, 11/22/63, and Revival take place partially in Maine but also elsewhere, so they weren’t counted here.)

Books not set in Maine: 19 / 38

  • The Shining – Colorado
  • The Stand – Colorado
  • Firestarter – New York, Ohio, Virginia
  • Christine – Pennsylvania
  • Thinner – Connecticut
  • Misery – Colorado
  • Rose Madder – unidentified city
  • The Green Mile – Louisiana
  • Desperation – Nevada
  • The Regulators – Ohio
  • Cell – Massachusetts, Maine
  • Duma Key – Florida
  • 11/22/63 – Maine, Texas, Florida
  • Joyland – North Carolina
  • Doctor Sleep – New Hampshire
  • Revival – Maine, Hawaii
  • The Bill Hodges Trilogy – unnamed city

Books featuring characters with psychic powers: 14 / 38

  • Carrie
  • The Shining
  • The Stand
  • The Dead Zone
  • Firestarter
  • The Green Mile
  • Desperation
  • Regulators
  • Dreamcatcher
  • Lisey’s Story
  • Duma Key
  • Joyland
  • Doctor Sleep
  • End of Watch

Books where aliens did it: 3 / 38

  • The Tommyknockers
  • Dreamcatcher
  • Under the Dome

Books where extradimensional creatures are to blame: 7 / 38

  • It
  • Insomnia
  • Rose Madder
  • Desperation
  • The Regulators
  • From a Buick 8
  • Lisey’s Story

(NOTE: “The Mist”, “The Langoliers”, “Hearts in Atlantis” are novellas involving extradimensional creatures.)

Books where the bad guys are not supernatural or aliens: 9 / 38

  • The Stand (virus)
  • Cujo (rabies)
  • Misery (number one fan)
  • Gerald’s Game (husband)
  • Dolores Claiborne (patriarchy)
  • The Green Mile (racism)
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (nature)
  • The Colorado Kid (???)
  • Joyland (serial killer)

Books where kids central to the plot are killed: 10 / 38

  • ‘Salem’s Lot
  • Cujo
  • Pet Sematary
  • Thinner
  • It
  • Desperation
  • The Regulators
  • Cell
  • Duma Key
  • Revival

 

I’ll be updating this with new statistics and more information, and hopefully including stats on the short stories, as time goes by, so check back every few months. And if you can think of categories where you want to see the stats, sing out in the comments. I aim to please!

Grady Hendrix is the author of Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the horror paperback boom of the Seventies and Eighties, as well as My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and Horrorstör.

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