Stephen King doesn’t like being subjected to Freudian analysis – a point he makes abundantly clear to the two interviewers who tackle him in this way during his promotional tour for Bag of Bones in 1998. Don’t look to his childhood for clues as to why he became the master of the gross-out: the moth in the piece of chewing gum, the green goo seeping out after a suicide are obviously not relevant at all…
The most probing piece in this group comes from Kirsty Young in Desert Island Discs. She doesn’t let King off the hook about discussing personal issues and gains matter of fact explanations as to how he became addicted, and the aftereffects of that on his family, as well as a quite chilling description of the accident in which he was nearly killed.
The interviews are presented in chronological order, which means it’s only later that you realise that at the time of the first one, it’s entirely possible, given his descriptions of how he lived his life in that part of the 1980s, that King was high on some form of legal or illegal substance – but it’s impossible to tell.
Verdict: If you’re interested in King the man, rather than just his work, then you will find this collection very revealing. 8/10