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Full Dark, No Stars

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  84,761 ratings  ·  6,074 reviews
"I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger..." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922." the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in ...more
Hardcover, First Edition (US/CAN), 368 pages
Published November 2010 by Scribner
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Adam Ciotta Most of these stories have an interesting level of verisimilitude due to the declining mental health of the protagonist. This brings up a lot of…moreMost of these stories have an interesting level of verisimilitude due to the declining mental health of the protagonist. This brings up a lot of questions.

For instance, discuss the implications of the epilogue of 1922. Were the rats ever real? Recall earlier scenes where they caused traumatic events that only Wilf witnessed. If the rats were just hallucinations what does the story suggest actually happened in those disturbing scenes?

Due to the nature of these stories, the reader is encouraged to mistrust the narrator. When you read through this book again look for instances where you don't fully believe what the protagonist is telling you. That will definitely spark a lot of rewarding questions and discussion topics.

I think this is a very good selection for a book club. I believe it is the most well structured book of short stories Stephen King has ever published and I hope you and your book club enjoy it!(less)
Edward Davies It was in some paperback versions of 'Full Dark, No Stars', but apparently it is going to be featured in the upcoming collection, 'The Bazaar of Bad…moreIt was in some paperback versions of 'Full Dark, No Stars', but apparently it is going to be featured in the upcoming collection, 'The Bazaar of Bad Dreams'.(less)

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Johann (jobis89)
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Life is fair. We all get the same nine-month shake in the box, and then the dice roll. Some people get a run of sevens. Some people, unfortunately, get snake-eyes. It's just how the world is."

Full Dark, No Stars is a collection of 4 novellas in which King explores the "dark side" to people, and how exactly would you react if placed in certain situations? For example, what would you do if you found out that your husband of over 20 years has been hiding a dark secret? How would you react if a a
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
There’s a fair amount of criticism out there about Stephen King. A lot of it is valid, but there are certain times that he’s the perfect author to be reading. Like last night when a winter storm blew through. Freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and high winds made it look like an Artic wasteland outside. As I lay reading under my warm blankets, I paused for a moment and listened to the wind making the house creak and the sleet hitting the windows, and thought, “This is just about the perfect ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing

For many years, Different Seasons claimed the throne as my #1 favorite, short-story collection. Well, you heard it hear first, times they have changed!

That title now goes to this delightfully horrifying collection of tales of ordinary people placed into extraordinary circumstances.

Full Dark, No Stars is comprised of four novellas that examine the deepest, darkest corners of the human condition.

1922: 5-stars
Big Driver: 5-stars
Fair Extension: 5-stars
A Good Marriage: 4.5-stars

I was pulled into
4.5 Stars.

Very Dark and "Wonderfully Gruesome" collection.

Was happy to have found this gem when cleaning and reorganizing one of my too-many to-read bookshelves here at home, and even though I find I've already read each and every one...SHEESH...I actually didn't remember the ending on a couple of them so all is well, and having a real KING book is hardly a hardship after all.

1922 - 5 Stars

A marital disagreement to sell or not to sell...the farm, that is...turns deadly, but RATS!...Talk

Dan Schwent
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
1922: A man coerces his son into helping him murder his wife. Can they keep their sanity in the aftermath?

1922 is a latter day retelling of A Telltale Heart, only with rats and a Bonnie and Clyde side-story. It's also damn good and a prime example of what Stephen King can do when he has a limited number of pages to work with instead of the entire paper output of a redwood forest.

Big Driver: After taking a shortcut down an unfamiliar road, a writer is raped and left in a culvert to die but her
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full Dark, Four Stars.

In Full Dark, No Stars, we get four dark tales filled with murder, revenge, terror, and death. That, my friend, is regular Monday morning at Stephen King's head anyway!

Novella #1 1922
To be honest, I picked up Full Dark, No Stars after watching the trailer for 1922 movie adaptation, and I am happy to say that the novella delivers. The story is set in Nebraska and the year is (that's right, you guessed it) 1922. We are introduced to Wilfred James, a farmer who loves his
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh man, each story makes you forget about the other, they're all equally fascinating and terrifying ... From the farmer who convinced his son to kill his inconsiderate drunk ass mother, to the lawyer who made a deal with a devil out of spite and jealousy, to the brave author who went through hell and back and avenged herself in a rather bad-ass fashion , and finally to the housewife who made a shocking ,albeit a late discovery about her husband and responded Properly... King never disappoint !
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I finished!

