'The Green Mile' is not horror though the setting is a bit morbid. It's one of my favourites... 'The Stand' is post apocalyptic horror though it's much more than a horror novel - kind of a great insight on society and how people behave. I think it's a universal favourite among fans.
"Hearts in Atlantis" is a character-driven novel that fans of "11/22/63" might like. It does have an element of "horror," but that's not the focus.
Also, try some of the story collections -- some of King's best work is in short fiction (i.e. "The Body" and "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" -- both from the collection called "Different Seasons").
My favorite was Eyes of the Dragon. He wrote it for his children when they we pre-teens or teens. I also loved The Talisman, co-authored with Peter Straub I think. I agree with others regarding The Stand, Green Mile, Dead Zone, Dark Tower Series and his short stories. I would add The Shining and The Long Walk to the list. Most SK books are entertaining and many are worthy of rereading years later. The one I would not recommend is Pet Cemetery... not that it wasn't a good read, but due to the subject matter I wanted to throw it away and take a bath when I finished it.
The Dark Tower series, The Eyes of the Dragon, The Stand, The Talisman and Black House. That should hold you over for a while. All of these are fantastic with the DT series and Eyes tying for first place, imo.
I usually stay clear of any of his books that turned into movies (besides a few).
King has written many superb books, especially earlier in his career. The majority of readers point to The Stand as SK's greatest literary work. While I can't definitively dispute that observation, and I did like reading The Stand, it is not my favorite King novel. I have not read everything SK has written, but I believe his best books are Salem's Lot, The Shining, Christine, Bag of Bones, and Hearts in Atlantis. Duma Key and Lisey's Story (which I couldn't even bring myself to finish) were both very disappointing and unfortunatley showed a turn for the worse in King's writing style and his ability to reach readers with the same energy and focus he mustered before 2000. In my opinion, Dreamcatcher was sort of the "beginning of the end" for recent King books. That being said, I haven't read 11/22/63 yet, but I'm planning on giving it a shot after skipping Under the Dome. I'm hopeful that King still has some of that story telling magic left in that wonderful mind of his.......
Stephen King books you may like (not centrally "horror oriented"):
1. THE LONG WALK 2. HEARTS IN ATLANTIS 3. THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON 5. THINNER 6. BAG OF BONES 7. CUJO 8. ON WRITING 9. MISERY 10. THE DEAD ZONE
It does not get any better than The Stand. I revisit the book every couple of years and disappear into another world. I have read almost everything and consider the man the greatest character developer of any author. He really makes you care about people you often wish you could sit down and share a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine) with. I finished 11/22/63 in 2 days on my kindle (I will have to get the hardcover for my King collection but nothing beats the kindle for ease of reading and fast delivery!) I will no doubt read it again within a year. Don't miss The Dead Zone, the Green Mile, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, and the Gunslinger series. Skip Pet Semetary and Duma Key. You really can't go wrong. The long ones are the best ones! Enjoy!
Wow! Lots of fans of "The Stand." It'd be interesting to know the ages of folks commenting. I say this because "the Stand" was my favorite King book ever from the time I first read it at around age 18 until I re-read it in my late twenties. It just didn't resonate with me the second time around ... maybe I'll have to re-read it. On the other hand, I thought the "Dead Zone" was okay when I first read, but it has become successively better for me with each re-read. Now it's pretty much established itself as one of my alltime favorites. Clearly, I"m in the minority, but then I've never watched the Showtime series based on DZ either. Maybe people lost interest in the novel after watching the series ...
Note: I read the original 1978 version of the "the Stand" both times I read it. I understand that it was updated in 1990 to make it more comtemporary. Maybe I need to read the updated version.
People here are making some good recommendations, and "The Stand" is also one of my all-time favorites. You might want to give "It" a try, as two of the characters in "11/23/63" originated from that book - Ritchie and Bev... and also the clown. "It" is definitely a horror story, however. I mention this book only because of the overlapping characters, something King is very fond of doing. "The Dead Zone" is similar to "11/23/63" in that the main character is able to predict someone's future by touching them or shaking their hand. What would you do if you had shook hands with a Hitler and how far would you go to stop that person from committing atrocities?
Enjoy reading King for the first time! He's a brilliant writer.
I've been reading Stephen King since 4th grade. I had a habit of picking up the books after my mom finished them. It's now almost 30 years later, and I am still a fan, though for a while, I thought perhaps he'd used up all his good ideas. For the past few years, though, I feel like he's gotten a 2nd wind, and I'm glad to see it. I couldn't possibly rank the books in any particular order, but I agree with many of the previous posts.
Green Mile - a definite. I would recommend finding this in the serial form. I borrowed one at a time from the library, and though they were all available by the time I read them, the anticipation and suspense between finishing one and getting to the library for the next really enhanced my reading experience.
The Stand - his description of the spread of a Super Flu paired with my imagination turned me into a germophobe! His identification of the various "ripple effects" of life after 99.9% of the population dies are comprehensive. Best part of the book, though they were not the object.
Of course The Body & Rita Hayworth
A short story found in Full Dark, No Stars about the married couple...Can't recall the name.
I too appreciate the stories that give a nod to previous books & short stories...Delores Claiborne is one...11/22/63 with Pennywise...there are others, that I can't think of
And of course those that I refer to as the classics: Pet Semetary, Carrie, Firestarter, Cujo, The Dark Half...
I agree that some of the books to movies didn't turn out well, but there are a very few that did. Misery & Delores Claiborne to name a couple. The best were the ones that didn't involve the super natural - the ones that lie within the realm of possibility.
Didn't like the Hearts of Atlantis book, per se, BUT I really liked the movie. I don't know why, because it wasn't a great movie, but there was something about it that resonates with me. Someone told me that the Dark House goes into more detail about the Low Men and that it's creepy. Has anyone else read Dark House?
Also Carrie (the original) was a total classic with Cissy Spacek. The Shawshank Redemption was also an award-winning movie. Kathy Bates was classic in Misery. So was James Caan.
I'm looking forward to the 3 part trilogy of The Stand that Ben Afflect is directing. I thought the miniseries was "good" but it was too low budget for such a project. Also, some people were so horribly miscast. Molly Ringwald as Frannie was a travesty. I also was disappointed by the poor castings of Harold, Nadine, and Joe/Leo.
I guess you can all tell I'm a "The Stand" fan. But I also love The Dead Zone, Thinner (as Richard Bachman) and of course, The Dark Tower (and I'm hoping that is made into a film as well).
I've tried reading The Dead Zone and The Dark Tower series a few times each and I just can't seem to get through them. I don't know if it's that I don't read enough anymore (as a teenager I could zip through a long scifi series with no problem). I have, however, read The Shining five times and get something new out of it every time. The movie is okay/good, but the book is much more interesting.
Stephen King started out as a horror writer; lesser writers would have been pigeon-holed, but Mr. King's talents can't be contained by one genre. Hmm....non-horror Stephen King works worth reading...Okay, I was going to list them, but I've reconsidered. Actually, King has relatively few books that are pure or almost pure horror novels - Salem's Lot, The Stand, Christine, Pet Sematary, Thinner, The Dark Half, a few others - but most of them could just as easily be classified as fantasy, suspense/thrillers, even sci-fi. If you start looking into his short story collections, you'll get a grab-bag. I'm sure that couple minutes of research will reward you with something to your taste. I've loved SK forever, and I think it's great that with 11/22/63, he's hit another one out of the park, and in the process turned a whole new generation of fans on to his life's work. Stephen King is a national treasure, a literary genius, and a first-rate American entertainer. Anyone discovering him for the first time is in for a genuine treat.