Winter terms his work a "critical appreciation," which I find to be a fair designation. There is no pretense of impartiality here (though no literary critic is impartial, and Winter sets himself apart with his honesty), and indeed Winter has based hi Winter terms his work a "critical appreciation," which I find to be a fair designation. There is no pretense of impartiality here (though no literary critic is impartial, and Winter sets himself apart with his honesty), and indeed Winter has based his work in large part on an extended interview with King himself. Winter, uniquely, accepts the author as the final authority on his own writing and limits most of his comments to harmless observations on recurring themes anf motifs in the stories and novels and so forth. The book is, however, meticulously footnoted, with indices and primary and secondary bibliographies, and so it cannot be said that Winter hasn't done his homework. To complain that Winter hasn't taken a deconstructionist or postmodernist axe to King's work like some ham-handed graduate student is to criticize The Art of Darkness for failing to be something it was never intended to be.
If there is a caveat for the reader, it is that this book is, of course significantly out of date. This is a critical snapshot of a moment in time; be warned, the Stephen King depicted here is no more. Too much has happened since then; personal issues, external events, landmark happenings such as the completion of the Dark Tower series (the first volume of which was only available in a limited edition when Winter published his book). Nevertheless, I believe that even a Stephen King completist will find some tidbit of King's or observation of Winter's that he or she hasn't run across before; if you are such a person, you might want to give this a glance--assuming you haven't already ...Continua Nascondi