Full Dark, No Stars. I always liked that title. It’s a subtle warning for what lies ahead within these four novellas, but I didn’t realize how accurate it was, until I read them all. Let me add a warning you before you decide to read them: Not for the faint of heart.

Big Driver
Tess is a mystery writer, and like writers do, she attends a few speaking engagements throughout the year. Get close to her fans, talk about her latest book, and sign some autographs. She only has a couple of
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Best of 2010
Hold up wait a minute King of fiction releases novellas, stop all reading! Bump up to the front of your to-read list! Essential reading right now! Beauty of Kindle is that i could start reading instantly on release date.
King sums these stories in his afterward he says
" I have tried my best in Full Dark, No Stars to record what people might do, and how they might behave, under certain dire circumstances. The people in these stories are not without hope, but they acknowledge that
Nov 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4.5 Stars

I've somehow stumbled into a Stephen King binge. Its been a long time since I've read Mr. King but I now appear to be back in.

Full Dark, No Stars is a collection of short stories each one in my opinion darker than the last. In my humble opinion no author does the short story collection better than Stephen King and this collection is just further proof of that.

Without spoiling anything I will now give a mini review of each story.

1922 -- 3 Stars
1922 is the first story in this
Nov 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
there are times when it seems stephen king is afflicted with 'murakami syndrome'... y'know what i mean: the guy has quite the incredible imagination but large swaths of his prose makes it so you can't entirely rule out the fact that he might be a bit retarded. you also wonder why king feels the need to end each story on the perfect note. it ain't always the best tack as concerns creepy-as-shit stories: all this horror/existenzy stuff begs for some mystery, some questions left unanswered... and ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Ok, I am going to review each story, as well, individually as they deserver.


1. 1922 - This story is actually a confession of a man who has just murdered his wife. He has even dragged his innocent 14 year old son into this as well, which is very heartbreaking. I feel this story makes you realize that our actions have consequences that we will somehow at some point feel. Is it karma? What goes around, comes around? Ghosts? Insanity? This man, after committing this heinous crime
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, favorites
Thanks to Goodreads, I have been introduced to a lot of fine authors I
would not otherwise have heard of. Some have become new favorites.
But no matter how enjoyable these authors' works are, none of them can
compare to the security and enjoyment of going back to Stephen King.
I often complain of being a relatively slow reader. But this is never the case with King. He has the wonderful gift of emotionally involving you into a story, coming to know and understand his characters, and when this
Edward Lorn
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It’s safe to say that, by today’s standards, Stephen King’s novellas are actually novels. Especially his horror novellas. When you have publishers considering 35,000 words “novel length”, it makes you wonder what the actual difference is between a novel and a novella and whether or not the distinction will make a lot of difference in the coming years. Buddy of mine, Gregor Xane, thinks novellas suit horror just fine, that they are the perfect length to bring on the scares and then GTFO of Dodge. ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stephen King has been scaring me for almost 40 years. Cars that want to kill. Vengeful underdogs. Crazy fans. Curses. Vampires. Possessed toys. Clowns. You name it -- he's scared me with it. There is just some incredibly demented stuff that pops out of that man's brain. It's his superpower. The last 20 years or so I missed some of his books. I was raising kids, know, adulting. And I missed a lot of great writing by my favorite authors. King included. Now that my kids are older ...more
Wayne Barrett


This was a great collection by King; 2 short stories and two stories that are actually novellas. My favorite of the bunch is 'A Good Marriage'. King does a great job establishing the feel of the relationship, given from the POV of the wife, and then leading us to her discovery that changes everything. This was such an eerie moment because of its possibility in real life. I'm sure it has actually happened in one way or another. What would go through your mind at that moment? And then what
After the doorstopper that was Under The Dome Stephen King came with this volume of four tales, all much more restrained in scope and quieter in terms of narrative than the story of Chester Mill. This does not mean that they lack emotion, intensity and darkness; oh no, the title is very apt. These four tales are some of King's darkest work to date.

