By Carolyn Kellogg
12:04 PM PST, February 14, 2013
After the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed six adults and 20 children, novelist Stephen King decided he had to say something. He expresses his views on weapons, vehemently and forcefully, in "Guns," an essay published as a Kindle Single on Jan. 25. It's currently #1 in the Kindle Single store.
The audio version of Stephen King's "Guns" was released by Audible.com this week, where it shot to the top of its bestseller list. It's read by actor Christian Rummel, an award-winning audiobook narrator. (Listen to our exclusive excerpt below).
Audible's Matthew Thornton tells us "any essay by Stephen King is something we’re thrilled to be able to offer to our customers." The audio download costs 99 cents and is a 49-minute listen.
The short form is an atypical offering from Audible. "Audible members overwhelmingly prefer long, unabridged works of fiction and nonfiction that they can enjoy over several days or weeks of commutes, workouts, etc.," writes Thornton. But some shorter pieces have been popular; "Go the F*** to Sleep," narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.
Ricky Gervais, the New Yorker and New York Times are popular, too, as are self-help authors Deepak Shopra and Anthony Robbins.
Stephen King's "Guns" could almost be described as "self-help" -- he is trying to persuade people to make certain life choices. King, a gun owner, supports specific gun control measures. His earnings from the sale of this essay will go to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.