No, only half of the narration and stories were Stephen King quality
I love to listen to Craig Wesson his performance made the first story full, colorful and intriguing. His voice is like a fine wine with a good meal. Jessica Hecht's voice is way to sweet to be palatable.
I miss Roland, the Gun Slinger series
Stephen King has spent years perfecting female characters. In the early days someone made the remark that he couldn't write a strong female character between the ages of 7 and 107. Happily, that has changed in recent years and he has produced some good female characters. The reading of the two female leads in this book did a huge disservice to the stories. Frankly, I thought the character of Darcy sounded like some little housewife straight out of the 50s without a brain in her head. Unfortunate, as it was a very good story.
Busy single mom, here. I am passionate about my books, but have so little time to sit down and read. I am loving my audiobooks!
As always, Stephen King has outdone himself.
Unfortunately, the performances by Jessica Hecht are not very good. Her voices for the female characters are too whiney and airy-sounding... read at an annoyingly high register. And she sounds like she is smiling throughout the reading, even when the suspense in the story increases.
I will avoid future performances by Jessica Hecht.
These are all great stories, well told. The first one is so dark it was very uncomfortable to listen.
My only criticism is the trend of actors "over-performing" the books they read. There's a fine line between telling a good story and imposing one's interpretation on it. Wasson was over the top in the first story but much more even in his second. Hecht goes way too far in both her stories and her voices are distractingly similar in each even though the characters are completely different. If I were running the zoo I'd stop hiring actors to do these reading and enlist storytellers instead.
I agree with everything that Ron (an earlier review) said. OK stories, not Kings best, but still King. I too had a hard time with the readers, the book version would have been better. Audio is tough like that. An unpleasant reader can ruin even the best book.
Loved the multiple stories, each different than the other, very well crafted. I can honestly say that there was not a slow passage, dull moment, etc. and I couldn't wait to get into my car and listen as the stories progressed. Are the themes dark? Yes. However, they are so beautifully crafted that your appreciation of his ability to write such dramatic stories overcomes any hesitation you might have to listen to them.
It's nice to see the master back in full form. This collection of novellas doesn't have a dud in the bunch. I found myself eagerly awaiting to see what happened next, which is odd considering they were short and simple stories. The characters are incredibly strong and placed in real situations so vivid that I found myself caring about them. The narration is excellent.
As a Letter Carrier with 6 hrs free each day I began with talk radio and podcasts, and now I have found my salvation with Audible!
Craig Wasson is the reason I bought this book. He was so good in 11-22-63 I wanted more! I was not disappointed with his performance in 2 of these Novellas. The other Narrator, Jessica Hecht was different for sure but the stories were perfect for her. I was thrilled with both "Big Driver" and "A Good Marriage". It was appropriate since the lead character was female, and compelling with her distinctive style and character development. I find myself missing her now that I am on to "From a Buick 8" and the female voice is someone else.
With the exception of Fair Extension, the novellas which make up Full Dark, No Stars, are crime fiction rather than "typical" Stephen King fiction (fiction with a supernatural twist), so I would substitute another crime fiction novella for Fair Extension and then make sure the dust jacket notes make clear that the enclosed novellas are crime fiction. In addition, I would publish this book under a pseudonym, so people expecting supernatural horror would not buy it, only to find it is crime fiction. Yes, Steve, we understand that you want to show that you can write about things other than monsters (baseball, crime, etc.) but not all of us want to read that. Also, I would get rid of all of the unnecessary profanity (what's the matter with you Steve?) and have a good editor eliminate the embarrassing mistakes (e.g.a revolver is not a "pistol")
While King's short stories and novellas are certainly worth reading, I feel he does his best work when writing novels. I'm not sure which of his books I will read next, but it will definitely be one of his novels.
Craig Wasson and Jessica Hecht did an acceptable job reading these stories, but each has lapses during which it's painfully obvious that someone is just reading a book to you.
Full Dark, No Stars is worth the listening time, primarily if you enjoy reading crime fiction. If you're looking for something spooky with a supernatural bent, you're going to be as disappointed as I was.
I think King has lost touch with his audience. I have been a fan of King's storytelling since I stumbled across his first book of short stories (Night Shift) in 1978. His combination of writing style with a significant supernatural component made for horror fiction, which was escapist in nature, but felt like it could happen to anyone who made the mistake of turning his or her back on the present - even if they did so for just a minute or so. And what's with all the profanity? It doesn't add anything to the story other than a distraction. And speaking of distractions, I wish he would stop including the names of popular stores, and songs, and fast food chains, and brand names. People don't talk that way. No one says "I'm going to go to Walmart and pick up some Barq's cream soda." They say "I'm going to the store to pick up some cream sodas." I feel confident in saying that if he had started his career writing about baseball and crime, and filled his prose with profanity and pop culture references, he would not be the household name that he is today. And Steve, can you please stop whining about your fans asking you where you get your ideas?!
Something from Clive Cussler
All readers were awful. The intonation wasn't right and it all seemed forced.
I'm an eternal optimist and kept thinking that it would get better and be worth my time. I'm still an optimist, but it didn't get better. BTW, I own many books by Stephen King and have enjoyed the majority of them immensely.