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Publisher's Summary

Since the 1970s, the name Stephen King has been synonymous with horror. His vast number of books has spawned a similar number of feature films and TV shows, and together they offer a rich opportunity to consider how one writer's work has been adapted over a long period within a single genre and across a variety of media - and what that can tell us about King, about adaptation, and about film and TV horror. Starting from the premise that King has transcended ideas of authorship to become his own literary, cinematic, and televisual brand, Screening Stephen King explores the impact and legacy of over 40 years of King film and television adaptations.

Simon Brown first examines the reasons for King's literary success and then, starting with Brian De Palma's Carrie, explores how King's themes and style have been adapted for the big and small screens. He looks at mainstream multiplex horror adaptations from Cujo to Cell, low-budget DVD horror films such as The Mangler and Children of the Corn franchises, non-horror films, including Stand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption, and TV works from Salem's Lot to Under the Dome. Through this discussion, Brown identifies what a Stephen King film or series is or has been, how these works have influenced film and TV horror, and what these influences reveal about the shifting preoccupations and industrial contexts of the post-1960s horror genre in film and TV.

The book is published by University of Texas Press.

©2018 University of Texas Press (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting Listen

This is an audio book all about Stephen King and his works. It's quite academic and not fluffy, so if you're looking for something from Entertainment Weekly or such, then you'll not like this book. However, if you are a die hard SK fan then you should give this audio book a chance. It's quite lengthy but worth listening to.

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • DBW
  • Atlanta, GA USA
  • 06-29-18

Interesting Analysis of Adaptation and Branding

Screening Stephen King is an analysis of Stephen King's works with an eye toward how they have been adapted for the screen. As a fan of Stephen King and an author who is curious about how novels and short stories are adapted for other forms of media, when this book showed up on AudiobookBoom I decided to give it a shot.

The author's approach is academic in nature, and very analytical. I didn't care for the first two chapters. They read like a grad student's report, and there were moments I felt the author had broken out the thesaurus a few too many times. A couple chapters in, though, the writing smoothed out. I woudln't go so far as to call the style engaging, but it was accessible and didn't detract from my enjoyment of the subject matter. The narrator does a solid job with what he is given, but there is only so much life that can be breathed into a book written in this particular style.

The parts I found most interesting regarded the subject of branding. Whether or not to present a particular adaptation as horror or another genre. At what point did Stephen King himself become a "brand" and in which instances was a particular film promoted more as a Stephen King project and not promoted on the merits of the story?

This book isn't for everyone. Even a Stephen King enthusiast will need to have an interest in the business side of the industry to really enjoy the book. I think the ideal reader/listener is a Stephen King fan who is interested in screenwriting, the process of adapting longer works to the screen, and marketing.

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Screening Stephen King

This was very interesting.It goes trough Mr Kings books,screenplays,etc that were turned into movies,tv shows,etc.I never thought so much about the 'brand of Stephen King'.It was neat to hear the books that were also popular at the time and how those did as movies.If you like horror,this book is one you should read.I found Peter Leman a good narrator.It felt like a lecture.It took a few days to get through it.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 05-16-18

Analysis of adaptions and the King brand

In Screening Stephen King author Simon Brown looks at the history of adaptions of Stephen King's work - to the big screen and the small screen. Starting with early works - the adaptions that were still coming out before King was well known, he examines how the phenomenon that is Stephen king affects adaptions of his work and how they are presented to the public.

One of the major themes of the book is looking at Kings as a writer vs King as a brand - while King writes a variety of books, not just horror, he is most well known as a horror author that the 'King' brand is used for adaptions that are horror based. Horror movies emphasise King in their marketing, while 'serious' and non-horror adaptions shy way from King. Stories like Stand By Me and Shawshank Redemption avoided the King brand as much as possible, to avoid the correlation with horror stories, as they are not horror. He looks at how much is branded King also depends on how previously King branded things have sold - if 'King' is in vogue, then the branding of something as Stephen King (not matter how unrelated - such as The Lawnmower Man) is applied. When 'King' is not doing well the branding was avoided.

The book does a great in depth look at King, the adaptions and their impact on movies and each other.

There are some spoilers to his works. I am a part time reader of king, not one of King's a constant readers, so there was much in this book the 'spoiled' some of the books or adaptions I have not yet got to. That didn't concern me, but it may concern others interested in this book. So fair warning.

Narration by Peter Lerman is good. I had previously listened to another book he narrated and it was very stilted. This still has a small amount of that, but no where near the same amount. That makes me believe the fault was with the writing style of the other book, not Lerman. Generally here he is well paced, flows well and easy to listen to.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Ok

It was just ok. Narrator was kind of boring. It did not hold my attention.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Exactly the book I wanted on this subject

Very authoritative and well sourced. Found it odd that the author made a point in the introduction that King doesn’t like people to overanalyze his books or find grand themes, which the author did repeatedly. That said, it was great. I loved the book and the nerdy analysis of Kings books and adaptations, and all the fun industry stuff around the subject. Found out several things I didn’t know.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Entertaining if Verbose Stroll Down Memory Lane

Any additional comments?

If you are (or were) a fan of Stephen King---and who isn't?---you will find something to enjoy in this (audio)book. It is an exhaustive survey of Stephen Kings books, novellas and short stories, and the video adaptations of them. The main focus of the book is on summarizing, critiquing, and analyzing Stephen King (SK) film and TV adaptations of his works, but this book does not neglect comparing these with the original, written words. Simon Brown goes into great detail talking about the inspirations for SK's works, the history, marketing, box office, and critics' reaction of his film adaptations, and the impact (if any) on the overall genres of literary horror and film horror. He also works in many biographical details on SK as he evolved as a writer. When relevant, Mr. Brown will also venture into discussing other groundbreaking horror novels and films.However, if you are looking for a chatty, frothy "Entertainment Weekly"-style review of SK's novels and films, you should look elsewhere. This is an academic treatise on the subject which may repel some in the mainstream film-going and popular fiction-reading audience. My advice is to fast forward past Chapter 1 and 2, where the author's main goal seems to be to establish his academic bona fides to pontificate authoritatively on "Children of the Corn" and "Maximum Overdrive." He succeeds, boringly, with verbosity such as " For the purpose of my argument, I approach the concept of horror not from a philosophical position, but rather in genre terms as a series of cinematic, televisual, and literary conventions that together identify an individual piece of work--be it film, book, or TV show--as belonging to the horror genre as it is defined within its respective medium.""Academic bullshit," as SK might say---and has in a different context. I almost turned off the audiobook after about 45 minutes of this , but I'm glad I didn't. Skip over the first two chapters. Jump to Chapter 3, where we begin the discussion of "Carrie," the movie that put SK on the map.The narration is appropriate for the tone of the book, but I had to listen to it at 1.25x speed for a more natural cadence.I enjoyed this book. It was chock full of information. I especially appreciated the discussion of SK's earlier works when, in my opinion, he wrote his true masterpieces. My interest in his works has waned over time, as if the thicker his books became, the more cumbersome and problematic they became. [Does he even use an editor anymore?] Yet, because he is such an influential force in our cultural landscape, even books of his I haven't read, I am still familiar with and it was interesting to learn more about them anyway.This book will make you want to revisit some of your favorite Stephen King books and movies.*** I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review. ***

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah Moorby
  • 05-22-18

More like a university essay but enjoyable

I didn't know what to make of this. it was boring but I couldn't stop listening.