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A Brief Guide to Stephen King

Paul Simpson

5 Reviews

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Brief Histories, Prose: non-fiction, Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose write

Contemporary master of suspense and horror

2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of Stephen King s first novel Carrie in April 1974. Rescued from the rubbish by his wife Tabitha, the novel launched the Maine schoolteacher on a prolific and extraordinarily successful career. His name has become synonymous with horror and suspense through over fifty works, including The Dark Tower, a retelling of Byron s Childe Harold to the Dark Tower Came.

Simpson traces the writer s life from his difficult childhood his father went out to the shops and never came back through his initial books under the pseudonym Richard Bachman to the success of Carrie, Salem s Lot and The Shining in the 1970s, and beyond. He examines how King s writing was affected by the accident that nearly killed him in 1999 and how his battles with alcohol and addiction to medication have been reflected in his stories. The guide will also take a look at the very many adaptation s of King s work in movies, on television and radio, and in comic books.

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Praise for A Brief Guide to Stephen King

  • The best book about King and his work I have ever read - Books Monthly

  • There have been surveys of Stephen King's work before but none with the same mix of concision and erudition. Covering forty years of all things Kingian from Carrie to the present day, Paul Simpson combines breadth of knowledge with passion for his subject, and his judgments are as fair as they are well argued. If you think you know about King, you will finish this book knowing more, and if you are a relative newcomer to the Maine horror maestro's writing, you will be moved by this book to read further. A Brief Guide... is both scholarly and readable, a rare combination. It is also indispensable.

  • he clearly knows his King - Psychobabble

  • a useful guide, in 19 chapters, to Stephen King s writing and his life, from his troubled childhood to his current success - Sydney Morning Heraald

  • A Brief Guide to Stephen King is a huge win for me, and I recommend it to anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of this amazingly talented author. - Shattered Ravings

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