Is There A Stephen King Book You Don't Like?

Could it be?  Are there some books King fans just don't really like?  Well, when an author is as prolific as Stephen King, there is lots of room for some all time favorites and some big time losers.

Least favorite King books:
1. Lisey's Story. (Did not complete)
2. Roadwork.  (Did not complete.)
3. Cell.  (But I want to like cell.  I really want to like it!)
4. Gerald's Game. 

Is it fair to list books I didn't even finish reading?  Probably not.  So my list is an unfair list!  I have tried, more than onc, to dig into Lisey's Story.  I'm sure it is a good book -- it just doesn't connect for  me.

Book others seem to hate, but I like: Tommyknockers!  But it's been a long time since I read it and I remember very little! 

My least favorites books of all time (Non King)
First of all, I'm not including politics and relgion.  I've read a LOT  of books on religion by Mr. Dawkins and the like that I totally disagree with. 

Second, I notice most books I don't like are from authors I do.  I love Ken Follett's historical novels,  but nod off when he does spy thrillers. 

1. David Copperfield.  I don't get it.  Nothing happens!  IT's a book without a plot.  I think you should all question the judgment from here forward of someone who does not understand David Copperfield.  But pass no judgment until you've read it.  Give m Great Expectations any day!

2. The Beast Within.  It's so bad I couldn't believe it actually made it to print.  I bought a hardcover  just to encourage me -- if this guy could get published, then any of us can!  And, tey made it into a movie.

3. Darkness on the edge of town.  Everyone said it would be like the Mist or Under the Dome.  It was mostly about druggies who. . . surprise surprise. . . have a lot of bad ideas and get a lot of people killed.  I'm done reading books where some homeless guy actually understands the inner-workings of the universe!

4. Baal  I like Robert Mccammon a lot.  I'm not so sure I like Baal a lot.  I think I prefer Swan Song and after when it comes to Mccammon.  Boys Life is great.

5. The Partner.  Once again, an  author I like (Grisham). . . a book I didn't!

NOW. . . tomorrow I will post: The 5 Most Underrated Stephen King books.

Tell me:
1. What is your least favorite Stephen King book.  We all reserve the right to pass judgment and shame upon you for disliking a King book.
2. What is your least favorite non-King novels?


  1. Under the Dome would hold the number on slot, though that space is being held in reserve for Doctor Sleep.

    Otherwise, in no numbered order here are books I can't say I dislike, so much as never had an interest or was unable to get into.

    Duma Key (read an gave a fail grade)
    Eyes of the dragon.
    Firestarter (does the movie count?)

    The Tower books aren't bad, they just weren't compelling like other books of his, and I think on some level King's heart just wasn't in it like it was in, say, It.

    On the plus side, a King book I like but others seem not to: Dreamcatcher.

    P.S. Is this related to your, "Why do we like to talk about books we hate?" question, Reverend?


  2. I've managed to get through all of the King books and my five least favorite are:

    1. Lisey's Story
    2. Rose Madder
    3. Gerald's Game
    4. The Regulators
    5. From a Buick 8

  3. Least favorites:

    1. Lisey's Story (didn't finish)
    2. The Talisman (didn't finish)
    3. Black House (didn't finish)
    4. Song of Susannah (finished and enjoyed about half of it, but the other half really irked me)

    That's about it. I'm not as fond of Christine and The Dark Tower as I am his others, but I'd re-read either of them tomorrow, so I can hardly say I dislike them.

    I actually quite enjoy many that people seem to hate (Tommyknockers, Cell, Dreamcatcher, Regulators, Buick 8, etc. And Duma Key is my favorite King overall!)

    As far as least favorite non-Kings, that's a tough one... The only one that's coming to mind is Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil. I've started and gave up on many books, to be sure, and not connected to some that everyone tells me are amazing, such as anything by David Sedaris, who is a very affable chap, I just find his writing style too precious. But not sure I'd include either on a "books I hate" list. I'm tempted to say "Twilight" or "50 Shades of Grey" or "Sex in the City" or something like that, but, in all fairness, those are books I'm sure I'd hate but have never read.

    1. Wait, A Dance with Dragons by GRRM needs to be on my least-favorites list. That book fatally torpedoed my interest in the entire Song of Ice and Fire series, though bks 3 and 4 of the series, to be fair, weakened the integrity of the hull considerably.

    2. I just finished book three. Without spoilers (if you can) tell me what about book three hurt the integrity of the story. I really enjoyed all of the turmoil at the end.

  4. Desperation, Under the Dome, and Needful things were my least favorite King novels out of the ones I've read.

    I find it interesting that Lisey's Story shows up as #1 on most people's lists! It was one of my favorites.

    I would love to see a question like this that splits up the generations of king books though. The books in the beginning, middle, and most recent parts of his career have such a different feeling from each other. So most/least favorite from each time period.

    1. Totally agreed. When I got to the ranking-King-books of my re-read, I split them into 74-83, 84-93, 94-03, and 04-present for that very reason. Happy to hear I'm not the only one who sees the appeal of such an approach!

  5. My least favorite Stephen King novels are "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" and "Carrie." The former, because I thought it was dull and it seemed as if the emotions held by the characters were not realistic. I thought the latter was just way too over the top, but I may need to reread "Carrie."

    My least favorite novel is Jack Ketchum's novella pairing of "Old Flames" and "Right To Life." I thought "Old Flames" was poorly edited and it felt like it ended up being an excuse for a rampage. As for "Right To Life," I thought the concept of kidnapping and torturing a pregnant woman who tried to get an abortion was not scary, but immoral. I do, however, like what Jack Ketchum has to offer to horror fiction.

  6. Here's a question, I keep hearing the same complaint from a lot of long time King fans that his best stuff was either back in the Eighties or either nowhere past the seventies with the Stand.

    These same fans say nothing in the nineties is the same as their idea of his BEST stuff.

    My question is where does all that come from, and has anybody ever heard the same argument?


  7. I could NOT stand Lisey's Story either and did not finish. Snore... BORING. I really didn't expect that from King!!

  8. I hate Tommynockers. 800 + pages of boredom, bad story, bad characters. Really? Colorado Kid and The girl who loved Tom Gordon are there too, but at least are shorter. Roadwork is dull too.
    In the other hand i absolutely love Lisey Story. Easily in my Top 5 of King.

    Of other authors, Silence of Rampsay Campbell i´ts terrible. I can´t stand his books, i don´t know how i even try....

    Dean Kontz have some terrible ones and also are terrible formulaics

  9. Read all the way through and didn't care for (in publication order):
    Cycle of the Werewolf (not bad, just meh)
    The Dark Half (my mind may change on re-read)
    The Regulators (candidate for his worst novel ever, IMHO)
    The Dark Tower VII

    Started but could not finish (yet):
    The Tommyknockers
    Needful Things
    The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
    Duma Key

    In almost all cases I don't think it was the book that was bad, but me for being distracted or having other pressing concerns. All are going to be read by me from cover to cover as part of my read/reread in order project.

    Books I had in my house for years and never cracked open for whatever reason:

    The Bachman Books (I've now read Rage)
    The Dead Zone
    Gerald's Game
    Dolores Claiborne
    Lisey's Story