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on 10 October 2009
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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on 20 March 2012
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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on 16 December 2011
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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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.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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on 20 October 2015
No problems at all! Thanks!
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on 21 January 2010
Stephen King is one of the most prolific authors I have the pleasure of reading and he gives quality as well.
I have all his books and am really pleased to have his life story. A definite recommendation to anyone who likes him.
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on 1 January 2012
I havnt personally read this book my missus its awesome and a really good book to read 5 stars :-)
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on 13 April 2010
I haven't read this yet, but I noticed in the book synopsis that the author thinks that Stephen King is 70! This year (2010) he is 63, not 70! Wonder what he thinks of premature ageing??? Don't think he'd be too happy! I wonder what other details in the book aren't quite accurate?
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on 14 September 2009
Very disappointing: Mr. King is not involved in the making of this 'biography' at all - the author only repeats the text of other writers, not introducing nothing new. I feel sorry for Mr. King, this is really just to make money with his name.
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