brian 's Reviews > Full Dark, No Stars

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
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's review
Nov 12, 2010

really liked it

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 the second story in this collection, big driver, well, it sucks. it really does.

that said...

1922. the first and best of the four throws you right there in bradbury country: isolated farmhouse out in a cornfield in early 20th century nebraska. creaky floorboards and dust motes in slanted sunlight and lots and lots of rats. yeah, the story might end a bit on-the-nose... but, the journey's what it's about. some gorgeous writing here and great little macabre details along the way... that rat and cow match-up? sheee-it!

and the 3rd and shortest story -- fair extension. a nice bit of literary punkrockery with the novel twist of there not being a twist. as brutal a story as any i've read simply because king plays it straight -- pretty sure i've never read one of these that didn't turn all that faustian crap back on the protagonist.

having only read 2 king novels (pet sematary & under the dome) and a bunch of short stories and novellas, i'm thinking the short form might play more to his strengths... thoughts?

and cool that they released this as the air out here in los angeles started turning colder. nothing better than couch, dog, coffee, blanket, ghost story...
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Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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message 1: by j (new)

j his shorter fiction really is good stuff, especially his short stories. Night Shift kept me up at night like few other books.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I listened to Under the Dome on audio book during 6 hour drives to and from Minneapolis. I still have like twentysomething discs to go. It's fucking long. It's okay so far. My favorite elements really are just all the physical details about the dome (e.g. the border composed of bird carcasses, cars slamming into it, how deep it goes underground, etc).

brian   it's one of the most inconsistent things i've ever read, fleshy... there is some putrid stuff in there (the character development in particular) and some truly transcendent moments (don't wanna spoil 'em) -- check my review when you've finished it.

thanks joel - i'm gonna pick that up. looks like fun.

message 4: by David (new)

David Stephen King is shit. But I'll vote for this anyway.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I actually picked it up based on your review (as well as karen's). I also think that at least on an unconscious level I was being led by the sexy subliminal hand of the ridiculously sexy woman featured in your review. Jeezus Christ, the painful sexiness of it all...

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio P.S. Mike Reynold's Under the Dome review kicked major ass as well.

Krok Zero I second Joel's rec of Night Shift. I've read a handful of King books in the past year and that collection, his first I believe, is the only one I actively liked. Quick 'n' dirty Twilight Zone knife-twisters, fuck yeah.

I feel like I'm probably done with King because his novels are so bleh, but I do think "Full Dark, No Stars" is an awesome title.

message 8: by j (new)

j if i was going to read one king novel, it'd be misery. even if you've seen the movie it's a really great read.

some of his longer works are good (bag of bones was a favorite), but you kind of need to have a taste for him, i think.

message 9: by Vic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vic Joel wrote: "if i was going to read one king novel, it'd be misery. even if you've seen the movie it's a really great read.

some of his longer works are good (bag of bones was a favorite), but you kind of nee..."

The Stand is the best.

message 10: by Erin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Erin King novels (circa 1980-2000) are where it's at. A short list you should read:
1) The Stand
2) It
3) Bag of Bones
4) The Shining
5) The Tommyknockers (one of my favs, but not positively reviewed)

Jenny Conatser I love King, and I'm generally in the reverse camp -- I typically enjoy his novels much more than his short stories. That said, I've been disappointed with his more recent full-length novels, at least in terms of scare-factor. If you're in it for the full-on terror, his earlier stuff is much better. Check out The Shining and It. And though they're not scary, to truly critique King, you need to read The Dark Tower books. IMHO, they're delicious. :)

message 12: by Jay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jay As much as I love some of his novels I would have to agree that his short stories are usually better.

Scott Did you suggest that Stephen King is retarded?

message 14: by Ioana (new)

Ioana a+ for the ableist comment, though.

message 15: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike Marsbergen I vastly prefer King's novels. His works tend to be slow-growers, trying to bring the reader into the world and experience (not just read) the story. I prefer when he has enough pages to work with-- those tomes he writes rock my world.

Apps *ąþþℓεş щïŧɧ şþℓεεŋ ïş şҩųïşɧγ* I thinks his novels are indeed better than his short stories, my favourite being the Dark Tower Series (seven books). Some of his novels do force me to close it and forget it, (like buick 8) but other are pretty good (rose madder etc)

message 17: by Gina (new) - added it

Gina M Jordan Many of his later work became too fuzzy & metaphysical, lost me in the ether & I stopped reading everything he wrote; the same has happened with Koontz :-(

I much prefer his earlier full novel & anthologies, grounded & well written. Your review got me to add this to my to-read list though.

Andrea Leoni I start to think that King writer of novellas might be the best King out there

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