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Night Shift

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  93,480 ratings  ·  1,487 reviews
Night Shift—Stephen King’s first collection of stories—is an early showcase of the depths that King’s wicked imagination could plumb. In these 20 tales, we see mutated rats gone bad (“Graveyard Shift”); a cataclysmic virus that threatens humanity (“Night Surf,” the basis for The Stand); a smoker who will try anything to stop (“Quitters, Inc.”); a reclusive alcoholic who be ...more
Paperback, 505 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Anchor (first published February 1978)
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What I learned from Night Shift:

It ain't easy to quit smoking.
That I know what you need.
That I am the doorway.
That he walks behind the rows.
That sometimes they come back.
It ain't over in 'Salem's Lot.
Don't drink bad beer.
Get off your ass and mow your own lawn, goddammit.
Will M.
Also posted at my blog:

I find it really difficult to review short stories, especially anthologies. Night Shift is a collection of King's short stories, and if I'm not mistaken, this is a collection of the first short stories he wrote in his early years of writing. The most shocking thing you have to know is that the writing is not outdated. That's the thing about King, I've read his first book Carrie and the writing of it still felt like he wrote it mon
Note to self: do not read ANYTHING written by Stephen King after dark. Nothing. Not even if it happens to be comedy, or non-fiction, or freaking poetry. Haven’t you been traumatized enough? You can’t see a clown without pissing yourself! Not that it’s hard to scare me though. I’m the kind of girl that needs to have every light on when she goes downstairs to grab a glass of water, one of those people who knows something’s right behind ready to grab me if I don't reach the second floor as fast as ...more
Edward Lorn
First read this collection when I was... twenty, I think. Not sure. Does it matter? Probably not. Three things to mention before hitting you with my one sentence reviews: I forgot how much of King's early work tied into these stories, and how much I enjoyed his non-horror outings. Truth be told, I probably didn't like the more literary stories that I read once upon a when because I was a tried and true idiot in those days (I'm still an idiot, but my wife turned me into a functioning idiot, and I ...more
Make you pee your pants scary!

In his introduction to Skeleton Crew, Stephen King writes: “a good long novel is in many ways like having a long and satisfying affair” whereas the short story “is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.” My literary proclivities definitely lean towards those long affairs. I don’t read a lot of short stories nor am I a fan of the format. At least give me a novella! Stephen King is one of only a handful of authors who can make me a believer in the beauty and
Stefan Yates
Overall – I really liked the first story, but after that the stories really seemed to taper off quite a bit until I got to Battleground. After that one, my interested was piqued and the book continued at a high level through The Ledge and on to the end with a few exceptions here and there raising my overall rating from a 3 to a 4.

Jerusalem’s Lot – The first story is an “historical” account of the events that take place when a man and his faithful servant take residence in his ancestral home and
6.0 stars. On my list of "All Time Favorite" books and second only to Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman as my favorite short story collection of all time. All of the stories are excellent and it is hard to pick favorites in this collection but I would say "Boogeyman", "Strawberry Spring", "Children of the Corn" and "Jerusalem's Lot" are definitely highlights. Highest Possible Recommendation!!!
Ruth Turner

Audiobook - Narrated by John Glover - Good narration.

John Glover did a really good job with these stories. Jerusalem's Lot, which I didn't really enjoy when I read it, came to life with Glover.

The only slight criticism I have is that the female characters voices in Night Surf were annoying and Timmy's voice in Grey Matter was a little too high-pitched and grating.

Also, I found the background music was too loud at times.



I don't generally like short stories, especially when it's Stephen
If you're one of those idiots that calls Stephen King a hack, read "The Boogeyman" in your room at night. Then tell me what you think.
Franco  Santos
Este libro es la mejor recopilación de relatos de King, a mi parecer. Cada uno muestra una clase y una profundidad soberbia.

Algunas historias me hicieron un nudo en el estomago, y otras me congelaron los huesos del terror. Tengo la sensación de que el autor le dio una atención más que especial a cada cuento.

