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Full Dark, No Stars

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  70,128 Ratings  ·  5,327 Reviews
A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.

1922
The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.

Big Driver
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no
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Hardcover, First Edition, 368 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Scribner Book Company
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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)
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)

Community Reviews

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Kemper
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery, horror
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 setti ...more
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 at
...more
Carol
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 abou

...more
Lou
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 ev
...more
Johann
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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 p
...more
brian
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 t ...more
Nayra.Hassan
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, king
رجلا كنت ام امراة..كهلا كنت ام صبيا..ظالما كنت ام مظلوما..ثريا كنت ام فقير..شقيا كنت ام سعيد
في لحظة ما...في يوم.ما ستجد نفسك. .تخطط..تقرر..وتقتل!!!نعم تقتل ..هكذا و ببساطة ..قد تطول خطتك او تقصر..و لكنك تعلم انك ستفعلها ..طالما زارك شيطان القتل و وسوس لك ..مرة

اقنعني كينج بعبقرية لا تصدق..عبر أزمنة متعددة..أماكن متناقضة ..وعبر نماذج بشرية منتقاة ببراعة ..ان القتل هو الغريزة المخفية لدينا جميعا..
انت قد لا تجد أسبابا" كافية لقتل أحدهم..*بعد*ا
انا قد يكون لدي عشرات الأسباب ...ولكنها تلك اللحظة *الضلم
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Kathy
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Ok, I am going to review each story, as well, individually as they deserver.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

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 f
...more
Bill
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 happens
...more
Neil
Nov 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wayne Barrett

4.5

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 woul
...more
Edward Lorn
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 52-in-52-2015
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
Maciek
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 enj
...more
Becky
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 perso ...more
Carly
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Main lesson: Don't get married.
Michael
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 them. ...more
Kathryn
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 p
...more
Beatriz
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me encantó. No he leído tanto de S. King como para decir que es mejor o peor que sus otras obras, pero si hay que reconocer algo es que le va muy bien con los cuentos y relatos cortos: justos, precisos y tan ágiles que es casi imposible que en algún momento pierdas el interés (como sí me ha pasado con algunos de sus otros libros más extensos).

La línea argumental de al menos tres de las historias, se basa en el “y si no hubiera…” de los personajes principales, dejando plasmado cómo a través de pe
...more
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 Differen
...more
Franco  Santos
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Muy buen libro de relatos de King. Este fue el primer libro que leí de él, así que le tengo un cariño especial.

1922: El cuento que más me gustó de esta novela. Es muy fuerte y en él King explora las profundidades del corazón humano y de cuánto somos capaces por esconder un secreto y lo mucho que éste nos contamina y nos perturba dentro nuestro. Es el más pesado, eso tengo que admitirlo, sin embargo no por eso malo. Es excelente.

Camionero Grande: Es una muy buena historia, también. Un poco más
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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 Societ
...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Part of the title says "No Stars" but damn it, I'm giving Full Dark, No Stars - 5 stars! This book was amazing - every story and the afterword as well, is 5 star quality. This is without a doubt, my favorite book I've read by Stephen King (not that I've read all that many) but still it's quite an impressive collection. I absolutely loved this volume and highly recommend it. Would you make the same decision as the main character in each story? Read & ask yourself :-)

From the opening story, 19
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Rinda Elwakil
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: pdf_ebub_tablet
The king,again!
Trudi
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 th
...more
Stacey
Ages ago I read two stories by King: “Chattery Teeth” (which I persist in remembering as “Clackety Teeth,”) and “You Know They Got a Hell of a Band,” both from Nightmares and Dreamscapes. The stories stayed with me, but I don't recall reading anything else by King for many years, until a couple of years ago when I read The Gunslinger, whereupon I fell head over heels and went on a King-binge which included the rest of The Dark Tower series, Duma Key (the audiobook,) and the Marvel Comics series ...more
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.
Kealan Burke
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Atrocious cover aside (even if I’m dumb and missing something greatly significant about a minimalistic cover with a woman making the figure nine on it, it’s still terrible), the title of Stephen King’s latest book is perfect. Full Dark, No Stars, ladies and gentleman, is one bleak book. And though King is no stranger to grim subject matter, when it comes to his novella collections, I think this is the darkest one yet. There are no stars. There’s little hope either. Some, but not much. One might ...more
F.R.
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As usual, I've reviewed each tale as I've come to it. But suffice to say this is an excellent, at turns scary and at turns thought-provoking, collection, which more than meets expectations as well as subverting them. The novella really is a form, and a length, Stephen King excels at.

1922
One of the talents often missed (even by some of his most ardent fans) about Stephen King is his focus: his ability to take a gruesome little idea and drag it out to a terrifyingly scary extreme. It’s because the
...more
Chrissa Vasileiou
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Mία από τις καλύτερες συλλογές διηγημάτων που έχω διαβάσει,και οπωσδήποτε μία από τις καλύτερες του βασιλιά!
4 διηγήματα διαφορετικά μεταξύ τους,όλα όμως το ίδιο ενδιαφέροντα,το ίδιο συναρπαστικά,το ίδιο αξιόλογα,όλα γραμμένα με το μοναδικό ύφος του Βασιλιά, ο οποίος είναι στις πολύ καλές στιγμές του!Μετά τις "Ιστορίες του Λυκόφωτος" ήθελα κάτι δυνατό,να αποκαταστήσει την πίστη μου στις μικρές ιστορίες του,γιατί η αλήθεια είναι πως εκείνη η συλλογή με είχε απογοητεύσει.

Μου άρεσαν πολύ και τα 4,το
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Stephanie
Nov 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2011
Yin Yang: two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and feminine, Yang positive, bright, and masculine. Their interaction is thought to maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it.

I was thinking of the principle of Yin Yang while I read Full Dark, No Stars. This is a collection of four stories, in each one Mr. King explores what happens when ordinary people are put in extraordinary, and sometimes dire, circumstances. What happens is
...more
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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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“I believe most people are essentially good. I know that I am. It's you I'm not entirely sure of.” 161 likes
“When it came to the dark fuckery of the human heart, there seemed to be no limit.” 130 likes
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