Overall, this wasn't bad but it definitely wasn't the best collection King has done for sure and as usual for King, all of his collections end up with...moreOverall, this wasn't bad but it definitely wasn't the best collection King has done for sure and as usual for King, all of his collections end up with some kind of dud in them, unfortunately. I am YET to find a flawless collection but Full Dark, No Stars was pretty damn close.
I think the best short story collection King has done so far IMO is Full Dark No Stars, I pretty much highly rated all four of the stories in that one! Maybe because there were only 4 novellas, you couldn't very well go wrong but…that’s anyone’s guess. On that note, I find that the collections with longer but less stories contained, are generally better quality. When King goes for quantity over quality. It definitely shows!
So this collection is pretty atypical for King, lots of shorter stories, a fair few of which are duds.
Taken individually, I’d review and rate them as follows:
Autopsy Room 4 – ***** Stars
Can't fault this one AT ALL. This was a flawless story and kudos and top marks to King, for it.
Some of the stuff that King writes about, are so plausible in reality (and actually happen too! I’ve lost count of how many people in the last few months, I’ve read about in foreign countries only – thank God- that wake up following a declaration of death!) it makes the story particularly harrowing and hair raising to read and this is definitely one of those situations.
As the title indicates, the setting is an autopsy room of a hospital room, where a patient believed to be dead (but in fact, isn’t dead at all! Surprise, surprise!) is brought in for an autopsy. What ensues, is a living persons nightmare, being subjected to a post-mortem examination whilst being aware of, the entire time, everything taking place around him.
This indeed describes a situation that is completely terrifying. I think I suffered palpitations reading this one. This would be mine (and anyone else’s –I’m sure, worst nightmare!) Full of suspense, I was totally addicted to this one. Great stuff and classic back to basics, simple horror by King.
The man in the dark suit - **** Stars
I really liked this. I’d say just slightly less than Autopsy Room 4 because quite simply, it didn’t hook me to the same extent. I don't scare easily at all and find it hard not to laugh at most the ‘horror’ stuff, put out of there nowadays but this story had me feeling a bit 'chillier' than usual and admittedly, it didn’t scare me but did creep me out somewhat.
The plot is simple, a boy’s encounter with the ‘devil’ and what ensues after that.
All that you loved, carried away - * Star
Bleughhhhhh...I knew a dud was coming but I guess I just didn't expect it so soon into the collection... This story just made ZERO sense. I kinda got it but mostly didn't. It seemed to me as though King was just putting to pen to paper and writing every single random thought he had, all combined, in one short story.
The result? A short story I gave up on. Something with barely any pages and I gave up on it. So suffice to say crap...I couldn't even tell you what this one was about, I've pretty much forgotten all about it. I know it revolves around a travelling salesman, collecting random quotes in a diary type thing that he has but that is about the extent of it. No such plot...nothing really happens. SHITTTTTTT!!!!
The Death of Jack Hamilton ** Stars
Two duds in a row. Sure getting my money's worth, is what I thought at this point (rather sarcastically.) I pick up King, as most people do, to be creeped out and personally, I'm not into these gangster type novels / films, they bore the hell out of me and is not something I would expect King to write about.
This unfortunately was such a story or rather, an attempt at one. It was so out of King's genre, it was quite obvious, as it read pretty juvenile to be honest but that’s I guess, where lack of experience in the genre shows. I detested the characters. Nasty bunch with no redeeming features whatsoever. So what I'm left with, is a story in a genre I detest, full of characters I detest. Nice one Stephen. I'll pass on this one!
And what it was about? Torture. That is all I remember. Which as King would, does well.
The little sisters of Eluria - ***** Stars
The Dark Tower Books
To this day, I’m still astounded by what an incredibly amazing series it was .
I don't know where the hell I've been seeing as I love all stuff DT related.
I did NOT know that King had done a short story revolving around Roland and the early dark tower days. So, when I come across this one and see his name on the first page. WOW.
King did not disappoint on this book AT ALL.
He stuck to true Dark Tower Style and gave us an interesting and further snippet into Roland's earlier days in his journey. Interestingly, this one was a lot more 'horror' like IMO. I felt creeped out a couple of times by the nasty sisters in the so called hospital...
Roland was the same as ever. Amazing.
Enough said. I think I've conveyed my book lust for this series enough….. <3
Everything's Eventual - **** Stars
I love these kind of stories by King. More thriller type but with a scary / chilly undertone to them. So Dinky's out of a job and end's up with a new one. Turns out, he has to do some pretty crazy shit. Like drawings which result in accidents or incidents occurring to persons selected for this purpose, by his boss.
