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What to Read Next Based on Your Favorite Stephen King Classic

While you wait for King's newest book!

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • August 17, 2023

We're excited to check out Stephen King's newest novel, coming out September 5. Holly marks the triumphant return of beloved King character Holly Gibney. Readers have witnessed Holly's evolution from a shy recluse in Mr. Mercedes to Bill Hodges's partner in Finders Keepers to a full-fledged private detective in The Outsider and If It Bleeds. In King's new novel, Holly takes center stage against a pair of unimaginably depraved and brilliantly disguised adversaries. The book is available for preorder of course, but in the meantime, we've pulled together a list of great retellings and read-alikes for ten of King's classics.

If you love Carrie

The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson

This suspense-filled YA novel about a biracial teenager who has suffered years of bullying at the hands of her small-town classmates puts a contemporary spin on King's story, adding elements of social justice and institutional racism. Maddie is a girl coming into hidden powers after a life of abuse and oppression.

If you love The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

The Hunger by Alma Katsu

"Deeply, deeply disturbing, hard to put down, not recommended reading after dark." These are the words of the King of horror himself about this gripping reimagining of the Donner Party disaster. Like many of his novels, it is a terrifying exploration of the malevolent effects of extreme isolation.

If you love Misery

The Hole by Hye-Young Pyun

In this tense, gripping Korean import, Oghi has woken from a coma after causing a devastating car accident that took his wife's life and left him paralyzed and badly disfigured. His caretaker is his grieving mother-in-law. His world shrinks to the room he lies in and memories of his troubled relationship with his wife.

If you love The Dark Tower

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this Hugo Award winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution. Like King's western-themed fantasy, this novel's gritty protagonist is on a high-stakes quest across a treacherous landscape. 

If you love The Stand

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

This is another title that King gave a shout out to, calling it "absolutely riveting." Like its predecessor, this is the apocalyptic story of a deadly virus. A form of rabies with a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less spreads like wildfire as victims lose their minds and attack their neighbors.  

If you love Pet Sematary

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Set in rural Vermont this novel explores the detrimental impact of social isolation. Nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in an old farmhouse with her younger sister and their mother, Alice. Alice insists on living off the grid, but this leaves the girls vulnerable when they wake one morning to find their mother gone.

If you love It

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Having just moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs, teenager Quinn doesn't expect to be caught in a battle that might just take her life. The creepy homicidal clown at the center of this terrifying YA novel draws an obvious comparison to King's sewer-dwelling monster.    

If you love Dolores Claiborne

Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell

After inheriting his father's London home, cash-poor Carl Martin rents out a room to Dermot McKinnon, a man with nefarious aims. This is only his first mistake. As King says, "No one surpasses Ruth Rendell when it comes to stories of obsession, instability, and malignant coincidence."

If you love Needful Things

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

"Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves." This English-language debut of the bestselling Dutch author may have drawn comparisons to his work, but King called the story of a haunted Hudson Valley town "totally, brilliantly original." 

If you love Thinner

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

In this deliciously creepy novel, four Native American men reckon with a curse of sorts caused by a disturbing, deadly event from their youth. The story blends classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary. Like King, Jones effectively incorporates the haunting quality of past traumas.

Countless authors have no doubt drawn inspiration from King's inventive storytelling over the course of his five-decade career. That and his huge and diverse bibliography made it hard to narrow this list down to just ten. As always, we'd love to hear your recommendations!

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