Anyone who has picked up a Stephen King book knows they can get long. After all, it’s not unusual to find a King paperback over 500 or 600 pages; some even surpass 1,000! Which one of his numerous long books is the longest, though?
As of July 2022, the longest Stephen King book is The Stand, which is approximately 1,440 pages long, depending on which edition you’re reading. It clocks in at just under 400,000 words and would take the average reader reading at 250 to 350 words per minute between 20 and 30 hours to read.
This article will discuss King’s longest book in more detail and why some versions of it are remarkably shorter than others. It’ll outline nine of King’s other longest books, their page counts, and his five shortest books. Keep reading to learn more!
When Stephen King first published The Stand in 1978, it was only 823 pages long. Indeed, that’s still an exceptionally long book, and it was King’s longest at the time. However, when It came out in 1986 with 1,138 pages, it took the number one spot in the line-up.
However, King’s original manuscript for The Stand contained more than 300 additional pages or approximately 150,000 more words. He shortened the book immensely to adhere to his publisher’s wishes. The publishers thought the book was too long and would scare readers away, so King cut it down to 823 pages.
Fortunately for Stephen King lovers, though, it wasn’t the copy of the book that King wanted to publish. So he saved the original manuscript, holding onto it until a time when he could release it in its entirety and still have people read it, despite its length.
That time came in 1990, when he and Doubleday, his publishers, released the entire 1,152-page “Complete and Uncut Edition” of the book. Since then, The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition has remained King’s longest book. When the Mass Market Paperback edition came out, it was even longer with 1,440 pages!
Any copy purchased before 1990, though, is a still substantial but much shorter novel at only 823 pages.
Assuming an average reading speed of 250 words per minute, it would take approximately 23 hours to read The Stand. However, since most people don’t read at a consistent rate throughout the entirety of a book, it could take as much as 30 hours or more to read it.
Listening to The Stand via audiobook format at regular speed takes even longer. The book’s duration on Audible is 47 hours and 47 minutes. In other words, it’s not a quick, ‘sit down and knock it out on your lunch break’ kind of book.
It is an exceptional read, especially if you love horror or Stephen King. Despite its substantial length, I recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind being a little scared.
The page count for books can vary depending on many factors, including:
- Whether the book is hardback or paperback
- If it’s an abridged or unabridged copy
- If it’s an original copy or a later “uncut” or “Author’s Preferred” version
- Whether the book features large or small print
- Whether the book was printed in the US, UK, or somewhere else.
Therefore, the page counts provided for the following books may not be accurate for every edition. Even so, these are Stephen King’s ten longest books, and their page counts according to their provided Goodreads page counts*:
- The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition: 1,440 pages
- It: 1,090 pages
- Under the Dome: 1,074 pages
- The Dark Tower #7: The Dark Tower: 1,072 pages
- The Dark Tower #5: Wolves of the Calla: 931 pages
- The Tommyknockers: 747 pages
- 11.22.63: 740 pages
- Bag of Bones: 736 pages
- The Dark Tower #4: Wizard and Glass: 700 pages
- Insomnia: 663 pages
*Note: The above list uses the Goodreads’ provided page counts for the US/CAN Mass Market Paperback editions of all books except Under the Dome and 11.22.63. Those two use non-Mass Market Paperback editions for the page counts. Other King books may be longer in hardback form or other editions. These are solely the longest ten books using comparable editions.
While coming up with a definitive list of Stephen King’s longest ten books is difficult, picking out the shortest five isn’t. Do a quick Google search for “longest Stephen King books,” and almost none of the results will match.
You’ll see that most people rank the longest three as being The Stand, It, and Under the Dome. After that, though, things get murky. Some lists, like mine, will claim the final Dark Tower book is the fourth-longest. Others say 11.22.63, Insomnia, or something different goes in the number four slot.
Again, that confusion comes largely from all the different available versions of books out there. However, almost all lists are in agreement on the shortest five books. As of July 2022, they are:
- The Cycle of the Werewolf: 127 pages
- Elevation: 144 pages
- The Colorado Kid: 184 pages
- Carrie: 199 pages
- Rage: 211 pages
The only discrepancy comes with Gwendy’s Button Box, a short story/novella King wrote with fellow author Richard Chizmar in 2017. If you include it in the list, it comes in at number three with 175 pages, pushing Rage out of the top five.
However, many people leave it out because it was a joint effort between King and another author. Furthermore, Chizmar wrote the second book in the series, Gwendy’s Magic Feather, all by himself, without any help from King. (King popped back in for the third and final book of the series, Gwendy’s Final Task.)
Although there’s some debate on which ten books are Stephen King’s longest, everyone agrees that The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition is the longest, followed closely by It. The shortest is The Cycle of the Werewolf. The rest of King’s books run the gamut from 150 pages to over 1,000.