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Nightmares in the Sky: Gargoyles and Grotesques

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,119 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Photographer f-stop Fitzgerald and Stephen King introduce readers to the gargoyles, the faces we rarely see but are always watching us. The masterful blending of text and photos sweeps readers into a maelstrom of monsters watching from above--a nightmare in the sky. 24 full-color photos, 100 duotones.
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 7th 1988 by Viking
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Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
In this essay like book (I never heard about it before; it probably was stored in the club's library of King's novella 'The Breathing Method') Stephen King takes a look at gargoyles, that horror from above. We are informed how he got into this job and how he inspected gargoyles in New York. We also learn about an obscure Gargoyle movie from the early 70s. Besides you come to know many things about those eerie stone sculptures and when they had their heyday. Even Medusa is mentioned. The pictures ...more
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This is probably a little known book from Stephen King, and I bought it years ago when it was first published. I enjoyed the text and the photos are stunning. Very cool book!
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
A coffee table book with pics by F-stop Fitzgerald and words by Stephen King. note that words mean a 35 page (photo-illustrated) essay on what King knows and thinks about Gargoyles, off of the top of his head (no research); pics means that, the rest of the book are photos of gargoyles across the States, although mostly in New York and Chicago. King's 'essay' is engaging and authentic sounding like his book forewords, but ultimately doesn't really tells us much about King or gargoyles. One gets t ...more
Glorious photos, but on a repetitive basis, not unique enough to hold up alone, without some phenomenal writing, of which there isn't. Certainly, a passably interesting introductory essay, but it (and the photos) lacks depth of exploration and has an extremely limited, New York-centric scope. ...more
Espen Aukan
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is so haunting and beautiful. Stephen King’s essay is fun and goofy, and in the end quite touching and interesting. I could stare at these wonderful black and white photos forever. Highly recommended.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: electronic
i didn't know king could be painfully long-winded.
i was beginning to worry that i'd only see a handful of photos after 8 or so paragraphs.
K.T. Katzmann
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
 photo scan0003_zpszlfyovmr.jpg

Cool. This one's full of surprises.

So I saw this at my local library and decided to pick up a company. Serendipity abounds, because it's even neater than I thought.

I fully expected a panoply of awesome and varied gargoyles.

 photo scan0002_zpsd1mt853i.jpg

Got that.

So I flip to the introduction, and find Stephen King pontificating on gargoyles. And Gargoyles.

 photo 319905d80dc4328dd18c34ed73348cee_zpstmuxlhdm.jpg
The hell am I reading?

I love Stephen King, and I particularly love his nonfiction, like Danse Macabre and On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. His prose alway
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Stephen King fans.
Recommended to Ashley by: Found at the Library.

A thought-provoking photography collection by F-stop Fitzgerald documenting architecture that we don’t always see and rarely think about introduced by the King of horror himself.

Nightmares in the Sky: Gargoyles and Grotesques by Stephen King and F-stop Fitzgerald

Genre: Photography Collection/Short Essay
Release Date: October 1988
Source: Library – Borrowed
On My Shelf: Someday

I stumbled across this one at the Library and, well, how could I not pick it up? I was first drawn in by Stephen
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ok first off - this is not a Stephen King book - yes there is a large amount of text in there written by King but it is far from being his work. That is done by f-Stop, the photographer. There are some truly amazing pictures which to me at least remind me that there is so much going on i ignore or just walk on by without ever taking in. And all this amazing imagery from a country centuries younger than mine- for fear of stepping in something i wish i had not - its a reminder to look up and aroun ...more
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a somewhat dated, but nonetheless creepy, and haunting photography book about gargoyles in America. Stephen King wrote a nice essay to accompany the pictures detailing his experiences with gargoyles on film and his discovery of their hiding places within the canyons of New York City.
Jessie (Zombie_likes_cake)
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Want to know how I realized I am fascinated with Gargoyles? Step one into my obsession was visiting Paris and with that Notre Dame. Step two was watching the movie "I, Frankenstein". Yep, I am the only person on the planet who loves that movie, I understand it is slightly, ehm, silly, but man, those gargoyles! Gargoyles!!!!!!
So, yeah, obsession and at the end of the road the desire to frame a story involving gargoyles started my "Gargoyle March" where I will be diving into a few books aside my n
May 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
This was one of the least impressive things that I have seen where Stephen King was a contributor. The book is based in photographs of creatures and faces on buildings in New York City with an essay on them by King spread through the first 35 pages or so.

This is a fairly short essay that is all over the place talking about a movie he and his son watched, the sensual touching of a vase, and finally to a bit about the gargoyles themselves.

The book is really about the pictures though. Some of the a
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This afternoon my wife and I ran to the library for an hour. We didn't have 30 minutes to find "just the right book" so we picked some random numbers and generated a Dewey call number. Due to some minor machinations in some underworld, we happened to pick this little book.

