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Publisher's Summary

"Not since Dickens has a writer had so many readers by the throat…. King's imagination is vast. He knows how to engage the deepest sympathies of his readers…. It is part biography, part collection of tips for the aspiring writer. In the final chapters, King tells, in graphic details, the story of his recent accident…. a bizarre and absorbing story, told brilliantly by one of the great storytellers of our time."
Guardian
In June of 1999, Stephen King was hit by a van while walking along the shoulder of a country road in Maine. Six operations were required to save his life and mend his broken body. When he was finally able to sit up, he immediately started writing. This book is the extraordinary result.
©2000 Stephen King (P)2000 Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

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By Karen on 09-10-12

Part 'How to' part Autobiographical

Would you consider the audio edition of On Writing to be better than the print version?

Yes - easier to access for busy budding writers

What other book might you compare On Writing to and why?

None, Stephen King's advice and narration are so easy to listen to and his honesty is very inspiring.

Have you listened to any of Stephen King’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, Bag of Bones, love his voice, this was a different type of book and very easy to listen to.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was very moved when he admitted and owned his alcoholism.

Any additional comments?

I love his message, writers need to understand that he wasn't born with a golden spoon. He worked very hard at some seriously menial jobs and perservered with his writing when most of us would be making excuses.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Matt on 02-02-14

Not a fan of his genre but this is wonderful

Horror and suspense have never been my thing. I only know Stephen King's work through books that have been turned into movies.

After reading this, I'm thinking perhaps I'll try one of his stories.

I bought this book because it seems to be universally recommended by writers I respect.

Glad I did as I loved it from start to finish.

The first part, where he tells his early life story is hilarious, intimate and interesting. You get to understand why he writes what he writes. I was also left thinking I'd love to have this guy as a friend.

He narrates beautifully. As such, I'm glad I got the Audible version first rather than the hard copy or Kindle.

I found what he has to say about his craft humble, helpful and inspiring. He's at pains to dispel some of the common "thou shallts" of writing fiction, such as plotting out in advance and creating character dossiers in advance.

I won't spoil it for you by summarising the rest. All I want to say is, if you write, whatever you write, you will find this useful and uplifting. You'll also be entertained.

I'll most likely buy a hard copy or Kindle version too as there's lots of useful stuff I'd like to refer back to.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By Kev Partner on 08-27-12

Masterful

Until I listened to this book, I hadn't read any Stephen King books as I'm not a huge fan of the horror genre (more a sci-fi/historical fan). But this is utterly mesmerising.

Narrated by King himself, it begins with an account of how he became the writer he is. At the start I wondered what the point was in this, but it gives context and depth to the whole work and is, in itself, fascinating.

He then knuckles down to giving practical, workmanlike and controversial advice. Throughout, he acknowledges that this is just the way he does it - but it certainly produces results for him.

You then get some practical advice on finding and dealing with an agent and suchlike before, as an epilogue, he details, graphically, the accident that occurred half way through the writing of this book. Thank heavens he survived otherwise this masterwork might never have been published.

Entertaining, occasionally funny and profane (or funny because its occasionally profane) I have already listened to this twice and intend to do so again. I've also taken his advice and it's paying off.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful


By Blinkinmarvellous on 04-13-13

Great personal insight

A rare thing - a modern writer, a great to many, willing to stop and reflect on his success, share his thoughts AND read it himself for the audiobook version. On Writing is part autobiography, part discourse on creative writing read engagingly by the author throughout.



Don't be put of by the autobiographical element if all you are after is creative writing tips; likewise, don't be put off by the tips if your interest lies in King's life story. The two work well together.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By seth on 07-02-17

Cracker of a book

Great book with very actionable writing technics.

You would think after reading I could write a better review, but here we are..

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By david on 04-23-16

Spoiler:- It was the dog sniffing the cooler

If you could sum up On Writing in three words, what would they be?

One Good Author

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favourite character was Stephen himself (or Steve as I like to call him (NB: I would call him 'Steph', but that reads more like an infection rather than a name)), and in all honesty this was quite surprising. I had enjoyed reading his novels 20 odd years ago but have since grown out of them and so have not read any in quite a while. This book was recommended to me, I gave it a read and found that I enjoyed it more than expected.

What about Stephen King’s performance did you like?

His sexy sexy voice. OK, you got me, it's not sexy, but it sure as hell wasn't a high pitched nerdy squeak that I was expecting.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My emotional reaction was "Oh my God!". I am in the midst of writing a book and read 'how to books' to keep inspired and on track. In the main those books are pretty good, inspiring and informative, but they are worlds apart from this. Not that this book teaches you anything as such (none of them ever do, the secret is to write), it is rather that this book is so well written it is uninspiring. How can anyone craft a set of words as well as this person can? Reading (OK, hearing) what Steve has written it is easy to hear the years of dedication he has spent honing his craft. The prose joins together so easily and listening was such a joy that I found myself wanting more. He writes about incidents that told by anyone else would be uninspiring. But by Steve, I found myself on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what would happen next, what he would say next.

Any additional comments?

Alright. I hate going into things expecting them to be Earth shattering only to find out that they are good. I am then left disappointed as my expectation was not met. The above is my opinion and a lot of you may not agree with it. Some of you will think the book is good, one or two of you will think it is OK and one of you will think it is crap (but lets face it that guy is a negative dude anyway). The point is, if you are going to the trouble of reading this review all the way up to this point, then just get the book. You won't know if the book is for you by reading someone else opinion on it, so just get it and read (listen) to it. It may not be the best book you've read, but I can guarantee that it won't be the worst. Oh, and my title to this review? you will know what I mean at the end.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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