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Skeleton Crew

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  83,989 Ratings  ·  1,121 Reviews
In the introduction to Skeleton Crew (1985), his second collection of stories, King pokes fun at his penchant for "literary elephantiasis," makes scatological jokes about his muse, confesses how much money he makes (gross and net), and tells a story about getting arrested one time when he was "suffused with the sort of towering, righteous rage that only drunk undergraduate ...more
Paperback, 612 pages
Published May 13th 1993 by Warner Books (first published June 21st 1985)
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Srikumar Krishna Iyer It is gross.
Thank god, it was just a short story, can't imagine it as a long read in the form of a Novel or even a novella for that matter.

Community Reviews

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Aug 01, 2008 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stephen-king
There are two short stories that I read over and over. The Mist has always been a favorite, and I can't believe how many people haven't read Survivor Type! It's awesome!

I've lost three copies of this from lending it out. Don't ask--you can't borrow it! ;o)
Edward Lorn
There will be some of you that think three stars is kinda harsh for this collection. After all, it includes such amazing tales as The Mist and The Jaunt. It must be amazeballs, right? Not so much. Even the epically awesome stories in this collection need to be trimmed down. Most of them start slower than a Lars Von Trier movie, and over half of them never really pay off. There are some serious WTF stories within this collection; stories I didn't understand ten years ago and still do not understa ...more
Skeleton Crew. What a great name for this book of short stories. Many pack a scare. Some not so much. I thought I’d just highlight a few of my favorites:

The Mist - It’s by far the longest “short story” in the collection. Really, it could be called a novella. I’m glad it was included here instead of a novella collection (something that SK has become famous for doing). The Mist starts things off with a bang, or should I say a storm. After the storm comes the mist, and within that mist is the stuff
I finished Skeleton Crew with tears in my eyes. I thought I'd read "The Reach" — the story that closes out this collection — before, but I guess I hadn't. It was an entirely new experience for me, and it packed quite the emotional wallop. As I write this review I'm still trying to mentally recover from that one, so pardon me if my thoughts are a little scattered. My Fornit died, and I'm stuck doing the job myself.

By the time this collection was published in 1985, Stephen King was a bona-fide lit
Brendon Schrodinger
Stephen King seems to be a bit hit and miss with me. Sometimes there can be a Joyland and sometimes there can be a Under the Dome. But they have never been bad or unreadable, just seemingly poor, rushed and formulaic. I am noticing that I like his more modern tales greater than his 80s and 90s huge output.

So here is a short story collection from that time. The time where it seems like he was writing a book every couple of months. And it was just how I find myself feeling about all of his works.
Joe Valdez
Revisiting Skeleton Crew, Stephen King's collection of twenty-two short stories published in 1985, for the first time since I was in 7th grade -- a time when I was trying to dress like Don Johnson and get Madonna's "Into the Groove" out of my head -- was a wonderful experience. The horror stories I loved as a 12-year-old were each better than I remember. A couple I didn't have the patience for back then became new discoveries. A lot of the stories I never cottoned to are still terrible.

Five sta
Sep 04, 2016 Cody rated it really liked it
I finished Skeleton Crew with tears in my eyes. I thought I'd read "The Reach" — the story that closes out this collection — before, but I guess I hadn't. It was an entirely new experience for me, and it packed quite the emotional wallop. As I write this review I'm still trying to mentally recover from that one, so pardon me if my thoughts are a little scattered. My Fornit died, and I'm stuck doing the job myself.

By the time this collection was published in 1985, Stephen King was a bona-fide lit
Nandakishore Varma
It has been a while since I read this collection, but some stories (not the ones usually cited by reviewers) really frightened me.

1. Here There Be Tygers - We all know that the tiger lurking just beyond the bend in the L-shaped bathroom is only a childhood fantasy. But it's better not to take chances, anyway...

2. The Monkey - Scary toys. Your parents pooh-pooh your fears, but you know that they are out to get you...

3. The Raft - Safety is only metres away, but unreachable all the same.

4. The Jau
Jul 17, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
A collection of short stories. I actually think some of King's best work is done in the short form.
Adam Light
I first read this collection about a thousand years ago while I was a sophomore or junior in high school. That was the mid-late eighties, and my Stephen King fascination was in full bloom. Now, nearly thirty years later, I am rereading all of King's books mostly in chronological order, attempting to recapture the ecstasy I felt upon reading them initially.
To my delight, Skeleton Crew has withstood the effects of the passage of time, held up impressively, in fact.
This collection of stories, most
May 23, 2016 Kenchiin rated it really liked it
After finishing this I must confess that: it was quite cathartic.
One of those of books you need to put down for a second when you finish a chapter just to think about what you've just read.
Ruth Turner
Mar 04, 2015 Ruth Turner rated it liked it

Most of this very long review consists of connections to King's other books, so you might want to skip those. I do them for my own benefit.

