William Johnson's Reviews > Nightmares & Dreamscapes

Nightmares & Dreamscapes by Stephen King
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's review
Jun 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, since-joining-goodreads, short-stories, stephen-king
Read from June 17 to July 01, 2011 , read count: 1

The title is a tad bit misleading as there are very few nightmares and hardly any dreamscapes. I bought the book thinking that, perhaps, the stories would be aimed at more psychological/dream-like horrors, but instead you get a very random collection of short stories that make the title simply something to grab the eye.

King has his fair share of horror in here but there is also some metaphysical stuff, a straight up caper-esque story, a Sherlock Holmes mystery, and, to make nightmares and dreamscapes even more of a strange title, a 50+ page non-fiction piece on Little League baseball.

Overall, a fun collection of stories, just wildly different and all over the place.

Here is a run down:

"Dolan's Cadillac" **** out of **** A man wants to get revenge on the man who killed his wife and the key is the man's beautiful Cadillac and a hole in the earth

"The End of the Whole Mess" **1/2 A man's brother, with good intentions, may have doomed the planet

"Suffer the Little Children" **1/2 A story of a teacher encountering true evil in her junior high classroom.

"The Night Flier" *** A tabloid trash reporter starts tailing, by plane, a serial killer who may just be beyond human.

"Popsy" *** A man in heavy debt abducts children for a crime boss. . .only he might have abducted the child of a wild creature this go around.

"It Grows On You" *1/2 I remember nothing of this story. King says its a sequel to Needful Things

"Chattery Teeth" ***1/2 A very Clive Barkian tale of a harmless toy turned human annihilator

"Dedication" **1/2 This one was hard to stomach though interesting. A nurse maid thinks an author is the true father, in spirit, to her son.

"The Moving Finger" ***1/2 Another Clive Barker-esque story about a finger, and just a finger, living, and growing, in a man's sink.

"Sneakers" **** A man becomes addicted to entering a bathroom that may be haunted by a man in sneakers.

"You Know They Got a Hell of a Band" *** Interesting, moderately scary story about a couple who enter Rock and Roll Heaven

"Home Delivery" ** A standard zombie tale

"Rainy Season" **1/2 Goofy but fun yarn about killer frogs from the sky

"My Pretty Pony" 1/2 The momentum killing dread of the book. Absolutely bone chillingly boring and sophomoric in it's description of time and age.

"Sorry, Right Number" **** My favorite of the book, told in teleplay format. It concerns a woman who hears a terrifying phone call that she is convinced is someone she knows, but can't determine who.

"The Ten O'Clock People" **1/2 Good execution of a bad and goofy premise. A group of smokers know they are what stands between the destruction of man by the hands of 'batmen'.

"Crouch End" *** A solid horror story of an American couple getting lost in an English suburb that happens to be currently in another dimension.

"The House on Maple Street" **** Another highlight concerning a group of kids who find that their house seems to be growing a meal layer underneath the floors, walls, and ceiling.

"The Fifth Quarter" 1/2 A waste of time about criminals looking for a map

"The Doctor's Case" ** A solid concept in which Dr. Watson solves a crime instead of Sherlock Holmes

"Umney's Last Case" *** A fabulous story with a terrible beginning in which a 1930s detective thinks he may be visited by God.

"Head Down" *** A rather straight-forward, but still effective, piece on Maine Little League baseball. Non-fiction.

"Brooklyn August" ** A poem by King about baseball

"The Beggar and the Diamond" **1/2 A very short story on faith and love in God.

These are all followed by a Notes section that explains how King came about writing the stories you just read. That is one of the best part of the books as you get to see what goes through King's mind during his writing. He'll also admit what works and what doesn't work and isn't afraid to confront his critics.

The book also opens with an introduction by King.
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Reading Progress

06/17/2011 page 330
48.0% "So far a good collection of stories."
06/19/2011 page 450
65.0% "Read a REAAAAALLLLY bad short story and a REAAAAALLLYYYY good one. Go figure."
06/26/2011 page 550
79.0% "Read a coiple 'meh' and am now mired in a boring Sherlock Holmes mystery. Overall, still liking the book a look. One story involving a flying house was great"
06/26/2011 page 550
79.0% "Read a couple 'meh' stories and am now mired in a boring Sherlock Holmes mystery. Overall, still liking the book a lot. One story involving a flying house was great. . ."
07/01/2011 page 640
92.0% "The last few have ranged from bad to decent, but all very slow. Need to finish!"
04/24/2016 marked as: read
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