Night Shift
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Night Shift

by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  76,938 ratings  ·  1,172 reviews
Never trust your heart to the New York Times bestselling master of suspense, Stephen King. Especially with an anthology that features the classic stories "Children of the Corn," "The Lawnmower Man," "Graveyard Shift," "The Mangler," and "Sometimes They Come Back"-which were all made into hit horror films.

"Unbearable suspense." (Dallas Morning News)

From the depths of darkne...more
Paperback, 409 pages
Published April 1979 by New English Library (first published 1978)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Night Shift, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Night Shift

The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
32nd out of 121 books — 2,078 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
52nd out of 1,114 books — 3,406 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
R.
What I learned from Night Shift:

It ain't easy to quit smoking.
That I know what you need.
That I am the doorway.
That he walks behind the rows.
That sometimes they come back.
It ain't over in 'Salem's Lot.
Don't drink bad beer.
Get off your ass and mow your own lawn, goddammit.
Adriana
Note to self: do not read ANYTHING written by Stephen King after dark. Nothing. Not even if it happens to be comedy, or non-fiction, or freaking poetry. Haven’t you been traumatized enough? You can’t see a clown without pissing yourself! Not that it’s hard to scare me though. I’m the kind of girl that needs to have every light on when she goes downstairs to grab a glass of water, one of those people who knows something’s right behind ready to grab me if I don't reach the second floor as fast as...more
Trudi
Make you pee your pants scary!

In his introduction to Skeleton Crew, Stephen King writes: “a good long novel is in many ways like having a long and satisfying affair” whereas the short story “is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.” My literary proclivities definitely lean towards those long affairs. I don’t read a lot of short stories nor am I a fan of the format. At least give me a novella! Stephen King is one of only a handful of authors who can make me a believer in the beauty and...more
Stephen
6.0 stars. On my list of "All Time Favorite" books and second only to Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman as my favorite short story collection of all time. All of the stories are excellent and it is hard to pick favorites in this collection but I would say "Boogeyman", "Strawberry Spring", "Children of the Corn" and "Jerusalem's Lot" are definitely highlights. Highest Possible Recommendation!!!
Stefan Yates
Overall – I really liked the first story, but after that the stories really seemed to taper off quite a bit until I got to Battleground. After that one, my interested was piqued and the book continued at a high level through The Ledge and on to the end with a few exceptions here and there raising my overall rating from a 3 to a 4.

Jerusalem’s Lot – The first story is an “historical” account of the events that take place when a man and his faithful servant take residence in his ancestral home and...more
Alejandro
If you're one of those idiots that calls Stephen King a hack, read "The Boogeyman" in your room at night. Then tell me what you think.
Megan
I can’t recommend this collection enough. Stephen King is at his best when writing short stories, and I love the unpolished, experimental style his writing had when he was just starting out. His focus then wasn’t strictly horror although it does feature a central theme of fear and the surreal. Over the years, his writing style became more polished. Although I love his later short stories just as much, they seem a little more carefully written than his earlier ones. Or maybe I’m just full of it,...more
Ben Loory
i don't know how i never read this before; i've loved stephen king my whole life, i feel like an idiot! it's like i just found out that there was an old testament to the bible... or something, you know, less offensive... anyway, yeah, these stories are amazing! no wonder they made (shitty) movies out of virtually every single one of them. and it's really weird to read this and think that this is the same guy who went on to write all those 40,000 page-long books!? when all these stories are so sh...more
David Wallace Fleming
This might sound a little strange but I think that this collection is a work of art. I'd put this right up alongside Chekhov and Poe.

If you ever wondered why people make such a big deal out of Stephen King, I think his talents are fully on display here.

King has a great ability in these stories to crunch a great deal of backstory and exposition in a small amount of page space and still make it seem natural. In certain paragraphs he'll stealthily segue four or five times without me even noticing...more
Peter Meredith
Taking over from the aging James Michener, Stephen King has become master of the novel/doorstop. Not only do his hefty tomes make for very good reading they also come in handy as cudgels against the occasional burglar.
However, what he does better than anyone, in my opinion, are short stories. For this he's the Babe Ruth of writing(many of us forget his .342 lifetime batting average and just concentrate on his homers...Ruth I mean. Not King.)
Somehow King can place a reader right on the doorstep o...more
Luke
Jul 15, 2008 Luke rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: short story lovers, Stephen King fans
I found this book to be hit or miss. Most stories were good with a few being must-reads and few being skip-able.

