7 Scary Stephen King Books Not Set In Maine

Shefali Lohia
September 21 2018
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If you’re an avid Stephen King reader like me, then your obsessive research about his books has led you to learn a lot about the man himself. He has a beloved nefarious corgi named Molly, aka The Thing of Evil, he and his wife own a classic rock radio station, and he really has a thing for Maine. In fact, the majority of his stories are set there—and it can be difficult to find ones that aren’t. Which is why I made this list. You’re welcome.

And if you really can’t get enough of the Pine Tree State, from King and other writers, check out this list of creepy reads set in Maine from Riveted.

This post was originally published on GetLiterary.com.

Misery
by Stephen King

LOCATION: The fictional town of Sidewinder, Colorado

I’m dubbing this one “classic King,” ’cause you can’t not picture Kathy Bates when you think of this title. (At least, I can’t.)

Less supernatural, and more straight holy-crap-is-this-happening, Misery tells the story of a deranged “superfan,” and what happens when her favorite writer tries to kill off her favorite character. (And let me tell you—it isn’t anything good.) Read the book and decide for yourself which is the most horrific scene.

Fun fact: King originally planned to publish Misery under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, but the identity of his pen name was discovered before the release of the book.

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Misery
Stephen King

The #1 national bestseller about a famous novelist held hostage by his “number one fan” and suffering a frightening case of writer’s block—that could prove fatal. One of “Stephen King’s best…genuinely scary” (USA TODAY).Paul Sheldon is a bestselling novelist who has finally met his number one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house. Annie wants Paul to write a book that brings Misery back to life—just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an axe. And if they don’t work, she can get really nasty. “Terrifying” (San Francisco Chronicle), “dazzlingly well-written” (The Indianapolis Star), and “truly gripping” (Publishers Weekly), Misery is “classic Stephen King...full of twists and turns and mounting suspense” (The Boston Globe).

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7 Scary Stephen King Books Not Set In Maine

By Shefali Lohia | September 21, 2018

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Sleeping Beauties
by Stephen King and Owen King

LOCATION: Dooling, part of the fictional Tri-Counties region of Appalachia

A collab between Stephen King and his son Owen, Sleeping Beauties has a premise you can’t quite shake. Imagine all the women in the world start falling asleep, literally falling into comas, shielded by cocoons of otherworldly material. (The nasty side effect: if you try to wake them, and succeed, they go into a homicidal rage and kill you.) The Kings show us what a world full of men only might look like. And it ain’t pretty. I don’t want to reveal too much, but the fate of the sleeping women is far better, and quite a bit more Eden-esque. I would be extremely interested to see this one adapted.

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Sleeping Beauties
Stephen King and Owen King

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Mr. Mercedes
by Stephen King

LOCATION: Undisclosed, but Stephen King lays out a few clues—all of which point to the Midwest

The first book in the Bill Hodges trilogy, Mr. Mercedes is basically the story of a psychopath trying to f*ck with a police detective. Inspired by true events (in which someone drove their car into a McDonald’s), the story begins when a Mercedes plows into a group of people at a job fair, killing eight, and injuring many more. Later, detective Bill Hodges receives a letter from the person claiming to be responsible—and so begins their game of cat and mouse as the downtrodden detective and two unlikely allies try to stop the psychopath from further murders.

If you read the book and find yourself wanting more, consider (1) reading the next two books in the trilogy and (2) watching the adaptation starring the magnificent Brendan Gleeson!

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Mr. Mercedes
Stephen King

Now an AT&T Audience Original Series

WINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
#1 New York Times bestseller! In a high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. “Mr. Mercedes is a rich, resonant, exceptionally readable accomplishment by a man who can write in whatever genre he chooses” (The Washington Post).

The stolen Mercedes emerges from the pre-dawn fog and plows through a crowd of men and women on line for a job fair in a distressed American city. Then the lone driver backs up, charges again, and speeds off, leaving eight dead and more wounded. The case goes unsolved and ex-cop Bill Hodges is out of hope when he gets a letter from a man who loved the feel of death under the Mercedes’s wheels…

Brady Hartsfield wants that rush again, but this time he’s going big, with an attack that would take down thousands—unless Hodges and two new unusual allies he picks up along the way can throw a wrench in Hartsfield’s diabolical plans. Stephen King takes off on a “nerve-shredding, pulse-pounding race against time” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) with this acclaimed #1 bestselling thriller.

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The Long Walk
by Stephen King

LOCATION: A little bit of a cheat. The Long Walk begins at the Maine/Canada border and ends in Massachusetts.

Before The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, there was The Long Walk—another King classic (and technically the first novel King every wrote).

