Stephen King is one of the most prolific authors of our time, often referred to as the "Master of Horror" thanks to his immensely successful horror novels like Carrie, Salem's Lot, and The Stand. However, people often forget about his (just as successful) non-horror work. So, to remedy this, here are 10 of his non-horror novels you should absolutely read.
One of the short stories included in King's anthology book Different Seasons, "The Body" finds a group of young kids wandering the train tracks of their small town in order to look for the reported body of a kid supposedly hit by a train. Along the way, they confront the local bully, and learn more about each other. If this sounds familiar at all, it's because it was made into the movie Stand By Me.
One of the many novels King published under pen-name Richard Bachman, this is easily one of his most controversial. Rage is a story about a high school kid who, when confronted by his peers about his bad attitude, gets a gun from his locker, shoots his teacher, and takes his class hostage. Controversial subject matter even in its day, the book achieved notoriety thanks to being found in the possession of several kids who actually committed real-life school shootings. It's a hard read and King has allowed it to go out of print, but it's also incredibly effective.
The Green Mile
Death row supervisor Paul Edgecombe is surprised to find that one of the inmates, John Coffey, is not only a gentle soul, but also seems to have mysterious empathetic and healing abilities. The novel won several awards, but is probably best known for its film adaptation, starring Tom Hanks and the late Michael Clarke Duncan in the lead roles.
The Eyes of the Dragon
Set in the world of the Dark Tower novels but not tied to them, The Eyes of the Dragon sees King turning the characters of Roland, Peter and Flagg into the cast of a children's fantasy story. Written by King for his kids and initially derided by fans, it's grown in popularity over the years thanks to being a great read for those who want to see the master of horror take on something more tame.
The Colorado Kid
King decided to branch out from horror in a pretty serious way in 2005, publishing this hard-boiled crime novel for publisher Hard Crime Case. It's a story of a grad student and local newspaper reporter in a small town in Maine (of course) who have to work together to solve the murder of a mysterious body that washed up onshore. While it doesn't have any of King's horror staples, it's no less great a read, and was popular enough to be adapted to the TV show Haven.