Audiobook – Narrated by frank Muller – Excellent narration.

I’ll have to qualify that ‘excellent’ because for some unknown reason The Mist sounds like it’s part of a different recording. The voice is faint and there’s a continuous annoying crackle that makes it sound like it was recorded fifty years ago. And from what I *can* hear it doesn’t sound like Muller.
Stefan Yates
Mar 15, 2012 Stefan Yates rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Skeleton Crew is still my overall favorite of Stephen King's short story collections. Several of the stories have been used in film and television (in forms that I actually enjoyed!) and I think that overall he does a good job of maintaining an aura of suspense throughout the collection instead of from story to story. The collection actually starts off with a novella, The Mist, that I used an excerpt from during high school for a competitive forensics dramatic reading that I scored very well wit ...more
The Mist; The Jaunt; The Raft; and going for the gross out ... Survivor Type (love it!)
Sep 14, 2007 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the short story, whether you're new to Stephen King's works or not
"A short story is a different thing all together - a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger." -- from the Introduction to Skeleton Crew

It had been a while since I revisited King's short story collections, and for the most part, I wasn't disappointed.

"The Mist" is more a novella than a short story, at about 125 pages. Since I grew up living at a cottage on Lake Michigan in the summers, I could relate to the small-town feel and the blind fury of the storm. Some people think this s
Jan 17, 2015 Brian rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-wife
I like that the format of short fiction forces a writer to use an economy that a novel doesn't require; in the few books by King I've read there are times when I feel bogged down in a narrative section bloated by scenes of little consequence. King's short stories suffer not from this issue.

"The Mist" is the strongest of the bunch - as advertised - novella in length and sporting an ending I really loved. "The Jaunt" made me think about a potential horror of teleportation I'd never previously cons
The stories in this book are either hit or miss, but most of them are pretty cool. It’s definitely a better anthology than Night Shift. The stories I enjoyed the most are…

The Mist
Cain Rose Up
The Jaunt
The Reaper’s Image

..However, I would have to say that the best stories in here are The Mist, The Reaper’s Image and Gramma. Stephen King is a master craftsman of the short story. Other anthologies of his I plan to read are:Just After Sunset,Four Past Midnight, Everything's Eventual: 14 Dar
Graeme Rodaughan
Oct 11, 2016 Graeme Rodaughan rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthologies, horror
Another solid Stephen King outing.

Just writing about "The Mist."

I find it interesting how Stephen King draws the townsfolk and their various reactions to what is happening.

It's almost like watching the progression of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression & acceptance with everyone on their own journey, but also being influenced for better or worse by those around them.

In the end, sometimes the horror is more other people, than anything that can be conjured up by the Mist.
I'm not generally a fan of short stories, but I am a big fan of Stephen King. I've read two collections by him prior to this one: Hearts in Atlantis and Different Seasons. I thought both of them were stronger collections. The main difference is those contain fewer, but longer stories I think.

This one has been on my radar for a long time, in particular because of The Mist, which is the first (and longest) story. It's actually a Novella, where the rest are short stories. It's supposed to h
May 26, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardback, 2001
Some of his best short stories appear in this collection! As well as one of his best novellas.

"The Mist" was one of those stories that stays with you -- probably as much because nothing is really explained and the ending is so open (which they screwed up in the movie -- Frank Darabont's first major SK screwup). Oh, well. I still like the novella.

"Gramma" is probably his creepiest story ever, IMHO. "Here There Be Tygers" is my absolute all-time SK fav short story. "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" is an awe
Thomas Strömquist
Stephen King re-read #21. King's third story collection contains a few absolutely brilliant pieces (foremost The Mist and my favorite story ever, Mrs Todd's shortcut) but this time they are interspersed with some lesser ones. In contrast to his earlier collections (Night Shift & Different Seasons) this one very much should be enjoyed by careful selection. As it is, the overall impression is bogged down by the (less interesting, shall we say?) stories.

