Lauren's Reviews > Night Shift

Night Shift by Stephen King
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Aug 27, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, stephen-king, horror, short-story-collection
Read from August 24 to 27, 2012 — I own a copy

Night Shift is Stephen King's first published short story collection, and it contains mainly stories that were first published elsewhere. Many were sold before Carrie became popular and therefore are some of his earliest published writing. There are similar motifs in some of them: the ledge in "Battlefield" and "The Ledge"; someone needing help stumbles into a gathering of old geezers in "Grey Matter" and "One for the Road". That's OK--when he was writing these stories I doubt King ever thought they would be collected together.

John D. MacDonald explains the tautness of King's writing very well in the Introduction. With one well-crafted image, King presents his characters to the reader so clearly that we can picture them immediately. The tendency to over-write that he developed later in his career is nowhere in evidence here. These stories are short, concise, and, in some cases, moving. Neither "The Last Rung on the Ladder" nor "The Woman in the Room" contain a whiff of fantasy or horror. They are just King doing what he does best: showing us a picture of something new, a picture in which we see a little bit of ourselves.
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