The story starts with a very simple premise. Every year, 100 boys join an annual walking contest called “The Long Walk” or just “The Walk.” Each Walker must walk at a pace of at least four miles per hour—with consequences that increase in severity every time you drop below the speed limit. And they must keep walking—no stops—until there is just one boy left. The prize? Anything you want for the rest of your life.

One of the OG dystopian teen reads (kind of a grandiose statement, but not entirely untrue), The Long Walk is less gruesome than most Stephen King novels, but it’s heavy on the psychological factor. A must read for teens and adults.

And one day, we may finally see an adaptation!

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The Long Walk
Stephen King

In this #1 national bestseller, “master storyteller” (Houston Chronicle) Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman, tells the tale of the contestants of a grueling walking competition where there can only be one winner—the one that survives.In the near future, when America has become a police state, one hundred boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life. Among them is sixteen-year-old Ray Garraty, and he knows the rules—keep a steady walking pace of four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings and you’re out—permanently. A “psychologically dark tale with commentary on society, teenage life, and cultural entertainment, The Long Walk is still poignant decades after its original publication” (Publishers Weekly). This edition features an introduction by Stephen King on “The Importance of Being Bachman.”

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The Outsider
by Stephen King

LOCATION: Three fictional towns: Flint City, Oklahoma; Cap City, Oklahoma; and Marysville, Texas

One of King’s most recent titles, The Outsider begins seemingly as your run-of-the-mill police procedural with people committing absolutely horrific crimes, before turning into a gruesome and supernatural action-adventure. Check out this one if you never plan to visit Oklahoma. Or sleep again.

Bonus #1: It’s narrated by the incredible Will Patton (a.k.a. Assistant Coach Bill Yoast from Remember the Titans).

Bonus #2: The story features a familiar face (figuratively speaking) from the Bill Hodges trilogy!

And of course, The Outsider was optioned for a 10-episode limited series adaptation just one month after it hit the shelves.

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The Outsider
Stephen King

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The Shining
by Stephen King

LOCATION: You should know this one, as a matter of culture, but I’ll give it to you anyway. The historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies.

There was no way this book wasn’t going to be on this list. Arguably King’s most famous novel (okay, there are probably a few titles that could claim this spot), The Shining is its own special brand of downright terrifying. In essence—writer man goes to secluded hotel in winter with wife and child to act as groundskeeper, reconnect with family, and work on a play. Writer man—a recovering alcoholic with a history of anger issues and abuse—eventually goes crazy, prodded on by the angry spirits that live in the hotel.

Perhaps just as creepy as the novel is the inspiration for it. Stephen King and his wife, Tabitha, visited the very-real Stanley Hotel in Colorado in 1974 because King wanted a change of pace for his next book (he had just written Carrie and ’Salem’s Lot, both of which were set in Maine). A lot of the scenes in the book (and movie!) are inspired by things he actually saw and imagined during his stay—including room 217.

And of course, the book gave rise to Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation starring Jack Nicholson in a role that I will never forget. “Here’s Johnny!”

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The Shining
Stephen King

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

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7 Scary Stephen King Books Not Set In Maine

By Shefali Lohia | September 21, 2018

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The Eyes of the Dragon
by Stephen King

LOCATION: The magical realm of Delain, which is located within In-World from The Dark Tower series

While most people know him for horror and suspense, King is also an amazing fantasy writer—and has built a truly magnificent true-to-genre universe through The Eyes of the DragonThe Stand, and The Dark Tower series. A classic epic-fantasy with an almost-medieval setting, The Eyes of the Dragon follows Flagg (a.k.a. Randall Flagg; a.k.a. The Man in Black; a.k.a. Matthew McConaughey from the recent adaptation of The Dark Tower; a.k.a. many other aliases that you need to find on your own) in his attempts to overthrow Delain’s monarchy and plunge the kingdom into "a thousand years of bloody anarchy, give or take a few months.” If you are a fantasy lover (like me) and were raised on this genre (like me), then I highly encourage you to check out King’s work—because he’s really freaking good at creating the world that he has.

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The Eyes of the Dragon
Stephen King

“It is just not possible to stop turning the pages” (The Washington Post) of this bestselling classic tale—an epic fantasy as only Stephen King could envision it.“Once, in a kingdom called Delain, there was a king with two sons….” Thus begins one of the most unique tales that master storyteller Stephen King has ever written—a sprawling fantasy of dark magic and the struggle for absolute power that utterly transforms the destinies of two brothers born into royalty. Through this enthralling masterpiece of mythical adventure, intrigue, and terror, you will thrill to this unforgettable narrative filled with relentless, wicked enchantment, and the most terrible of secrets….

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Scary Stephen King Books Not Set In Maine

By Shefali Lohia | September 21, 2018

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