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One Past Midnight: The Langoliers (Four Past Midnight #1)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  20,184 ratings  ·  222 reviews
The first of a four-part audio series from Stephen King's best-selling book, Four Past Midnight. On a redeye flight from Los Angeles to Boston, only 11 passengers survive—but landing in a dead world makes them wish they hadn't.

6 Audio Cassettes / 8 Hours 41 mins
Audio Cassette, Unabridged, 9 pages
Published February 1st 1990 by Penguin/HighBridge Audio (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Suppose you were a passenger aboard flight 29 when you suddenly awoke with most of the passengers and the pilot missing, gone, poof, into thin air 40,000 feet up! It wasn't your imagination, they all were there on take-off. You know that because their fillings, watches and pacemakers are lying on the floor.

What could explain the disappearance of people on this ill-fated flight? And how can these ten remaining passengers make sense of their circumstance and survive?

Stephen King has set up the pl

Over the years this has remained one of my favorite pieces of King's writing. In a phrase, IT IS AWESOME. The first time you read it there is so much mystery, tension, what the bleep mindfuck going on that it literally keeps you on the edge of your seat. As a science fiction story, I proclaim it a classic.

You really want to come to this novella completely blind, because the reveals are so rewarding you don't want to be robbed of them early. But I have discovered upon subsequent re-reads (and no
Marts  (Thinker)
Hey, this is one of those Stephen King books that I could just read over and over, and hey, I haven't said anything about the movie as yet, I've actually seen it about 5 times.
Imagine that a guy who's entire life is built on a fear of an imaginary thing!!
You remember that first time as an adult when you watched an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon that you loved as a kid and you almost choked to death from hoarking up some stomach acid because you just discovered that you spent like 12 years of your life being a total dumbfuck?

That's The Langoliers.

I loved The Langoliers when I was a kid. And even today, creepy airplane stories just do it for me. So, with fall happening, this seemed like a perfect time to revisit a story I've loved for 20 years, but hav
Conor McHugh
Great, just as good as short stories can get. In fact its pretty much a novel. Over 200 pages, yes i think it just about counts as a novel.

Great inventive and suspenseful storyline, amazing characters. I couldnt stop thinking about this story. I even watched the mini series on youtube whilst reading it. Well not at the same time, but you get me, like i read 50 pages, then watched it up to that point.
One of my fave KING stories and looking forward to reading the other short stories in "four past
The Langoliers is a good story. I can't put it any other way. I loved the Idea of the time rip being mistaken for the Aurora Borealis. The Langoliers had a lot of good ideas and developed them nicely, keeping the more outlandish ones within the realm of possibility. The plot was smooth (not any jerky transitions) and was very fun to read. It was also intelligent. It's one of those books you can't stop reading, it hooks you and doesn't let go. There was also less profanity that most of Stephen Ki ...more
Merci Pol
With their existence, Langoliers outlined many of zigzag lines full of nothing, straight across my mind, that would under normal circumstances say some exotic words about this phenomenal Kings's creation.
Sarah C
The theme is time, and does Stephen King ever make time a salient backdrop. I would advise against reading this if you have coronary heart disease and/or a type A personality. I grew up with this story, having seen the film probably a dozen times. In this, my first time reading, I still white-knuckled the pages despite full awareness of the outcome. King's hypothesis of time--what happens when the present becomes the past--is both fascinating and plausible within the realm of the langoliers.

Jan 25, 2009 Jocey added it
One Past Midnight or The Langoliers, by Stephen King, is a book about passengers who fall asleep on a plane and wake up and go to another place. There are many main characters, but the character who stood out more to me was Dinah. Dinah is a 10 year old girl who is blind. One of Dinah’s main internal conflicts is that she is blind. One of her external conflicts is with Mr. Toomy. He’s a crazy guy who hates Dinah.

During my time reading this book I made a text-to-self connection. There was a part
It took me 2 afternoons to read this book and I still can't tell what I'm thinking about it.

When I completed the first chapter the story seemed to me strangely familiar after a few pages I realised that I had actually tried to read it again a few years ago but I couldn't finish it. So I decided that this time I would stick to it and finish it. And I just did!

In the beginning there was curiosity, lately the agony came and in the last two chapters I was struck by major disappointment! Why?Why to w
Sarah Sammis
Four Past Midnight contains four novellas by Stephen King. For the purpose of my book count, I'm counting each novella as a separate "book" and I'll be posting a separate review for each one.

The first novella is "The Langoliers" which I have to admit I was reluctant to read from the few minutes of the made for tv movie I've seen a few times on late night TV. My whole preconception of the story was of a group of people stuck on an airplane while angry hair balls barked at them from the tarmac. Th
I really liked this book and thought it had some very interesting ideas. It's not really horror like a lot of King's books and is really more science fiction. He has an interesting take on what would happen if you were involved with time travel - which isn't too pleasant at all if you happen to travel back in time! I would definitely recommend this book as a fun read. I listened to it which was even more fun as the guy reading it brought the characters to life. The book is suspenseful, but not s ...more
Well that was pretty fantastic until the last sequence.

I guess overall the ending was expected to be lovely and sweet.

