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Night Shift (Night Shift #1-20)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  112,433 Ratings  ·  2,039 Reviews
Twenty excursions into horror from the master.

From the depths of darkness, where hideous rats defend their empire, to dizzying heights where a beautiful girl hangs by a hair above a hellish fate, this chilling collection of twenty short stories will plunge readers into the subterranean labyrinth of the most spine-tingling, eerie imagination of our time.
Paperback, 326 pages
Published February 1st 1979 by Signet (first published 1978)
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René Roth There are some allusions to characters having sex, but the main focus is on horror and gore. This is probably one of the most American questions on GR…moreThere are some allusions to characters having sex, but the main focus is on horror and gore. This is probably one of the most American questions on GR :D(less)

Community Reviews

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Jul 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1974-2002
What I learned from Night Shift:

It ain't easy to quit smoking.
That I know what you need.
That I am the doorway.
That he walks behind the rows.
That sometimes they come back.
It ain't over in 'Salem's Lot.
Don't drink bad beer.
Get off your ass and mow your own lawn, goddammit.
Jun 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: REAL hardcore S. King fans
These are short stories (not novellas) which actually serve as delectable intros to popular King mythologies (for a staggering example see [or better yet, don't {with the exception of "Trucks" a.k.a. "Maximum Overdrive" for B-level entertainment and "Children of the Corn" with its quaint moments of childlike chills}] all the movies made from like eight of these tales.) Here, King is at his most bizarre, most morbid. Most of his part-time heroes & (just a few) heroines, end up dead or sufferi ...more
Will M.
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Also posted at my blog:

I find it really difficult to review short stories, especially anthologies. Night Shift is a collection of King's short stories, and if I'm not mistaken, this is a collection of the first short stories he wrote in his early years of writing. The most shocking thing you have to know is that the writing is not outdated. That's the thing about King, I've read his first book Carrie and the writing of it still felt like he wrote it mon
Edward Lorn
First read this collection when I was... twenty, I think. Not sure. Does it matter? Probably not. Three things to mention before hitting you with my one sentence reviews: I forgot how much of King's early work tied into these stories, and how much I enjoyed his non-horror outings. Truth be told, I probably didn't like the more literary stories that I read once upon a when because I was a tried and true idiot in those days (I'm still an idiot, but my wife turned me into a functioning idiot, and I ...more
Many readers consider this book to be one of Stephen King's most popular short story collections, and I can't disagree with that opinion ... mostly because it's only the second anthology by King I have read so far. Many original horror stories are included in this collection, with most of them having been adapted into classic horror movies like "Children of the Corn", "Graveyard Shift" or "The Mangler". In its entirety, however, I consider "Night Shift" to be a rather weak collection of short st ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: AC/DC lovers (just read the review:)), King Fans
In this book we are treated to much of Stephen King's earliest published writing, a full 10 stories (half of this book), were released in magazines, before his first novel, Carrie, was set loose on us.

I was pleasantly surprised by these early works, as it seems to me King is not one of those authors who needs to develop a lot of skill over time....I have heard/read that often writers do their best work when their bellies are not too full (I am aware that this is a misquote, by King himself...p
Note to self: do not read ANYTHING written by Stephen King after dark. Nothing. Not even if it happens to be comedy, or non-fiction, or freaking poetry. Haven’t you been traumatized enough? You can’t see a clown without pissing yourself! Not that it’s hard to scare me though. I’m the kind of girl that needs to have every light on when she goes downstairs to grab a glass of water, one of those people who knows something’s right behind ready to grab me if I don't reach the second floor as fast as ...more
Mr. Stephen King, you started scaring me when I was just a teen, then you go and try to do it again when I’m older, and often none-the-wiser. The best part: you can still do it. Not all of the 20 stories in Night Shift (his first short story collection) are terribly frightening. Some are not meant to be, and some just made me snicker. A few of them are simply fantastic. I could practically reread those right this second. Following is my short take each:

Jersalem’s Lot - The best part: Fans get a
Make you pee your pants scary!

In his introduction to Skeleton Crew, Stephen King writes: “a good long novel is in many ways like having a long and satisfying affair” whereas the short story “is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.” My literary proclivities definitely lean towards those long affairs. I don’t read a lot of short stories nor am I a fan of the format. At least give me a novella! Stephen King is one of only a handful of authors who can make me a believer in the beauty and
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Usually short-story collections, especially by the same author, always tend to garner a three from me: because they are almost always a mix of the good, the bad and the indifferent, and follows the bell-shaped curve of the normal distribution. But not this one. These collection of early stories from King is filled with the excellent, the very good, the good... and a few mildly good. The distribution skewed heavily in the direction of the terrific.

It's been a long time, but many of the stories li
Rinda Elwakil
"لقد أتيت إليك لأحكي لك حكاية"
قالها الرجل الممدد علي الأريكة في عيادة الطبيب هاربيرت.

