"I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922", the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.
In "Big Driver", a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book-club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face-to-face with another stranger: the one inside herself.
"Fair Extension", the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest. Making a deal with the devil not only saves Dave Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment.
When her husband of more than 20 years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It's a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends a good marriage.
Like Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight, which generated such enduring films as The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, Full Dark, No Stars proves Stephen King a master of the long story form.
©2010 Stephen King. All rights reserved. (P)2010 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved
"[T]hese tales show how a skilled storyteller with a good tale to tell can make unsettling fiction compulsively readable." (Publishers Weekly)
"King has gone on record saying he believes that American readers should pay more attention to the virtues of short fiction... if anyone can get reluctant short-story and novella readers into the swing, he certainly can with this book." (Booklist)
Interesting and will keep you thinking, but when I buy S.K. I expect suspense through my bones and this lacked this all together...ok story lines but nothing that jumps out. Save your money.
I enjoyed this book, but is it my favorite SK collection of short stories? No. It's def. worth a listen though, I enjoy Craig Wasson's narration of the first story. I say if you're a big SK fan then you have to listen, if not you're not missing THAT much...but give it a shot if you're in the mood for some darkness in your day.
I was a little disappointed with the first short story and the second seemed to end abruptly, however, the third story more than made up for it.
I read this book before I came on Audibles and bought it to put on my ipod. I must say that the narrators in my opinion are just horrible. I found myself being so irritated by their reading style that I could not pay attention to what they were saying. I would recommend reading the book over listening to it.
I generally enjoy King’s novels but this collection of short stories was very mediocre. Fair Extension is probably the best of the bunch. King needs an editor who asks him if the scene he is writing advances the narrative. There is a lot of exposition that doesn’t advance the narrative or build suspense. It just plods along. I understand that he is trying to examine the mundane and everyday nature of evil that lurks in the world. I just think the subject matter could be examined in a better and more interesting way.
The only thing scary about this book is the level of misogyny. The tales are not creative, they are revolting...think "Last House on the Left" or "I Spit on Your Grave."
The best way I can describe this is, "meh."
The 4 stories did keep my interest. I wanted to know how each would turn out, but all but the first story left me disappointed.
In each story, you are taken into the mind of the protagonist in an attempt to experience the drama from their perspective. But Big Driver is experienced every week by fans of cop shows. The Darcy Anderson story is over before it gets good. And Fair Extension, well, I can't think of a way to express my feelings without spoiling it.
Full Dark, No Stars is surprisingly different from the King books I've enjoyed till now. The first story is told first person, which is very different and quite engaging. And the feminine voice in the second rings true and terrifying. I hesitated to order a collection of short stories having loved the big works...loved every minute of it.
I love all of the stories, especially Big Driver. I actually read the novel before buying the audible version. I would have loved to have heard Kathy Bates perform the two stories from the women's perspectives and I am still trying to decide if I like Wasson's narration. Having said that, I still highly recommend this book!
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