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Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with Stephen King
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Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with Stephen King

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  2,195 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
In this revealing and varied collection of interviews, Stephen King talks about his life, family, films and in particular about his macabre novels of the unknown that have made him so well known.

"My soul must be very black, indeed," observes King, virtuoso of horror fiction, but these 30-odd interviews do not lay bare his soul. They do, however, reveal some interesting thi
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 1st 1989 by Warner (first published 1988)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ed [Redacted]
Aug 17, 2011 Ed [Redacted] rated it liked it
This is a collection of interviews with Stephen King regarding various horror related topics. Stephen King is one of the most interesting interview subject on these topics that there is. I very much enjoyed the interviews, especially the two interviews which also featured Peter Straub. The only issue bringing the overall score down is the repetition of some of the subject matter among the interviews. These interviews were conducted during the early part of King's career, by a variety of differen ...more
Jun 19, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
This is a collection of conversations with Stephen King over a number of years covering his earlier (79 to 85). They cover many aspects of Stephen King from his inspirations to insights in to the man himself - there are a number of repartitions however considering they are a collection of his interviews and conversations you cannot help but repeat some things.

The book feels quite dated now since Mr King has published quite a bit since the book was released even with his self imposed retirement t
Cormac Zoso
Oct 21, 2014 Cormac Zoso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
if you're not a stephen king fan then perhaps this book will lead you to his work ... or it may completely turn you off and make you burn any copies of his books you see ...

but for stephen king fans this is required reading ... interesting answers to most questions fans would ask ... the only bad thing is they don't ever seem to give a long answer when it seems warranted ... i don't know why but some answers seem cut off ... not having read the original interviews when first published, i don't
Jul 11, 2016 Mj rated it liked it
When I picked up this book, I had hoped for some more essays from King, because I truly believe he is one of the best essayists alive. Instead this was a collection of interviews and television appearances, which brought out its own unique insight into the King of Horror.

I will say that there are interviews that just drag (probably would have been better to just see them), and there are many points that ended up repeating itself, but if you want to glimpse behind the curtain, Bare Bones is a goo
I found this at a library sale and had to bring it home, I never heard of such a thing: a collection of Stephen King interviews all combined in one book. When I got home I gobbled up the first 60/70 pages right away, I was thinking that it is a shame with things like the internet there is no need to list more recent interviews in a newer bind-up, I wanted to read what he had to say on similar things now, not just back in the 80s (all the interviews in her were conducted between 1979 and 1986). I ...more
Dylan Perry

Overall, I enjoyed this. I was going to give it four stars, but it didn't feel right. There were some slow points, some interviews I didn't find interesting, or repetitive questions. I sympathize with the man and how many times he's been asked "Why do you write this stuff?" or "What scares people?" and "Why didn't you like the film version of The Shining?" To his credit, he tried to vary his answered, but it does get old.

King also rambled on a few times, going on about a point he'd already
Oct 26, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, biography
A series of interviews, from various venues, with Stephen King covereing the years 1979 to 1985 (and grouped by content - books, films, etc - rather than year). An editors note states that some duplication is unavoidable and whilst that’s true - and the reader can just skip over sections - some interviews are so close to others and so short in page count that it’s difficult to understand why they were included in the first place. But, having said all that, this is Stephen King talking about his ...more
Sep 14, 2012 Suzanne rated it liked it
This compilation of interviews is an interesting snapshot of King's thoughts on books, movies, the horror genre, and other odds and ends during the earlier part of his career (1979-1985). His early books are my favorites, so it was fun to get his perspective from back then. My favorite tidbit was about a scene one of his editors removed from 'Salem's Lot. It turns out the new scene he replaced it with was one of the most memorable for me from any of his books. (view spoiler) ...more
Sezín Koehler
Jun 03, 2008 Sezín Koehler rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans
I've been one of Mr. King's "Constant Readers" for going on twenty, count them 20, years now. Aside from "Danse Macabre" and "On Writing," both of which are non-fictions about the horror genre and writing respectively, I haven't read much about Mr. King on a personal level. This book was a fantastic insight into one of my long term heroes, idols and all-around most favoritest people and writers in the whole wide world.

