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Four Past Midnight

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  92,113 ratings  ·  1,325 reviews
At midnight comes the point of balance. Of danger. The instang of utter stillness when between two beats of the heart, an alternative reality can slip through, like a blade between the ribs, and swithc you into a new and terrifying world.

Four Past Midnight: four heart-stopping accounts of that moment when the familiar world fractures beyond sense, the fragments spinning aw
Mass Market Paperback, New English Library Edition (UK/AUST.), 930 pages
Published 1991 by New English Library (first published October 1990)
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Dane Cobain For me, it was easily the best story of the collection. The others were kinda predictable but The Langoliers is one of his finest in my opinion.

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3.92  · 
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 ·  92,113 ratings  ·  1,325 reviews

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Luca Ambrosino
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
English (Four Past Midnight) / Italiano

Four short novels (not so short, actually) of one of the best contemporary writers out there. The Langoliers (my favorite) carries the reader together with the protagonists into a parallel dimension. The unknown and the fear of what we do not know are the main themes, and the atmosphere resembles that of "The Twilight Zone", the acclaimed TV show. One of the best story I ever read. Secret Window, Secret Garden talks about what I suppose is the nightmare of

Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
A re-read after more than twenty years. Will it stand up?

Short answer: Absolutely. :)

The Langoliers fits snugly in the New Weird category, pretty much entirely esoteric SF with gremlin-types, alternate dimenions and/or time travel on a plane... There are no snakes here! :) The characters are a blast and we've got a firm horror vibe going on here where we are kept guessing as to who among all these random sleepers will make it to the end. Thoroughly enjoyable novella, but not my favorite. It's pr
Edward Lorn
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror fans
Recommended to Edward by: Mom and Dick
The overall theme of this collection, whether Stephen King realizes it or not, is that lazy little sin we call sloth. If you're a no-account layabout, the Langoliers will come and eat you up. If you're too lazy to write your own material, John Shooter might come calling. Can't be bother to take back that library book? Here comes the Library Policeman to suck you dry. And if you wanna make a fortune not by working but by profiting off other people's misfortune, the Sun dog might make you a Scooby ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: king-me, march-2019
3.5 Stars

I'm not sure Uncle Stevie knows the definition of a "short" story. The four stories in these collection are more like novellas or short novels. As with all story collections the ratings vary.

The Langoliers - 2 Stars

The first story was my least favorite. The premise is great several passengers on airplane awaken to find everyone else on board has vanished.

That sounded great but after the first 50 pages the story just dragged and the story was overly long. It just wasn't a fun read.

Ashley Daviau
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn’t my favourite King collection but it does have some spectacular stories despite that! I love the first three stories and I think they each stand out for very different reasons. They’re all very unique stories but I think The Library Policeman has to be my favourite out of the four, mainly because I actually used to have nightmares about getting arrested for not returning my books when I was a kid so it provides a bit of a nostalgic scare for me. The Sun Dog is definitely the story I en ...more
Leo .
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great book. The Library Policeman scared the shit out of me. Thinking about that nasty man with the lisp sends a shiver down my spine!
Sadegh Davoudi
Jul 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book is consisted of 4 short stories (app. 200 pages each) and as all of King's works, the super-natural has a very important role in them.
1) The first one is called "The Langoliers" and is about a group of people who wake up in an deserted plane. Your in an unknown world where you don't know the rules. Fascinating. (I give it 4/5)
2) The second one is called "Secret Window, Secret Garden". I found this story somehow boring. It's about a writer which someone accuses him of stealing his stor
Wayne Barrett
Actual rating; 3.5 stars
A collection of four short stories:
The Langoliers
Secret Window, Secret Garden
The Library Policeman
The Sun Dog
This collection doesn't quite stack up to the King quartet; Different Seasons, but it is still classic Stephen King.
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: do-not-reread

Four Past Midnight is a collection containing the following "short" stories:

