Hypothetical Best of Stephen King

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Jimpy

Well-Known Member
May 22, 2014
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I want to apologize in advance if this has come up before.

My friend Ted was commenting on how he would like a short story collection that was the best of Stephen King that he could carry around instead of having them spread out over a bunch of books. I pointed out that his version of the best and other peoples might vary widely. So we both went off and picked our ten best Stephen King stories. That was harder for me than I thought, I first went through and picked up the stories I thought were best ignoring the total number picked, I came up with 42. I then pruned that down to 13 (a powerful bad number) and gave up cutting any more. Ted came up with eight and gave up. Furthermore he picked six from Night Shift, Dolan's Cadillac and The Cat from Hell. So neither of us can count. And he didn't know the names to all the stories (you know, the one where a guy drinks a bad beer and turns into a giant amoeba is on his list written as such).

For the record my picks were--
Strawberry Spring
Fair Extension
1408
Everything's Eventual
N
Nona
Dolan's Cadillac
Sun Dog
The Little Green God of Agony
The Revelations of 'Becka Paulson
Rita Hayward and the Shawshank Redemption
Low Men in a Yellow Coats
Uncle Otto's Truck

His were--
Grey Matter
Graveyard Shift
I am the Doorway
Children of the Corn
The Ledge
Quitters Inc
Dolan's Cadillac
The Cat From Hell

Half his picks didn't make my list of 42!

I know there is no way anyone could come up with a consensus list of the best of Stephen King, but it would be interesting to see what some of you other peoples list of the tenish or so best Stephen King short stories are.

Jimpy

If you can't take the heat don't swim with the big dogs.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
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Cambridge, Ohio
Maximum-Overdrive-Stephen-King.jpg
..."Hey looka here on this lil TV, what these people am writing!"...
 

CordialJim

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
90
591
Maryland, USA
My "Best Of" collection would look something like this (short stories only, no novellas):

Graveyard Shift
Battleground
The Boogeyman
Trucks
Weeds
Children of the Corn
The Cat From Hell
The Reach
The Jaunt
Survivor Type
The Raft
Gramma
The Night Flier
The Man in the Black Suit
The Road Virus Heads North
Lunch at the Gotham Café
That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French
1408
Memory
The Things They Left Behind
Herman Wouk is Still Alive
The Little Green God of Agony
 

Grandpa

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Mar 2, 2014
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Colorado
I haven't read a lot of them, and at my age, a lot of things don't stick, even things that I like.

But The Ledge is one of my favorite all-time short stories by anyone, and I've read and enjoyed Robert Sheckley and Mark Twain quite a bit. It's original, it's a gripping story, it puts you there, and the ending is just great.
 
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Christine62

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Nov 7, 2013
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Oklahoma City
Stationary Bike
N
The Things They Left Behind
Morality (this one was an add on one of the audio books I was listening to and it is not supernaturally scary but very disturbing and memorable)
The Man in the Black Suit
The Raft
1922
Mrs. Todd's Shortcut
 
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blunthead

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
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Atlanta GA
I haven't read a lot of them, and at my age, a lot of things don't stick, even things that I like.

But The Ledge is one of my favorite all-time short stories by anyone, and I've read and enjoyed Robert Sheckley and Mark Twain quite a bit. It's original, it's a gripping story, it puts you there, and the ending is just great.
I really like The Ledge, too.
 
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Doc Creed

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Nov 18, 2015
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(Sorry...it's a little bit stream of consciousness. I condensed to 12. This is completely from memory and I only typed out the stories that first jumped to mind. With the exception of The Wedding Gig, these stories shook me or sent my imagination reeling.)
Graveyard Shift
Graduation Afternoon
Night Surf
Last Rung on the Ladder
Uncle Otto's Truck
That Feeling (You Can Only Say It In French)
Everything's Eventual
The Wedding Gig
The Reach
N.
Dolan's Cadillac
The End of the Whole Mess