The Best Stephen King audiobooks

The Best Stephen King audiobooks

The reluctance to deviate from turning book pages as you fully immerse yourself in the story to enjoying the art of listening to books is real. But you should always be open to trying new adventures – like audiobooks. 

And what better way to introduce yourself to this fantastic world than to listen to best-selling author renowned for the spooky and supernatural, Stephen King. King’s body of work explains why he is such a big proponent of audiobooks. He writes lengthy suspense-filled stories, so if you don’t have a ton of time to read, listening to audiobooks is the answer. 

Stephen King captures the mystery, horror, and supernatural elements with brilliant storytelling making almost everything he touches an epic, masterful piece. With 61 published novels and 10 long collections of over 200 short stories to his belt, there’s no stopping America’s most prolific authors of all time. Many of King’s novels are either a series or a film adaptation. Picking from his expansive treasure trove of mind-bending classics is no mean feat. But we are up to the task! 

For Stephen King fans who curiously want to revisit his old favorites in the small town of Maine, this portfolio is for you. For an introduction to the best Stephen King audiobooks, this curated list has gripping, well-paced, well-read (by authors of note) audiobooks for your long rides. Remember to breathe.

The Stand narrated by Grover Gardner 

Play the audiobook
Run time: 47 hours 50 mins 

A lethal human-made virus threatens the end of human civilization. Sounds familiar? Only two camps exist for survivors; one led by the virtuous mother Abigael and the other led by the demonic Randall Flaggonce. Once they discover one another, it’s time for war. 

This post-apocalyptic Stephen King novel performed effortlessly by the outstanding Grover Gardner is perfect for your longest rides. Gardner has a narrator voice that distinctively portrays each compelling character. He conveys King’s knack for terrifying and macabre humor in his reading of The Stand

Pet Sematary narrated by Michael C. Hall 

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Run time: 15 hours 40 mins 

Expert narrator Michael C. Hall is all the reason you should listen to this gut-wrenching horror. Known as Dexter in the hit Tv series, Michael C.Hall’s reading of Pet Sematary in his fitting Maine accent adds a creepy layer to the already terrifying tale. As the title suggests, King claims Pet Sematary scared him the most. And from how it pits an unbelievable family tragedy against a terrifying, tempting chance at resurrecting the dead, it’s easy to see why. 

Dr. Louis Creed, Professor at the University of Main, loses his family pet cat in a road accident and buries at a nearby eerie cemetery. The burying ground has hideous supernatural powers, and it sets in motion a disturbing course of events that haunts the Creeds beyond measure. 

It read by Steven Webber 

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Run time: 44 hours 55 mins 

One of Stephen King’s scariest stories, this compelling audiobook is a must-listen. Given its length, the audio version allure of this horror genre is appealing depending on your commute or travel plans. The harrowing tale is masterfully dramatized by Steven Webber, whose delightful manifestation of King’s sprawling characters makes him an unforgettable household name. 

This horror story follows Pennywise, the shape-shifting monster who continues to haunt and kill children in Derry, Maine, for years. Seven children, now grown up, return to face and possibly stop It, aka the Dancing Clown, once and for all. It isn’t done with them either.

Something to note is that Stephen King ends each chapter mid-sentence, as the intriguing characters’ present-day experiences and childhood experiences melt into each other.

11/22/63 narrated by Craig Wasson 

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Run time:  31 hours 00 mins 

On November 22, 1963, President JFK got assassinated. But what if in King’s sci-fi alternate history, Jake Epping, a 35-year-old English teacher, can go back in time through a portal to stop the assassination? 

Stephen King’s intimate knowledge of life in the late 50s shines through, delivering a King masterclass in the social-political culture. 11/22/23 is a perfect blend between a realistic and dreamy timeline, something any King fan would gush over. Narrator Craig Wasson travels around the country in multiple accents, meticulously giving life forms to each character, and his first-person reading of JFK is nostalgic and excellent. 

Carrie narrated by Sissy Spacek

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Run Time: 7 hours 24 mins 

Carrie, the very first published novel, is one of the most iconic works by Stephen King. The kind of success and reverence the story had cemented his status as a prolific author. King introduces the story to his readers before handing it over to the star of his 1976 movie adaptation, Sissy Spacek. Her audiobook narration as she shifts gears is unsurprisingly chilling and otherworldly. After all, she lived vicariously through Carrie’s world. 