1. The Langoliers (233 pages)

2. Secret Window, Secret Garden (146 pages)

3. The Library Policeman (195 pages)

4. The Sun Dog (149 pages)

Generally speaking, Stephen King begins with amazing concepts that are soon dragged down by poor execution. To make it more fun, look for the following the next time you read a King novel and see how many you can find:

- FLAT, IMPARTIAL TONE. Whether he is describing the main character's mo
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Langoliers: Twilight Zone type scenario, only more horrific. Not for those with a fear of flying, or you don't have aerophobia, you may well develop it after reading this. That,and a perfectly logical fear of toothy existence-devouring beasties!

Secret Window, Secret Garden: Having already seen and enjoyed the film adaptation, I wasn't sure what to expect from the original novel. I found the story to be more intense and claustrophobic, one of those rare tales that stays with you and gets unde
This is yet another re-read for me, and oh, I'd say it's been at least 8 or 9 years since I've read it, but I remember liking it a lot back then, my friend had a copy and I didn't, I had dark thoughts of booknapping and possible ransom. Happily, I have my own copy nowadays to read whenever I please. I don't know why it's taken me so long to re-read this book, but I'm glad it's been patiently waiting for me.
So far:
"The Langoliers" was excellent. SK does the "small-group of survivors coping with a
Cody | codysbookshelf
There is an old Family Guy cutaway which depicts Stephen King meeting with his publisher to pitch his next novel. Obviously desperate for an idea, King quickly looks around the office and grabs the publisher's desk lamp. "So this family gets attacked by . . . a lamp monster! Ooooh!" he waves his hands, trying to convey the scariness and shock of his laughably bad offering. Of course the skit is satirizing King's prolificacy. The publisher sighs, defeated, and asks when he can have the manuscript ...more
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Oh dear. Contrary to the popular opinion of probably many Stephen King fans, I just did not enjoy this one. A collection of four stories, I was sincerely hoping this would fulfil one of my final few Book Bingo categories – a book that scares me. However, I was bored, found it mundane and quite tedious in places. This is a big old novel – close to 1000 pages – and for me, this seemed 500 pages too long!

The stories range in horrors but they do contain the central theme of your worst nightmare. ‘Th
Thomas Strömquist
Stephen King (re-)read #28. For some reason I remembered this collection less than I thought I would. And it's certainly not because it's forgettable! I did read it in Swedish the first time around and I think that this is much better in original language. Four stories, three great ones.

The Langoliers was actually the greatest surprise for me, I had but a really dim remembrance of the movie that was based off this and had totally forgotten about what a great story it is. Brilliant cast of charac
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This contains two absolutely creepy stories - "The Langoliers", about a planeload of people trapped in dead time and "The Library Policeman" about a childhood boogeyman come alive. It also contains "Secret Window, Secret Garden" - the prototype for the novel The Dark Half. An excellent collection.
The Langoliers - *****
Secret Window, Secret Garden - ****
The Library Policeman - ***
The Sun Dog - ****

I always get a bookgasm when King introduces a story with a short intro on how the story came to be. Too much info?

Overall - 4 stars
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Having read and loved 'Full Dark, No Star's' earlier this year, I was eagerly looking forward to another collection of four Stephen King novellas. Although this time I've been distinctly disappointed. I've detailed my thoughts on each individual story below, but suffice to say this really is a second string collection.

The Langoliers
First things first, Stephen King really can’t write an English accent. In Nick Hopewell, who is a kind of jaded, SAS-graduate James Bond, King tries to give us an En
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are great novellas by the master storyteller Stephen King!!
Actually I read these Storys in my early twenties, and still could remember how good they are..
"Four Past Midnight" consists of four novellas:
** The Langoliers**
** Secret Window Secret Garden**
** The Library police**
** The Sun Dog**
I must confess that this book counts as one of the main culprits responsible for having getting me hook on the novels by the King..
They are all of them masterfully crafted and elaborated, full of vigor a
Jason P
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I thoroughly enjoyed this compilation of Kings, it had the perfect cheesiness that is Sai King. I know some may not like his stuff and say that his work goes to you, not you to it, and somehow that makes his writing terrible? Sure, sure - you're just a scaredy cat who can't take the boogeyman. Admit it - go on, do it. I'll wait...