As ever, there is always a down side and this story talks about that. I like the main character. He’s pretty well developed for a short story character, plenty of history discussed, personality given and a sympathetic and endearing nature which we all get and like. A character you find yourself rooting for in adverse situations.
Really liked it!
LT’s Theory of Pets - * Star
What a load of frigging nonsense this one.
A story within a story for starters which I hate in most cases anyway. Trying to give a novel ‘depth’ but in this case, actually epically fails to do so.
By and large, a story about pets and the strain it causes on the two characters relationship. So not King. Nothing in this smacked of King.
The Road Virus Head’s North - ***** Stars
Incredible short story.
Again, classical King!
A ‘haunted’ or ‘cursed’ painting bought by our protagonist who discovers to his horror that it has started to change and appears that the focal character of the painting is out to cause harm to him and his surrounding loved ones.
Suspenseful. One of my favourites.
Lunch at Gotham Café – ** Stars
A very strange one. I really didn’t see the point. Two stars as opposed to one as despite the weirdness, I continued to read however can’t say I really enjoyed this.
A Matron D in a café, basically goes insane.
That feeling you can only say in French – * Star
I gave up on this one. Suffice to say, I couldn’t even possibly say what this one was about aside from ‘Déjà vu’. Bored me to tears.
1408 - **** Stars
Typical ghost story as such.
1408, haunted hotel where no one is allowed to stay due to horrific events of the past.
Cue protagonist who is adamant he wishes to stay in there despite warnings. Unsurprisingly, things don’t go well!
I really liked this and loved the movie they made of it as well (which makes a change!). I just felt that the page count on this one was a bit high for a ‘short story’. That the same amount of creepiness, atmosphere and tension could easily have been built in a slightly lesser amount of pages. Felt it was a great plot and well done but a little bit long winded for what it was, a ghost story.
Riding the Bullet - ***** Stars
I think this one is my favourite actually as opposed to Autopsy Room 4. Also loved the movie of this too! All about our hitchhiking protagonist who needs to get to the hospital to visit his sick mom and on the way, goes through a supernatural journey of extremes. Ghosts etc. Also quite long however felt that this needed it. It built up tension and suspense superbly and I was almost too afraid to put the book down. I emphasise though, not scared, just really really creeped out! Morbid story!
Luckey Quarter - *** Stars
A reasonable read. Short on the pages so easy to get through but just kinda pointless. Our protag, a maid with money troubles, finds a ‘lucky quarter’ which seems to give her everything she needs. Just seemed a bit pointless, was disappointed with the ending on this. COP OUT!(less)
Blaze and his best buddy/partner in crime George are very much similar to George and Lennie out of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Blaze...morePlot summary:
Blaze and his best buddy/partner in crime George are very much similar to George and Lennie out of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Blaze like Lennie is all brawn and no brains whilst George has the brains and is responsible for planning and organising cons for the pair of them to commit in order to get money.
One of the plans that the pair comes up with in order to get hold of the "big money" is to kidnap the child of a wealthy and prominent American family, however, before that plan is fully formed and executed, George is murdered leaving Blaze having to fend for himself with no help whatsoever. So Blaze, no brains and all, decides to still do it, with a lot of difficulty as one could expect.
The present time describes Blaze and his difficulties carrying out the crime whilst supplemented by flashbacks of the past which explain Blaze's troubled and difficult life up until this point and the circumstances which left George dead and him alive. Using this technique of switching from past to present through the flashbacks, King tries and succeeds to create a memorable and unforgettable character. As King fan
I liked this book but just liked it. No more, no less. It wasn't outstanding, it wasn't amazing and it wasn't sheer brilliance, it was, as I say just good. This book therefore is worthy of just three stars.
If I'm honest, despite being a big King fan with the exception of some of what I consider to be his more epic fails (Tommyknockers, Lisey's story etc etc)I didn't expect to like it, mostly because I love the more scary horror based books that he writes not the more psychological. However I was proved wrong and also are many other people who consider King just to be a freaky horror writer! That isn't the case.
I liked the character development, I thought his techniques to flesh them out, namely, the flashbacks were very effective and created extremely strong and likeable characters, a kidnapper is not one character I could comprehend understanding let alone, sympathising and liking, however I liked Blaze, I felt sorry for him and I didn't want anything bad to ultimately happen to him..
The only negative I can really think of would be that George and Blaze although great characters are almost identical to those as mentioned in Mice and Men and on that basis, I couldn't rate this higher than 3 stars as well. I think King should have distinguished them more slightly, they were too similar and therefore not, unique.