My order:

Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut - Absolutel
Jul 20, 2013 Marvin rated it it was amazing
King's second short fiction collection. These are fully formed, mature fiction unlike the excellent but uneven stories that appeared in his first collection, Night Shift. Some of my favorite King tales are here including "The Raft", "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut", "The Monkey", and "The Reach". But the hightlight is the novella (novelette?), "The Mist", one of King's most creepy and successful voyages into science-fiction horror.

A comment about the story "Survivor Type". I find the story behind this tal
Apr 17, 2012 Daniella rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans.
The following is a true story.

I work in a call center, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Glamorous, right? Don't answer that. Anyway, toward the end of the night, when the calls slow down, there can be stretches of up to five or ten minutes, sometimes longer, where there's nothing to do but stare blankly at the computer screen. And since we're not allowed to use said computers to amuse ourselves in any way--even a simple game of solitaire is strictly verboten--it gets so fucking boring I've seriously considered
Aurora Dimitre
I've figured out what it is that makes Stephen King my favorite author.

It's kind of weird to try and explain, but it's the way that the writing style makes you feel like you're being told this story, one-on-one. It's the sort of intimacy of reading a Stephen King book - you feel like you and you alone is being told this story, that it's special, that it's personal, and also along the way you start to get really paranoid about those lights off in the distance because what are they really???

And t
I never finished reading this collection (I lost my copy during a move a couple of years back and only found it again recently). I do recall that it contains one of my all-time favorite King short stories, The Jaunt. Part speculative fiction, part interstellar adventure, it blew my mind and scared the hell out of me. I dreamed about it for a good week after I read it. If that isn't good horror writing, what is?
(9/29/2012: finished. Actual review
Jan 31, 2015 Kelsey rated it really liked it
Sometimes I need a break from one longgggg novel and go for some short stories. As a whole, I enjoyed the book, although The Mist and The Monkey were two that stood out for me. I've always found those monkey toys creepy, but now I have a valid reason for this. Curse and bless you, Mr. King!
3.6 stars

WARNING: A Long review follows, (due to ratings and reviews given to each story).

Despite the title of this anthology, Skeleton Crew has a range of story “type” that is wide—from “evil,” (the “Milkman” tales) to “loving,” (“For Owen”). Additionally, both with his introduction and epigraph, King relays an invitation to the stories that suggests tenderness.

Note 1: Stories are presented in the order read—per chronological writing and publishing dates. Given mean and median dates with consid
Oct 12, 2016 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-2016
A mixed bag of stories, some amazingly creeptastic and others made me visibly shiver while others were downright strange. Typical of any anthology, but for fans of Stephen King it offers a wonderful collection of shorts all in one place.

“A short story is a different thing altogether – a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.”

Skeleton Crew is narrated by Stephen King, Matthew Broderick, Michael C. Hall, Paul Giamatti, Will Patton, Norbert Leo Butz, Lois Smith, Dylan Baker,
As I've said in other S.K. reviews, I adore his short story and/or novella collections. This is an older one so I have read it more than the others, and many of the stories are etched in my consciousness. "The Mist" was so disturbing every time I read it, and I dreaded seeing what a mess they would make of it with the film, but it turned out to be quite good (very true to the story). S.K.'s very good at cultivating apocalyptic malaise, and the image of the hero's house (with his soon-to-be decea ...more
Emma Hontzeas
Jun 17, 2016 Emma Hontzeas rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I just cannot finish this book of short stories no matter how hard i try.
I dreaded picking up it again once i put it down.
Stephen King has a knack for horrors , sci-fi and thrillers, but personally, NOT short stories.
There just wasn't enough details in each to get the full King effect and that's what you want most from a King novel- the only short story i actually enjoyed was The Mist, but it also was the longest story of them all.

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Stephen King Fans: Survivor Type-SC 76 538 Nov 03, 2016 06:28AM  
Around the Year i...: Skeleton Crew, by Stephen King 4 14 Aug 12, 2016 09:38AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Skeleton Crew 1986 Signet Edition cover incorrect 2 17 Feb 08, 2016 02:10PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Skeleton Crew by Stephen King 9 27 Mar 22, 2015 04:20AM  
Stephen King Fans: The Jaunt-SC 23 368 Feb 09, 2015 08:26PM  
Stephen King Fans: The Mist -SC 58 363 Oct 23, 2014 01:36PM  
Stephen King Fans: The Monkey-SC 16 253 Sep 08, 2014 06:27AM  
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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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“A short story is a different thing altogether – a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.” 2219 likes
“There are things of such darkness and horror—just, I suppose, as there are things of such great beauty—that they will not fit through the puny human doors of perception.” 32 likes
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