AUTHOR: Stephen King
PUBLISHING DATE: November 2, 2015
FROM GOODREADS: A master storyteller at his best—the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.
Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.
There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.
Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”
MY THOUGHTS: As much as I want to give this book 5 paws, because come on, it is Stephen King and he is one of my top three authors, if not number one, I can't. I am not a huge fan of short stories, but for some reason, this book did flow pretty good and I actually enjoyed reading them. Also, although a lot of these have been published in different formats, almost all of them were new to me, except Mile 81 which I know I have read before, but which must have not stood out back then because it seemed really new reading it again.
The main complaints I have are basically with one story, and two works of poetry. I don't mind poetry, but "The Bone Church" and "Tommy" would have been better had they just been brief stories, rather than poetic prose. I also did not like the story "Premium Harmony." Anyone who follows me or my blog will know why immediately upon reading it.
Overall I was rather pleased with this collection and it followed in the tradition of reading a new King release each year at Christmas/New Year's time. My favorite stories are "Drunken Fireworks,"
"Obits," "Batman and Robin Have an Altercation," and "Under the Weather." Even giving it 4 stars, this is a must-have for any King fan.
I would also like to add that King's little prologue about each story giving the reader some tidbits on when it was written, what prompted him to write it, etc. are awesome peeks into his mind.
RATING: 4 PAWS