Stephen King (2820 words)

Bernice Murphy (Trinity College Dublin )
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Stephen King is one of the most popular novelists of recent times: a man whose immense commercial success has had a profound impact not only upon the horror genre but also upon popular culture during the latter half of the twentieth century. The cultural pre-eminence which King so rapidly achieved – he is, in his own words, “America’s favourite bogeyman” – has tended to overshadow his works themselves: such immense commercial popularity can sour critical perceptions. The key to King’s success lies in his ability to reconfigure some of the horror genre’s most hoary old clichés – such as the trope of the disturbed outsider (Carrie), the traditional vampire story (Salem’s Lot), or the Faustian pact (

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Murphy, Bernice. "Stephen King". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 May 2004
[, accessed 23 June 2018.]

Related Groups

  1. Gothic, Grotesque & Supernatural Fiction
  2. Fantasy & Horror Fiction

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