Saturday, June 4, 2011
The Stephen King Illustrated Companion
Like any celebrity, literary or otherwise, Stephen King has been the subject of much non-fiction: critical volumes, collections of interviews, unauthorized biography, even an art book. Much of this material inevitably reprints the same basic information, and is of little value to the reader interested in new content and new insight. The Stephen King Illustrated Companion is a happy exception. As the title suggests, its visuals are the highlight, including rare photos of the author throughout his life, images of people and places associated with his fiction, and reproductions of manuscript, typescript, and proof pages of his work. But the text by Bev Vincent that accompanies these fascinating ephemera is well-written, focusing on a few selected books to highlight the relationship between King's life and art. The basics of his biography will be familiar to constant readers, but Vincent's well-footnoted research has dug up a range of anecdotes and details at least a few of which are likely to be unknown. The Stephen King Illustrated Companion is an unusually in-depth, well-designed coffee table volume, to be recommended above all but a few books on its famous subject.