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Books About
Stephen King


There's a humorous story in the 1995 edition of The Stephen King Companion, in which Dr. Michael Collings relays a tale told to him by his teenaged son. According to his son, his English teacher was assigning a term paper to be written on an American author. When someone in the class noted that Stephen King was not on the list, the English teacher went on and on about the lack of sophistication in modern American literature, etc. etc. But she also stated something remarkably intriguing: There's not enough criticism about him to make the project worthwhile.

I have been reading books about King almost as long as I've read books by King. My first was a now-battered copy of The Stephen King Quiz Book, by Stephen Spignesi, the first of many, many books I've read by him. The second was Beahm's first Stephen King Companion, and the two of them worked together to deepen and expand my love of King. It's fair to say that without Spignesi, Beahm, and, later, Collings, this site would not exist.

This is why I've decided to single these three writers out - all prolific, all startlingly intelligent critics of the weird niche genre that is Stephen King literary criticism. As time goes by, I may find a need to single out other influential King scholars (folks such as Bev Vincent, Brian Freeman, and Rocky Wood seem to be on the fast track to become the "new wave" of King critics.), but for now, my Big Three stand. Below them, you'll find my attempt at listing, chronologically, every book about King ever published. I've bolded the ones that are either very important to the study of King, or simply among my favorites. Enjoy!


Stephen Spignesi

Official Stephen Spignesi Site

Stephen Spignesi first appeared on the King scene in 1990 with his inauspicious debut The Stephen King Quiz Book. I remember stumbling upon this book entirely by accident, finding it sandwiched between copies of The Dark Half on one of the many King shelves in the horror section of my local bookstore. A moment ago, I selected this book from my own King section at home, and what a tattered wreck I've made of it. Stephen Spignesi's tiny paperback ushered me unceremoniously into the land of King criticism, beginning a now-lifetime fascination with books about my favorite books. Spignesi followed up The Stephen King Quiz Book with The Shape Under the Sheet: The Stephen King Encyclopedia, one of the most important texts on King ever published. Following that, Spignesi released book after book of defining, landmark publications about King and his work.

  • The Stephen King Quiz Book, 1990
  • The Shape Under the Sheet: The Stephen King Encyclopedia, 1990
  • The Second Stephen King Quiz Book, 1992
  • The Lost Work of Stephen King, 1999
  • The Essential Stephen King, 2001


    George Beahm

    Official George Beahm Site

    When I first happened upon George Beahm's The Stephen King Companion (the first edition), I couldn't have been more excited. 1990 was a peak year for my fascination with King, and never before had I read a complete, narrative book on the subject. If Spignesi's Stephen King QUiz Book opened my eyes to King criticism, Beahm's Companion set a precedent. This was the in-depth critical review of the man and his work I'd been searching for without knowing it. Beahm's subsequent books explored the depth and breadth of King's universe, all from a slightly different perspective. In 1996, I finally met George, and we became fast friends. When I handed him my copy of the Companion, as bruised and battered as my Quiz Book, he laughed and said, "This is what writers like to see!" All of this is why George Beahm is one of the Top Three King critics.

  • The Stephen King Companion (1st Edition), 1989
  • The Stephen King Story, 1991
  • Demon-Driven: Stephen King and the Art of Writing, 1994
  • The Stephen King Companion (2nd Edition), 1995
  • Stephen King: America's Best-Loved Boogeyman, 1998
  • Stephen King from A to Z, 1998
  • Stephen King Country, 1999
  • Stephen King Collectables, 2000


    Michael R. Collings

    Official Michael R. Collings Site

    I discovered Michael R. Collings later on in my study of King's works, when I was doing a research paper on the Bachman phenomenon. My local bookstore managed to get hold of a hardcover copy of Stephen King as Richard Bachman, and I was simply astounded. Spignesi's and Beahm's books had been very approachable, almost colloquial in their approach to King study. Stephen King as Richard Bachman was, well, scholarly, a more highbrow attempt at dissecting the intracacies in King's work. It fascinated and compelled me, and soon enough I was on fire for other books by this guy. Soon, I was not only impressed by the depth at which Collings looked into the work, but also by the sheer amount of citicism there was. I believe, as of this writing, Michael R. Collings has written more on the subject of Stephen King than any other writer, and that alone would make him one of the Top Three King critics. That fact that he's a terrific writer only makes it easier.

