We pick up in one of my favorite years of them all:
Not for Stephen King stuff, per se; I just liked that year in general. Lots of personal mythology of mine that year. Plus, a fucking KILLER year for movies.
Regarding King, we begin with...
The Lost Work of Stephen King
(by Stephen J. Spignesi)
hardback published by Birch Lane Press on January 15, 1999
I don't know whether there had been a book about rare King stories prior to this one in 1999; it wouldn't surprise me if there had been. However, if there was, I am unaware of it; and even if there was a similar book that preceded this one, I doubt it was as good as Spignesi's The Lost Work of Stephen King. It's a bit over 350 pages, which makes it the length of a decent-size novel, and when I read it for the first time it was with the rapt attention I usually give a King novel.
And why not?
Check out the back cover:
I don't know how a non-casual King fan circa 1999 could possibly fail to be fascinated by that. I'd heard of some of the contents covered within the book -- such as The Cannibals -- but was unfamiliar with most of what Spignesi covers here. He does so in thorough, passionate, and entertaining fashion, and for my tastes, this is handily one of THE all-time great books about King's work. It's been rendered semi-obsolete by later works on the same topic by Rocky Wood, but in no way should that diminish one's love for and appreciation of Spignesi's work.