Its funny how sometimes you get recommended a book and this is one that I was recommended by Stella Duffy when we met recently. Now I love it when you get authors recommendations in the book sections of all the broadsheets, being given a recommendation by an author in the flesh I would have been stupid not to have read this book as someone who wants to write. I admit I have never yet read a Stephen King novel so it might seem odd reading one of his non fiction books. I have seen all the movies made from his novels though, does that count?
‘On Writing’ is a delightful mix of memoir and hints and tips of how King feels he writes and as a million selling author how could you not want to hear his story? He gives you his rules, and that’s the important bit, this is his story and his rules he at no point preaches to you at all and that is rare in books on ‘how to write’. Its not just his techniques he discusses, what makes this such an original and interesting read is he tells you how the ideas form and where he gets his inspiration. I haven’t read any books where an author will go into that much detail and it makes it so much more insightful to writers and none writers alike.
Amongst all this King gives a personal, honest and detailed insight into the horrific accident where he was nearly killed by a drunk driver. So in the end you are getting three books, a book of ‘how you can write’, a book of funny memoirs, and the writings of a man who has been close to death and wants to live. He deals with this in a factual manner, no high drama, the facts his real feelings and nothing more or less.
It’s not a mammoth book but is fairly long, you will through it. King writes with such humour and with such an honest unpretentious voice that you feel like a friend is having a nice chat with you. Nothing is over done or over dramatised or over exaggerated its sharp and snappy.