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Skeleton Crew

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  65,279 ratings  ·  765 reviews
In this brilliant collection of stories, Stephen King takes readers down paths that only he could imagine...
A supermarket becomes the place where humanity makes its last stand against unholy destruction. A trip to the attic turns into a journey to hell. A woman driver finds a scary shortcut to paradise. An idyllic lake harbors a bottomless evil. And a desert island is the...more
ebook, 576 pages
Published June 3rd 1986 by Signet Book (first published October 1st 1979)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Karen
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)
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...more
Charles
A collection of short stories. I actually think some of King's best work is done in the short form.
Stefan Yates
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
Tracey
Sep 14, 2007 Tracey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Mary
Oct 30, 2007 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: horror, short-story
Another wonderful collection from King.

I'm a huge fan of his, but this collection of short stories is probably my favorite. The Mist alone is worth the price of the book; I have never been so creeped out and upset by a story in my life as I was when I finished that story. It's more of a novella, really, but it's so good that it doesn't feel long at all.

There are also a few stories that illustrate King's ability to write a story that isn't horror. Oddly enough, I almost enjoy those stories more...more
Susan
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...more
Marvin
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...more
Meen
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
 ~Geektastic~
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...more
Bob Fingerman
Does King really need a review from the likes of me? No, but I'll throw in my two cents. The centerpiece of this collection is "The Mist", which I revisited after seeing Frank Darabont's excellent film adaptation. The story, which I hadn't read since I was in junior high (or was it my first year in H.S.?) holds up very well. It's solid King at his best. Durable, built to last. The rest of the collection is mostly hit (with a few forgivable misses written in his late teens).
Daniella
Apr 17, 2012 Daniella rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Kimmah
Jun 28, 2007 Kimmah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror fans
Stephen King truly shines as a short story teller. He can weave entire worlds in just a few pages. I first read these stories when I was very young. I started reading the stories in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep (as usual). It happened to be storming that night when I first started reading, "The Mist." Needless to say for those of you that have read the story, it made quite an impression on me. I was scared breathless when the power went out in my house at the same time as a very...more
Victor
The Mist-5 stars

Here There be Tygers-4 stars

The Monkey-5 stars

Cain Rose Up-3 stars

Mrs. Todd's Shortcut-3 stars

The Jaunt-3 stars

The Wedding Gig-2 stars

Paranoid:A Chant-3 stars

The Raft-4 stars

Word Processor of the Gods-5 stars

The Man who Would not Shake Hands-4 stars

Beachworld-4 stars

The Reaper's Image-2 stars

Nona-5 stars

For Owen-4 stars

Survivor Type- 5 stars

Uncle Otto's Truck-5 stars

Morning Deliveries-3 stars

Big Wheels-3 stars

Gramma-5 stars

The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet-1 star DNF

The Reach-4 s...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I read The Mist and a couple of other stories out of here. The Mist was a great story. It was very, very scary. Well since I have a bit of a bug phobia, that totally makes sense. Also the idea that there are scary things lurking in the mist to get you. (Shuddering). I think there was one where a guy was marooned on an island and he got so hungry he started cutting pieces of his own flesh and eating it. Yuck. Pray God I never, ever get that hungry. I want to get back into this book one day.
Cassa
Forgive my faint dishonesty; I read the hardcover of this book, but this is the cover art it had.

"The Mist" was a little longer than it needed to be, but it was a good story nonetheless. I liked that it was humorous as well; even though it was frightening, I could laugh at the fact that there was an old lady with a can of Raid killing the mutant prehistoric bugs.

"Here There be Tygers" surprised me; turns out I've read it years ago in a literature or creative writing textbook, I can't recall whic...more
Kathy Hiester
Skeleton Crew by Stephen King is an anthology of horror. I have always loved King and as I was unpacking boxes of books for my newly renovated bedroom which is now also a library, I couldn’t help but sit a read for a spell. Several stories in Skeleton Crew gave me shudders. I found "The Monkey," "The Reaper's Image," "Uncle Otto's Truck" and "Gramma" spine-chilling, while "Survivor Type" was absolutely shocking. "Word Processor of the Gods" was my favorite, as I love the idea of a word processor...more
Kathryn
King's story "The Raft" almost made me run screaming from the room. Yes, from reading it, it was that horrifying.

