Friday, June 29, 2018

Audiobook review: Screening Stephen King by Simon Brown

Screening Stephen King: Adaptation and the Horror Genre in Film and Television
Written by Simon  Brown, narrated by Peter Lerman.

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. If it sounds like your thing, check it out!

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