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Night Shift (Night Shift #1-20)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  108,665 Ratings  ·  1,855 Reviews
More than twenty-five stories of horror and nightmarish fantasy transform everyday situations into experiences of compelling terror in the worlds of the living, the dying, and the nonliving.

"Jerusalem's Lot" Previously unpublished
"Graveyard Shift" October 1970 issue of Cavalier
"Night Surf" Spring 1969 issue of Ubris
"I Am the Doorway" March 1971 issue of Cavalier
"The Ma
Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Anchor (first published January 1st 1978)
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Jul 14, 2007 R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1974-2002
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.
Jun 04, 2008 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: REAL hardcore S. King fans
These are short stories (not novellas) which 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-level 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 heroes & (just a few) heroines, end up dead or suffering the los ...more
Will M.
Dec 05, 2014 Will M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Also posted at my blog:

I find it really difficult to review short stories, especially anthologies. Night Shift is a collection of King's short stories, and if I'm not mistaken, this is a collection of the first short stories he wrote in his early years of writing. The most shocking thing you have to know is that the writing is not outdated. That's the thing about King, I've read his first book Carrie and the writing of it still felt like he wrote it mon
Edward Lorn
First read this collection when I was... twenty, I think. Not sure. Does it matter? Probably not. Three things to mention before hitting you with my one sentence reviews: I forgot how much of King's early work tied into these stories, and how much I enjoyed his non-horror outings. Truth be told, I probably didn't like the more literary stories that I read once upon a when because I was a tried and true idiot in those days (I'm still an idiot, but my wife turned me into a functioning idiot, and I ...more
Many readers consider this book to be one of Stephen King's most popular short story collections, and I can't disagree with that opinion ... mostly because it's only the second anthology by King I have read so far. Many original horror stories are included in this collection, with most of them having been adapted into classic horror movies like "Children of the Corn", "Graveyard Shift" or "The Mangler". In its entirety, however, I consider "Night Shift" to be a rather weak collection of short st ...more
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
Oct 30, 2016 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: AC/DC lovers (just read the review:)), King Fans
In this book we are treated to much of Stephen King's earliest published writing, a full 10 stories (half of this book), were released in magazines, before his first novel, Carrie, was set loose on us.

I was pleasantly surprised by these early works, as it seems to me King is not one of those authors who needs to develop a lot of skill over time....I have heard/read that often writers do their best work when their bellies are not too full (I am aware that this is a misquote, by King himself...p
Mr. Stephen King, you started scaring me when I was just a teen, then you go and try to do it again when I’m older, and often none-the-wiser. The best part: you can still do it. Not all of the 20 stories in Night Shift (his first short story collection) are terribly frightening. Some are not meant to be, and some just made me snicker. A few of them are simply fantastic. I could practically reread those right this second. Following is my short take each:

Jersalem’s Lot - The best part: Fans get a
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
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 23, 2011 Nandakishore Varma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
Stefan Yates
Feb 01, 2012 Stefan Yates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
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
Jan 21, 2017 Johann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Let's talk, you and I. Let's talk about fear."

Night Shift was Stephen King's first short story collection, released way back in 1978 and it contains quite a lot of his more popular short stories that ended up becoming movies. The prime examples being Children of the Corn and Sometimes They Come Back.

King is often hailed as the master of the short story. Prior to this collection I had only read Nightmares & Dreamscapes and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and I did really enjoy them, but found it o
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!!!
Ruth Turner

Audiobook - Narrated by John Glover - Good narration.

John Glover did a really good job with these stories. Jerusalem's Lot, which I didn't really enjoy when I read it, came to life with Glover.

The only slight criticism I have is that the female characters voices in Night Surf were annoying and Timmy's voice in Grey Matter was a little too high-pitched and grating.

Also, I found the background music was too loud at times.



I don't generally like short stories, especially when it's Stephen
Jun 27, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
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
David Fleming
Jul 02, 2011 David Fleming rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
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
Adam Light
Mar 31, 2016 Adam Light rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Night Shift is perhaps the essential short horror story collection. While I was reading this for the third or fourth time, a friend commented that this is also a terrific example of King's writing before he bacame a household name. And I agree. These stories are gory, frightening, and raw. Jerusalem's Lot, one of my least favorite of the stories included here, actually floored me this time around. The same can be said for One for the Road - the other 'Salem's Lot related story. King's talents ar ...more
Franco  Santos
Jun 08, 2014 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Este libro es la mejor recopilación de relatos de King, a mi parecer. Cada uno muestra una clase y una profundidad soberbia.

Algunas historias me hicieron un nudo en el estomago, y otras me congelaron los huesos del terror. Tengo la sensación de que el autor le dio una atención más que especial a cada cuento.