The highlights:
Jerusalem's Lot - A prequel of sorts to his novel 'Salem's Lot told through a series of letters.
Night Surf - A side-story that fits in with The Stand telling the story of a few teens as they deal with Trips.
I Am The Doorway - A more traditional science-fiction tale with a Stephen King twist.
I Know What You Need - A psychologically introspective story concerning love.
The...more
jzhunagev

Short Tale Excursions to Horror and Dread
(A Book Review of Night Shift by Stephen King)


The short story is a literary form I rarely read, appreciate and enjoy. A handful of writers, O. Henry, Ernest Hemingway and — in light of the book I’m reviewing — Edgar Allan Poe, are some of the authors whose short fiction I’ve liked over the years. Since the short story deals with few characters in one setting that makes a single impression or impact, it's a tricky form to work a story with and sometimes in...more
Bobby Bermea
I had to do a quick review of a King book I liked because I did one of a book of his I didn't like and that was all I had on the guy. That wasn't right because truth be told he's one of my very favorite writers. I don't know if he would take this as a compliment but my favorite stories by King are generally short stories. Night Shift was his first collection and one of the first books I ever read by him. Every story doesn't hit but the ones that do hit hard. And only Stephen King can write a sto...more
Nandakishore Varma
Usually short-story collections, especially by the same author, always tend to garner a three from me: because they are almost always a mix of the good, the bad and the indifferent, and follows the bell-shaped curve of the normal distribution. But not this one. These collection of early stories from King is filled with the excellent, the very good, the good... and a few mildly good. The distribution skewed heavily in the direction of the terrific.

It's been a long time, but many of the stories li...more
Fabian
Jun 04, 2008 Fabian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: REAL hardcore S. King fans
These are short stories, not novellas, and serve as delicious intros to popular King mythologies (for a staggering example see [or better yet, don't {with the exception of "Trucks" a.k.a. "Maximum Overdrive" for B-entertainment and "Children of the Corn" with its quaint moments of childlike chills}] all the movies made from like eight of these tales.) Here, King is at his most bizarre, most morbid. Most of his part-time heros and (just a few) heroines, end up dead or suffering the loss of a chil...more
Mary JL
Jun 20, 2010 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any fan of sf, mystery, horror or Stephen KIng
Recommended to Mary JL by: I am a fan of this author
Shelves: mystery-horror
If by any remote chance, someone has not read any Stephen King books--I know, really unlikely---this collection is a good place to start.

His novels, especially the later ones, tend to be quite long. These excellent short stories are a good sampling of King's types of writing, and much shorter, more lightly written than some of his novels.

The short story of "Children of the Corn" is much better than the movie; "The Mangler" was also quite gripping. All the stories are at least 3 stars in my ratin...more
Earline
So far I've loved every short story collection of King's I've read (Different Seasons, Everything's Eventual) and this collection is amazing once again.

My favorite stories would have to be:
"I Am the Doorway"
"Quitters, Inc."
"Children of the Corn" (this one especially scared the bejesus out of me.)
"One For the Road" (sequel to 'Salem's Lot)

I remembered "Battleground" from the Nightmares & Dreamscapes series, and for all of you that love The Stand, be sure to check out "Night Surf," it's like...more
Barks & Bites
This is an audio collection of several of Stephen King's short stores with John Glover doing the narration.

Tales from Gray Matter include:
The Boogeyman Reminds me very much of a "Tales From the Crypt" episode about childhood fears and monsters in the closet.
I Know What You Need Boy meets girl, gives her everything she desires, when she discovers his dark, not-very-well-hidden secrets, she freaks. Stupid girl, you know you'll never find a guy like that again!
Strawberry Spring A killer stalks a...more
Jean-marcel
For me, this is without a doubt Stephen King at his best. I said in my The Dark Half review that I think Stephen King does best when working in the short story form, and I firmly stand by this assertion. Here, he must focus. Irrelevant detail, as pleasant as it can be to read in King's hands, is justly considered extraneous and he must concentrate in delivering heavy, solid punches to the gut. Since most of this stuff is classifiable as horror, too, I must iterate a point I've always made about...more
Lena
I read this book when I was like nine, so the details of the individual stories are a little fuzzy. Thirty years later, however, I am still creeped out by vague, haunting memories of one tale involving a machine, some belladonna, and a very unfortunate factory worker.

My brief childhood foray into the oeuvre of Mr. King also left me with an irrational fear of garbage disposals, but I think that was because of Firestarter.
Steve
King has put out two great short story collection. Skeleton Crew, and this one. Like all collections, this has a few weak ones, but overall, one of the best horror short story collections out there. You're catching King at time when he was hungry, so the stories are meaner and leaner than what you might find in current King efforts.
Brian Wilhelmi
Some of the absolute best writing I have ever read.

