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Full Dark, No Stars

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  61,031 Ratings  ·  4,837 Reviews
A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.

The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.

Big Driver
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Adam Ciotta Most of these stories have an interesting level of verisimilitude due to the declining mental health of the protagonist. This brings up a lot of…moreMost of these stories have an interesting level of verisimilitude due to the declining mental health of the protagonist. This brings up a lot of questions.

For instance, discuss the implications of the epilogue of 1922. Were the rats ever real? Recall earlier scenes where they caused traumatic events that only Wilf witnessed. If the rats were just hallucinations what does the story suggest actually happened in those disturbing scenes?

Due to the nature of these stories, the reader is encouraged to mistrust the narrator. When you read through this book again look for instances where you don't fully believe what the protagonist is telling you. That will definitely spark a lot of rewarding questions and discussion topics.

I think this is a very good selection for a book club. I believe it is the most well structured book of short stories Stephen King has ever published and I hope you and your book club enjoy it!(less)

Community Reviews

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Dec 12, 2010 Kemper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery, horror
There’s a fair amount of criticism out there about Stephen King. A lot of it is valid, but there are certain times that he’s the perfect author to be reading. Like last night when a winter storm blew through. Freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and high winds made it look like an Artic wasteland outside. As I lay reading under my warm blankets, I paused for a moment and listened to the wind making the house creak and the sleet hitting the windows, and thought, “This is just about the perfect setti ...more
Dan Schwent
May 18, 2015 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
1922: A man coerces his son into helping him murder his wife. Can they keep their sanity in the aftermath?

1922 is a latter day retelling of A Telltale Heart, only with rats and a Bonnie and Clyde side-story. It's also damn good and a prime example of what Stephen King can do when he has a limited number of pages to work with instead of the entire paper output of a redwood forest.

Big Driver: After taking a shortcut down an unfamiliar road, a writer is raped and left in a culvert to die but her at
Jun 16, 2012 Lou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best of 2010
Hold up wait a minute King of fiction releases novellas, stop all reading! Bump up to the front of your to-read list! Essential reading right now! Beauty of Kindle is that i could start reading instantly on release date.
King sums these stories in his afterward he says
" I have tried my best in Full Dark, No Stars to record what people might do, and how they might behave, under certain dire circumstances. The people in these stories are not without hope, but they acknowledge that ev
Nov 12, 2010 brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
there are times when it seems stephen king is afflicted with 'murakami syndrome'... y'know what i mean: the guy has quite the incredible imagination but large swaths of his prose makes it so you can't entirely rule out the fact that he might be a bit retarded. you also wonder why king feels the need to end each story on the perfect note. it ain't always the best tack as concerns creepy-as-shit stories: all this horror/existenzy stuff begs for some mystery, some questions left unanswered... and t ...more
Jun 05, 2011 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I am going to review each story, as well, individually as they deserver.


1. 1922 - This story is actually a confession of a man who has just murdered his wife. He has even dragged his innocent 14 year old son into this as well, which is very heartbreaking. I feel this story makes you realize that our actions have consequences that we will somehow at some point feel. Is it karma? What goes around, comes around? Ghosts? Insanity? This man, after committing this heinous crime f
Oct 03, 2012 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, favorites
Thanks to Goodreads, I have been introduced to a lot of fine authors I
would not otherwise have heard of. Some have become new favorites.
But no matter how enjoyable these authors' works are, none of them can
compare to the security and enjoyment of going back to Stephen King.
I often complain of being a relatively slow reader. But this is never the case with King. He has the wonderful gift of emotionally involving you into a story, coming to know and understand his characters, and when this happens
Nov 06, 2010 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wayne Barrett


This was a great collection by King; 2 short stories and two stories that are actually novellas. My favorite of the bunch is 'A Good Marriage'. King does a great job establishing the feel of the relationship, given from the POV of the wife, and then leading us to her discovery that changes everything. This was such an eerie moment because of its possibility in real life. I'm sure it has actually happened in one way or another. What would go through your mind at that moment? And then what woul
Edward Lorn
Nov 10, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52-in-52-2015
It’s safe to say that, by today’s standards, Stephen King’s novellas are actually novels. Especially his horror novellas. When you have publishers considering 35,000 words “novel length”, it makes you wonder what the actual difference is between a novel and a novella and whether or not the distinction will make a lot of difference in the coming years. Buddy of mine, Gregor Xane, thinks novellas suit horror just fine, that they are the perfect length to bring on the scares and then GTFO of Dodge. ...more
Aug 25, 2016 Nayra.Hassan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
رجلا كنت ام امراة..كهلا كنت ام صبيا..ظالما كنت ام مظلوما..ثريا كنت ام فقير..شقيا كنت ام سعيد
في لحظة ما...في يوم.ما ستجد نفسك. .تخطط..تقرر..وتقتل!!!نعم تقتل ..هكذا و ببساطة ..قد تطول خطتك او تقصر..و لكنك تعلم انك ستفعلها ..طالما زارك شيطان القتل و وسوس لك ..مرة

