Brian's Reviews > Skeleton Crew

Skeleton Crew by Stephen King
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really liked it

There’s no doubt that Stephen King is a master of his craft. Skeleton Crew is a collection of short stories written over seventeen years of his life, from just before he started college, aged eighteen, through to 1983, when he was in his mid thirties.

One of the things I most look forward to reading in King’s story collections is the introduction. Skeleton Crew contains a short but good one, written in his usual style. The tale of his conversation with a friend he refers to as ‘Wyatt’ is hilarious.

Four of the stories leapt out at me as being outstanding. The Mist, Mrs Todd’s Shortcut, Nona, and The Reach. These contain all my favourite ingredients from a classic King recipe: a strong sense of place, wonderful scene-setting, nostalgia, great characters, and a swimmy, dreamy narrative.

There were a few stories I didn’t like so much, but I read them all through to the end and they usually came good in some way. One of these was The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet, which I struggled with. This one had a slow start, and I couldn’t place when it was supposed to be set, due to what seemed to be a historic narrative voice. I was very near the end when I began to realise it was actually contemporary.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. Anyone who enjoys a good short story with a horror twist should read this. It’s quite an old book (although not as old as me), published in 1985, but the stories themselves feel timeless.

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Reading Progress

July 26, 2020 – Started Reading
July 26, 2020 – Shelved
July 29, 2020 –
page 152
24.84% "Just finished reading The Mist, which is the novella included with this collection. Really enjoyed it. Superb characterisation, as usual from Mr King."
August 6, 2020 –
page 174
28.43% "These stories are great to read during the brief pause between novels. I just started The Monkey. Love the way the protagonist is a software architect. I can relate!"
September 3, 2020 –
page 237
38.73% "Just finished Mrs Todd’s Shortcut. Anyone who doubts Stephen King’s ability to be literary should read this. A stunning, beautiful piece of work."
September 18, 2020 –
page 429
70.1% "Just read Nona. One of my favourites. I love the strong sense of place and nostalgia in this story."
September 26, 2020 – Finished Reading

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