However, a good, quick, easy read, just not outstanding reread material! For King fans though, wanting to complete his collection, needless to say, reading it is a must.
Not a bad book; very varied in terms of content yet I guess their was only so much crime I could take. I ended up feeling pretty bored by the end and...moreNot a bad book; very varied in terms of content yet I guess their was only so much crime I could take. I ended up feeling pretty bored by the end and so areas/subject matters failed to capture my interest entirely resulting in me skipping those chapters. I also felt certain key areas were missed out of the book also. BUT not a bad book by any means just not outstanding.(less)
Okay so if the ending hadn't disappointed me, this would have been a four star book, it had the usual good stuff typical of Piccoult novels, a good pr...moreOkay so if the ending hadn't disappointed me, this would have been a four star book, it had the usual good stuff typical of Piccoult novels, a good premise and good, well developed (if not sometimes cliched characters). I enjoyed the book mostly though I did think it was unnecessarily long and could have been shortened somewhat but then it ENDED. Yes, it just suddenly ended, I felt quite annoyed actually, no resolution had been given to the story at all, no verdict to the trial that was the whole purpose of the damn book. A very shitty ending, for that reason this is a 3 star book. Not happy with that ending whatsoever!! Shame as I usually can't criticise any of Jodi's work. (less)
Life of Pi - a book I've heard a hell of a lot about for a long time now, and therefore did what I always do when these kinda books come along, avoid...moreLife of Pi - a book I've heard a hell of a lot about for a long time now, and therefore did what I always do when these kinda books come along, avoid it like the plague until the hype dies down a bit. I found most people loved this book or detested it. I can't understand either, I liked it, nothing more. I wouldn't gush about it and I wouldn't slander it as being crap either. It just was...good. That was it. I'm surprised about the nominations recieved given that in my eyes, it definitely isn't anything special plot wise. Simply a shpwreck scenario which has been overdone and overdone by many authors and in some cases i.e. Robinson Crusoe, done undoubtedly better than by this author.
To begin with, I didn't think I would be able to get into it, Pi starts off his story rambling for a good 15% of the kindle version and it quite honestly bored me to tears but I was encouraged to read on by a family member and so I did, and it did improve. I guess it captured my attention when the attention on the religious and kinda pointless aspects to Pi's life that we didn't really need so much detail on, was left behind and he and his family leave for Canada.
BUT that said, I enjoyed the read, mildly entertaining, great protaganist in Pi, just didn't take my breath away in the slightest as I confess I thought, given the previous hype that it might.
PI is the strength of the novel, this kind of plot has been done and overdone but the character of PI is very unique.I think his determination is fab, god knows if I were in the same situation, I couldn't have brought myself to do some of the things that he did. That leads on to my next point about suspension of belief. Surviving on a lifeboat with a Bengali tiger for that many days, being able to turn that kind of an animal into a submissive creature that doesn't attack you despite being starving hungry. That called for a bit too much suspension of belief for me, just wouldn't happen would it. Kinda ruins things a bit. You can almost believe that if you were in Pi's position and you did most the things that he did, you could survive like him. But with a tiger sharing your living space...I don't think so somehow.
And what was the point of Richard Parker seriously? It didn't seem there was one. It was as though he was just placed there...to add difficulty to Pi's situation...I don't know..I just felt the tiger was a bit pointless really...and the name Richard Parker just drove me mad. One of those little annoying things that get on your nerves, well it was one of those.
So yeah, I liked the overall story, I loved PI but this just didn't wow me. Felt that it was overrated and far better books have been more deserving of prizes and awards than this...
A sign of a good book is usually an incredibly good first chapter, drawing you into the story leaving you wanting more.
This wasn't the case with this...moreA sign of a good book is usually an incredibly good first chapter, drawing you into the story leaving you wanting more.
This wasn't the case with this particular book, the first chapter introduces 3 girls who could be perceived as "airhead", rich, beautiful, good standards of living and perfect lives (well in the case of Casey). It sounded initially as though it was the start of a chick lit book (I HATE chick lit) and took me a while to get past that.
However, I persevered and found myself enjoying the book. It was certainly an original take on a crime novel, revolving around the coma patient Casey who although unable to move, speak or act, is able to hear everything going on around her. Even her murderer.
I read this book in one sitting so I think that says a lot, hence the four stars. Why not five stars? Well, some of the writing annoyed me, the layout was quite mixed up at times and I generally didn't like ANY of the characters with the exception of one of two.
