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Skeleton Crew (Skeleton Crew #1-22)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  81,899 Ratings  ·  1,034 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 destruction. A trip to the attic becomes 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 scene of the
Paperback, 624 pages
Published 2006 by Hodder (first published June 21st 1985)
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Srikumar Krishna Iyer It is gross.
Thank god, it was just a short story, can't imagine it as a long read in the form of a Novel or even a novella for that matter.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 01, 2008 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
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)
Edward Lorn
There will be some of you that think three stars is kinda harsh for this collection. After all, it includes such amazing tales as The Mist and The Jaunt. It must be amazeballs, right? Not so much. Even the epically awesome stories in this collection need to be trimmed down. Most of them start slower than a Lars Von Trier movie, and over half of them never really pay off. There are some serious WTF stories within this collection; stories I didn't understand ten years ago and still do not understa ...more
Brendon Schrodinger
Stephen King seems to be a bit hit and miss with me. Sometimes there can be a Joyland and sometimes there can be a Under the Dome. But they have never been bad or unreadable, just seemingly poor, rushed and formulaic. I am noticing that I like his more modern tales greater than his 80s and 90s huge output.

So here is a short story collection from that time. The time where it seems like he was writing a book every couple of months. And it was just how I find myself feeling about all of his works.
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
Jul 17, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A collection of short stories. I actually think some of King's best work is done in the short form.
Jun 27, 2016 Jaro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite is "Mrs Todd's Shortcut"
May 23, 2016 Kenchiin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing this I must confess that: it was quite cathartic.
One of those of books you need to put down for a second when you finish a chapter just to think about what you've just read.
Ruth Turner

Most of this very long review consists of connections to King's other books, so you might want to skip those. I do them for my own benefit.

Audiobook – Narrated by frank Muller – Excellent narration.

I’ll have to qualify that ‘excellent’ because for some unknown reason The Mist sounds like it’s part of a different recording. The voice is faint and there’s a continuous annoying crackle that makes it sound like it was recorded fifty years ago. And from what I *can* hear it doesn’t sound like Muller.
Stefan Yates
Mar 15, 2012 Stefan Yates rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nandakishore Varma
It has been a while since I read this collection, but some stories (not the ones usually cited by reviewers) really frightened me.

1. Here There Be Tygers - We all know that the tiger lurking just beyond the bend in the L-shaped bathroom is only a childhood fantasy. But it's better not to take chances, anyway...

2. The Monkey - Scary toys. Your parents pooh-pooh your fears, but you know that they are out to get you...

3. The Raft - Safety is only metres away, but unreachable all the same.

4. The Jau
The Mist; The Jaunt; The Raft; and going for the gross out ... Survivor Type (love it!)
Adam Light
I first read this collection about a thousand years ago while I was a sophomore or junior in high school. That was the mid-late eighties, and my Stephen King fascination was in full bloom. Now, nearly thirty years later, I am rereading all of King's books mostly in chronological order, attempting to recapture the ecstasy I felt upon reading them initially.
To my delight, Skeleton Crew has withstood the effects of the passage of time, held up impressively, in fact.
This collection of stories, most
Sep 14, 2007 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 17, 2015 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like that the format of short fiction forces a writer to use an economy that a novel doesn't require; in the few books by King I've read there are times when I feel bogged down in a narrative section bloated by scenes of little consequence. King's short stories suffer not from this issue.

"The Mist" is the strongest of the bunch - as advertised - novella in length and sporting an ending I really loved. "The Jaunt" made me think about a potential horror of teleportation I'd never previously cons
Oct 30, 2007 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  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
The stories in this book are either hit or miss, but most of them are pretty cool. It’s definitely a better anthology than Night Shift. The stories I enjoyed the most are…

The Mist
Cain Rose Up
The Jaunt
The Reaper’s Image

..However, I would have to say that the best stories in here are The Mist, The Reaper’s Image and Gramma. Stephen King is a master craftsman of the short story. Other anthologies of his I plan to read are:Just After Sunset,Four Past Midnight, Everything's Eventual: 14 Dar
Thomas Strömquist
Stephen King re-read #21. King's third story collection contains a few absolutely brilliant pieces (foremost The Mist and my favorite story ever, Mrs Todd's shortcut) but this time they are interspersed with some lesser ones. In contrast to his earlier collections (Night Shift & Different Seasons) this one very much should be enjoyed by careful selection. As it is, the overall impression is bogged down by the (less interesting, shall we say?) stories.