I think of another story in connection to this one. On my drive to work I listen to books on CD but have a hard time paying a lot of attention because traffic is bad in Cincinnati. I heard something in “Duma Key” that makes me think of this collection of stories. The main character narrates that the most effective motivation for writing is a hungry belly. From what I have heard, a lot of that story (Duma Key) seems autobiographical. “Night Sh...more
Dary Merckens
Stephen King is an absolute master of the short story form.
Ema
I liked about half of these stories. The others were interesting enough, but not mind-blowing. I noticed I was not touched by those in which devilish objects were involved (The Mangler, Trucks, The Lawnmower Man).

My favorites, more or less in order:

Jerusalem’s Lot - seems to be a prequel to Salem's Lot, which I plan to read soon. This one was really creepy and deserves 5 stars.
Children of the Corn - what can happen if you go off the main road and stumble upon a deserted village. The wise thing...more
Checkman
Apr 04, 2011 Checkman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror fans.
Recommended to Checkman by: My aunt
This was my introduction to Stephen King and to this day is one of my favorite SK books. A couple years ago I re-read this book after approximately twenty-five years. I like to do that now and again. I'm always curious to see how a cherished book has aged. Well I'm happy to say Night Shift has aged very well.

There is no need to rehash the different stories. Many of them are some of his most famous works and have been turned into movies or television productions. Quitters Inc. , The Mangler...more
Erin ♥ (Paperback Stash)

Sure, not every story is perfect, but as a collective whole this collection kicks it.

Almost all the stories are unique, and of course many of them have made their way to the screen. He apparently was still highly in his Salem's Lot world as he put in not one, but two, stories about the town here. One was called Jerusalem's Lot, which is a big treat for Salem's Lot fans especially. Creepy and decent, told through letters, it's a bit slow and the writing style used is old-fashioned to try and dup...more
Sumit Singla
Argh, it is 12 a.m. And I just finished (re)reading this collection of some terrifying tales by the King of horror. No rest for the wicked, you might say. But sadly, sleep is the furthest thing from my mind as my fingers rattle over the keys, typing out this review.

There have been quite a few movies made on the stories in this book. I didn't think Children of the Corn was the greatest story to read, though it certainly made for a creepy movie. However, I think one of my favourites here has to be...more
A.R.
His amazing first short-story collection, including "Jerusalem's Lot," the best short story I have ever read (well, tied with Elizabeth Massie's "Stephen"), which later became the novel, "'Salem's Lot." Do not miss this one!
Dolly
Jul 04, 2008 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans
More creepy stories! Stephen King is a master storyteller and this is an eerie collection of some of his best. I have read most of his books and these are some of the more memorable of his short stories.
Anthony
There are certain horror authors whose work you expect to feel like it is from a different time ... because it is. Whether it's Stoker, Poe and Hawthorne (1800s), or even Lovecraft (early 1900s), you expect the stories to feel less current. That's usually part of the charm. The stories are still scary, but they feel almost quaint or antiquated.

What surprised me about rereading Stephen King's first short story collection was how that feeling of a different time crops up. Again, the stories are st...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's The Name o...: Stephen King ( short story) maybe about vampires [s] 4 53 Jul 17, 2014 07:31PM  
Short stories you'd like to see expanded? 5 33 Feb 12, 2014 02:53AM  
Stephen King Fans: The Lawnmower Man-NS 52 259 Jan 24, 2014 08:42PM  
The Stories Within (Discussion) 27 75 Nov 27, 2013 11:54AM  
What's The Name o...: Medical or Sci-Fi Paperback with a hand growing eyes on it [s] 7 81 Nov 14, 2013 06:53AM  
Stephen King Fans: Quitters, Inc.-NS 70 279 Nov 08, 2013 02:51PM  
Goodreads Librari...: another page # request. 2 45 Aug 02, 2013 08:37PM  
  • Books of Blood: Volume Two (Books of Blood, #2)
  • Night Visions 5
  • Ghost Story
  • Dark Forces: New Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Horror
  • Midnight Graffiti
  • Nightmare At 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories By Richard Matheson
  • Blue World
  • October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween
  • Creepshow
  • The Stephen King Companion
  • Strange Highways
  • 20th Century Ghosts
  • The Collection
3389
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
More about Stephen King...
The Shining (The Shining #1) The Stand It Misery Carrie

Share This Book

“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn't real. I know that, and I also know that if I'm careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.” 1591 likes
“You want to remember that while you're judging the book, the book is also judging you.” 220 likes
More quotes…