Basta, S.A. y El Último Peldaño de la Escalera son mis favoritos. De los mejores trabajos de King.

Si buscan una buena novela que les haga sentir desde un miedo desesperante y asfixiante a
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

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
May 25, 2015 Carmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
L'analisi dell'orrore

La prima raccolta di racconti è la dimostrazione che King, etichettato con nonchalance come il famigerato e spaventoso "Re del brivido", in verità sia capace di sfruttare anche il contesto quotidiano per sviscerare con consapevole lucidità il male in tutte le sue sfumature.
Appresa la lezione da Shirley Jackson, Ira Levin e Richard Matheson, tutti e tre autori accomunati dal narrare contesti reali che celano anfratti nascosti ove la nostra psiche elargisce il peggio di sè,
Ben Loory
Jul 25, 2011 Ben Loory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 26, 2012 Mindi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read Night Shift I was a teenager. This was long before I knew anything about H.P. Lovecraft, or pretty much any of the horror writer who had such a strong influence on King. Some of the stories stuck with me. All this time later I still remembered the basement in Graveyard Shift, and the bloodthirsty Mangler from the story of the same name. However, I had forgotten about a number of these stories, or I didn't really understand them properly, so quite a bit of this collection al ...more
There are a few four-star stories in here, but overall they did not engage me as much as his other work has. My favorite was probably ”Children of the Corn.” I also very much enjoyed the foreword. King has always had a certain knack for those. As he often does he advocates the idea that story is more important for him than other aspects of writing. But when reading the stories I did not get the sense that story was central in almost any of them. Rather I got the sense of a writer with more than ...more
Brooklyn Tayla
I can't not give this 5 stars. Oh my gosh. This book is literally the stuff of nightmares. I was chilled to the bone throughout, and not once did they grow tiresome. Each story was horrifically captivating, so, all in all, the perfect book to kick off my month of spooky reads. *shivers*.
Kevin Cambronero
Jul 02, 2015 Kevin Cambronero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terror, stephen-king
¡Qué buen libro!

Muchos dicen que ésta es la mejor recopilación de relatos de Stephen King; yo no puedo opinar porque es la única que he leído, pero realmente es buenísima. King es un verdadero maestro.

El coco, El hombre de la cortadora de césped, Basta S.A, Sé lo que necesitas y Los chicos del maíz fueron mis favoritos, increíblemente buenos.

Los demás fueron sólo buenos; pero ninguno malo, exceptuando Marejada nocturna, que fue el único que realmente no me gustó. La cornisa provocó que me sudara
Sep 14, 2016 Reanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall an excellent collection here, loved more than I apparently did as a teenager. :)
Aug 22, 2016 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pese a encantarme éste autor, y ser de los pocos que leo de género de Terror (aparte de los clásicos), uno de sus puntos débiles son los relatos cortos. KING SE MUEVE MEJOR Y MÁS CÓMODAMENTE EN LAS MEDIAS Y LARGAS DISTANCIAS, ES UN HECHO PARA TODOS LOS ASIDUOS DEL ESCRITOR, que llevan un cierto bagaje con él. No obstante, y pese a ser ésta una antología de relatos cortos ( los más largos no exceden las 40 páginas), HE DE RECONOCER QUE QUIZÁ ES LA MEJOR QUE HE LEÍDO DE ÉL (ojo, no cuenta ni ‘La n ...more
Ken McKinley
Sep 06, 2014 Ken McKinley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, own-kindle
Night Shift is the first short story collection from Stephen King and it is quite simply the finest group of short stories that I've ever read. While not all of them are 5 star reads, as a whole the entire compilation is amazing. This is King at his utmost finest.

Here is my breakdown of each story -

Jerusalem's Lot - A short story that pre-dates the happenings in 'Salem's Lot. The story takes place in 1850 and is written in epistolary form where the main character, Charles Boone inherits an old
May 18, 2012 Jean-marcel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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  • The Regulators
  • Books of Blood: Volume Two (Books of Blood #2)
  • The Lurking Fear and Other Stories
  • Blue World
  • Midnight Graffiti
  • Peaceable Kingdom
  • Strange Highways
  • Nightmare At 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories
  • Night Visions 5
  • Harvest Home
  • Ghosts and Grisly Things
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...

Other Books in the Series

Night Shift (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Jerusalem's Lot
  • Graveyard Shift ( short story)
  • Night Surf
  • I Am the Doorway
  • The Mangler
  • The Boogeyman
  • Battleground (short story)
  • Sometimes They Come Back
  • Strawberry Spring
  • The Ledge

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“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.” 1918 likes
“You want to remember that while you're judging the book, the book is also judging you.” 317 likes
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