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

Becker & Mayer. Sept. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9780760376812. $30. LIT
This volume’s release coincides with King’s 75th birthday and is an excellent addition to libraries looking to expand their collection of biographies. Stephen King–expert Vincent (The Dark Tower Companion) is well-placed to closely examine the work and life of the novelist, having also co-edited the anthology Flight or Fright with King. Vincent here explores what influenced King as well as King’s own impact on both the horror genre and on pop culture. The book is organized chronologically, and each chapter includes one or more “interludes” that explore aspects of King’s life or work that are intriguing, but tangential to the focus of the main narrative of the book. One of the most engaging aspects of this book is its design. Drawing inspiration from pop-culture depictions of police casefiles, horror movies, and scrapbooks, the layout will draw readers in with archival photographs, images of the covers of King’s book, and reproductions of materials from King’s archives. The almost conversational tone of the book is engaging and accessible, with extensive footnotes, credits, and appendices to extend readers’ experience with the topic.
VERDICT Best suited to libraries with strong horror collections.
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