Basta, S.A. y El Último Peldaño de la Escalera son mis favoritos. De los mejores trabajos de King.

Si buscan una buena novela que les haga sentir desde un miedo desesperante y asfixiante a
David Fleming
This might sound a little strange but I think that this collection is a work of art. I'd put this right up alongside Chekhov and Poe.

If you ever wondered why people make such a big deal out of Stephen King, I think his talents are fully on display here.

King has a great ability in these stories to crunch a great deal of backstory and exposition in a small amount of page space and still make it seem natural. In certain paragraphs he'll stealthily segue four or five times without me even noticing
Ben Loory
i don't know how i never read this before; i've loved stephen king my whole life, i feel like an idiot! it's like i just found out that there was an old testament to the bible... or something, you know, less offensive... anyway, yeah, these stories are amazing! no wonder they made (shitty) movies out of virtually every single one of them. and it's really weird to read this and think that this is the same guy who went on to write all those 40,000 page-long books!? when all these stories are so sh ...more
Bobby Bermea
I had to do a quick review of a King book I liked because I did one of a book of his I didn't like and that was all I had on the guy. That wasn't right because truth be told he's one of my very favorite writers. I don't know if he would take this as a compliment but my favorite stories by King are generally short stories. Night Shift was his first collection and one of the first books I ever read by him. Every story doesn't hit but the ones that do hit hard. And only Stephen King can write a sto ...more
Kevin Cambronero
¡Qué buen libro!

Muchos dicen que ésta es la mejor recopilación de relatos de Stephen King; yo no puedo opinar porque es la única que he leído, pero realmente es buenísima. King es un verdadero maestro.

El coco, El hombre de la cortadora de césped, Basta S.A, Sé lo que necesitas y Los chicos del maíz fueron mis favoritos, increíblemente buenos.

Los demás fueron sólo buenos; pero ninguno malo, exceptuando Marejada nocturna, que fue el único que realmente no me gustó. La cornisa provocó que me sudara
Aurora Dimitre
My favorite thing about this collection is just how weird it is. I mean, Stephen King has the capacity to be weird, and we all knew that - but this series in general is just so weird. Almost... Goosebump-y, in a way. You know, where in the end you find out that the gorilla lawn ornament is alive, too.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite out of these ones, though I have a huge soft spot for stories such as The Mangler, and The Lawnmower Man, and Quitter's, Inc, but really, I enjoy them all. T
Vicki Willis
A great book of lots of short stories. Almost every one of them was excellent!
Ken McKinley
Night Shift is the first short story collection from Stephen King and it is quite simply the finest group of short stories that I've ever read. While not all of them are 5 star reads, as a whole the entire compilation is amazing. This is King at his utmost finest.

Here is my breakdown of each story -

Jerusalem's Lot - A short story that pre-dates the happenings in 'Salem's Lot. The story takes place in 1850 and is written in epistolary form where the main character, Charles Boone inherits an old
Peter Meredith
Taking over from the aging James Michener, Stephen King has become master of the novel/doorstop. Not only do his hefty tomes make for very good reading they also come in handy as cudgels against the occasional burglar.
However, what he does better than anyone, in my opinion, are short stories. For this he's the Babe Ruth of writing(many of us forget his .342 lifetime batting average and just concentrate on his homers...Ruth I mean. Not King.)
Somehow King can place a reader right on the doorstep o
Jul 15, 2008 Luke rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: short story lovers, Stephen King fans
I found this book to be hit or miss. Most stories were good with a few being must-reads and few being skip-able.

The highlights:
Jerusalem's Lot - A prequel of sorts to his novel 'Salem's Lot told through a series of letters.
Night Surf - A side-story that fits in with The Stand telling the story of a few teens as they deal with Trips.
I Am The Doorway - A more traditional science-fiction tale with a Stephen King twist.
I Know What You Need - A psychologically introspective story concerning love.
Rebecca McNutt
Night Shift had some amazing stories, really creepy and weird at times. I remember seeing all the film adaptations of these stories in the 7th grade so it was great to read the stories that started them.
Dary Merckens
Stephen King is an absolute master of the short story form.
I was very impressed with this anthology in a way I didn't expect. I started reading his books at a quite young age but I don't remember ever reading even one of his short stories. I'm glad that Daavid had recommended it to me and read it again with me - thank you Daavid, I had a lot of fun!
Since I already wrote my opinion about every short story in separate updates while reading along, I'll talk about my general feelings about the collection as a whole.

