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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Full Dark, No Stars

by:  Stephen King
published by:  Scribner

A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.



1922
The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.


Big Driver
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences.


Fair Extension
Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay.

A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of over twenty years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles literally upon a box under a worktable in their garage.

My first thought was that the title is very appropriate.  This book is extremely dark and violent and if that bothers you, skip it.  There aren't any bright spots at all.  In that respect I thought the title was rather clever.  Before I started reading it I wondered what it was referring to, so that question was answered.

I thought each of the stories were good.  1922 was probably the longest and most traditional Stephen King story of the 4.  Rats and psychological horror, the good stuff you expect from The Master of Horror.  Big Driver was a surprise to me.  It seemed a bit of a departure from typical King story-telling.  However, thinking about it for awhile, it was kind of in the same mood as Under the Dome.  Fair Extension was a interesting little twist on the deal with the devil story.  A Good Marriage is one that will make you think a bit.  I think it might make you question what you would do if you were put in the same position. 

I would highly suggest reading the Afterword.  I always enjoy reading King's insights and finding out about his writing and thought processes.  I miss his musings in Entertainment Weekly.  I found the afterword to be interesting and illuminating and a tiny bit disturbing...all the things you want from Stephen King.

--Autumn

4 comments:

Sally Sapphire said...

As much of a King fan as I am, I'm embarassed to say I've only read 1922, but it was a great story.

I really think this is one case where holding a physical book is almost required, as part of the experience. There's just something about the smell of the paper, adn the weight of the book, and contributes to the sense of dread. Reading King in ebook just doesn't seem to work for me.

Jessica said...

I thought the afterward was the most interesting book. Thats not to say I didn't enjoy the stories but I just liked how King talked about how he wrote them.

mummazappa said...

I'm a huge SK fan, and loved this collection, I think his novellas are always brilliant. And I loved the afterword too, I find his own words a fascinating insight into his work.

Jessica said...

I realized while reading this book that I really don't like when men write about rape.