Book Review of Non-Fiction / Autobiographical Book – On Writing, A Memoir of The Craft, Stephen King
Title: On Writing, A Memoir of The Craft
Author: Stephen King
Copyright: 2000 Stephen King
On Writing – Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in the vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999 – and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery.
There is a reason why Stephen King is one of the bestselling writers in the world, ever. Described in the Guardian as ‘the most remarkable storyteller in modern American literature’, Stephen King writes books that draw you in and are impossible to put down.
This book was high on my list of recommended books as a resource. I’d been told it’s essential reading to anyone who writes, or wants to. I wish to improve, hone my skill, I’m committed to ongoing learning. As I queued up to buy it at least half a dozen other writers encouraged my purchase with promises that I’d chosen well.
As the blurb states, it is a book on how to write told through the experiences of Mr King. It isn’t just for his fans, he does explain how he came up with numerous ideas so it will appeal to them.
I’m always amazed how many so called ‘expert’ writers criticise popular writer’s for their lack of style or excellence. Whilst I admittedly have veered away from best sellers in the past, how can anyone doubt the skill of someone who has such a wide variety of successful books out there.
This book is a great read, that’s all I want from a book. It teaches in a positive way, without criticism of others. Mr K even adds a generous reading list at the end of books he liked. Good lad!
Mr King and his wife are the main players, a few family and other writerly connections are mentioned. How life impacted art is described in honest, very honest, detail. There is swearing, get over it, it’s conversational, encouraging, realistic. On the whole this is a book to pick up and read as a part of your training.
Read it! It was easy and quick to read. I enjoyed the humble nature of the advice, straight forward, no BS etc.
This book is well constructed, moves along at just the right pace, generous in advice and honesty. We may not all end up with a back list as long as your arm, but if you want to write it’s a great place to get advice from someone who knows. He truly does have the t-shirt.
Oh yes!! I came at this as a writer. I have now bought one of his books in audio format (Dolores Claiborne – DO NOT tell me the ending!) and am keen to see how it comes together.
I thank Mr K for not preaching at me or promising that I too can sell a million books by next month. This was one of the best books on writing I’ve read, and yes I’ve read a few.
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