High school student Carrie White is an unpopular teenage girl who is bullied and tormented to the breaking point by the more popular schoolmates. Carrie loses her prom date, Tommy Ross, unleashing her hidden telekinetic powers to inflict brutal revenge. Sissy Spacek brings so much depth in the scenes between Carrietta and her super religious mother. You don’t want to miss this King audiobook.

The Dark Tower series read by George Guidall, Frank Muller, and Stephen King 

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Run time: 145 hours 41 minutes

The Dark Tower is a genre-blending universe-hopping series of eight Stephen King books that feature western, horror, Science Fiction, dark fantasy, and much more.  In the series, the first audiobook, Gunslinger, follows Roland Gilead’s story on a mystical journey towards the dark tower.

Gunslinger is masterfully narrated by one of the most prolific audiobook performers, George Guidall. The mystery surrounding Roland’s quest is intense and makes for a thrilling listen. The late Frank Muller renowned for his performance in The Green Mile comes back to devour two books in the series; The Waste Lands and Wizard and Glass. Stephen King himself reads the book The Wind Through The Keyhole and while King insists he isn’t a professional reader, you still get a kick out of hearing him reading his material.

Joyland narrated by Michael Kelly 

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Run time: 7 hours 32 mins 

Joyland has a long list of compelling characters you should and will root for. Classic Stephen King, isn’t it? Except for this time, King steers away from paranormal elements. Like in his book The green mile, he keeps it light. This crime novel is set in a North Carolina amusement park in 1973 and follows college student Devin Jones who comes to Joyland to work as a carny during summer. Devin’s obsession with the history of a vicious murder that took place years earlier leads him down the rabid hole. Inside it is the fate of a dying child and a threat to his life. 

King uses the art of storytelling to paint enticing yet eerie images only a carnival setting can foster. Narrator Michael Kelly gives life to the crafted images, sprawling characters, and the crime story in a brilliant performance. 

The Outsider narrated by Will Patton

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Run time: 18 hours 41 minutes

Its strong story earned one of Stephen King’s most recent books an instant series adaptation by HBO. Detective Ralph Anderson works on a disturbing case involving the murder and assault of an 11-year-old boy in Flint City. All the evidence points to a well-known English teacher and model citizen, Terry Maitland. But is this case as straightforward as it seems?

The outsider is a suspenseful whodunit thriller that allows the listener to second-guess Flint City’s suppositions throughout the audiobook. Award-winning narrator, Will Patton, perfectly captures each event’s suspense and elevates each character to individual heights only he could reach. It’s a blockbuster earworm.

Duma Key narrated by John Slattery

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Run time: 23 hrs

Sometimes King switches up the setting in his books. A refreshing and welcome change for the listener and King is that Duma Key is set in Florida, away from his typical New England. In this novel, the plot is enticing and unpredictable as ever, with characters given so much depth. Duma Key’s audiobook narration by John Slattery from Mad Men is one of the best performances you’ll listen to, as he switches effortlessly from one compelling character to another. 

After losing his right arm in a horrific construction accident and subsequently his marriage, sketch artist Edgar Freemantle moves from Minnesota to Florida for a fresh start. He rediscovers paint to stave off depression following his recent trauma. Things take a horrifying turn for the worse when his drawings become real, revealing things no one else can see.

The events he sees are dangerous, and his attempts to control them only cause more harm. Edgar also forms a friendship with Wireman, a kindred spirit seeking refuge as a caretaker for Elizabeth Eastlake, whose past also contains traumatic memories. With their collective past reawakened, they all join forces to face an evil entity. A key lesson in Duma Key is how scary the life we give to memories and the power we give to the past is. Keep the lights on for this one. 

Final Thoughts

While these might be the top Stephen King audiobooks listed on this page, they are not the only ones. Alongside these 9 amazing books, you can ramp up the tension with;

  • Doctor Sleep (the sequel to The Shining)
  • Under the dome narrated by Raul Esparza
  • Mr. Mercedes, a Bill Hodges trilogy
  • On writing narrated by King himself, Joe Hill and Owen King
  • Dolores Claiborne with an expert reading by Frances Sternhagen
  • Misery narrated by the outstanding Lindsay Crouse
  • The vampire influenced ‘Salem s Lot.

How many of these Stephen King audiobooks have you listened to? Whose reading are you looking forward to? Which King book would you like us to review on its own? Let us know if you need a Stephen King sequel, short story, or a crime novel commendation.