"لا أستطيع الاعتراف لأني لست كاثوليكيًا، لا أستطيع الذهاب إلي المحامي لأنني لم أفعل شيئا استشير المحامي بشأنه، كل ما فعلا هو أني قتلت أطفالي، قتلتهم جميعًا"

ستيفن كينج غزير الإنتاج، حكاء بالفطرة، يكتب القصص حتي يتخلص من إلحاحها وللدهشة تكون هي أفضل قصصه
الرخل المخيف قصة قد تكون سمعتها وأنت بعد طفل بنسخة خاصة ببلدك أو جدتك أو أيا كان راوي الحكاية،

رجل الخزانة، الوحش تحت الفراش، أبو رجل مسلوخة
اسماء عديدة، و صديقن
Stefan Yates
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Overall – I really liked the first story, but after that the stories really seemed to taper off quite a bit until I got to Battleground. After that one, my interested was piqued and the book continued at a high level through The Ledge and on to the end with a few exceptions here and there raising my overall rating from a 3 to a 4.

Jerusalem’s Lot – The first story is an “historical” account of the events that take place when a man and his faithful servant take residence in his ancestral home and
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Let's talk, you and I. Let's talk about fear."

Night Shift was Stephen King's first short story collection, released way back in 1978 and it contains quite a lot of his more popular short stories that ended up becoming movies. The prime examples being Children of the Corn and Sometimes They Come Back.

King is often hailed as the master of the short story. Prior to this collection I had only read Nightmares & Dreamscapes and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and I did really enjoy them, but found it o
6.0 stars. On my list of "All Time Favorite" books and second only to Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman as my favorite short story collection of all time. All of the stories are excellent and it is hard to pick favorites in this collection but I would say "Boogeyman", "Strawberry Spring", "Children of the Corn" and "Jerusalem's Lot" are definitely highlights. Highest Possible Recommendation!!!
Ashley Daviau
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is by far my favourite collection of King stories that I've read so far! I absolutely loved every single one of them, they each creeped me out in there own ways! There were definitely a few that spooked me more than others though. The Mangler, The Boogeyman and The Lawnmower Man were my top three favourites out of the collection and definitely the stories that got to me the most. I read The Boogeyman right before going to sleep and I found myself staring at my closet door for the longest ti ...more
‘El umbral de la noche’ (Night Shift, 1978), fue la primera antología publicada por el maestro del terror Stephen King. Si bien me gusta más el King en las distancias largas, se nota su saber hacer en estos relatos. Y es que King es un gran narrador.

Estos son los veinte relatos incluidos en la antología:

Los misterios del gusano. (*****) Un hombre hereda una casa que todo el mundo de la zona teme. Gran relato de tintes lovecraftianos.

El último turno. (****) Un grupo de empleados son reclutados pa
Ruth Turner

Audiobook - Narrated by John Glover - Good narration.

John Glover did a really good job with these stories. Jerusalem's Lot, which I didn't really enjoy when I read it, came to life with Glover.

The only slight criticism I have is that the female characters voices in Night Surf were annoying and Timmy's voice in Grey Matter was a little too high-pitched and grating.

Also, I found the background music was too loud at times.



I don't generally like short stories, especially when it's Stephen
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
L'analisi dell'orrore

La prima raccolta di racconti è la dimostrazione che King, etichettato con nonchalance come il famigerato e spaventoso "Re del brivido", in verità sia capace di sfruttare anche il contesto quotidiano per sviscerare con consapevole lucidità il male in tutte le sue sfumature.
Appresa la lezione da Shirley Jackson, Ira Levin e Richard Matheson, tutti e tre autori accomunati dal narrare contesti reali che celano anfratti nascosti ove la nostra psiche elargisce il peggio di sé,
David Fleming
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This might sound a little strange but I think that this collection is a work of art. I'd put this right up alongside Chekhov and Poe.

If you ever wondered why people make such a big deal out of Stephen King, I think his talents are fully on display here.

King has a great ability in these stories to crunch a great deal of backstory and exposition in a small amount of page space and still make it seem natural. In certain paragraphs he'll stealthily segue four or five times without me even noticing
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Some of the absolute best writing I have ever read.

I think of another story in connection to this one. On my drive to work I listen to books on CD but have a hard time paying a lot of attention because traffic is bad in Cincinnati. I heard something in “Duma Key” that makes me think of this collection of stories. The main character narrates that the most effective motivation for writing is a hungry belly. From what I have heard, a lot of that story (Duma Key) seems autobiographical. “Night Sh
Adam Light
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Night Shift is perhaps the essential short horror story collection. While I was reading this for the third or fourth time, a friend commented that this is also a terrific example of King's writing before he bacame a household name. And I agree. These stories are gory, frightening, and raw. Jerusalem's Lot, one of my least favorite of the stories included here, actually floored me this time around. The same can be said for One for the Road - the other 'Salem's Lot related story. King's talents ar ...more
Franco  Santos
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Este libro es la mejor recopilación de relatos de King, a mi parecer. Cada uno muestra una clase y una profundidad soberbia.

Algunas historias me hicieron un nudo en el estomago, y otras me congelaron los huesos del terror. Tengo la sensación de que el autor le dio una atención más que especial a cada cuento.

