SHORT: Fans only, I'd say. For them it may be essential, although the writing style is probably offputting for some. LONG: I found this book quite entertaining due to its contents. (Remember that the "complete" SK encyclopedia by the same author a couple of years back was largely confined to fiction.) Spignesi traces many items in the King universe that are obscure and difficult (impossible in some cases) to obtain. If you want to read about rare newspaper appearances, juvenilia, crosswords, and the like (i.e., if you're a die-hard King fanatic like me), you'll probably want to buy this book - although Tyson Blue covered a fair amount of the rare stuff until 1989 in his UNSEEN KING (starmont). I have to say, though, that I find Spignesi's style of writing, like that of Blue earlier, a little off-putting. It is clear that he is enthusiastic about King and his work, ephemeral as some of the pieces discussed in this book may sometimes be. But there is a line, I think, between unobtrusive and still informative prose (like that of Winter and Collings, who write a carefully measured prose but are still fun to read) and a style that may at best be described as chatty and informal, at worst as annoying fannish hyperbole. The more's the pity since this book could have been so much more - if you're looking for critical discussions that go beyond the superficial, I guess you better stick with the many works of Collings. With a subject matter like this it's inevitable that some customers may be disappointed not to actually get to read some of these "oddities," but with the help of the internet it is possible to collect rare King texts, at least, on a beer budget. And then there is, of course, the BOMC collection SECRET WINDOWS, where you might start to gather a couple of rare pieces. All in all, I'd rank it 3 out of 5.