My order:

Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut - Absolutel
Jul 20, 2013 Marvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 26, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardback, 2001
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
Aurora Dimitre
I've figured out what it is that makes Stephen King my favorite author.

It's kind of weird to try and explain, but it's the way that the writing style makes you feel like you're being told this story, one-on-one. It's the sort of intimacy of reading a Stephen King book - you feel like you and you alone is being told this story, that it's special, that it's personal, and also along the way you start to get really paranoid about those lights off in the distance because what are they really???

And t
Apr 17, 2012 Daniella rated it it was ok  ·  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
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
Jan 31, 2015 Kelsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I need a break from one longgggg novel and go for some short stories. As a whole, I enjoyed the book, although The Mist and The Monkey were two that stood out for me. I've always found those monkey toys creepy, but now I have a valid reason for this. Curse and bless you, Mr. King!
Aurora Dimitre
Since this is a re-read of on of my favorite King short story collections (anything with Survivor Type in it gets an automatic 5 stars, because that one's the favorite of the favorite), I'm not going to say much, I'm just going to quick jot down my favorite stories and brief thoughts.

-Survivor Type - ohh, Survivor Type. This is one that affects me deeply every time I read it. Every time. Just - you can't describe the feeling it gives you. It's. You've just gotta read it.

-The Raft - this is one t
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
Emma Hontzeas
Jun 17, 2016 Emma Hontzeas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I just cannot finish this book of short stories no matter how hard i try.
I dreaded picking up it again once i put it down.
Stephen King has a knack for horrors , sci-fi and thrillers, but personally, NOT short stories.
There just wasn't enough details in each to get the full King effect and that's what you want most from a King novel- the only short story i actually enjoyed was The Mist, but it also was the longest story of them all.

Jun 17, 2016 Sasa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mozda zato sto sam procitao 95% Kingovih knjiga, mozda zato sto sam procitao mnogo horor
knjiga, ali me ove price zaista nisu previse odusevile (uplasile).
Ima dobrih prica, i jezivih, ali mi je vecina nekako predvidljiva, ili naivna.
Mislim da je to zbog toga sto je ocigledno dobar deo prica napisan u vreme Kingovih studentskih dana.
Ili na samom pocetku karijere.
Sve u svemu, nije lose da se ubije vreme ili da se predahne malo od neceg ozbiljnijeg.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
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.
Bob Fingerman
May 21, 2008 Bob Fingerman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).
May 06, 2015 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have
I enjoyed the majority of the stories in this bad boy. I always like when authors provide backstory/story notes about stories in the collection. A little tidbit about selling a story or where the idea came from. King provided story notes for a handful in here, but I would have welcomed more. Probably the biggest surprise for me is how many straight science fiction tales are included. To my knowledge he hasn't written any science fiction novels but anyone who reads this collection will know that ...more
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  • The Regulators
  • Night Visions 5
  • In the Flesh (Books of Blood #5)
  • The Collection
  • The Doom That Came to Sarnath and Other Stories
  • Creepshow
  • Magic Terror
  • Best New Horror 19 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #19)
  • Strange Highways
  • The Stephen King Universe: The Guide to the Worlds of the King of Horror
  • Blue World
  • Book of the Dead
  • Nightmare At 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories
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

Skeleton Crew (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • The Mist
  • Here There Be Tygers
  • The Monkey
  • Cain Rose Up
  • Mrs. Todd's Shortcut
  • The Jaunt. Travel
  • The Wedding Gig
  • Paranoid: A Chant
  • The Raft
  • Word Processor of the Gods

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“A short story is a different thing altogether – a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.” 2157 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.” 32 likes
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