OK, good. Here's the low down:

The Langoliers...

How cheesy was this? People wake up on a a plane with the rest of the passengers gone, disappeared. All that's left
J.K. Grice
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
These stories were rather like novellas in this solid collection from King. He doesn't set many of his tales in Iowa, and I really liked THE LIBRARY POLICEMAN. I also enjoyed SUN DOG. Very much worth a look-see!
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a fun read! Each of the novellas was very interesting in its own way, but in particular I loved The Langoliers.
Mafalda Fernandes
update Fev. 2017
One Past Midnight: The Langoliers - 4*
This was a gripping roller-coaster of emotions and actions!
I couldn't put the book down, I really need to find out what would happen to the characters.

Two Past Midnight: Secret Window, Secret Garden - 4*
This one was the novel I was more excited to read. I was expecting to like more than I did. I'm not sure if it was the end, or something else.

Three Past Midnight: The Library Policeman - 5*
Can a Stephen King story have a happy ending? Seems t
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, books-i-own
3.5 or 3.75, I can't decide. I liked The Langoliers very much and I liked the Sun Dog. Before each story is an introduction. I stopped reading it after it spoiled Secret Garden, Secret Window. The Library Policeman was good too. I think the weakest story is this collection was Secret Garden.. but they may have been cause it was spoiled. I haven't seen any of the movie adaptations of any of these. I wouldn't say any of these are King's #1 best but they were not his worse either. I may revisit the ...more
Adam Light
Five big, fat ones for this collection of four of King's best novellas. I loved it when he first released it, and it was even better these many years later. I had nearly forgotten the last two, so they were almost new reads for me. The Langoliers has always been one of my favorites.
Doreen Petersen
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stephen-king
The best story of these novellas was The Langoliers.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up

More to come
This is a novel containing for completely different stories. Only Stephen King can have a collection of stories that average 200 pages a piece. Am I right?

I'm taking my time with it, so I'll be reviewing one at a time for an unspecified amount of time.

The Langoliers Years ago, I was flipping channels and saw a part of this movie. It happened to be the one part where they were explaining what was happening, but I'm proud to report that it did nothing to diminish the suspense of this story. At t
I read this collection once, years ago, and I don't remember liking it much at the time. I'm doing a reread now, and wanted to go into some more depth as to why. The plan is to go through each novella as I finish it, so I guess we'll see.

The Langoliers - I think this story was the one that made me dislike this collection when I first read it. I thought it was overlong, uninteresting, and was unable to suspend my disbelief for an idea as cosmically ridiculous as tiny balls of teeth eating yesterd
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
The first two stories were on the boring side, mostly because I had seen the movies. The third story, The Library Policeman, was actually pretty good up until one moment that involves trigger warnings (view spoiler). The fourth story, The Sun Dog, was the only one that I actually enjoyed out of the four.
Andrew Pritchard
Jan 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
This was the book that turned me off Stephen King forever. Normally he is a great writer, if not a very original one, but the stories here are nothing more than rewritten Twilight Zone episodes and rather badly rewritten at that. Stephen King has said in an interview that he is the fast food of literature, well he certainly is the junk food of literature and Four Past Midnight is just a regurgitation of lame story plots.
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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
“A woman who would steal your love when your love was really all you had to give was not much of a woman.” 61 likes
“I still believe in the resilience of the human heart and the essential validity of love;I still believe that connections between people can be made and that the spirits which inhabit us sometimes touch. I still believe that the cost of these connections is horribly, outrageously high... and I still believe that the value received far outweighs the price which must be paid. (From introductory notes.)” 58 likes
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