"The Jaunt" is one of those stories that occurs to me when I can't sleep at three in the morning. It's one of the few really good stories that I wish to God I'd never read.

I know I enjoyed this collection; I just can't remember much about it apart from those two stories.
Stephanie
A great collection of short stories. I've gone back to it time and time again to read certain stories again. Sometimes I swear I've read a story in here that doesn't exist, and I cannot find in any of the other compilations. Pretty weird.
Trudi
The Mist; The Jaunt; The Raft; and going for the gross out ... Survivor Type (love it!)
John
Great collection. "Survivor Type was the first story to actually send chills down my spine post-childhood.
Steve
Contains "The Mist." Overall, a great collection.
Jason P
The Skeleton Crew, a collection of stories made to scare you and make you gasp. Gasp I did, scare? Not so much. The stories were well told no doubt about that, but their contents didn't do it for me. Not all of the them anyway. Firstly, let me tell you that I listened to the audio book version of the book. Here's the thing, after searching high and low for the version I was listening to, I couldn't find it. It was the damnedest thing. If it doesn't exist, then how am I listening to it? Quite the...more
Abbie
My goodness. I found an old copy of this book at the bookshop and decided to read it because I can never seem to finish a full Stephen King novel without getting bored or confused. So there are 22 short stories in this book. Some of these left me wanting for more, some left me frustrated, some were mildly terrifying, and some satiated my appetite for horrorific paranormal events.

The Monkey was one of my favorites. It was about a cymbal-banging monkey toy that brought death to an unsuspecting fa...more
Sam Nyfeler
I learned a couple things from reading this book of short stories. For one, I don't care for short stories. I prefer the novel where characters can be developed and stories flushed out. I found the ideas of some of the stories like "The Jaunt" and "Word Processor of the Gods" to be very interesting, but that's basically all they were…ideas…short Twilight Zone episodes that would have been so much more interesting as part of a larger narrative. The second thing I took from this book is that I'm n...more
Robyn
This is probably my favorite book of short stories from the author.There is a whole plethora of different kinds of scares in this book, pretty much something for every flavor of horror fan. Some stories have stronger Science fiction elements (such as the Jaunt, my favorite story in this book) others are more mystical, (Mrs. Todd's Shortcut is surreal, enigmatic and ethereal) or contain that chilling Stephen King realism (like the stark narrative of Cain rose Up.), where sometimes people just go...more
Stephen
Not every one of these was knocked out of the park, but they were almost all good solid stories with that wonderful working-class insight that you wish he could bottle and sell to every wannabe writer out there.

Backhanded compliment time.

From what I understand, about half of these stories were written when King was broke, and half when he was a millionaire. Half were written in a sweaty trailer with nothing more than a manual typewriter and his spouse acting as editor. Half were written with t...more
Jessica Phillip
Nov 03, 2007 Jessica Phillip rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes short stories, particularly horror.
Shelves: horror
Summary: The Master at his scarifying best! From heart pounding terror to the eeriest of whimsy - tales from the outer limits of one of the greatest imaginations of our time!
Evil that breathes and walks and shrieks, brave new worlds and horror shows, human desperation bursting into deadly menace - such are the themes of these astounding works of fiction. In the tradition of Poe and Stevenson, of Lovecraft and The Twilight Zone, Stephen King has fused images of fear as old as time with the icono...more
Bruce Roderick
The three stories in this one that I remember and have gone back to time and time again are The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet, Cain Rose Up, and Survivor Type.

Survivor Type is a look at survival instincts. This is also a contrastingly bleak look at a human being no deeming qualities whatsoever; which ultimately makes this an intriguing story.

Cain Rose Up title speaks for itself and is very short. I won't say anymore as I don't want to spoil it.

The Ballad of the Flexible bullet is among my favor...more
Valentina
I believe Skeleton Crew must be my favorite so far Stephen King short stories collection! I like how there are so many different stories, but the chills get you every single time! Although the book starts with the probably most known and of course great story "The Mist" , I found surprisingly that my favorite stories were "The Raft" and "The Reaper's Image".

I also have to give it to "Survivor Type" for which I had no high expectations, and yet it kept me completely fascinated and satisfyingly g...more
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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 all together - a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.” 1755 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.” 31 likes
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