On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Paperback – 11 Oct 2012
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Absolutely fascinating . . . basic instructions . . . sensible advice (The Sunday Times)
The childhood memoir is a triumphant display of wit, story-telling and guts. His advice to writers is hard-nosed, practical and level-headed in the classic journalistic Orwell-Hemingway tradition (Evening Standard)
This is the written equivalent of Delia Smith's How To Cook. And, like British home cooking, the world of popular fiction will be better off for it (The Times)
Stephen King is a genius . . . In this book he tells us what first made him a horror writer . . . I find King fascinating because he writes in the least florid way possible, yet his very direct approach to getting his awesome imagination onto a blank page works. (Jeremy Vine in We Love This Book)
'Part biography, part collection of tips for the aspiring writer' Guardian. ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT is a brilliant book on writing from the number one bestselling writer.NOTE:The black smudge on the cover of the book is a part of the design . See all Product description
Customers who bought this item also bought
5,193 customer reviews
Review this product
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The work of any lesser author would be scrutinised at length by the Publisher and almost certainly reined back to a more concise and action-flowing narrative. However because Stephen is "the ultimate", his work cannot (or will not be subject to critical analysis before being published) and the result can be a bloated and overblown exercise in writing for writing sake. No-one can deny that he is able to write/create on a stupendous level with incredible skill, but when this genius is used to pad out what would otherwise be a very exciting and pacey thriller, it lapses into pure self indulgence. In other words because he can do it doesn't mean that he has to!
The beginning of the book is intriguing and gripping, and the end of it is also quite mind boggling, but the middle is a gigantic 50s and 60s pastiche like a monstrous cloying cream cake of everything that SK can pack in about life at those times - dancing, music, sport, politics, and more dancing -
most of which is completely irrelevant to the plot. I struggled to the end - part of which is quite reminiscent of the Back to the Future plots - and just wished SK had cut about 250 - 300 pages out of the middle of his book. Like a surgeon removing an unused and unnecessary appendix.
Why can't he take a tip from his younger self and return to the non stop action and intrigue of his earlier stories? Go away Stephen King - and come back Stephen King!
I tell myself I don't have enough time. Sure, I'm the greatest living novelist to never write a novel, if only I could get time to write the damn thing. Which is why I reached for Stephen King's On Writing. One of the most successful writers in history must know something about his craft, right?
Split into two parts, On Writing first tells the story of what made Stephen King a writer. At times hilarious and moving, but always honest, the first section had me laughing out loud (when his older brother tricks him into wiping his ass with Poison Ivy), marveling at his work ethic ("By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it"), and amazed at his success.
I also liked his writing.
Now. Here's a strange thing: he's one of the most successful authors of all time, and I hadn't read a single one of Stephen King's books. I pride myself on the eclectic nature of the books I read, and yet I've not so much as flipped to the back cover of the Shining, or even grazed the spine of Carrie. Horror isn't a genre I'd pick up without some serious prompting, so maybe I needed a book like this to show me all the great stuff I was missing out on (straight afterwards I went out and bought a collection of his short stories, so it likely won't be a problem for long). But King's success is no accident - this cat can write.
The second section is Uncle Stevie's how-to-guide for writers - a kind of framework for thinking about how you get the words down on the page, what words they should be ("The road to hell is paved with adverbs"), and getting rid of the words that don't belong ("To write is human, to edit is divine").
It's this framework that separates On Writing from the rest of the pack; it helps you understand how the small stuff fits in to the big stuff - it reminds you how narrative, dialogue, character, sentence, and paragraph work together to create the whole story, without getting bogged down in the details for too long. I've not read anything else that paints the whole picture in a way that On Writing does, nor anything that fills you with the confidence to sit down in front of a blank page.
Inspirational is what it is.
Time to boot up the laptop and pop the kettle on again I think...
Although the books selling point is the Kennedy assassination, that actually features very little. Sure, we have the preparation with Oswald, but ultimately the themes are those of the relationship with Sadie, is the past really better than the present, can things be changed and should they? The human themes are the real hook the story hangs upon, as the ending shows.
It's a very good book, packed with a ton of detail as well as a great narrative, but just lacking a little focus at times and probably 50 pages too long. This is not a deal breaker by any means though.
Very highly recommended