Overall though a good book. Would recommend. (less)
This was quite a good book but I much prefered Angels and Demons if I totally honest! Will still pick the 3rd one up though when it comes out in paper...moreThis was quite a good book but I much prefered Angels and Demons if I totally honest! Will still pick the 3rd one up though when it comes out in paperback, I like Langdon's character!(less)
Good book! The ending dragged a bit though in all honesty and some of the rest of the book dragged too, so occasionally I felt myself skimming but ove...moreGood book! The ending dragged a bit though in all honesty and some of the rest of the book dragged too, so occasionally I felt myself skimming but overall a good book.(less)
**spoiler alert** This book was a page turner indeed, I very much enjoyed reading it and finished it extremely quickly! I have a thing for Japanese au...more**spoiler alert** This book was a page turner indeed, I very much enjoyed reading it and finished it extremely quickly! I have a thing for Japanese authors and decided after trying Ishiguro and H.Murakami that it was time to try this guy. I wasn't disappointed. The Japanese just have NO boundaries, its fantastic, sex, gore, general weirdness, these guys just don't hold back. Gotta love them! So more about "In the miso soup"...
I'm an open minded person and open to reading about most things, sex, gore, you name it...good job really seeing as this book started and revolved around many graphic descriptions of various parts of Japan's sex industry and then later, extreme violence! The book pulled me in extremely quickly,I found that I became intrigued by Frank almost straight away...which led me to keep turning the pages. It was pretty evident early on that something wasn't right, and Murakami hints at this a few times before it all actually comes out...
As I say the plot revolves around areas of which are definitely not for the squeamish or prudish.....it revolves around Frank an American tourist paying a tour guide Kenji to take him around the various sex places in Japan, lingerie pubs, peep shows, all of it you name it. During this it becomes apparent that something is off with Frank, he doesn't seem quite right and Kenji suspects him of being the culprit behind a murdered schoolgirl....
Then Frank proves him right, and turns all psychotic in a matchmaker pub in which he slaughters his way through all of the persons present in this place. Murakami really grossed me out with this scene, the descriptions were extremely vivid and quite honestly disgusting, and kudos to him for disgusting me, doesn't happen very much!
After this point however the rest of the book is anti climatic with the ending being a bit disappointing, hence being 4 stars rather than 5.
The characters were exceptionally well created. Frank freaked me out from the offset being this extremely creepy and not quite right guy, Kenji I felt sympathetic for at various points, he just seemed like a nice guy although seedy no doubt, doing the work he did...
Great book, a real page turner however because of the anti climatic ending and the lack of great storyline after the main event, the massacre at the pub, I couldn't give it 5 stars. I will however definitely be picking up more of this guys work. Super creepy!!(less)
This book was pretty good and I did end up enjoying it in the end despite initial reservations.
The story is told through two viewpoints; the first a d...moreThis book was pretty good and I did end up enjoying it in the end despite initial reservations.
The story is told through two viewpoints; the first a doctor who works in a mental institute and who is assessing patients to see whether they can be put back into the community, the main focus of his studies is; Rosemary who the other viewpoint is told from. She is writing a secret journal about her life and this intermingles quite nicely with Mr Grene's [the doctor:] case book that he is compiling.
Although very slow at times and going off on a tangent sometimes [whether irrelevant or just plain uninteresting:] the book was extremely readbable and the pages turned quickly for me towards the end when the pace sped up a bit.
The use of imagery in this book is amazing. The author really did transport me to the times and places that he wrote about, his use of it was very effective and added another reason to like this book.
So, all in all I liked the book. But certainly not one of my favourites.(less)
**spoiler alert** I liked this book, it was good. Not as good as the previous two I recently read by christie though hence the lesser than four stars....more**spoiler alert** I liked this book, it was good. Not as good as the previous two I recently read by christie though hence the lesser than four stars.
PLOT: The plot was okay, although I got confused at various points, the story IMO was a little bit TOO confusing, in comparison to the other two I've read. As a result, I lost track a couple of times and it was less enjoyeable to read but still ultimately a good plot idea. Just could have been simplified somewhat.
CHARACTERS: Another problem I had with the book were the large amounts of characters in it, also much more than previously. I would get to stages where I would forget who was who and it got a bit tiresome. Also I've found I prefer the books with BOTH Hastings and Poirot as although I appreciate he is the central character, the books are better with the both of them, some funny moments etc which were lacking here because it was Poirot only.
GOOD POINTS: The ending as per usual! Christie always ties the book up effectively, which is helpful for when I became a bit lost in the book as mentioned above. It clarified and explained things and so I came away understanding what had gone on although I prefer the revelations coming out in front of the entire room of suspects, as Ive read previously, as opposed to the one suspect here. Generally though a good read but a bit more harder work than the other books. (less)