King one of the few contemporary and succesful practicioners in the vastly ignored field of the short story, but he's probably the sole writer who
Rebecca McNutt
With most of King's more recent works, I've found that they just don't have the same spark that his older novels like Pet Sematary and The Shining have. But Full Dark, No Stars is definitely an exception. Filled with all kinds of creative, frightening stories that range from horror to crime thriller, this collection features different stories for different eras, and they all capture something important and something valuable.
I flipping love Stephen King. He just has this way of getting to the nitty-gritty of things, their soul or heart or whatever you want to call it. Whatever it is that makes it it, that's what King puts on paper and then shares with the world. It both fascinates me and humbles me, because I can't see life in the way that King apparently does. It makes me feel small, actually, because the scope of the understanding that King seems to have is amazing to me. I think I'm a well-read, intelligent ...more
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Main lesson: Don't get married.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Oh look! My very first Stephen King, DONE!
I love short stories, so this felt like a good place to start (also recommended by a friend).

1922 - 4 stars - though I was told this was the worst of the collection, I have to say it left the largest impression on me. The overall tone was eerie and dark but I was also rooting for the characters at times, despite how foul they were portrayed at times. This also took up nearly half of the audiobook, and I felt like some of it could have been cut down. But
I see why this collection is titled, "Full Dark, No Stars."

This is a collection of four short stories or novellas, or five if you have the bonus story 'Under the Weather.' I don't want to give anything away for those who haven't read it, but I will say these stories are dark. They make you question what you would do in these situations, or at least they made me question what I would do. The bonus story, 'Under the Weather' was my least favorite. There was something about it, and I can't quite
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
"This was the Darker Life, where every truth was written backward."

Full Dark No Stars is a book of 4 novellas - 1922, Big Driver, Fair Extension, and A Good Marriage. I'll talk about each of them since there are only 4. This collection is pretty bleak, and the title is serious about the content - there are no light stories here.

The collection opens with 1922. I've always heard such good things about this story. I did like it overall, but it often reminded me of something I would have had to
Nov 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
In the afterward of "Full Dark, No Stars," Stephen King says that the four stories collected here go into some dark corners. And he's not kidding. Easily one of his darkest collections ever, the stories are all still vintage King, looking at ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. There are no happy endings here, but instead some fascinating, page-turning stories that will linger with you long after you're done reading. (I know I'm sure still haunted by aspects of many of ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3 1/2 stars, about which, more later.

Steve King has abandoned the supernatural in favor of something even creepier: REALITY. Do you really know what evil lurks inside that person curled up next to you in bed? Or that gray-haired, seemingly benign librarian? Or the guy who's been your best buddy since childhood? Or YOU, for that matter?
King takes on these questions here in three novellas and one short-ish story.

In Big Driver, Tess is the author of the cozy and bland Willow Grove Knitting
Abbie | ab_reads
So I decided to bump Full Dark, No Stars up my tbr list after my friend Johann gave it a glowing review, and after reading it I can confirm (for probably the 2721st time) that she has amazing taste and that we are bookish soulmates! THIS. COLLECTION. IS. FANTASTIC.
It's made up of four novellas, which for me is great already because I'm not a huge fan of the super short short story; I like to have at least 70 pages to be able to get my teeth into the plot, engage with the characters, feel
Thomas Strömquist
No. 42 in my King reading project. To be finished any year now, providing the man stops outputting new ones in the pace he normally does (not that I would want him to).

If the last one, Just After Sunset, was surprisingly good (don't ask why I have low expectations on the newer books, I really can't say why), this was surprisingly great! While the last one was a horror short story collection in the vein of Graveyard Shift or Skeleton Crew, this is very much sharing properties and feel of
These four novellas do not add up to the best thing Stephen King has ever written, but lordy lordy, do these tales rip and roar, shimmy and jive. I had the best time reading them.

The title really sets up the collection well - make no mistake, these are dark tales, in places gruesome and hard to read. All of these stories feature ordinary characters forced to make awful choices. What choices! These choices resonate with power because they don't relate to the supernatural in any way (except for
Christina - Traveling Sister
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
This is my first Stephen King novel and I'm feeling like this maybe wasn't the best one to start with. That being said, I picked this up at the library and it was an excellently written collection of short stories that I really enjoyed overall.

I'm unsure if all of King's novels are written with such detail to gore, but this definitely had me putting the book down for a few moments throughout it because of this. This is 100% not for the faint of heart. From what I've seen, a lot of his novels
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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, ...more
“I believe most people are essentially good. I know that I am. It's you I'm not entirely sure of.” 175 likes
“When it came to the dark fuckery of the human heart, there seemed to be no limit.” 141 likes
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