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Full Dark, No Stars | [Stephen King]

Full Dark, No Stars

"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.
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Publisher's Summary

"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

What the Critics Say

"[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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (2408 )
5 star
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4.2 (1159 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Gary Naugatuck, CT, United States 12-21-10
    Gary Naugatuck, CT, United States 12-21-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ony two stars"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Lutz, FL, United States 11-10-10
    Stephen Lutz, FL, United States 11-10-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So far So Good"

    I only finished with the first story, but it is very scary and nerve racking. It is much like an Edger Alain Poe story of the hunting of a guilty man driving himself to ruin. Love it so far, Very scary. Looking forward to the rest, hope they are as good as this one.

    26 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 02-20-12
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

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    "Creepy and Disturbing - YAY!"

    I really enjoyed this collection of dark tales - they gave me the creeps and entertained me - what more could one ask for? As usual, King's character development and gift for dialogue are the real stars of the show - he gives you a chance to allow your internal critic to relax a bit and just enjoy the ride. Worth a credit - worth the time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine mckeesport, PA, United States 02-08-12
    Christine mckeesport, PA, United States 02-08-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Delightfully dark"

    This is the kind of book that makes you really glad to finish it and go back "to the light", as Stephen himself puts it. The stories are great, the editing is great, and the narrator does a GREAT job. Mr Wasson is definitely one of the best!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Surrey, BC, Canada 10-28-11
    Robert Surrey, BC, Canada 10-28-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great collection of Stephen King novellas"

    Stephen King is best when he keeps it short. His best output has been his novellas and short stories. Full Dark, No Stars continues this trend with 4 great stories that are more character studies than horror stories. But they work as both. All the stories have a theme of people who lose themselves to deal with some dark side of themselves.

    I do not want to give any of the stories away as half the fun is hearing how the stories and characters evolve and the decisons they make (as well as their reasons for making the decisons). There is also a bit of a feminist leaning to 3 of the 4 stories; which I thought was interesting (seeing as a large chunk of horror seems to involve damsels in distress).

    This is a great listen and a reminder of how Stephen King elevates a sometimes tired genre of horror into great fiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Hot Springs Village, AR, United States 09-25-11
    James Hot Springs Village, AR, United States 09-25-11 Member Since 2009

    Retired Clergy. PhD in Comparative Religion. Enjoying retirement of golf, motorcycling, model railroading, gardening, and reading.

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    "Engulfing!"

    Stephen King at his very best. I can't remember being any more captured by this storyteller engaged in his articulate craft. Don't enter into the world(s) of these stories unless you are ready to be completely caught up in the narrative(s). I will listen to them again, I think, but not until I'm once more willing to face myself wholly for one (like the characters in each tale) who may very well be possessed of two (at least) people. For the moment I'm just going to let these morality tales ferment someplace deep within me. Wonderful. Engulfing. Stephen King at his best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzi M Everywhere, United States 09-01-11
    Suzi M Everywhere, United States 09-01-11 Member Since 2008

    Suzi M

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    "Stories ruined by narration...."

    The male narrator was okay - not great, but okay. Definitely not as bad as the female narrator. Each word from her sounded like it was being wrung from a whining drama queen's neck. If I could do over, I'd have just read this book instead of listening to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Swad 04-20-11
    Swad 04-20-11

    swadmeister

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic King"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hope Broken Arrow, OK, United States 01-22-11
    Hope Broken Arrow, OK, United States 01-22-11 Member Since 2010

    Hope

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    "Nice to see "Old King""

    It was so nice to have short stories that take me back to Four Past Midnight and Bachman days. The narrators are fantastic and add a great deal to the story. I hope King's following books keep up this energy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Buffy Helper, UT, United States 01-08-11
    Buffy Helper, UT, United States 01-08-11 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a great book!"

    I am what you'd call a "constant reader". I've been reading and listening to SK for close to 20 years. I really enjoyed this book. I usually don't care for SK's short stories/novellas, but these were all very, very good. I very much enjoyed the second story, but it is quite disturbing and a bit more graphic than I am used to with SK. Some reviewers had a problem with the readers, I really didn't mind them, they weren’t the best performance’s, but it was still ok. I also appreciated SK’s afterword. I would recommend it to everyone who likes SK. All in all, it's a great read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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