THE ESSENTIAL STEPHEN KING: The Greatest Novels, Short Stories, Movies, and Other Creations of the World's Most Popular Writer

Stephen J. Spignesi, Author . Career Press $24.99 (360p) ISBN 978-1-56414-485-0

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.(June)

Reviewed on: 05/14/2001
Release date: 10/01/2003
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-1-56414-710-3
Open Ebook - 361 pages - 978-0-585-46981-2
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