I took my first Stephen King book out from my small town local library in 1983. It was "Carrie" and I was hooked. I felt like I was drawn into the story as a participant rather than just a reader, kind of like peeking from the closet or behind the couch. It was my first such experience with a book and like so many firsts has been hard to repeat with such intensity. I remember being surprised that a story could be so good. I felt the same way with this new book "Full Dark, No Stars". The stories are enticing in their delicous darkness, I did find some things to cheer for, and the book made me think a little more about the stranger inside of myself who is only a stranger to others and not to me! Do yourself a favor and devote some of your time to this wonderful meaty dark delight!
As a 'Constant Reader' since 1978, I saw, felt, and heard SK in all these stories, but the title doesn't lie. There are no 'stars' here, no bright light to see by. These are not children's stories, not escapist fiction, nothing 'feel-good' here. This is the keen imagination of a story teller reading the horrible things that happen daily and looking behind the headlines. Disturbing is a mild word for these stories. They feel like Pet Sematary, without the magic. I can't say I enjoyed them, you'd be demented if you did. This is adult horror. Not the children's horror of monsters in the closet, but the adult monsters inside each of us. You are forced into the place in your mind that asks, "what would I do if that was me". Sometimes that's a place we don't want to look. Honest, sad, heart-rending, and too close to my own nightmares to be comfortable. I think I will remember these stories for a long time. I also think I will probably never read or listen to them again. Be prepared.
If you are new to Stephen King you will find out quickly that his work is bold, to the point of being angered while reading. "Full Dark, No Stars" is no different, shining where other authors tend to only pretend to touch surface. The four stories in this work are not so much scary as intense with realism. Each one touches you differently making you feel as if this has happened to you or someone you know. The dark feelings and hopeless thoughts are attributed to the craftsmanship of the story and sentence structure presented by Stephen King. Some may not enjoy it, however, in the end they will appreciate how it made them feel. Another set of great tales by Mr. King.
I would really love to give this book higher praise because the set of short stories had interesting plots. However, what nearly ruined the book for me (and I struggled to actually finish listening to it) was the voice interpretation of the female reader. Somehow she managed to make the women in the stories sound like whiny, weak and pathetic characters. Such a difference could have been made with just a slightly different voice! The situations that the women found themselves in, how they reacted and their dialog would have been the same, but they could have been much more likeable. As it was, I found myself wanting them to get killed just so they would shut up and I honestly don't believe that SK wrote these women to be snivelers! For a different book & weak characters the reader's voice would have been fine; but the women in the stories acted a lot smarter/tougher than they were interpreted by the voice. Too bad... in an audio book it's not just the story that makes/breaks the experience; having the reader project the appropriate personality is key.
Great collection of stories, the best being the first, 1922. The only weak link is "Fair Extension". I felt there should have been some sort of twist at the end. Stephen King is back in rare form!
I'm a huge SK fan. But damn, Steve! Throw us a bone, sometimes. I couldn't finish it.
First off, the two readers are quite good. Unfortunately the text doesn't equal their performances.
This collection of 4 or so short stories falls well short of Stephen King. I'm a huge fan of a lot of his work, my favorites being It and Stand By Me. He normally does a great job of creating compelling characters and filling his stories with thrilling tension.
These stories, however, are just disgusting. The first story starts with "a brutal murder so horrible I can't recount it" (paraphrase) and then proceeds to describe the death in horrible, nausea inducing detail. (I literally got sick to my stomach during this story.) There is no excitement, just pure over-the-top grossout.
The second story is one of brutal rape that only a sadist can enjoy. Seriously... unless you like hearing all the details of a horrible rape, this is a terrible story.
The remainder of the stories are dull and once again lack his normal genius. What they ARE full of us forced, dated references to 2008-2009. It seems like he's trying to hard to show that he's 'hip' to the new age... forcing in mentions of GPS, google, twitter, and other tech buzzwords that already feel dated just a year or so later.
If you love stephen king, you will be disappointed. If you don't know his work, this is a terrible place to start. Skip this book entirely and save yourself the disgust. There isn't a single redeeming story here.
I wanted to cut my own head off before the 1st story was over. Sooo boring, slow and dull.
I surely hope the remaining bits can salvage this one.
The female narration spoiled the 2nd and 4th stories for me. She sounded weak and pathetic, not the kind of person that could endure the situations presented in the stories. The narration in the last kept taking me out of the story because I found it so odd and unbelievable.
It was endlessly gruesome, just awful, weird, incomprehenibly evil, and disgusting. I can't imagine how anyone could like this book.