  • Stephen King as Richard Bachman (1985)
  • The Shorter Work of Stephen King (1985; with David Engebretson)
  • The Stephen King Concordance (1985; with David Engebretson)
  • The Many Facets of Stephen King (1986)
  • The Films of Stephen King (1986)
  • The Annotated Guide to Stephen King (1986)
  • The Stephen King Phenomenon (1987)
  • The Work of Stephen King (1996)
  • Scaring Us to Death (1997)
  • Horror Plum'd (2003)
  • Stephen King Is Richard Bachman (2006)

    Chronology



    1982
  • Fear Itself, edited by Tim Underwood & Chuck Miller

    1984

  • The Art of Darkness, Douglas E. Winter

    1985

  • Discovering Stephen King, Darrell Schweitzer
  • The Shorter Works of Stephen King, Michael Collings & David Engebretson.
  • Stephen King as Richard Bachman, Michael Collings
  • The Stephen King Concordance, Michael Collings & David Engebretson.
  • The Stephen King Phenomenon, Michael R. Collings

    1987

  • Kingdom of Fear, edited by Tim Underwood & Chuck Miller
  • The Many Facets of Stephen King, Michael R. Collings
  • The Annotated Guide to Stephen King, Michael R. Collings
  • The Gothic World of Stephen King: Landscape of Nightmares, Ray B. Browne
  • Stephen King Goes to Hollywood, Jeff Connor (with Tim Underwood & Chuck Miller)

    1988

  • Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with Stephen King, edited by Tim Underwood & Chuck Miller
  • Landscape of Fear: Stephen King's American Gothic, by Tony Magistrale
  • Stephen King, The First Decade: Carrie to Pet Sematary, by Joseph Reino

    1989

  • The Illustrated Stephen King, James Van Hise
  • The Stephen King Companion, George Beahm
  • The Unseen King, Tyson Blue
  • The Moral Voyages of Stephen King, Tony Magistrale

    1990

  • The Stephen King Quiz Book, Stephen Spignesi
  • The Stephen King Short Story Concordance, Chris Thomson

    1991

  • The Second Stephen King Quiz Book, Stephen Spignesi
  • Stephen King Man and Artist, Carroll F.Terrell
  • The Shape Under the Sheet: The Complete Stephen King Encyclopedia, Stephen Spignesi
  • Stephen King, The Second Decade: Danse Macabre to The Dark Half, Anthony Magistrale
  • The Shining Reader, Tony Magistrale

    1992

  • The Dark Descent, edited by Tony Magistrale
  • A Casebook on The Stand, Tony Magistrale
  • Stephen King: Master of Horror, Anne Saidman

    1993

  • The Films of Stephen King, Ann Lloyd

    1994

  • Demon-Driven: Stephen King and the Art of Writing, George Beahm

    1995

  • Stephen King, Amy and Marj Kayishian
  • Reign of Fear : Fiction and Film of Stephen King, Don Herron
  • The Stephen King Companion (Revised Edition), George Beahm
  • Stephen King's America, Jonathan P. Davis

    1996

  • Stephen King: A Critical Companion, by Sharon A. Russell
  • Stephen King, Sharon A. Russell

    1997

  • Fangoria Masters of the Dark: Stephen King & Clive Barker, Anthony Timpone
  • Reading Stephen King: Issues of Censorship, Student Choice, and Popular Literature, Brenda Miller Power and Jeffrey D. Wilhelm
  • Scaring Us to Death: The Impact of Stephen King on Popular Culture, Michael Collings

  • The Ultimate Unauthorized Stephen King Trivia Challenge, Robert W. Bly (This book is the worst book about King ever. Do not buy it. Misspellings, typos, and "facts" that are just plain wrong. I cannot stress how awful this book is.)

    1998

  • The Annotated Guide to Stephen King : A Primary and Secondary Bibliography of the Works of America's Premier Horror Writer, by Michael R. Collings
  • Imagining the Worst, edited by Kathleen Margaret Lant & Theresa Thompson
  • Stephen King (Modern Critical Views Series), Harold Bloom
  • The Lost Work of Stephen King, Stephen Spignesi
  • Stephen King: America's Best-Loved Boogeyman, George Beahm
  • Stephen King from A to Z, George Beahm

    1999

  • Stephen King, John F. Wukovits
  • Stephen King: A Reader's Checklist and Reference Guide
  • Stephen King Country, George Beahm
  • The Stephen King Internet Guide, Beth Gehman

    2000

  • Stephen King: King of Thrillers and Horror, Suzan Wilson
  • Stephen King Collectibles, George Beahm
  • The Stephen King Universe: A Tale by Tale Examination of the Interconnected Elements in His Work - by Stanley Wiater and Christopher Golden

    2001

  • The Lost Work of Stephen King, Stephen Spignesi
  • The Stephen King Universe, Stanley Wiater, Christopher Golden, & Hank Wagner

    2002

  • Creepshows, Stephen Jones

    2003

  • Horror Plum'd, Michael R. Collings
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower: A Concordance, Volume 1, Robin Furth
  • Hollywood's Stephen King, Tony Magistrale

    2004

  • The Road to The Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus, Bev Vincent
  • The Complete Guide to the Works of Stephen King, by Rocky Wood, David Rawsthorne, and Norma Blackburn
  • The Illustrated Stephen King Trivia Book, by Bev Vincent and Brian Freeman

    2005

  • Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished, Rocky Wood with David Rawsthorne & Norma Blackburn
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower: A Concordance, Volume 2, Robin Furth
  • Dissecting Stephen King: From the Gothic to Literary Naturalism, Heidi Strengell

    2006

  • Stephen King is Richard Bachman, Michael R. Collings