اقنعني كينج بعبقرية لا تصدق..عبر أزمنة متعددة..أماكن متناقضة ..وعبر نماذج بشرية منتقاة ببراعة ..ان القتل هو الغريزة المخفية لدينا جميعا..
انت قد لا تجد أسبابا" كافية لقتل أحدهم..بعد
انا قد يكون لدي عشرات الأسباب ..ولكنها تلك اللحظة "الضلمة ا
Mar 28, 2011 Maciek rated it really liked it
After the doorstopper that was Under The Dome Stephen King came with this volume of four tales, all much more restrained in scope and quieter in terms of narrative than the story of Chester Mill. This does not mean that they lack emotion, intensity and darkness; oh no, the title is very apt. These four tales are some of King's darkest work to date.

King one of the few contemporary and succesful practicioners in the vastly ignored field of the short story, but he's probably the sole writer who enj
I flipping love Stephen King. He just has this way of getting to the nitty-gritty of things, their soul or heart or whatever you want to call it. Whatever it is that makes it it, that's what King puts on paper and then shares with the world. It both fascinates me and humbles me, because I can't see life in the way that King apparently does. It makes me feel small, actually, because the scope of the understanding that King seems to have is amazing to me. I think I'm a well-read, intelligent perso ...more
I see why this collection is titled, "Full Dark, No Stars."

This is a collection of four short stories or novellas, or five if you have the bonus story 'Under the Weather.' I don't want to give anything away for those who haven't read it, but I will say these stories are dark. They make you question what you would do in these situations, or at least they made me question what I would do. The bonus story, 'Under the Weather' was my least favorite. There was something about it, and I can't quite p
Mar 31, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
In the afterward of "Full Dark, No Stars," Stephen King says that the four stories collected here go into some dark corners. And he's not kidding. Easily one of his darkest collections ever, the stories are all still vintage King, looking at ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. There are no happy endings here, but instead some fascinating, page-turning stories that will linger with you long after you're done reading. (I know I'm sure still haunted by aspects of many of them. ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3 1/2 stars, about which, more later.

Steve King has abandoned the supernatural in favor of something even creepier: REALITY. Do you really know what evil lurks inside that person curled up next to you in bed? Or that gray-haired, seemingly benign librarian? Or the guy who's been your best buddy since childhood? Or YOU, for that matter?
King takes on these questions here in three novellas and one short-ish story.

In Big Driver, Tess is the author of the cozy and bland Willow Grove Knitting Societ
Franco  Santos
Jul 08, 2015 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Muy buen libro de relatos de King. Este fue el primer libro que leí de él, así que le tengo un cariño especial.

1922: El cuento que más me gustó de esta novela. Es muy fuerte y en él King explora las profundidades del corazón humano y de cuánto somos capaces por esconder un secreto y lo mucho que éste nos contamina y nos perturba dentro nuestro. Es el más pesado, eso tengo que admitirlo, sin embargo no por eso malo. Es excelente.

Camionero Grande: Es una muy buena historia, también. Un poco más
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Part of the title says "No Stars" but damn it, I'm giving Full Dark, No Stars - 5 stars! This book was amazing - every story and the afterword as well, is 5 star quality. This is without a doubt, my favorite book I've read by Stephen King (not that I've read all that many) but still it's quite an impressive collection. I absolutely loved this volume and highly recommend it. Would you make the same decision as the main character in each story? Read & ask yourself :-)

From the opening story, 19
Again Stephen King is a master at bringing together maniacal characters and fantastic storylines that transport you right into the terrorizing part of his brain. Great Short stories! I enjoy his older horror type of books more than the more recent police/detective procedural books he has been coming out with lately.
Ages ago I read two stories by King: “Chattery Teeth” (which I persist in remembering as “Clackety Teeth,”) and “You Know They Got a Hell of a Band,” both from Nightmares and Dreamscapes. The stories stayed with me, but I don't recall reading anything else by King for many years, until a couple of years ago when I read The Gunslinger, whereupon I fell head over heels and went on a King-binge which included the rest of The Dark Tower series, Duma Key (the audiobook,) and the Marvel Comics series ...more
Sep 25, 2015 F.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual, I've reviewed each tale as I've come to it. But suffice to say this is an excellent, at turns scary and at turns thought-provoking, collection, which more than meets expectations as well as subverting them. The novella really is a form, and a length, Stephen King excels at.

