Sunday, October 9, 2022

Stephen King: A Complete Exploration of His Work, Life, and Influences by Bev Vincent


I'm often skeptical about coffee table-style niche encyclopedias like this, because they're often only accessible to the super-fans of whatever they're about, and even though I love Stephen King and he was, at one point, my favorite author, I would no longer call myself a super-fan of his work. I think the last thing of his that I actually read was REVIVAL and I didn't like it.

But you can color me wrong for this book because I actually loved it so much. I actually think this would be a great companion to read with Stephen King's memoir-slash-writing guide, ON WRITING, because it has pictures of a lot of the things he talked about. This book is part biography, part extended bibliography/CV, and part fan trivia. For example, I didn't know that early editions of MISERY had a fake romance stepback inside picturing Paul Sheldon's Misery cover! And better yet, THIS BOOK INCLUDES A PICTURE. AND STEPHEN KING WAS THE MALE COVER MODEL.

The whole book was full of fun little facts like that, including his inspirations, insights into his relationship with his wife and sons (I honestly LOVE how Tabitha is Mr. King's "Ideal Reader." Every time he talks about her, you can tell how much he worships her), and what his life was like after the accident that caused him serious injury. I've read most of his early works and a lot of the ones into the '90s, but everything from the aughts onward was a little new to me and there were several things he did that I hadn't even heard of. After seeing the summary of LISEY'S STORY, I'm kind of interested in picking it up now.

Horror fans, King fans, and movie fans will probably get a lot out of this book. I'm happy to report that you don't need to be a super-fan to get something out of this book. There's literally something in here for everyone and I kind of like that. Bev Vincent knocked the ball out of the park.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

4.5 out of 5 stars

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