Written by Justin Brooks
Published by Cemetery Dance
We’ve all seen biographies and autobiographies, memoirs, diaries and theses published about famous people and their careers. Writers, actors, leaders – the gritty and gainful history of our favorite role model is the source of so many well written pages lining our book cases. But I have never in my life seen a bibliography bound solely to hold information about a single person’s work. Which in itself demonstrates the absolute pandemic that is Stephen King.
And as far as stand-alone bibliographies go, this is one to line up on your shelf. Well-organized and exorbitantly thorough, Stephen King: A Primary Bibliography of the World’s Most Popular Author (the full title) lists and outlines just about every pencil mark the Master of Horror has graced on American culture in the last fifty years, and even some that’s never been published. And it’s a lot. For example, did you know that King has contributed to recipe books or that Pet Sematary was never even supposed to be published? This book is the perfect reference guide for everything and anything Stephen King, from his first book of short stories (People, Places and Things – Volume 1) to his upcoming collection of graphic novels (The Dark Tower collection – due out this October).
At first glance, this volume is exhaustingly dense and dictionary-like. Each entry includes title, summary, notes and complete publication history, including ISBN numbers, in an unremarkable layout that completely lacks regard for typographical hierarchy. In other words, it looks just like a bibliography. But once you read through a few entries, you start to distinguish a very congruous and harmonized flow of information that is so thorough it will blow your mind.
The book opens with a table of contents that is broken up into two parts, published and unpublished works; the Published Works section is divided neatly into seven categories:
The Unpublished Works section breaks up into five:
The author, Justin Brooks, states in the foreword that he spent eight years working with experts and collectors in the Stephen King community, in an effort to assemble the first most comprehensive list of works available to King’s readers. As a list and archive, Stephen King: A Primary Bibliography… is outstanding and any King completist surely must add this to his collection.
But even for someone like me who just loves the man’s stories, I’m thrilled to know I have this encyclopedic index of notes and summaries to find out more about each story I haven’t read yet. To have everything all in one place gives a certain feeling of transcendence. Kind of like reading the Bible. This bibliography is the next best thing to a Stephen King book itself.
4 out of 5
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