Basta, S.A. y El Último Peldaño de la Escalera son mis favoritos. De los mejores trabajos de King.

Si buscan una buena novela que les haga sentir desde un miedo desesperante y asfixiante a
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

Sure, not every story is perfect, but as a collective whole this collection kicks it.

Almost all the stories are unique, and of course many of them have made their way to the screen. He apparently was still highly in his Salem's Lot world as he put in not one, but two, stories about the town here. One was called Jerusalem's Lot, which is a big treat for Salem's Lot fans especially. Creepy and decent, told through letters, it's a bit slow and the writing style used is old-fashioned to try and dup
the gift
trying to read this as the Dickens of late 20th century. king has the right voice(s) in dialogue, in short, simple, style of prose and concepts, emotions, descriptions. not entirely but mostly horror, mostly later made into films by hollywood. i try. i read dickens and king as popular authors who both have some mainline connection to the world of the day, the concerns, politics, people. as a collection of short stories there are few four, most less but never less than two...

i read in contrast an
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read Night Shift I was a teenager. This was long before I knew anything about H.P. Lovecraft, or pretty much any of the horror writer who had such a strong influence on King. Some of the stories stuck with me. All this time later I still remembered the basement in Graveyard Shift, and the bloodthirsty Mangler from the story of the same name. However, I had forgotten about a number of these stories, or I didn't really understand them properly, so quite a bit of this collection al ...more
There are a few four-star stories in here, but overall they did not engage me as much as his other work has. My favorite was probably ”Children of the Corn.” I also very much enjoyed the foreword. King has always had a certain knack for those. As he often does he advocates the idea that story is more important for him than other aspects of writing. But when reading the stories I did not get the sense that story was central in almost any of them. Rather I got the sense of a writer with more than ...more
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jerusalem's Lot: 3+/5
Secondo turno di notte: 3-/5
Risacca notturna: 3,5/5
Io sono la porta: 5/5
Il compressore: 4,5/5
Il babau: 5(+)/5
Materia grigia: 4-/5
Campo di battaglia: 2/5
Camion: 2,5/5
A volte ritornano: 4+/5
Primavera da fragole: 1,5/5
Il cornicione: 4+/5
La falciatrice: 4/5
Quitters, Inc.: 5/5
So di che cosa hai bisogno: 3/5
I figli del grano: 4,5/5
L'ultimo piolo: 4-/5
L'uomo che amava i fiori: 3+/5
Il bicchiere della staffa: 4/5
La donna nella stanza: 2/5
Brooklyn Tayla
I can't not give this 5 stars. Oh my gosh. This book is literally the stuff of nightmares. I was chilled to the bone throughout, and not once did they grow tiresome. Each story was horrifically captivating, so, all in all, the perfect book to kick off my month of spooky reads. *shivers*.
Thomas Strömquist
Stephen Kings fourth published book is a short story collection that's probably one of the best there is. I continue to be absolutely overwhelmed by King's books in my re-read. This one I knew was great, but it is even better than I remembered. I know that highest rating for a short story collection is probably out of the ordinary, why I feel obliged to write a little something on each of the stories herein:

Jerusalem's Lot The early explorations of the ideas for the story of the small town of '
Abram Dorrough
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars for the fact that these are the earliest stories King wrote, and they all give serious chills. Stories that just plain rock:

"Jersualem's Lot" - in which King displays his ability to play with literary styles.

"I am the Doorway" - an intriguing, shocking Sci-Fi tale reminiscent of Bradbury.

"The Ledge - King spins a most satisfying tale about yet another tennis instructor sleeping with yet another man's wife

"Quitters, Inc." - Probably the most horrifying of the bunch. A real story that i
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Madison Mega-Mara...: # 24 Night Shift 1 1 Jun 13, 2017 09:44AM  
this is the novel i selected for my book assignment 1 16 Mar 07, 2016 07:44AM  
Short stories you'd like to see expanded? 6 52 Feb 22, 2016 12:33PM  
What's The Name o...: Stephen King ( short story) maybe about vampires [s] 4 60 Jul 17, 2014 07:31PM  
Stephen King Fans: The Lawnmower Man-NS 46 302 Jan 24, 2014 08:42PM  
The Stories Within (Discussion) 27 85 Nov 27, 2013 11:54AM  
  • The Regulators
  • Books of Blood: Volume Two (Books of Blood #2)
  • The Lurking Fear and Other Stories
  • Blue World
  • Houses Without Doors
  • Midnight Graffiti
  • Peaceable Kingdom
  • Strange Highways
  • Nightmare At 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories
  • Night Visions 5
  • Harvest Home
  • Ghosts and Grisly Things
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
More about Stephen King...

Other Books in the Series

Night Shift (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Jerusalem's Lot
  • Graveyard Shift ( short story)
  • Night Surf
  • I Am the Doorway
  • The Mangler
  • Sometimes They Come Back
  • Strawberry Spring
  • The Ledge
  • Quitters, Inc
  • I Know What You Need

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“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn't real. I know that, and I also know that if I'm careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.” 1962 likes
“You want to remember that while you're judging the book, the book is also judging you.” 327 likes
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