In 2009, I published a chapbook with Cemetery Dance titled Chart of Darkness, which chronicled Stephen King's long and fascinating relationship with the bestseller lists. The chapbook was distributed as an incentive for readers who purchased other books at CD. It is currently out of print, but plans are in the works for that to change. Time will out!
As a bonus to the text, I also included an actual chart at the back of the book, The Chart of Darkness. Below, I have reproduced that chart as sort of a taste of the history behind King's interesting bestseller history. I've also included some interesting facts to go along with the figures below; some stuff is too fun not to share!
All figures come from the New York Times Bestseller List. A - means the book did not chart. All titles are hyperlinks back to the corresponding review page, and all #1s are indicated with red shading and a bold white typeface. Enjoy the chart!
|08/30/1979||The Dead Zone||12||1|
|07/08/1979||The Long Walk||-||-|
|05/23/1982||The Running Man||-||-|
|06/10/1982||The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger||-||1|
|12/03/1983||Cycle of the Werewolf||-||5|
|10/08/1984||The Talisman (with Peter Straub)||1||1|
|12/02/1984||The Eyes of the Dragon||1||1|
|10/04/1985||The Bachman Books||10||3|
|05/01/1987||The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three||-||1|
|10/02/1989||The Dark Half||1||1|
|05/01/1990||The Stand: Complete & Uncut||1||1|
|09/03/1990||Four Past Midnight||1||1|
|08/06/1991||The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands||-||1|
|10/13/1993||Nightmares & Dreamscapes||2||3|
|03/28/1996||The Green Mile: The Two Dead Girls||-||1|
|04/25/1996||The Green Mile: The Mouse on the Mile||-||1|
|05/30/1996||The Green Mile: Coffey's Hands||-||1|
|06/27/1996||The Green Mile: The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix||-||1|
|07/25/1996||The Green Mile: Night Journey||-||1|
|08/29/1996||The Green Mile: Coffey on the Mile||-||1|
|05/05/1997||The Green Mile (Compiled)||-||2|
|08/08/1997||The Dark Tower IV: Wizard & Glass||12||1|
|09/22/1998||Bag of Bones||1||1|
|02/01/1999||Storm of the Century||-||7|
|04/06/1999||The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon||1||2|
|09/14/1999||Hearts In Atlantis||4||1|
|06/05/2000||The Plant, Part One: Zenith Rising||-||-|
|09/15/2001||Black House (with Peter Straub)||1||2|
|09/24/2002||From a Buick 8||1||6|
|11/04/2003||The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla||2||-|
|06/08/2004||The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah||1||-|
|09/21/2004||The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower||1||-|
|12/02/04||Faithful (with Stewart O'Nan)||3||-|
|10/04/2005||The Colorado Kid||-||5|
|11/30/2008||Just After Sunset||2||5|
|11/10/2009||Under the Dome||1||4|
|11/09/2010||Full Dark, No Stars||2||5|
|04/24/12||The Wind Through the Keyhole||1||-|
|11/03/15||The Bazaar of Bad Dreams||1||-|
|06/07/16||End of Watch||1||-|
Joyland broke King's streak of the longest time between #1s. Following 2001's Black House, no King paperback charted at #1 until 2013. Cell came close, at #2, and there was a whole slew of #5s, but nothing in the top slot until Joyland broke the streak.
Which is actually kind of a lie. See, because of the whole Green Mile debacle about charting series' books as one title, what really went to #2 was "The Dark Tower, Volumes 1-5. It's safe to assume, however, that because the chart dates correspond with Wolves of the Calla's release date, that's the book we should be talking about.
Someone in the chart department seemed to wise up to the ludicrousness of the concept, and both Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower had solo chart runs, both topping at #1. One has to wonder what would have happened if Wolves had been allowed to stand alone.