Epeolatry Book Review: Reading Stephen King edited by: Brian James Freeman


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Title: Reading Stephen King
Ediotor: Lina Rather
Genre: Literary Criticism Reference
Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
Release Date: 20th November, 2023

Synopsis: Stephen King has inspired millions of readers with his writing for more than four decades now, and this special volume of essays gathers together some of his high-pro le fans to discuss why they love reading Stephen King.

Many of these fans are acclaimed authors of ction in their own right. Some of them have written insightful books about Stephen King’s work, exploring how King’s natural storytelling gift has allowed him to create stories that reach people in every language around the world. A few of them have even written, produced, and directed movie adaptations of King’s most acclaimed works.

Inside this book you will join Clive Barker, Stewart O’Nan, Richard Chizmar, Frank Darabont, Stephen Spignesi, Justin Brooks, Tony Magistrale, Michael R. Collings, Rocky Wood, Robin Furth, Kevin Quigley, Hans-Åke Lilja, Billy Chizmar, Jack Ketchum, Bev Vincent, Mick Garris, and Jay Franco as they discuss their love of reading Stephen King…

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I ordered this book. At its most basic, it is a collection of essays about Stephen King. At its fullest, it is an examination of the life and times of one of the most widely-read authors in the world. It is the selection of essays that sets it apart from other Stephen King discussions. It is more along the lines of a love letter to Stephen King because at the base of all of this is a love for the works of Stephen King. Even love for the man himself. More than one author thanks King for making him the author he is today. The book shows that Stephen King is no mere author. He has touched many lives with his words and worlds. He has taught people to read, to write, and to live with his words. Few authors have touched their readers like Stephen King. And not only with his writing but also just by being a nice guy.

I have loved my Stephen King books and enjoyed the many Easter eggs you find as a reader in each novel. But I honestly did not realize how deep you could go with all his works. It can be mind-boggling! There is the essay “Twins and Twinning in Stephen King’s Dark Tower Novels” by Robin Furth (fun side note: she is Stephen King’s assistant) that reads like something (well) written for a college course. I expected interesting essays on his work, but this is some serious stuff! Then, there is an essay on how to collect Stephen King’s written works (both published and unpublished). There is the essay entitled “The Role of God in Stephen King’s Desperation” by Billy Chizmar.

To counterbalance these serious pieces are lighter essays like Hans-Ake Lilja’s “Being A Non-US Stephen King Fan”, Michael Collings’ “The Adventure Of Reading Stephen King,” and Jay Franco’s “My Accidental Obsession With Stephen King”.

The collection is a good read. Some names you might recognize. Others, you might not. You will probably learn at least one thing about Stephen King that you did not know before (I did not know that Stephen King was responsible for getting Clive Barker’s writing over here in the States), but you will ALWAYS see how much Stephen King is loved and respected. The whole book comes across as a love letter to Stephen King.

I think it is interesting that so many people assume horror when they hear the name Stephen King. They don’t realize that he may have started his career writing horror, but his writing is so much more! This collection of essays proves just that. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Stephen King and his work.


Available here Amazon and Bookshop.

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