(view spoiler)
Really good book, I couldn't put it down. There are some silly moments but the constant suspense and complex characters definitely saved the story.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
This is more of a science fiction/thriller than horror. I enjoyed the ensemble cast, particularly the enigmatic Nick. This story does keep you wondering how things will be resolved. I thought the miniseries was pretty true to the story as well. Really liked the actor they chose to play Nick. He nailed him. I really like to see King try something that isn't his usual genre, as he did with Eyes of a Dragon. I think it was a success. My copy is in Four Past Midnight. Probably won't read the other s ...more
Adam Carnes
I have only read one other Stephen King before this one, The Dark Half. I liked that book and decided to give Mr. King another shot. I wanted to read a story that I knew nothing about, having seen various movie adaptations of his works in the past. I found this one through my library on audiobook. I had heard the title before but did not know the plot. Once I started reading I was hooked, part of which had to do with Willem Dafoe's performance as narrator, whose character voices were all very di ...more
Four past midnight is the only Stephen King book I ever read. I first read it about 20 years ago, and the Langoliers is the story from this collection that stayed with me vividly. I cannot remember any of the others.

Re-reading it now it seemed totally familiar. The story is just brilliantly cinematic. Perfectly set up and pace to build mystery and tension from the very start, withholding as much information as possible about the strange limbo space the characters find themselves flying into on
By: Gage Helsel
I rate The Langoliers, by Stephen King, five stars because it’s an action packed story full of suspense and mystery. Also I liked it because it sounds like a clearly plausible theory that happens in the book. It all started on a red eye flight from Las Angles to Boston when a pilot that just flew in gets news that his divorced wife has died. He then schedules a flight to Boston to attend his ex-wife’s funeral. After he boards he then falls asleep.

But while flying the plane goes
Louis Skipper
I'm going to carefully avoid any spoilers.

I saw the movie long ago and recently picked up the audio read by Willem Defoe who does an excellent job.

I'm not a reader of Stephen King, so I have no point of comparison. My only problem with the story was the "langoliers".

The result of the langoliers could have (and should have) been achieved with out these creatures.

Their appearance in the story was just silly.
While I mostly enjoyed Willem Dafoe's read of this audio book (he's a great narrator), I thought his female interpretations were not good. Especially Bethany, who sounded like an over the top Fran Drescher impersonation. That aside, I liked the story enough to overlook it, though I will knock off one star since the silly voices took me out of the story.
Barbara Cox
Have you ever approached a hill with limited sight distance? When I do I envision the Langoliers chewing away at the edge of the fabric of the world. I imagine them to look like the pacman boy and girl munching away and the sound like a cachophony of millions of circadas screaming in the middle of the day instead of nighttime.
Aida Perez
WAOW! De nuevo Stephen is the KING. Un libro lleno de vueltas, teorías y mucho, demasiado suspenso, me esperaba un final donde todos despertaran de vuelta en el avión y todo fuera un sueño pero bueno aun así me gusto el final. Mientras leía pensaba en las cosas que no estaba haciendo solo por estar sentada leyendo y llegue a pensar que los langolieros podrían venir por mi.

(view spoiler)
Interesting story about what might exist just outside our own dimension, in the place where time is born or dies. I'd call this standard Stephen King fare -- good and entertaining, though it's not up there with his best. Still, average King is an above-average experience for me.
A Twilight Zone-esque short novel (featured in Four Past Midnight) blending elements of science fiction with horrors both human and paranormal.

King establishes an eerie atmosphere of mystery and foreboding, deftly sustains the suspense, and keeps the story moving at a good pace. The characters, dialogue, and choice of detail all generally ring true. There are some satisfyingly nasty scenes of violence. At the same time the prose is sometimes sloppy (certain descriptions don’t have the impact th
Dull, barely passable story. I skipped it when I was a kid, for what I now see was good reasons. Going back to fill in all the gaps in my King reading. Wish I hadn't bothered now.
Boring, derivative tripe. Entirely predictable, with a very weak cast, and an extremely disappointing ending. The best thing about this story is that it wasn't longer.
Mad Guy
Лангольеры, книга моих детских страхов. Посмотрев фильм ещё в далёком детстве, я был глубоко напуган, и даже породил в себе недолгую фобию боязни столбов с плечами.

К роману я вернулся не скоро. Я уже прочитал львиную долю фэнтази книг, почитал Лавкрафта и прочее.

Я был разочарован. Скорее это заставило занизить оценку книге. Она, великолепна. В том переводе что я читал, вполне достойна, с красочными описаниями. С раскрытием персонажей.

Скорее всего, я был также разочарован потому, что я читал до э
I enjoy Stephen King when he is edited and brief; his collections are usually pretty good. I read this separate from the rest of the short stories, and quite enjoyed it. I remember the movie being long and bizarre, and much prefer the original as it was written ( no big surprise there). I'd give this an 8/10, on the Stephen King scale of satisfaction: not too long, no unnecessary jibber-jabber/red herrings/ irrelevant bullshit (see 'Under the Dome') quality cast of characters and adequate develo ...more
Jeannette Nikolova
I was beginning to lose faith in Mr. King, but now I feel better. I liked The Langoliers: nothing mindblowing, but it was entertaining and kept me turning the pages.
I cannot quite wrap it around my finger yet, there are books of Stephen's from all of his writing periods that I like and dislike. I expected there was for example a time in the 90's when he was making crappier books, but that's not it. I guess it's every book for itself.
Anyway, this one was very catchy and kept me hanging. I suspec
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Four Past Midnight (5 books)
  • Four Past Midnight
  • Two Past Midnight: Secret Window, Secret Garden
  • Three Past Midnight: The Library Policeman
  • Four Past Midnight: The Sun Dog

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