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`So who is Stephen King, really?'
on 3 October 2010
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.