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Four Past Midnight

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  77,154 Ratings  ·  903 Reviews
NOW A BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE FROM COLUMBIA PICTURES STARRING JOHNNY DEPPBased on Secret Window, Secret Garden, a novella in Stepen King's Four Past Midnight.

Mort Rainey is a best selling author whose imagination thrills his readers to the core.But one of his stories holds a secret that comes to life. A secret that even he can't imagine...
Paperback, 768 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Signet (first published September 1990)
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Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror fans
Recommended to Edward by: Mom and Dick
The overall theme of this collection, whether Stephen King realizes it or not, is that lazy little sin we call sloth. If you're a no-account layabout, the Langoliers will come and eat you up. If you're too lazy to write your own material, John Shooter might come calling. Can't be bother to take back that library book? Here comes the Library Policeman to suck you dry. And if you wanna make a fortune not by working but by profiting off other people's misfortune, the Sun dog might make you a Scooby ...more
Jan 11, 2013 Hassinger rated it it was ok
Shelves: do-not-reread

Four Past Midnight is a collection containing the following "short" stories:

1. The Langoliers (233 pages)

2. Secret Window, Secret Garden (146 pages)

3. The Library Policeman (195 pages)

4. The Sun Dog (149 pages)

Generally speaking, Stephen King begins with amazing concepts that are soon dragged down by poor execution. To make it more fun, look for the following the next time you read a King novel and see how many you can find:

- FLAT, IMPARTIAL TONE. Whether he is describing the main character's mo
This is yet another re-read for me, and oh, I'd say it's been at least 8 or 9 years since I've read it, but I remember liking it a lot back then, my friend had a copy and I didn't, I had dark thoughts of booknapping and possible ransom. Happily, I have my own copy nowadays to read whenever I please. I don't know why it's taken me so long to re-read this book, but I'm glad it's been patiently waiting for me.
So far:
"The Langoliers" was excellent. SK does the "small-group of survivors coping with a
Jul 28, 2012 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Langoliers: Twilight Zone type scenario, only more horrific. Not for those with a fear of flying, or you don't have aerophobia, you may well develop it after reading this. That,and a perfectly logical fear of toothy existence-devouring beasties!

Secret Window, Secret Garden: Having already seen and enjoyed the film adaptation, I wasn't sure what to expect from the original novel. I found the story to be more intense and claustrophobic, one of those rare tales that stays with you and gets unde
Sadegh Davoudi
Jul 10, 2007 Sadegh Davoudi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is consisted of 4 short stories (app. 200 pages each) and as all of King's works, the super-natural has a very important role in them.
1) The first one is called "The Langoliers" and is about a group of people who wake up in an deserted plane. Your in an unknown world where you don't know the rules. Fascinating. (I give it 4/5)
2) The second one is called "Secret Window, Secret Garden". I found this story somehow boring. It's about a writer which someone accuses him of stealing his stor
Thomas Strömquist
Stephen King (re-)read #28. For some reason I remembered this collection less than I thought I would. And it's certainly not because it's forgettable! I did read it in Swedish the first time around and I think that this is much better in original language. Four stories, three great ones.

The Langoliers was actually the greatest surprise for me, I had but a really dim remembrance of the movie that was based off this and had totally forgotten about what a great story it is. Brilliant cast of charac
Nov 02, 2015 F.R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read and loved 'Full Dark, No Star's' earlier this year, I was eagerly looking forward to another collection of four Stephen King novellas. Although this time I've been distinctly disappointed. I've detailed my thoughts on each individual story below, but suffice to say this really is a second string collection.

The Langoliers
First things first, Stephen King really can’t write an English accent. In Nick Hopewell, who is a kind of jaded, SAS-graduate James Bond, King tries to give us an En
Jason P
Mar 20, 2016 Jason P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I thoroughly enjoyed this compilation of Kings, it had the perfect cheesiness that is Sai King. I know some may not like his stuff and say that his work goes to you, not you to it, and somehow that makes his writing terrible? Sure, sure - you're just a scaredy cat who can't take the boogeyman. Admit it - go on, do it. I'll wait...


OK, good. Here's the low down:

The Langoliers...

How cheesy was this? People wake up on a a plane with the rest of the passengers gone, disappeared. All that's left
Apr 14, 2012 seak marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
This is a novel containing for completely different stories. Only Stephen King can have a collection of stories that average 200 pages a piece. Am I right?

