MaryEllen's Reviews > Full Dark, No Stars

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
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May 18, 11

Read from May 01 to 16, 2011

Stephen King at his best in this collection of 4 novellas.

Each story takes off from the idea that within every human there's a another person — one that might only surface in extraordinary times. In the Afterword King says that he wanted to get inside each person and see where they'd go. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

They're scary and uncomfortable and the stories are gripping page turners — very believable. In the first story, "1922," King refers to that hidden person within the main character, Wilfred Lee James, as "Conniving Man." And within the story he refers to these inside jobs, these multiple personalities, as like Russian nesting dolls. Inside one, there's another. Inside that one, yet another. And another. Powerful psychological renderings that are completely believable.

1922 reminds me of Poe, and of course "Fair Extension," another story, is a twist on the Faustian tale. "A Good Marriage" and "Big Driver" both catapult women into the lead roles, with their inner vigilantes coming out and doing justice their way.

The book is absolutely splendid. If King was a writer, he'd be the top criminal profiler at the FBI. We'd be watching a character based on his legend as a profiler on "Criminal Minds." How wonderful we have him writing novels! I wanted more of these stories — and that's a writer at his best. Leaving you wanting more.

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