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Four Past Midnight (Four Past Midnight #1-4)

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  69,418 ratings  ·  798 reviews
The scary story has never been the same since. An extraordinary quartet of full-length novellas: The Langoliers, Secret Window, Secret Garden, The Library Policeman, and The Sun Dog.
ebook, 768 pages
Published September 3rd 1991 by Signet Book (first published January 1st 1990)
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Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Paul Nelson
The Sun Dog is of course one of the novellas contained in Four Past Midnight and I read just this one as a bit of a prelude to my next King read, Needful Things. And this I have to say was awesome, it is the physically the size of a great deal of horror fiction these days but in the realms of the man himself, it's a tiddler at a shade over 200 pages. And the second in the Castle Rock trilogy.

The Sun Dog is a story about cameras and photographs, chilling in its entirety of impending doom, that's
...more
Kit★
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
...more
Helen
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
...more
Sadegh Davoudi
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
...more
Hassinger


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
...more
Jason P

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...

Done?

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
...more
seak
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
...more
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.

***

Ebook:

SECRET WINDOW, SECRET GARDEN – 4**** Loved it.
Although I worked out what was happening early in the story it in no way detracted from my e
...more
Lindsey
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
...more
I.haveanidea
Jan 02, 2009 I.haveanidea rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Lisa
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
...more
Ole Imsen
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
...more
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
Chris
This was a very interesting and creepy idea. A boy gets a new Polaroid camera for his birthday and every picture he takes has a spot on it. Like any normal person he wanted to know how to have it fixed. As he started to examine the pictures the spot began to take the shape of a dog and with each new picture the dog was coming closer and closer to front and center in the picture.

I was intrigued by this idea and was not disappointed. There was this creepy feeling of the picture watching you that
...more
Chris
It took me awhile to get through this re-read, simply because I'd been squeezing the individual stories in between other books.

But this was a fantastic journey once again. Four quite different stories, each had a definite touch of creepiness.

"The Langoliers", "Secret Window, Secret Garden", "The Library Policeman", and "The Sun Dog" make up this collection. While each had different types of characters and settings, they all had one thing in common: the thin fabric between reality and unreality.
...more
Shawn
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
Andrew Pritchard
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.
Fatma
This is the first short stories collection I ever read for Stephen King. It was so good that I continued reading his books until he became one of my favorite authors. All of the stories were great but The Langoliers is my favorite.
David
Four stories is not enough - I liked Langoliers in story form; the movie production failed to replicate some scenes effectively to scare the mind of the audience. The Sun Dog is also very interesting to read.
Joe
This is a collection of four novellas by Stephen King and man was this a chore to get through. It just plain wore me out. I could see how these four may have worked as short stories but there just wasn't enough there to go on for several hundred pages. His most H.P. Lovecraft inspired work, and that would normally go a long way with me but these stories left me wanting more.

The Langoliers: This one is equal parts H.P. Lovecraft and The Twilight Zone. Folks wake up on an airplane and realize that
...more
Siobhan
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
...more
Tom Nittoli
The Langoliers - A really fun read with lots of imagination, imploring many subjects on famous science fiction matters like time rips, different dimension and so on. It reads like a Twilight Zone script complete with chapter cliff hangers where the commercial break would fit nicely. I've always enjoyed this story and found upon revisiting it so many years later it was equal parts rewarding and entertaining.

Secret Window, Secret Garden - A tale that works almost like an alternate version of The
...more
Arun Divakar
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
...more
Michelle Plass
I just LOVED this book!!

The Langoliers was my favorite of the four stories. A fascinating story about a group of people who are on a plane and then find themselves in a world that is different from our own. I read this on a plane ride and found it especially spooky. This was a story that I loved and couldn't put down, yet I never wanted it to end! My favorite King story of all time. Yes it was THAT good!

Secret Window, Secret Garden was the second story in this set and after reading The Langolier
...more
Gosia
Wyobraźcie sobie świat, w którym nie ma prądu, nie działają radia, telefony ani latarki na baterie. Świat, w którym wszystkie napoje gazowane są zwietrzałe, jedzenie nie ma smaku, powietrze jest bez zapachu, a chmury tkwią nieruchomo na niebie. Nie słychać echa czy stukotu szpilek na betonie. Mało tego, skrzypce nie wydają pełnego dźwięku, zapałka nie chce się zapalić, nawet broń porządnie nie wypali. A przede wszystkim nie ma w tym świecie 'żywej duszy', nieżywej zresztą też. Wyobrażacie sobie? ...more
Lammoth
Както добре знаете, Стивън Кинг е археолог. Той изследва най-мрачните и тъмни области на човешкото съзнание, където много често, под пластовете от време и преживявания, могат да се открият истински архитектурни страшилища.

Библиотечна полиция
Сам Пийбълс работи в малко градче като застрахователен агент и често се забавлява в местния ротариански клуб. Идва ден в който Сам трябва да изнесе реч. За да се подготви за речта, той отива в местната библиотека и заема книга. Библиотекарката го предупреждав
...more
Rosie
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
...more
Megan
Jul 02, 2012 Megan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: king fans, beach vacay book readers
Well, what can I say? Reading a book of Stephen King short stories is like hanging out at a pool party BBQ for a couple hours with your crazy uncle. Its fun, but you wouldn't want to do it all the time.
So, the Langoliers: creepy premise, loved the initial LOST-ish airplane scenes, the destructive Nothing marble-things not so much. I'd prefer an angry, talking black wolf, Atreyu and thunderclouds any day!
Secret Window, Secret Garden: I had already seen the movie version of this so unfortunately
...more
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Four Past Midnight (4 books)
  • One Past Midnight: The Langoliers
  • Two Past Midnight: Secret Window, Secret Garden
  • Three Past Midnight: The Library Policeman
The Shining (The Shining, #1) The Stand It Misery Carrie

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“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.)” 49 likes
“A woman who would steal your love when your love was really all you had to give was not much of a woman.” 45 likes
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