I'm taking my time with it, so I'll be reviewing one at a time for an unspecified amount of time.

The Langoliers Years ago, I was flipping channels and saw a part of this movie. It happened to be the one part where they were explaining what was happening, but I'm proud to report that it did nothing to diminish the suspense of this story. At t
Adam Light
Five big, fat ones for this collection of four of King's best novellas. I loved it when he first released it, and it was even better these many years later. I had nearly forgotten the last two, so they were almost new reads for me. The Langoliers has always been one of my favorites.
Wayne Barrett
Actual rating; 3.5 stars
A collection of four short stories:
The Langoliers
Secret Window, Secret Garden
The Library Policeman
The Sun Dog
This collection doesn't quite stack up to the King quartet; Different Seasons, but it is still classic Stephen King.
Ruth Turner

Audiobook – Narrated by - Various.

I love the stories in this book but I have to say that some of the narrators didn’t do them justice and the background music drove me nuts!

Secret Window, Secret Garden – Narrated by James Woods.

The Sun Dog – Narrated by Tim Sample.

The Library Policeman – Narrated Ken Howard.

The Langoliers – Narrated by Willem Dafoe.



Although I worked out what was happening early in the story it in no way detracted from my e
Strawberry Fields
Feb 26, 2016 Strawberry Fields rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I decided this year I'm going to re-read some books I haven't read for years, even though my TBR is ever growing. I am glad this is one of the ones I chose.

It is as good as I remember. My favorite stories were The Library Police and Secret Window. Still not a huge fan of The Langoliers. I know that is in contrast with a lot of opinions!

Stephen King's short stories and novellas are just as captivating as the 1000+ page novels he has written so well. I would be afraid to live inside his head fo
I know this does not have the highest ratings for a Stephen King book but for me it was great. It was a mixture of classic King with a different King. He has written a set of short stories that combines a little horror with a little mystery with a little comedy with a little romance with a little shock/awe. It's a book that has a lot written into but it works rather than not.

It's four short stories combined together to take the readers on a ride in one big book!

The Langoliers This for me gets a
Andrew Pritchard
Apr 01, 2013 Andrew Pritchard rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was the book that turned me off Stephen King forever. Normally he is a great writer, if not a very original one, but the stories here are nothing more than rewritten Twilight Zone episodes and rather badly rewritten at that. Stephen King has said in an interview that he is the fast food of literature, well he certainly is the junk food of literature and Four Past Midnight is just a regurgitation of lame story plots.
Jan 02, 2009 I.haveanidea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
The Langoliers: One of my favourite novellas ever, the one just kept me reading and I couldn't put down. Every aspect such as the blind girl, the crazy man, the "coincidence" of the pilot being there, and in fact the entire concept up to the end (which is rare for King stories). And of course the langoliers themselves. Loved this one. 5/5

Secret Window, Secret Garden: Great concept/idea, love the entire plot, but in this case I think the movie might have exceeded the novella, but I'm sure if it w
Aug 03, 2015 Charles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This huge book, 732 pages, contains four horror novellas by King, The Langoliers, Secret Window Secret Garden, The Library Policeman, and The Sun Dog. The first two have been filmed, but not the last two. Overall, I liked these pretty well. The films of the first two stayed very close to the source material and since I'd seen the films I knew what was going to happen. It was still good to see how things worked out.

There are good twists and turns throughout the stories, and I liked the endings o
This anthology of "King-sized" novellas (because for anyone else, they'd be full sized novels) kept me enthralled for a couple of weeks.

The Langoliers - a flight to another dimension leaves a handful of passengers struggling to return to their own world.

Secret Window, Secret Garden - an author accused of plagiarism finds himself embroiled in a maddening fight for authenticity, and for his life.

The Library Police - make sure you return your books on time kiddies!
(On an aside, yesterday I was ca
Asghar Abbas
Nov 29, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fine collection of tall tales. Very entertaining.
Eve Nolon
I read all of these this summer but as novellas instead of the collection. I thought I had my favorites figured from what I knew of the stories (mostly due to the movies made from them) but I was wrong. My favorite, by far, was THE SUN DOG followed by THE LANGOLIERS and then THE LIBRARY POLICEMAN, and finally SECRET WINDOW, SECRET GARDEN, and although it's last, I enjoyed it a ton more that I thought I would based on my experience with the film. They're all solid "novellas" even though at least ...more
The Langoliers
Wow! What a story! This is one of those stories that sticks with you forever. There are unique ideas about time and space and the places in between in this tale that I'm sure I'll be meeting up with in my dreams from now on. Excellent.

