An MTV headline asks — True Detective: Who The Hell Is The Yellow King?
The answer? It’s a reference is to an 1895 collection of interconnected horror stories, The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, which just jumped to #5 on Amazon’s sales rankings. It is also available, as the MTV story points out, as a free download from Project Gutenberg.
HBO’s True Detective has several literary connections. It was created by Nic Pizzolatto, who has published a collection of short stories, Between Here and the Yellow Sea, (McAdam/Cage, 2006), named by Poets and Writers magazine as one of the top five fiction debuts for 2006, and a novel, Galveston (S&S/Scribner; admiringly reviewed by Dennis Lehane in the NYT BR).
The series is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who, incongruously, was the director of the most recent film adaptation of Jane Eyre. His next project, according to a recent interview with Forbes, is also based on a book, Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala, (HarperCollins, 2005), with Idris Elba in the lead.