Stephen King has been one of the world’s most prolific writers for decades. He has carved out a reputation for himself as one of the indisputable masters of the horror genre. Although his early works remain the best-selling books in King’s nearly 50-year career, a constant stream of popular TV and big-screen adaptations only adds to his legendary status.
So which of King’s books is the best selling of all time? How did he overcome intense personal issues to get back on track? For one of the most famous authors, it has been a long and often bizarre journey since he burst onto the scene in the 1970s.
“The Shining” remains Stephen King’s best-selling novel
Released in 1977, King’s The brilliant has become nothing less than a cultural phenomenon. Not only is this her best-rated book on Goodreads, it’s also by far the best-selling book of her career. Although it is surprisingly difficult to find reliable sales information, Writing Beginner estimates that it has sold almost 700,000 copies, more than double the sales of the second. Carrie.
The brilliantthe legacy of is much more complicated, however. Telling the chilling tale of Overlook Hotel caretaker Jack Torrance, the novel seemed like a natural fit for the big screen – until King realized what iconic director Stanley Kubrick intended to do with the equipment. Although the version of Kubrick starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall achieved its own legendary status, King openly hated Kubrick’s overly cold interpretation. He has remained critical of her ever since.
Far Out Magazine detailed a story about King and Kubrick arguing over the phone about the nature of evil and hell, a philosophical difference they never got over. As IndieWire reports, King even got into Kubrick in his 2018 novel, The foreigner, although he also said he liked all of Kubrick’s other movies. Animosity aside, the awkward creative marriage worked: The brilliant remains a gargantuan success for King and Kubrick.
From “Carrie” to “Misery”: King’s Other Hits
Because King’s books tend to have a long shelf life, his early books consistently rank highest in sales. Behind The brilliant, Carrie, and Salem Lot row n ° 2 and n ° 3 for King, followed by Misery and Pet Sematist. Unsurprisingly, King’s five best-selling books are also at the top of his Goodreads list, according to Become a Writer Today, which ranks books based on the number of five-star reviews.
The only notable exception is This. The clown thriller is seventh on its bestseller list, but has the second five-star review on Goodreads. This Fans also helped turn King’s story from a crooked clown into a huge hit on the big screen.
According to the figures, This ended up grossing over $ 300 million at the domestic box office and $ 700 million globally, more than double the inflation-adjusted totals of the two The brilliant Where Carrie. It: chapter two was also a major hit in 2019, finishing with around $ 470 million in international box office revenue. Although he admits he has structural flaws, King even names This as one of his personal favorites alongside the time travel thriller 22/11/1963 and horror-romance Lisey’s story.
Defeating Your Own Demons: Stephen King’s Intervention
After the overwhelming success of Carrie, Salem Lot, and The brilliant in the 70s, King took a dark path while imagining nightmarish stories like Cujo in the early 1980s. At the time, King was so locked in alcohol and cocaine that he barely remembers writing the book. Fortunately, his wife, Tabitha, stepped in to give him an ultimatum: go to rehab or leave.
The intervention worked. King has been able to embrace the sober life while releasing new books almost every year for decades. After completely giving up alcohol and drug use habits in the late 1980s, King pieced together an inspiring memoir from 2000, About writing: a brief of the trade. He was even able to revisit his troubling past in other works as well.
In 2013, King told The Guardian that he had deepened his experience with Alcoholics Anonymous to write Doctor Sleep. The brilliant The sequel deals with drug addiction through the eyes of adult Danny Torrance.
His early works continue to be rediscovered by new generations of readers. Corn Doctor Sleep is just one of his most recent books to innovate while reshaping themes of the past. Although King has been an almost ubiquitous presence in fiction, television, and movies for nearly half a century, the literary giant shows no signs of slowing down.
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