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Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King [Paperback]

Lisa Rogak
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 April 2010
'I'm afraid of everything.' Stephen King Since Stephen King's wife fished his first novel Carrie out of the waste paper basket, King has written more than 50 books, selling 300 million copies worldwide. Here, for the first time, is the ultimate biography of this prolific and widely-loved writer. Lisa Rogak has interviewed friends, relatives and stars who know King in order to fully uncover the story behind King's childhood through to his becoming a successful writer, and beyond. She follows the effects of abandonment by his father at an early age ('We were ashamed not to have a father'), and his mum giving him a nickel for every story he wrote. At the age of four he saw a neighbouring boy get hit by a freight train. At 13, he was sent to his grandmother's room to wake her but instead found her cold, lifeless body. His local Bookmobile which visited every week allowed him to take out Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft and he ran through the classics of horror. Haunted Heart is the story of one of the greatest horror writers, and his trials both as a young boy and, now 70, an ageing citizen. It covers everything from his love of buying scratch cards to the real-life stories and events that have provided the backdrop to many of his novels. Lisa Rogak is the co-author of Barack Obama: In His Own Words, The Man Behind The Da Vinci Code: An unauthorized Biography of Dan Brown amongst many other titles. Her works have been reviewed and otherwise mentioned in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Family Circle, and hundreds of other publications. She lives in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: JR Books Ltd (25 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906779716
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906779719
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 590,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Lisa Rogak is the co-author of Barack Obama: In His Own Words, The Man Behind The Da Vinci Code: An unauthorized Biography of Dan Brown amongst many other titles. Her works have been reviewed and otherwise mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Family Circle, and hundreds of other publications. She lives in Lebanon, New Hampshire. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, fascinating 10 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover
After reading King's excellent 'On Writing' I could'nt think why I would read a biography that wasn't penned by the man himself. However, if you want a truly broad and unbiased account of someones life, it is perhaps best to read one by someone able to put distance between subject and writer and the author of Haunted Heart does just this.
I haven't read a biography of King before and since this is currently the most up-to-date it was a great place to start. I was not disappointed. It is a brilliantly detailed history of Kings life from his childhood experiences of a disrupted and lonely life to his rallying days at college, right up to the present day in which King constantly threatens to leave published fiction altogether, but never quite manages to. If you haven't read a King biography, start here. If you have, it's a fools errand expecting to suddenly find whole new chapters in his life never before covered in previous biographies. I found it to be fascinating, surprising and hugely enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far more information about the man. 20 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Yes, 'In Writing' was an excellent disclosure of the life of Stephen King, but it was what HE wanted us to know. Here, Lisa brings the parts of his life to the fore which the fans like to know about, and for this I can heartily recommend it to all of his fans without question. Friends, relations and acquaintances have been interviewed and tell the tales which Stephen is far too modest to wish to tell. Top notch!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poverty to Riches 16 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback
One of the best biographies of Stephen King that I have read. Begins with his childhood (poverty) and his early days as a working/writing father (more poverty) until his wife Tabitha rescued a short story from the bin - Carrie - and told her husband it was good and to carry on with it. The rest, as they say, is history. For anyone who's a writer this is a wonderful insight into the mind of - in my opinion - a creative genius. For those of us who are struggling financially, it is heart-warming to know that someone who was so poor that they had to have their phone disconnected was able through sheer talent and determination rise to well deserved success.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars `So who is Stephen King, really?' 3 Oct 2010
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
In her introduction to this unauthorised biography, Lisa Rogak recounts an anecdote about her trip to Bangor, Maine and a discussion she had with Stephen King's assistant, Marsha DeFillipo about the aim of book she was planning to write.
`For most of that half-hour conversation, the man himself hovered just outside the doorway, listening in on our conversation but never once stepping inside.'

This anecdote could be a summary for the book itself: Stephen King's presence within it is indirect and reflected, rather than direct and central. There's plenty of data here, mostly drawn from secondary sources but little insight or analysis. That doesn't mean that the data isn't useful (although based on events detailed in the book, the timeline is incomplete) simply that a third person biography of Stephen King has little new to add to what is already publicly available.

However, for those discovering Stephen King for the first time, this book contains a lot of useful information including a bibliography. I found the notes section frustrating: there is no reference within the text to the notes; the notes themselves contain page references back to the text. So, if you read the text without exploring the notes you would not have a clear picture of how (and from where) the information was gleaned. For those who have been avidly following Stephen King's career since `Carrie' was first published in 1974, it is unlikely that this book contains anything new.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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