I'm just this guy, y'know?
I feel like I should be able to write a longer and better review after having read it. :)
Stephen's creative perspective comes through so powerfully in this book. His background story and life experiences folded in amongst the knowledge he shares on the writing process make this book a very entertaining as well as informative read.
I don't know if comparison is the right word but "On Writing" makes me think of "The Dancing Mind" by Toni Morrison. Toni's book makes me think of why I'd want to write. Stephen's book points me to the how. Both books I reread or re-listen to often. Toni's is only ten pages so rereading is easy and quick. Stephens I have on my MP3 player so easy access on the train or wherever.
The poetic pauses just before a particularly funny line like, "I have to push." are very well done. But his general delivery was delightful. I was walking into a CVS while listening to "On Writing" for the first time. Stephen was relaying the babysitter, "Eula/Beulah" story. I had to pull my earbuds out of my ears because I was howling so loudly. I wasn't just looking like the crazy lady that talks to herself as she wanders through the store. More like the "grab the kids and move away from, off her rocker" kind of lady. It was hysterical.
Even the story about dropping the cinder block on his toes as a two year old was a really enjoyable story to listen to. I could see the small child's determination to place that cinder block in preparation for his really big show.
"I have to push." No no just kidding. "It's about the day job. It's about the language."
I'd like to say that when I grow up I want to write just like Stephen King (and Toni Morrison). I'm 52 now so I'm going to work on it but it might be the next life time.
How about an online course Stephen? Non accredited of course unless that's something you're in to. But wow oh wow I would love to take that course. It would have to be the basics for someone like me but I'd sign on for whatever you'd decide to share on the writing process.
The audio book was great, I can't deny that, but Stephen King doesn't practice what he preaches. Most of his novels are a lesson in complex word discovery.
Stephen King is arguably one of the greatest writers of our time, and On Writing is his attempt to give those new to writing the tools and encouragement they need in order to write better fiction. If I could boil my review down to one word, it would be: incredible.
The audiobook is narrated by King himself, which adds a lot to the emotion and pacing of the text. You get a natural spoken rhythm, along with a clarity that you may not get with somebody else reading it if there is a confusing part in the prose. Those two things come together to make this a short but very enjoyable listen.
As for the actual text, King splits the book up into two halves: his CV, or basically everything that happened up until he started writing the book, and On Writing where he talks about the nuts and bolts of writing. His stories are interesting and every word is engaging. I believe it was Brandon Sanderson that said that "Stephen King can write excitement into a set of IKEA assembly instructions." It's true. There is a section on the importance of vocabulary and grammar that I was able to listen to with rapt attention, despite the fact that it can be one of the most boring topics imaginable. Granted, he didn't get into how to construct a sentence, but that wasn't his intention.
This is a fantastic read. Or listen. To hear one of the modern masters describing his own experiences and processes gives us an insight into what it really means to write, to read and to experience the magic and telepathy involved in literature. It is magic, after all. I just want to finish this review with a short quote that I found particularly inspirational from the book:
"Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. Much of [this book] has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it ... is a permission slip. You can, you should and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic. As much the water of life as any other creative art. The water's free. So drink. Drink and be filled up."
Stephen King is a great fiction writer. His story of his life is just as candid and vivid. This is a good book for those interested in writing and see how fiction reflect reality.
I enjoyed the events that was going on in Stephen King's life with the stories he was writing.
He was funny.
I haven't read the printed version, but to hear the words come out of the legend writer's mouth is far more appealing.
Besides the posion ivy? I have to say is the odd jobs that he had before hitting it big time.
I have not, this is the first one, and it won't be the last.
The persistence that Tabitha had on King, they are good for each other.
This book isn't mainly on teaching about writing, it is a book more about the writer but he does give amazingly helpful tips on what to do. This is a must read for King fans and those who wish to become writers themselves, learn and see how the legend went from regular joe to master of the craft.
The experience of reading this book was definitely more enjoyable due to it being read by Stephen King himself.
This book is a "must" read for anyone who feels they can be a little bit better with their writing. I had to read this book for school, however I came to enjoy and understand all the details that go into the average writer's pieces.
This book was a gift and I expected it to be a chore to read. I couldn't have been more mistaken.The first half of the book is about him growing up and many times I was bursting out laughing at his stories. The second half is more about writing and though dryer is solid advice from the world famous author.
The story was not what I expected, but true to his ability, Stephen King delivered an interesting and enjoyable book. I learned more about Stephen, about writing and enjoyed hearing the writer's voice. I highly recommend the book for entertainment as well as for knowledge about writing.
Great book for those who want an autobiography plus a guide to how Mr. King finds his muse. There is some great advice here for writers. It is also a cautionary tale of addiction and, fortunately for Mr. King, redemption.
I love the fact that it was narrated by Mr. King himself. It adds to the authenticity of the experience as well as his emotional response to things like adverbs and facilitated writing retreats.
Go ahead and get this. You will not be disappointed.