Kind of a magical experience -- eerie photos of demonic imps hidden above the everyday bustling New York scenery. It looked a little kitschy from the title, but as I paged through the book each haunted, eroding face seemed to m
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting book. Stephen King wrote the text to go along with all the very cool pictures of Gargoyles and the like on old buildings. First he talks about his surprise at being asked to take on this project, and then his surprise once again when he actually came to New York City and looked up.....the nighmares in the sky were definitely looking down at him. He goes on to talk about movies and books that have been influenced by these strange creatures. Really entertaining! And t ...more
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Some really beautiful photography.
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful photography.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Fairly interesting photographic coffee table book on Gothic architecture, specifically Gargoyles. Limited to New York though.
Kayleigh Marie Marie
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stephen-king
This is a beautiful, unusual book with gorgeous, glossy pictures.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very beautiful book. I found it fascinating.
Eddie Generous
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The essay really makes this one. Without it, those are just pictures of stone faces. Writing down the personal response and relating it to an everyday existence makes those stone faces come alive just a wee bit.
Stefan Yates
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stephen-king
Make no mistake, the stars of the show for this book are the amazing artwork on the sculptures themselves and the photography that brings these images to us. Stephen Kings contribution is no more than an essay and the essay itself isn't really on gargoyles per say, but more on the process of becoming involved in this project and the resultant way that gargoyles began to make him feel once he began to notice them in places that he'd never seen them before he was involved in this project.

All that
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
A large format (coffee table) book of photographs of gargoyles. I'm so glad this book exists because look up at all the new buildings and not a gargoyle in sight! Pity. I guess I never paid much attention to gargoyles until I rode on the top of a double deck bus south on Central Park West and passed the Dakota. Those gargoyles really woke me up!

This brings me to a few complaints about this book that have nothing to do with the fabulous photographs. In my view, the index stinks. It's sparse and
Spencer Borup
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it
I, just like many others I'm sure, picked this coffee-table photography book up because of Stephen King.

While the photos were nice, and I certainly appreciated the idea behind a collection of all the different gargoyles and statues hiding in the architecture of New York City--I lived there for a year and never noticed them--it wasn't really enough to keep my interest. Like I said, it was King's essay that kept me around.

I love reading King's little intros and essays and non-fiction, because I ca
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
"We don't see them," he said, "but they see us."

Creepy, but true! I picked this up because of Stephen King, but his essay isn't much of a read. Although, I did learn that some gargoyles are used as part of the drainage system for buildings, so that's kind of neat! The pictures are cool, creepy at times, and it was fun to flip through the pages. In fact, I was doing so at a coffee shop, and a homeless guy sat down next to me to look at them too! He told me he felt like gargoyles were made to prot
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Beautiful pictures of gargoyles, accompanied by a short, vaguely amusing, but shallow essay by Stephen King that spends way too much time discussing the TV-movie Gargoyles. I read this as a kid, swiping my brother's copy, and it was fun to do so before. I'm also curious if the ones in Boston are still there! ...more
Ardy Ardy
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Found this book by chance and really liked it. Stephen King's "essay" was very entertaining and the pictures were fascinating. Some of the gargoyles pictured were genuinely creepy, but all of them were beautiful works of art. Not much to say about the book since it is basically a book of photographs, but I recommend it to anyone interested in these beautiful and disturbing sculptures and statues. ...more
Daniel Corey
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
King’s contribution here was really very weak and frankly felt half-baked and phoned-in, which is extremely rare for him. It’s really the only thing I’ve ever read from King that made me feel this way. I don’t feel like his heart was in this project at all. Some cool pictures that account for the three stars, but that’s about all this book brings to the table.
Ross Buffa
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I never looked at gargoyles this way and never will again. They do almost look alive in a lot of ways the way Stephen King states and it creeps me out. The pictures are frightening when you look at them just the right way. Amazing "coffee table" book. ...more
David Garrett jr
Jun 10, 2014 rated it liked it

Not really a book per say, but more of a collection of pictures of gargoyles. They are really cool and the first 40 pages or so are accompanied by an essay about them that Stephen King wrote. This is I read it, but kind of a cool thing to add to my King collection.
Jun 05, 2007 rated it liked it
An over-sized volume of photographs of gargoyles. Cool old art and architecture; an interesting diversion.
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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

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“Because they are almost always above human sightlines, and because people in the city rarely look up, they don't see...them," he said, gesturing to the horror across the street, the horror so strikingly at odds with the anonymous building from which it sprang, like a tumor sprouting from the mild brow of some harmless middle-aged and middle-class executive. "But they...well, you'll notice that they're almost always looking down." He paused, then smiled again. The smile was different this time: thoughtful, and, I think, the tiniest bit uncomfortable.

"We don't see them," he said, "but they see us.”
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