I have an unpopular opinion to share: I don’t like Stephen King’s writing. I like movies based on his work, but I cannot finish one of his stories without gagging. I love scary stories, so I don’t know what it was that turned me away. But surprise: while I was hesitant to put King’s memoir on my book club’s reading list, but I am very glad I did. Previously, I thought of King as an over-hyped hack. After I was done reading On Writing, I realized I could not have been more wrong.
In the first section of the book, King details his early life, growing up, meeting his wife, and starting his writing career. The second section details his writing process. The final section tells the story of his infamous car accident. I had none of my previous issues with On Writing as I did with his fiction. I found my self not only finishing this memoir, but enjoying it. His life story was endearing, and revealed himself to be much more laid back than his popularity would suggest. His description of his writing method showed me that he was every bit a creator as any of my favorite authors.
This memoir is part practical advice to new writers and part intimate portrait of Stephen King. I would highly recommend it if you are an aspiring writer, or if you enjoy King’s work. If, like me, you do not enjoy King’s work, I STRONGLY URGE you to read it. On Writing gave me a new perspective on Stephen King and any other writer that I previously “poo-pooed”. I still can’t finish King’s novels, but I now have more respect for him as a writer, and an artist.