Secret Window, Secret Garden
Secret Window is one of my favorite King movies. I normally hate to read a book after I've already seen the movies; it's just not the same. The novella delivers though. It's a very creepy, dark psychological horror that wil
Personally, at times, I think people forget that Stephen King is capable of writing great short stories. Moreover, in my opinion, there are some short stories which are better than some of his full length novels (in fact, I could name quite a few I wish had been full length novels rather than short stories).

Much like with his full length novels, I find his short stories to flicker between extremes. There are those that I really love and those I find myself working through for the sake of finding
May 13, 2014 Shawn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King is my literary hero. I started reading his books when I was ten years old and have gotten more wisdom about the human condition in his words than from any other person I know. I have every one of his novels and books of short stories and 1 work of non fiction. That being said, this book was a big disappoint to me. It almost seems that he was flailing for ideas here. I'm not going to be overly critical though because after all, I'm no writer and he IS the master, but this is my least ...more
Arun Divakar
Sep 03, 2011 Arun Divakar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many a time after reading Stephen King and closing the book I would wonder what just happened. This did not occur with every one of his works but I recollect this especially with tales he spun on larger canvases. There are four tales in this book and being one of his earlier works, they (most of them) stand out as really well crafted.

1.The Langoliers : It's one of the now-classic scenarios of a small group of survivors who fight tooth and nail to survive. The characterization is brilliant and K
Whenever I sit down to review a book I do it in the company of my cat, Eric, who usually plonks himself firmly on the keyboard in front of me or, more usually, evicts me from the chair entirely so that I’m left attempting to type while kneeling in front of the desk as he stretches out on the chair.

Stephen King has his Constant Reader, and for nearly twelve years now Eric has been my Constant Companion. I spend most of the time I’m not working at home, and rather a lot of that time reading. As w
Ole Imsen
Mar 31, 2011 Ole Imsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is a collection of four novellas. So first I'm going to give you my review of the individual novellas, and then at the end I'm going to give you my thoughts on the collection/book as a whole.

The Langoliers

As a lot of King's horror, this story has a lot of science fiction elements. Here one element straight out of science fiction is central to the plot.
The Langoliers is not a slow starter, it doesn't take many pages before you are drawn into the story. The shorter length, at 234 pages it
Beregond 3019
I borrowed this indiscriminately from a friend in anticipation of a long Greyhound bus ride (uncannily similar behavior to that of John Shooter, a character in the second novella of four within this volume). Seeing the name on the cover, I knew it would at least hold my interest, if not contain some real storytelling gold. I was mostly correct. The novellas in "Four Past Midnight" certainly keep the reader going and, with varying levels of depth, one finds that they remember these stories after ...more
Aug 28, 2008 Rosie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I took this with me when I went to Turkey. It was my misfortune that the Langoliers would be about a plane journey! I left it to read the book once I got there.

I think the Langoliers would be my favourite story out of them. I did enjoy Secret Window, Secret Garden but I'd seen the film before I read it and I think that maybe took the guessing and suspense out of it - but the extra twist was intriguing!

I didn't like The Library Policeman. I'm naturally squeamish about such things and to be hone
Sep 01, 2010 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Langoliers is easily one of my most favorite Stephen King novellas! I loved it! First, he performs his usual magic creating characters you get to really know and understand over the course of the story. Craig Toomey was so brilliantly written, I felt, that even as flawed (insane)as he was, you understood him and his motives. Nick, the professional hitman/James Bond type guy was really likeable and had so many layers to his character. Laurel, is a lady that I can really understand. Here she i ...more
Joey Hines
Apr 12, 2016 Joey Hines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
First King I ever read, because I liked the Secret Window movie and LOVED the Langoliers miniseries. Both are better in their original forms; Langoliers is almost exactly the TV script, but without the crappy production values and unnecessary pauses. The stand-out story here, though, is The Library Policeman, which turns out to be about a different, more real type of horror than King's typical fare.
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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 woman who would steal your love when your love was really all you had to give was not much of a woman.” 53 likes
“I still believe in the resilience of the human heart and the essential validity of love;I still believe that connections between people can be made and that the spirits which inhabit us sometimes touch. I still believe that the cost of these connections is horribly, outrageously high... and I still believe that the value received far outweighs the price which must be paid. (From introductory notes.)” 52 likes
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