Who but Stephen King would turn a Port-O-San into a slimy birth canal, or a roadside honky-tonk into a place for endless love? A book salesman with a grievance might pick up a mute hitchhiker, not knowing the silent man in the passenger seat listens altogether too well. Or an exercise routine on a stationary bicycle, begun to reduce bad cholesterol, might take its rider on a captivating -- and then terrifying -- journey.
Set on a remote key in Florida, "The Gingerbread Girl" is a riveting tale featuring a young woman as vulnerable -- and resourceful -- as Audrey Hepburn's character in Wait Until Dark.
In "Ayana," a blind girl works a miracle with a kiss and the touch of her hand.
For King, the line between the living and the dead is often blurry, and the seams that hold our reality intact might tear apart at any moment. In one of the longer stories here, "N.", which recently broke new ground when it was adapted as a graphic digital entertainment, a psychiatric patient's irrational thinking might create an apocalyptic threat in the Maine countryside...or keep the world from falling victim to it.
Just After Sunset - call it dusk, call it twilight, it's a time when human intercourse takes on an unnatural cast, when nothing is quite as it appears, when the imagination begins to reach for shadows as they dissipate to darkness and living daylight can be scared right out of you. It's the perfect time for Stephen King.
©2008 Stephen King; (P)2008 Simon & Schuster
Listening to audio books, like viewing art, is a subjective exercise. I was amazed at the negative reviews. This was classic King -- showing his expertise as one of America's finest WRITERS, without being pigeonholed into the genre of horror.
As other reviews noted, "N" is worth the price of the download. Incredible story, and the multiple readers make it sing.
My favorite story was "The Things They Left Behind," which entertained me through three listens over a two-week span.
I enjoyed "The Gingerbread Girl," but thought Mare Winningham's read was bored and uninspired. Ms. Winningham is a fine actor, but sounded barely interested in this story.
King's read of "Harvey's Dream" showed that his reading skills have improved... and that particular story is short but excellent.
Bottom line -- if you are familiar with King's work and enjoy it, you will truly love this download.
I really enjoyed this book. I found two stories to be lame, but over all, it was great. I really enjoyed the last story. It was very detailed, it was so detailed, that it grossed out my husband who can stomach anything.
If you like King, you will enjoy this book. I a going to buy the book version, its worth reading.
I'm not a SK reader, but was intrigued by the short story premise and was not disappointed. Some were better than others, as is usual in a collection, but makes it easy to move on if you don't like one. Particularly enjoyed Things They Left Behind, Cat from Hell, Reststop, and the last one is not to be missed. The different readers provide variety and help separate the stories. If you want the usual SK, don't get this...if you want something different, give it a try. This is very long, so don't expect a quick listen. It is more a journey than a destination.
Most of the short stories in this collection are actually pretty long (not that that's a bad thing!) but they are all consistantly well-written and performed. It's hard to pick out favorites, but N, The Stationary Bike, and A Very Tight Place are standouts. Who but King would have his protagonist experience a re-birth by having to crawl out of the bottom of a filthy Port-o-san? The stories are more along the creepy side, usually not going into pure horror (with the exception of The Cat From Hell) and are therefore more believable and disturbing. Highly recommended!
If you are looking for a pointless gore fest then this book is not for you. This book tells ordinary stories in an extraordinary ways. It is a roller coaster of emotions. I would recommend it highly
These stories are more like King's olders stories, which I definitely prefer. First narrator isn't that great, but the others are wonderful...especially Mare reading The Gingerbread Girl. Oh, beware, I downloaded The Gingerbread Girl and Stationary Bike way before this new book came out...so if you've already heard those and don't want to listen again, you'll have to fast forward-not an easy feat on an ipod! But Gingerbread Girl was sooo worth listening to for a second time!
Great fun. Good stories; reminded me that I used to like short stories and has me looking for more. The last story is disgusting in a (very) true "potty" sense, but the others are excellent entertainment. SK's comments afterwards on his inspirations for the stories and on writing are great, too.
Be aware... a large portion of this book consists of The Gingerbread Girl and Stationary Bike. These are two short stories that I previously purchased and did not realize that they were being recycled. I did like the stories that were new however, thus the 3 rating.
I have just finished listening to the stories in this book (well I couldn't finshi the last story) and I am patting myself on my back celebrating my devoting to finish reading some 15 hours of (for the most part) really lousy stories. With the exception of the Stand, Salem's Lot & a handful of a few other short stories, I have always finish Stephen King's stories feeling disappointed; sometimes really good stories falling short of a terrific ending; the worst feeling that the story just seems to end abruptly and i wonder if i perhaps fell asleep (when I hadn't).
The two fairly decent stories (Willa and the one about a psycharitist working with a patient with severe OCD issues) were examples of how good Stephen King can be but the other stories were just too painful to be worth the time investment.
Thank you for reading my review.
This is collection could best be described as mediocrity punctuated by moments of complete brilliance.
I'd argue with the "Stephen King hasn't used the horror genre since the 80s" review; it's simply not true, and there are some pretty scary moments in this collection. Though you'd be right not to expect a horror fest; this collection is eclectic.
While even the least of King's stories are worth the time to read, I found some of these - such as Gingerbread Girl - to be generally underwhelming.
Others, however, such as "N," are some of his best short-story work. Seriously, the jacket price is worth it for "N" alone.
There are 669 characters in this review. 684 is better.
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