I've been reading his books for more than a decade, and let me tell you: Stephen King is full of surprises. You can read the man's work for years, and there will still be books you didn't know Stephen King wrote.
That's due in no small part to King's prolificity. Beginning with Carrie in 1974, King has written more than 50 novels, 11 collections of short fiction, and six nonfiction titles — and counting. The Maine writer's capacity for putting out work makes him the envy of George R.R. Martin. He's also author to a large body of work that will never be published.
Any author who writes hundreds of stories is bound to step out of his genre every so often. For King, this means writing things that aren't horror, such as his lauded Dark Tower series, which is finally heading to theaters next year. King has also written numerous science fiction and fantasy stories.
Most often, when you're surprised to learn that King was involved with a project, it's when you see his name pop up in the credits of a movie: Based on [Enter Title Here] by Stephen King. Many of King's stories are only published as standalone books after they're adapted for the big screen, so don't be alarmed if you notice some entries on this list whose titles aren't exact matches.
Here are 10 books you didn't know Stephen King wrote.
One of King's most literary titles, this 1999 book contains two novellas and three short stories that follow a central cast of characters throughout several decades. Hearts in Atlantis is connected to the later books of the Dark Tower series, and two of the book's segments were adapted into a 2001 film starring Anthony Hopkins and Anton Yelchin.
In 1996, King issued The Green Mile in six cheap, short, monthly installments. The book was published as a single volume the next year. The story centers on a man with healing powers, who is falsely imprisoned and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of two young girls. The Green Mile film adaptation starring Tom Hanks and Michael Clark Duncan hit theaters in 1999.
If you didn't already have a healthy respect for cornfields, you will now. Originally published in the March 1977 issue of Penthouse, and later collected in 1978's Night Shift, Children of the Corn follows two outsiders who stumble upon a small town occupied only by children and teenagers. In 1984, the story spawned a film franchise that continues to this day.
4. Stand by Me
Many people are surprised to learn that Stand by Me, the 1986 coming-of-age film starring Wil Wheaton and River Phoenix, was based on a Stephen King novella. "The Body" first appeared in Different Seasons, King's 1982 story collection.
"Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" also appeared in Different Seasons . Set in a fictional Maine prison, the story centers on a man who is falsely imprisoned for murdering his wife and her lover. It has been adapted into an Academy Award-nominated movie and a stageplay.
Early on in his career, to prevent his output from diluting the Stephen King brand, King wrote under the pseudonym "Richard Bachman." One of the so-called "Bachman books," 1984's Thinner revolves around a corrupt lawyer who is cursed by a Romani man after he is acquitted of killing the man's mother. Thinner was adapted for the screen in 1996.
Another of the Bachman books, The Running Man takes place in a dystopian world, in which contestants on the eponymous game show earn money by avoiding the Hunters sent to kill them. A film adaptation starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was released in 1987.
Written several years before Carrie, but not published until 1979, this Bachman book follows a group of 100 teenage boys participating in an annual endurance contest — with grisly consequences for those who fall behind.
Dolores Claiborne takes the form of the title character's testimony to state police regarding the suspicious deaths of two individuals. King's 1992 novel was adapted into both a 1995 film and a 2013 opera of the same name.
Part of Night Shift , King's short story "Trucks" would become the basis for his directorial debut: Maximum Overdrive. King's 1985 film about machines come to life is widely regarded as terrible, even by the author himself, who has never directed again. But, hey, it had a great soundtrack.