One of the talents often missed (even by some of his most ardent fans) about Stephen King is his focus: his ability to take a gruesome little idea and drag it out to a terrifyingly scary extreme. It’s because the
These four novellas do not add up to the best thing Stephen King has ever written, but lordy lordy, do these tales rip and roar, shimmy and jive. I had the best time reading them.

The title really sets up the collection well - make no mistake, these are dark tales, in places gruesome and hard to read. All of these stories feature ordinary characters forced to make awful choices. What choices! These choices resonate with power because they don't relate to the supernatural in any way (except for th
Kealan Burke
Nov 11, 2010 Kealan Burke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Atrocious cover aside (even if I’m dumb and missing something greatly significant about a minimalistic cover with a woman making the figure nine on it, it’s still terrible), the title of Stephen King’s latest book is perfect. Full Dark, No Stars, ladies and gentleman, is one bleak book. And though King is no stranger to grim subject matter, when it comes to his novella collections, I think this is the darkest one yet. There are no stars. There’s little hope either. Some, but not much. One might ...more
R.G. Evans
Aug 30, 2011 R.G. Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Welcome back, Stephen King. Reading some of your later novels--Duma Key, Cell, Under the Dome--I couldn't help but think of Henry James's description of his contemporaries' novels as "loose, baggy monsters." Not that your novels of late have been populated by such monsters (which might have improved them considerably), but rather that they rambled endlessly with less than compelling plots and characters. The four long stories that comprise Full Dark, No Stars, on the other hand, mark your return ...more
Jun 05, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2011
Yin Yang: two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and feminine, Yang positive, bright, and masculine. Their interaction is thought to maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it.

I was thinking of the principle of Yin Yang while I read Full Dark, No Stars. This is a collection of four stories, in each one Mr. King explores what happens when ordinary people are put in extraordinary, and sometimes dire, circumstances. What happens is
I picked this up after reading glowing reviews, and I was not disappointed. Mind you, I'm definitely on the wimpier side of horror fandom, so I may have found these stories scarier than many people will, but I did find them genuinely frightening.

My copy includes the stories:

Big Driver
Fair Extension
A Good Marriage

As well as a bonus story, Under The Weather.

For the most part, these are psychological horror stories, and a couple of them are extremely scary.

1922 recounts the confession of Wilfre
Rebecca McNutt
With most of King's more recent works, I've found that they just don't have the same spark that his older novels like Pet Sematary and The Shining have. But Full Dark, No Stars is definitely an exception. Filled with all kinds of creative, frightening stories that range from horror to crime thriller, this collection features different stories for different eras, and they all capture something important and something valuable.
Oct 16, 2015 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this! Stephen King knows how to tell a story. All of these stories are great in creepy, gruesome Stephen King style. 1922 is about a man who makes a really bad decision and the ramifications. Big Driver is all about revenge. Fair Extension is about envy and selling your soul. A good marriage, the saying "how well do we really know anyone" is a good description! Recommended!
Miglė Keliotytė
Feb 23, 2015 Miglė Keliotytė rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the second Stephen King work I had ever read. The first one was "The Shining", and I was surprised because after finishing it I had to say it kind of disappointed me. I expected more after hearing all those compliments about how good that book was. So when I started this work of his, I was kind of sceptical if I would like it or not.

But... this book was actually really good! I especially liked the first and the last novellas, their atmosphere was so realistic that it was at some parts a lit
Orbi Alter
Prica 1922. U vrucem busu na solidnih 30c i s pogledom na ravnicu i kukuruzista citam pricu o strasnim dogadajima u ljeto na jednoj farmi. Vrijeme i mjesto pogodeno.
Prica Veliki vozac citana u jednom zagrebackom sobicku s pogledom na ludo raskrizje. Skripanja guma i kocnica na tocno odredenim dijelovima u prici su potpuno uskladena. Ova prica mi inace dala mislit o vozikanju precicama i o jezivim knjiznicarkama i psihopatskim silovateljima. Bas ta prica je daleko najbolja u citavoj zbirci, a pos
Stephen King's first collection of four long stories, Different Seasons, contains two of what are probably his most famous and well-loved tales - The Body and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. His second collection, Four Past Midnight, while featuring four stories which aren't that bad, simply isn't as good as the first. So here's the third: Full Dark, No Stars. And while the stories here might not be as immediately classic as those in Different Seasons, they're still superb in their own r ...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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“I believe most people are essentially good. I know that I am. It's you I'm not entirely sure of.” 154 likes
“When it came to the dark fuckery of the human heart, there seemed to be no limit.” 122 likes
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