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Full Dark, No Stars

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  44,304 ratings  ·  4,004 reviews
A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.

1922
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...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 368 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Scribner Book Company (first published January 1st 2010)
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The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
51st out of 122 books — 2,125 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
87th out of 1,153 books — 3,573 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
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
Lou
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 eve
...more
brian
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
Kathy
Ok, I am going to review each story, as well, individually as they deserver.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

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...more
Bill
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...more
Neil
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maciek
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...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...more
Becky
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
Kathryn
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...more
Michael
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
Stephanie
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...more
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...more
R.G. Evans
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
Lea
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:

1922
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...more
Kealan Burke
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
Stacey
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
Trudi
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...more
Cheryl
"Sorry, he said. Sometimes my emotions get the better of me. Those women...all those women...and the boy, with his whole life ahead of him. That's worst of all."

That's how I felt after reading Stephen King's four novellas in FULL DARK, NO STARS. What is the objective of horror tales? Is it good storytelling alone that has brought King to the top of the genre? For me, vivid scenes of murder would not be enough.

So what does King bring to the table that appeals? For three of these novellas, there i...more
George
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
Brandon
I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to pick this up. Not because I have any predisposed notions towards Uncle Stevie, it's just that it's a bunch of short stories and it's uncharted territory for me when it comes to King (well, aside from Blockade Billy). I've read a fair bit of his longer fiction or stuff that's over 300 pages (not that I consider 300 pages long). However, after reading the opener 1922, those worries quickly subsided.

King is writing on a common theme here and he elaborates...more
Steve
This is a totally unfair rating, since I didn't get very far in the book, but as I get older I find I have less and less patience for King's "real people." They often don't seem real, and conversations are often ridiculous. (Has anyone ever noticed how King's conversations, when they involve sex, sound like the musings of a 14 year old?) On top of that there's a bizarre, self serving rant (Afterword) by King, where once again he's basically pleading to be taken seriously as a writer. Oh, he says...more
Alex
Oct 15, 2014 Alex rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
So far I've only read the last one, "A Good Marriage," which sounded cool: it's about a woman who finds out years into her marriage that her husband has been a serial killer the whole time. Good concept, right? I liked the first half, but the second half was just eh for me.

And I'm reminded how annoying I find Stephen King's writing tics. Particularly the incessant quoting of song lyrics. He's a dorky writer, isn't he? Effective, but dorky.

I was playing around with this idea that maybe King is th...more
Megan
Oh Stephen King, how I used to so love your storytelling....

This collection of four novellas starts with 1922, a ridiculously long winded story in which a man kills his wife and then proceeds to lose his fortune? His son? I never finished this one so I'm not quite sure. Even while I was still listening, my attention wandered. This story has a lot of typical King-isms including homey talk between small town, local men. It also revisits Kings fascination and revulsion with rats. The basic idea her...more
Stefan Yates
Stephen King normally shines when writing in the short story and novella formats. Some of my very favorite King stories are contained in his novella collections (Different Seasons, Four Past Midnight) and this collection is no exception to the rule. Contained in Full Dark, No Stars are four mostly outstanding tales of terror and revenge.

1922 - A really solid "ghost" story about a man trying to save his farm, the lengths that he is willing to go through to save it and the revenge taken against h...more
Dan
This was truly a dark and twisted collection of stories. The one I really liked was 1922, It reminded me of something Lovecraft would write. The next two were okay, the last one just seemed to drag on and on though. I have to say that this is not the favorite among all the Stephen King books I have read...but it was okay I guess.
Rusty
I just finished 1922 (the first of the four novellas). I liked this one a lot. Wilf James is at odds with the wife, and the simplest solution is to kill her. Things kind of go down hill from there. One of the things that impressed me about this story is the fact that it didn't sound at all like King's "voice". I wouldn't have thought he could surprise me after all this time.

The story is very compelling and you're drawn in from the start. And there's a good message that we can all take to heart...more
Morgan
Let me preface by saying that my kooky grandmother, bless her soul, got me started on Stephen King in my early high school years. I have easily read all of his books with the exception of 2 or 3, and at one time had the sagging bookcase to prove it (aren't Kindles a God-send?).

I began Full Dark, No Stars with a sinking feeling in my stomach, as the first story was awfully reminiscent of Delores Claiborne.

"Oh, SK, I really do love you, but at times your formulas can get a bit tedious."

But when ha...more
Barbara
I finally stole some time over the past two days to finish reading the last three stories. I must admit I missed Uncle Stevie as the last book I read of his was Cell a few years back. I’m a fan of both his novels and short stories/novellas, so I dived in hoping to be fully swept away into a twisted world.

That said, I liked Full Dark, but didn’t love it. I don’t feel like this is a book of his that I’ll be drawn to reread. For me, the theme tying the stories together is one of revenge. Revenge st...more
Chris
So reading reviews I had heard nothing but good things about this book. Even still, it is a Stephen King book so good or bad, I’m going to read it. The one thing in all of the reviews that stood out no matter who read it is that this book is Dark. Well my first thought is, of course it is; it’s a Stephen King novel. I really didn’t expect what I got.

Each story was great and they will stick with me for a long time. It is even hard to say for sure which my favorite is because I loved each one diff...more
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Made-for-TV movie 1 4 8 hours, 20 min ago  
Very Scary Collection 7 73 Oct 19, 2014 09:51PM  
Stephen King Fans: Big Driver-FDNS 45 234 Sep 12, 2014 10:52AM  
Stephen King Fans: Full Dark, No Stars 269 622 Jun 25, 2014 09:03PM  
Get Your Shorts i...: General Discussion (No Spoilers) 4 11 Oct 02, 2013 11:34AM  
Get Your Shorts i...: A Good Marriage (Spoilers) 1 12 Sep 30, 2013 12:13PM  
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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
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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.” 112 likes
“When it came to the dark fuckery of the human heart, there seemed to be no limit.” 91 likes
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