As one might expect, the stories are dark,
Some of the absolute best writing I have ever read.

I think of another story in connection to this one. On my drive to work I listen to books on CD but have a hard time paying a lot of attention because traffic is bad in Cincinnati. I heard something in “Duma Key” that makes me think of this collection of stories. The main character narrates that the most effective motivation for writing is a hungry belly. From what I have heard, a lot of that story (Duma Key) seems autobiographical. “Night Sh

Short Tale Excursions to Horror and Dread
(A Book Review of Night Shift by Stephen King)

The short story is a literary form I rarely read, appreciate and enjoy. A handful of writers, O. Henry, Ernest Hemingway and — in light of the book I’m reviewing — Edgar Allan Poe, are some of the authors whose short fiction I’ve liked over the years. Since the short story deals with few characters in one setting that makes a single impression or impact, it's a tricky form to work a story with and sometimes in
For me, this is without a doubt Stephen King at his best. I said in my The Dark Half review that I think Stephen King does best when working in the short story form, and I firmly stand by this assertion. Here, he must focus. Irrelevant detail, as pleasant as it can be to read in King's hands, is justly considered extraneous and he must concentrate in delivering heavy, solid punches to the gut. Since most of this stuff is classifiable as horror, too, I must iterate a point I've always made about ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Usually short-story collections, especially by the same author, always tend to garner a three from me: because they are almost always a mix of the good, the bad and the indifferent, and follows the bell-shaped curve of the normal distribution. But not this one. These collection of early stories from King is filled with the excellent, the very good, the good... and a few mildly good. The distribution skewed heavily in the direction of the terrific.

It's been a long time, but many of the stories li
Erin (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading*

Sure, not every story is perfect, but as a collective whole this collection kicks it.

Almost all the stories are unique, and of course many of them have made their way to the screen. He apparently was still highly in his Salem's Lot world as he put in not one, but two, stories about the town here. One was called Jerusalem's Lot, which is a big treat for Salem's Lot fans especially. Creepy and decent, told through letters, it's a bit slow and the writing style used is old-fashioned to try and dup
Jun 04, 2008 Fabian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: REAL hardcore S. King fans
These are short stories, not novellas, and serve as delicious intros to popular King mythologies (for a staggering example see [or better yet, don't {with the exception of "Trucks" a.k.a. "Maximum Overdrive" for B-entertainment and "Children of the Corn" with its quaint moments of childlike chills}] all the movies made from like eight of these tales.) Here, King is at his most bizarre, most morbid. Most of his part-time heros and (just a few) heroines, end up dead or suffering the loss of a chil ...more
Mary JL
Jun 20, 2010 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any fan of sf, mystery, horror or Stephen KIng
Recommended to Mary JL by: I am a fan of this author
Shelves: mystery-horror
If by any remote chance, someone has not read any Stephen King books--I know, really unlikely---this collection is a good place to start.

His novels, especially the later ones, tend to be quite long. These excellent short stories are a good sampling of King's types of writing, and much shorter, more lightly written than some of his novels.

The short story of "Children of the Corn" is much better than the movie; "The Mangler" was also quite gripping. All the stories are at least 3 stars in my ratin
So far I've loved every short story collection of King's I've read (Different Seasons, Everything's Eventual) and this collection is amazing once again.

My favorite stories would have to be:
"I Am the Doorway"
"Quitters, Inc."
"Children of the Corn" (this one especially scared the bejesus out of me.)
"One For the Road" (sequel to 'Salem's Lot)

I remembered "Battleground" from the Nightmares & Dreamscapes series, and for all of you that love The Stand, be sure to check out "Night Surf," it's like
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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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