I'm not sure where to begin or how to begin, so I'll start by saying I liked this book. In King's pantheon of short story collections, it isn't the be...moreI'm not sure where to begin or how to begin, so I'll start by saying I liked this book. In King's pantheon of short story collections, it isn't the best however. Nor does it really live up to the quality of his recent books, published after his "retirement". But it was still better than some of his later-years/pre-retirement crap.
And I think I can pinpoint my overall liking of this book to the biggest complaint I'm going to lodge against it... I feel like I've read it all before. I know King has written a LOT of tales. In fact, I think he's written one of EVERY possible theme/monster/scare that exists in the horror genre. So I shouldn't be surprised that after a career spanning almost 50 years, he repeats himself. But when you notice it in the middle (or even beginning) of the story, you do tend to feel ripped off. Cheated. Like, "Ugh! I've read this already!" I'll compare the stories in Full Dark, No Stars to the ones I'm reminded of in the individual reviews.
1922 An excellent story to start off King's return to short stories after 2008's Just After Sunset. Incredibly creepy and foreboding, like King’s early work, it showed that he can still scare the crap out of you when he has a good idea to work with. But, in this case, the story feels too similar to the short story "Jerusalem’s Lot" in his collection, Night Shift. Even down to the choice of narration style.
Big Driver One of King's psychological horror stories, instead of the supernatural. It was ok, but seemed to be another version of his "Rest Stop" from Just After Sunset. An author takes a long trip in his/her vehicle and finds himself/herself in a situation where he/she channels one of his/her characters to get out of the situation.
Fair Extension Back to the supernatural horror, the well-used story of a mysterious stranger who shows up to give the main character what he/she most desires with unintended consequences. Considering these consequences involve negative effects on other people, I was reminded of "Thinner", the most famous of King's Richard Bachman books.
A Good Marriage Back to the horror of human nature, this one deals with a woman who discovers her husband MIGHT be a homicidal serial killer. It was ok, with only the ending providing any moments that seemed shocking or surprising. The only story of the four that didn't immediately remind me of something else that King had written.(less)
I like Joe Hill and all of his books/stories so far. With a premise that, on the front, sounds weak (a man wakes up with horns - now people tell him t...moreI like Joe Hill and all of his books/stories so far. With a premise that, on the front, sounds weak (a man wakes up with horns - now people tell him their darkest secrets), he manages to write an interesting, fast-paced novel on Satan, God, and human nature. Along the way, he does give us a horned person who is slowly turning into the Devil, complete with all the fire-based powers and abilities one would assume the Devil possesses.
Not as good as Heart-Shaped Box or 20th Century Ghosts, the sophomore slump for Hill's second novel isn't that big of a drop-off from Heart-Shaped box and I'll look forward to his next work.(less)
Wow! An amazing book! Keeps the vampire mythos cemented by Bram Stoker and expands on it, bringing it into the present. Some surprises and plenty of c...moreWow! An amazing book! Keeps the vampire mythos cemented by Bram Stoker and expands on it, bringing it into the present. Some surprises and plenty of creepy mood to keep you feeling freaked out if you're reading this at night. The best compliment I can give it is this: The best vampire book I've read since Stoker's Dracula. That includes all of Rice's Lestat novels AND Stephen King's Salem's Lot. Not an easy feat...(less)
Oops. Let me rephrase that. What if...Walmart was run by a demon.
The Store comes to bumblefuck, AZ and puts all th...moreBasically, what if Walmart was evil.
Oops. Let me rephrase that. What if...Walmart was run by a demon.
The Store comes to bumblefuck, AZ and puts all the local businesses out of business by offering more goods at lower prices (just like Walmart!). It destroys the town by lowering everyone's income and then offering them cheap goods as the only things they can afford (just like Walmart!). Then it kills people who revolt and steals their souls (well, one can argue that Walmart DOES suck your soul dry).
Only in "The Store", The Store itself is evil. It's built with blood and staffed with supernatural beings called the Night Managers. People who try to fight the Store end up dead, missing, or unwillingly become soulless members of the Night Manager crew.
It's an okay book. Like a modern day "Needful Things" or "Something Wicked This Way Comes" using a stand-in for Walmart as the purveyor of tainted/haunted goods that drive people to be evil. The problem I have with it, is 425 pages paint the hero into a corner against the unbeatable entity of The Store and its CEO Newman King. Then, in the last 5 pages, the hero finds a loophole to beat The Store and King. The only problem is this "loophole" is TOTALLY UNFATHOMABLE based on events that preceded the deus ex machina. If you're gonna create "rules" for your world, STICK TO THEM. Do not change them at the last minute to provide an out.
I got this from a list of 5 Recommended Books From Stephen King. I think he recommended it because he finally found someone who is worse at ending horror novels than he is.(less)
Okay, more like a 3.5 star book, but you still can't give .5 star reviews yet. Started off with a short story that I liked, and then went downhill fro...moreOkay, more like a 3.5 star book, but you still can't give .5 star reviews yet. Started off with a short story that I liked, and then went downhill from there for 2 or 3 stories. I was seriously starting to have my doubts about Mr. King and his prowess for writing the short story. It seemed like Joe Hill had sucked up all the good short story writing ability for 20th Century Ghosts. But it got a LOT better. My breakdown:
Willa: Good. Nice, new take on subject matter that's been done before. The Gingerbread Girl: Ugh. Think Dean Koontz's "Intensity" compressed into 50 pages or so. Harvey's Dream: I think Outer Limits or some show did a half hour ep on this (or a similar) pretense that King himself had written. Felt tired and old. Rest Stop: Think King's "The Dark Half" but with George Stark as a good guy and only 20 pages long. Stationary Bike: This is where the book starts to skyrocket, although I had read "Bike" in another collection (not SK collection though) when it was first published. The Things They Left Behind: Wow. Excellent. One of my favs. And dealing with such an emotional subject too. Graduation Afternoon: Better than I would have imagined if you told be the subject matter prior to reading. N.: WOW. Best of the bunch. His notes at the end of the book didn't mention this at all, but I TOTALLY pictured a Lovecraftian monster with the helmet-head. The Cat From Hell: Another good one. Now I know why I'm a dog person. The New York Times At Special Bargain Rates: Idea of the "phone call" mixed with the "Harvey's Dream" premonition is what that Outer Limits was like. This didn't feel stale though. Mute: Very, very creepy. Good, even though I figured something weird would happen at the end. Ayana: Didn't see the extended unnatural parts coming in advance. Liked it. A Very Tight Place: Ok. Would have been better if he was a witch.(less)
**spoiler alert** Wow. This book SUCKED. Totally NOT AT ALL about vampires, which I thought it would be about. Also, after 450+ pages of plot twists,...more**spoiler alert** Wow. This book SUCKED. Totally NOT AT ALL about vampires, which I thought it would be about. Also, after 450+ pages of plot twists, what's-going-ons, and double- & triple-crosses we find out that the most powerful "Other" in all of Russia did everything because he loves some chick who is trapped in an owl's body. THIS ISN'T FUCKING TWILIGHT!