It was such a treat to hear King's own voice (which is eerily much like the un
Todd Nesbitt
Aug 18, 2012 Todd Nesbitt rated it really liked it
As a Stephen King fan, I was interested in reading varied interviews with the man on a variety of subjects. Unfortunately, the interviews are only up to the point in his career when he is on the verge of releasing "IT" which I believe was released in 1986. I was looking forward to some insight to many of his works but still found this an interesting read. I found it difficult to read more than a few pages at a time due to many repeated questions and answers but overall found it was worth the tim ...more
Jan 20, 2014 Lau rated it liked it
To be honest, I was expecting a lot more. I thought it would be an interview divided in different sessions, a sort of one-on-one conversation throughout the book. Instead, it gathers different interviews Stephen King did while touring and promoting his work, found in different magazines.Some interviews were more interesting than others but you still get a view on how King's mind works, his fears and opinions on various subjects (e.g. goverment, film industry, horror books, his own work, etc.). ...more
Nov 15, 2010 Kitty rated it really liked it
With a book like this you have to be ready to resign yourself to the fact that you're going to get a lot of repetitive material but at least it's never told the same way twice. Essentially what you see is what you get - quite possibly one of the most extensive collections of interviews with King ever collected and published in one place. The book is filled with fun stories about the writing process, his thoughts on other writers and movie makers, first hand accounts of skullduggery in the publis ...more
Taylor Haley
Feb 28, 2014 Taylor Haley rated it it was amazing
I have been a King fan ever since I read Firestarter three years ago. I was enthralled with the way King is able to help the reader sympathize with the bad guy and the depth he brings to each of his characters. This collection of interviews is an absolutely incredible insight to the way King thinks and it is a must read for anyone who holds a curiosity or interest in writing.
Tay Hook
Sep 10, 2015 Tay Hook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of conversations with Stephen King, my favourite author. He speaks with candour, enthusiasm and generosity about his creative process and the journey writing has taken him on. To me, he is the Edgar Allen Poe of modern times and it was a pleasure to read through these interviews.
Nora Peevy
Apr 17, 2011 Nora Peevy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
As pointed out in the disclaimer there is some repetition in the interviews presented. However, this book really gives you a deeper insight into some of King's classics such as Cujo, Christine, The Stand, Firestarter, The Shining, Pet Semetary, and Salem's Lot, just to name a few. There are more mentioned. You will learn all about what scares the author, his politics, his hobbies, and gain a lot of great writing advice in the process. I also gleamed a few tidbits of info about publishing houses ...more
Scott Cooper
Jul 23, 2016 Scott Cooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those who are as eager to understand the man as to get their hands on his next book, there are some rare insights into King's formative years here that more than make up for the occasional repetition in these interviews.
Dean Anderson
Dec 11, 2013 Dean Anderson rated it liked it
This collection of interviews with King is repetitive at times ("Where do you get your ideas?"), but it's still enjoyable, especially the sections about kids. King talks about being baffled by his own children asking for the light out and the door closed while he still needs a night light. Also like his account of convincing his kids the screen sucked people in, so they would seat further back in the theater.
Brandi Denson
Jun 28, 2008 Brandi Denson rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fledgling writers and King fans
King doesn't disappoint in this book-long interview with the master of all things dark. "Kill your darlings," I remember reading back in the early 90s when I channeled a great deal of my teenage angst into short stories of my own. He goes on to explain every cryptic piece of advice, though, and the man revealed in King is without a doubt deserving of all the fame his career has afforded.
Chrismpadgett Padgett
This was an amazing book, but only for those who are a bit fascinated with Stephen King. These are a collection of interviews with King, which not only talk about his books, writing habits, but also the movies made from his works and his many influences. There were a lot of surprises, and I think that often I found myself very intrigued by his spiritual journey. Loved it.
Jul 08, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Loved this collection of interviews w King -- this was exactly what I was looking for when I accidentally read Danse Macabre. I'd love an updated version of this book that covers more of King's work -- Bare Bones was written years ago, so there's lots of repetition in questions. Still, great insight into his topics and what he finds interesting.
Billy Candelaria
This covers the early Stephen King interviews. And i can say that it makes a good background on knowing more the man as an author and fiction writer who loves life as it is and the capacity that makes it horrendous. his views on different forms of media, from movies to comics, his own religious and philosophical views.
Aug 01, 2008 Rae rated it really liked it
Wonderful essays and interviews with the king of terror, Stephen King. The essays deal mostly with terror as a genre. I don't read his fiction much as I can't deal with the supernatural elements and the coarse language. I can't deny his ability to write and capture a reader's attention, though. And he is so fascinating.
David Sabala
Aug 13, 2010 David Sabala rated it liked it
I've read and watched many interviews with Stephen King, and I enjoy them all. I think he is a fascinating individual and i love hearing about his work/life because it's something that I've always wanted: the life of a writer. As always, King is insightful, entertaining and really funny.
Russell Holbrook
Oct 22, 2015 Russell Holbrook rated it liked it
I was familiar with a lot of the more striking quotes and passages that were in this book but I still enjoyed it. My favorite interviews were the ones with Stephen King and Peter Straub. Those were really funny. They sounded like they were drunk. Anyway. Cool book.
Dec 08, 2007 Blake rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans, horror/terror fans
I actually only read part of this as well, but it was an interesting series of interviews with Stephen King on his writing, horror, terror, and writing and life in general. Still topped by what I read of On Writing though (also by King).
May 22, 2013 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I may go back to this book, but since it's just a collection of interviews, I may not. King is interesting enough to interview, but maybe just once. After that, the questions and answers both start to get repetitive.
Scott Block
Jan 11, 2012 Scott Block rated it really liked it
Shelves: hard-cover
If you want insight into Stephen's mindset behind his writing, this takes you inside his brain a little and helps you understand why and how he writes.
Oct 22, 2008 Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfic-biography
Wide ranging but very intersting. Fairly short, though, which is why I don't rate it higher.
Krista Castillo
Krista Castillo rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2016
Madison rated it did not like it
Oct 22, 2016
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