Post Book Shelf - the Stephen King Story by George Beahm

The Saturday Evening Post, March 1993 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Post Book Shelf - the Stephen King Story by George Beahm


The Stephen King Story by George Beahm 330 pages, Andrews and McMeel, $9.95

One night during the early 1950s, little Stephen King noticed a stack of used paperback books piled alongside the family TV set. When he asked his mother, a single woman raising two boys, why she had bought them, she replied that, for her, they were "a pile of cheap, sweet vacations" from the 45-50 hour workweeks she was forced to endure in various dead-end jobs.

Today, Stephen King's "vacations" are hardly sweet--nor are they cheap (his latest, Dolores Claiborne, lists at $23.50). Nevertheless, King has sold nearly 150 million copies of his published books (36 to date, including short story compilations, limited-edition novels, and one nonfiction tome, 1981's Danse Macabre) worldwide. Nearly all of his fiction has been made--or is about to be made--into movies for the big screen as well as the small.

In the process, as Ben Franklin had done centuries before with newspaper publishing, King has taken what for decades had been a specialized--and thus highly unprofitable--endeavor (horror fiction) and made it both palatable for the masses and profitable for himself. By focusing on the horrific and unusual among ordinary people in everyday circumstances (much as Shirley Jackson, one of King's admitted influences, had done with her 1948 short story "The Lottery"), King has made horror agreeable for the reader who might have been repulsed by the vulgarity of much 1950s horror--or bored stiff by the sticky 1920s work of H.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Post Book Shelf - the Stephen King Story by George Beahm
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?