The Essential Stephen King

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9781564147103: The Essential Stephen King
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Spignesi selects and ranks the top 101 works out of the more than 550 created by Stephen King during his prolific career. Each chosen work is synopsized and reviewed by the writer who Entertainment Weekly has called "the world's leading expert on Stephen King."

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From Library Journal:

Wiater and his coauthors, all writers deeply involved in sf and horror writing or criticism, here aim to show that King's stories are interconnected by theme or character and that the "Dark Tower series is the core of the Stephen King universe." In their investigation of linked themes, the authors limit themselves to King's published titles, including his early work only if a specific title has been published in a collection. Appendixes include a chronology of Stephen King's life and works, a bibliography of King's writings, a list of recommended web sites, recommended reading, and an index. Taking a different tack on King's corpus, admitted King fan Spignesi (The Complete Stephen King Encyclopedia, The Lost Work of Stephen King, and two Stephen King quiz books) specifies King's 101 best works and also lists all 553 works with publication status at the end of the volume. (His index was unavailable for review.) Like Wiater, Spignesi discusses story lines and main characters, also including little-known tidbits and a comment from King regarding each title. Both books include information about film adaptations with Spignesi listing the movie's cast and Wiater presenting movie reviews. Wiater also indicates when a story has been released in other formats. Both titles will appeal to serious King fans, but Wiater's will be an especially useful addition to academic resources on contemporary authors. Recommended for those libraries with a need for in-depth information on King and his work. Laurie Selwyn, San Antonio P.L., TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Spignesi, credited with over 20 books (The Stephen King Quiz Book; The Celebrity Baby Name Book; The Beatles Book of Lists; etc.) in the past decade, views Stephen King as "our greatest living author." With his staggering 18,000-item Complete Stephen King Encyclopedia, he was labeled "the world's leading expert on Stephen King" by Entertainment Weekly, and he again beelines for his favorite destination. This time he itemizes 553 works by King and selects his 101 favorites from among King's novels, short stories and nonfiction (with one poem). His top 10 picks are all novels, including It, The Stand and Bag of Bones. Each selection is shoehorned into a template that includes, for example, rank (and justification for such), publication date, King's comment about the work, Spignesi's brief personal reaction ("what I really liked about the book"), film adaptations and a short excerpt from each work. The author's colloquial style is peppered with such sentences as "Yikes!" and "Great fun." Personal anecdotes, parenthetical digressions and Spignesi's worshipful approach signify mammoth first-draft fanzine more than serious critical study. Short pieces by Spignesi's friends and colleagues, including an interview with a King collector, add to this effect. Agent, John White.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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