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Four Past Midnight

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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  86,647 Ratings  ·  1,139 Reviews
Four Times Fear Equals Total Terror.... The Langoliers You are strapped in an airplane seat on a flight beyond hell. Secret Window, Secret Garden You are trapped in the demonic depths of a writer's worst nightmare. The Library Policeman You are forced into a hunt for the most horrifying secret a small town ever hid. The Sun Dog You are focusing in on a beast bent on shredd ...more
Kindle Edition, 1012 pages
Published (first published September 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.

Community 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

...more
Bradley
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
Leo .
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Hassinger
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
...more
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
Helen
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
...more
Kit★
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
...more
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
...more
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
F.R.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Antonio Rosato
Questo lavoro di King, pubblicato per la prima volta nel 1990, entra nel novero dei suoi pochi libri che mi hanno lasciato con l'amaro in bocca. Per la verità, non si tratta di un romanzo vero e proprio, ma è solo una raccolta di quattro racconti brevi in cui lo stesso scrittore rende omaggio, diciamo così, alla sua professione ed al suo stesso estro creativo. I primi tre racconti, ad essere onesti, mi son piaciuti ma senza entusiasmarmi; il quarto ed ultimo, invece, mi ha completamente deluso t ...more
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...

Done?

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
...more
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
...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.
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.
Jessica
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.
Gorgona Grim
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Četvrta priča u okviru "Četiri iza ponoći" u najvećoj meri dodiruje neposredno zlo koje obitava u onostranom i vodi nas kroz vrtlog iščekivanja i tenzije.

Na samom početku upoznajemo slavljenika, Kevina Delevana, koji je napunio petnaest godina. Za rođendan, on dobija polaroid, Sun 660. Kevin momentalno okida snimak, ali umesto članova porodice, fotografija prikazuje nešto što liči na dvorište. Pod pretpostavkom da je aparat pokvaren i sa željom da isti zadrži, umesto da ga jednostavno zameni u
...more
Chester Dean


Para mi siempre es un placer leer a Stephen King, y últimamente la editorial me ha consentido con dos de sus libros y eso me tiene loca de contenta. El primero que leí fue "Las cuatro después de medianoche" que consta de dos historias cortas, una se llama El policía de la biblioteca y el segundo El perro de la polaroid.

Como buen libro de Stephen King (se nota enseguida su pasión por escribir) comienza con un mensaje del autor para sus lectores frecuentes, donde nos cuenta sobre el libro y la
...more
seak
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
...more
Andrew Pritchard
Jan 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ruth Turner

Audiobook – Narrated by - Various.

I love the stories in this book but I have to say that some of the narrators didn’t do them justice and the background music drove me nuts!

Secret Window, Secret Garden – Narrated by James Woods.

The Sun Dog – Narrated by Tim Sample.

The Library Policeman – Narrated Ken Howard.

The Langoliers – Narrated by Willem Dafoe.

***

Ebook:

SECRET WINDOW, SECRET GARDEN – 4**** Loved it.
Although I worked out what was happening early in the story it in no way detracted from my e
...more
Carolina
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
- The library policeman 5/5⭐
- The sun dog 3.5 /5 ⭐

Alucinante libro de relatos de SK y que recomiendo muchísimo. 💪❤
Strawberry Fields
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I decided this year I'm going to re-read some books I haven't read for years, even though my TBR is ever growing. I am glad this is one of the ones I chose.

It is as good as I remember. My favorite stories were The Library Police and Secret Window. Still not a huge fan of The Langoliers. I know that is in contrast with a lot of opinions!

Stephen King's short stories and novellas are just as captivating as the 1000+ page novels he has written so well. I would be afraid to live inside his head fo
...more
Sarah
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-man, horror, 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.
Michael Gardner
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting four novellas but there are four novels of reasonable length in this collection. If you’re a King fan, it’s value for money for sure. I did think the stories were a little inconsistent though.

The Langoliers stands out as the best. It has an original nail-biting plot, lots of interesting twists and turns, well-developed characters and of course the very disturbing supernatural beings the story is named for.

Secret Garden, Secret Window is interesting but very predictable. The relat
...more
miledi
Una buona raccolta di racconti del Re. Il migliore secondo me è l'inquietante "I langolieri".
Qui il discreto film che ne è stato tratto:
https://youtu.be/3C2fesbI09Q
Lisa
Whenever I sit down to review a book I do it in the company of my cat, Eric, who usually plonks himself firmly on the keyboard in front of me or, more usually, evicts me from the chair entirely so that I’m left attempting to type while kneeling in front of the desk as he stretches out on the chair.

Stephen King has his Constant Reader, and for nearly twelve years now Eric has been my Constant Companion. I spend most of the time I’m not working at home, and rather a lot of that time reading. As w
...more
Ole Imsen
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is a collection of four novellas. So first I'm going to give you my review of the individual novellas, and then at the end I'm going to give you my thoughts on the collection/book as a whole.

The Langoliers

As a lot of King's horror, this story has a lot of science fiction elements. Here one element straight out of science fiction is central to the plot.
The Langoliers is not a slow starter, it doesn't take many pages before you are drawn into the story. The shorter length, at 234 pages it
...more
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339,193 followers
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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“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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