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The 20 Best Stephen King Books to Read (With All the Lights On) This Halloween

The most frightening entries from the master of horror's far-reaching and bone-chilling career.

Stephen King has long been considered the master of the horror novel — and for good reason. Few authors are as prolific, successful and influential as King. The 75-year-old author has published 65 novels, 11 story collections, 5 nonfiction books and 19 screenplays since his first short story sale at the age of 18, with a total of over 400 million books sold and a new novel and film adaptations in the pipeline each year.

He has a way of infusing the classic campfire tales we heard as kids at summer camp with fully realized and deeply immersive worlds. He builds fascinating and believable characters who share complex and compelling relationships, then tears them apart in a terrifying fashion, tapping into the primal, child-like fears that reside in the mind's darkest recesses. He celebrates those irrational frights — a clawed hand scratching at a window, a pair of eyes watching from the corner of a dark room — buried under years of imaginationless adulthood, and knowing better than to draw back the shower curtain because you feel the gnawing presence of something there. He'll make you feel like that scared kid at a campfire all over again, listening in rapt horror as a counselor weaves a hair-raising tale. And he'll also make you listen questioningly at night — if only for a moment — to that nameless sound from somewhere beyond the walls of your cozy bedroom.

Let's pull back that shower curtain to reveal the 20 greatest novels from his expansive and chilling body of work.

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