(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

The best of Cyril Hare’s work in the detective genre is marked by closely observed characterization and a constant striving for verisimilitude. His characters are more fully rounded and more varied than many of those in the purely puzzle-based detective stories produced by the majority of his immediate British precursors; in particular, he offers accurate, vivid, and well-characterized portrayals of certain social groups. He is notable for his use of conversation, which is lively, contributes to plot and characterization rather than merely padding out an episode, and reproduces the vocabulary and manner of speech of different social classes; for the fine quality of his writing; for his often subtle humor; and, notwithstanding his concentration on characterization and authentic atmosphere, for the novelty of his puzzles, their careful and convincing construction, and their genuine surprise endings. Without directing the genre along any fresh and innovative paths, Hare enriched the body of well-written and enduring detective fiction that emerged in Great Britain during the period from just before to just after World War II.


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Beahm, George W., ed. Stephen King from A to Z: An Encyclopedia of His Life and Work. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews McMeel, 1998. Encyclopedic compendium of entries on every aspect of the author’s fiction and biography.

Beahm, George W. The Stephen King Story. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews and McMeel, 1992. A good, updated biography of King. Includes bibliographical references and an index.

Bloom, Harold, ed. Stephen King: Modern Critical Views. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1998. This is the best single collection of essays about King, many collected from other sources listed here, but including previously unreprinted pieces from journals or non-King-specific books. High-quality pieces cover a range of themes and King’s works through Needful Things. Good chronology, bibliography, and index.

Collings, Michael R. Scaring Us to Death: The Impact of Stephen King on Popular Culture. 2d rev. ed. San Bernardino, Calif.: Borgo Press, 1997. Examines King’s influence on the rise of horror fiction in the United States.

Collings, Michael R. The Work of Stephen King: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide. San Bernardino, Calif.: Borgo Press, 1996. Provides both a good chronology and useful descriptions of some of King’s hard-to-find works, as well as a copious annotated list of secondary sources.

Docherty, Brian, ed. American Horror Fiction: From Brockden Brown to Stephen King. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990. This collection of essays places King’s works into context with other American horror writers.

Herron, Don, ed. Reign of Fear: Fiction and Film of Stephen King. Los Angeles: Underwood and Miller, 1988. The essays in this collection discuss the significance of film in the development of King’s reputation.

Hohne, Karen A. “The Power of the Spoken Word in the Works of Stephen King.” Journal of Popular Culture 28 (Fall, 1994): 93-103. Discusses the tension in King’s work between slang speech, which codifies a knowledge rejected by those in power, and monologic orality, which embodies that power; claims his works illustrate the tension between official and unofficial languages and ideologies that exists not only in literature but also throughout society.

Hoppenstand, Gary, and Ray B. Browne, eds. The Gothic World of Stephen King: Landscape of Nightmare. Bowling Green, Ohio: Popular Press, 1987. The collection of academic criticism of King includes an introduction by Hoppenstand and essays on themes (“Adolescent Revolt,” “Love and Death in the American Car”), characters (“Mad Dogs and Firestarters,” “The Vampire”), genres (King’s “Gothic Western,” techno-horror), technique (“Allegory”), and individual works.

King, Stephen. Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with Stephen King. Edited by Tim Underwood and Chuck...

(The entire section is 1267 words.)