• Drunken Fireworks

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Tim Sample
  • Length: 1 hr and 20 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (1,615 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

2016 Audie Award Finalist for Original Work

A classic Stephen King short story from the best-selling collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Alden McCausland and his mother are what they call “accident rich”; thanks to an unexpected life-insurance policy payout and a winning Big Maine Millions scratcher, Alden and his Ma are able to spend their summers down by Lake Abenaki, idly drinking their days away in a three-room cabin with an old dock and a lick of a beach. 

Across the lake, they can see what “real rich” looks like: the Massimo family’s Twelve Pines Camp, the big white mansion with guest house and tennis court that Alden’s Ma says is paid for by “ill-gotten gains” courtesy of Massimo Construction. When Alden’s holiday-weekend sparklers and firecrackers set off what over the next few years comes to be known as the 4th of July Arms Race, he learns how far he and the Massimos will go to win an annual neighborly rivalry - one that lands Alden in the Castle County jail. 

Read by beloved Down East storyteller Tim Sample - praised by Stephen King for his “wit and talent and good-heartedness” - Drunken Fireworks makes for explosive audio listening. 

©2015 Stephen King (P)2015 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"[N]arrator Tim Sample unfurls the story of an escalating rivalry with precision.... Sample's sardonic delivery peppers a sordid narrative with moments of flippancy, and by grounding the dialogue and characterizations in specificity, he keeps a tight reign on King's kaleidoscopic sense of detail. An odd, enjoyable summer listen, and an excellent recommendation for non-horror fans who are interested in King's work." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Drunken Fireworks

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I Think Stephen King Knows My Neighbors

Being from a rural state, this wild romp is totally believable. It's a different genre for King.. pure humor and character development. Maybe for some, it borders on the incredible... but not for me. I know these people.

I expect the usual reviews from all the readers who will complain that it's not horror. (It's like readers obligate King to stay in that genre, or by God, he will hear about it).

But the bottom line is that he always nails it, and is the benchmark for most anything he puts on paper.

Let the man write.

25 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Red, White and Boom!

Stephen King teases his Constant Readers to new story telling places. Audiobooks aren't new, but they've long been underrated and under appreciated. By releasing "Drunken Fireworks" (2015) on audio only for several months, King gently forces his fans to listen, or miss out on a fun story, just in time for Independence Day.

"Drunken Fireworks" pits new 'money by chance' against older, maybe mob money; town folk against wealthy summer visitors; and creates a mutually destructive arms race with an arsenal of spectacular fireworks. Former trooper Andrew Clutterbuck is now police chief of Castle County (after surviving aliens in "Tommyknockers" (1987)). Alden McCausland is the determined drunk whose lifestyle is enabled by a usually totally soused mother and a Lucky Lotto Scratcher.

"Drunken Fireworks" is narrated by down-home-Maine raconteur Tim Sample. Sample's accent is thick, thick, thick and can be hard to understand for someone who's not familiar with it.

Wondering about King's other innovations and resurrections of older forms? King's "Cycle of the Werewolf" (1983), illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, was intended as a classic horror comic book tribute - but the plot made it a very early version of now popular manga. He published "Storm of the Century" (1993) as a screenplay bound as a trade paperback. "The Green Mile" (1996) was first released as a serial paperback novel. Boy, it was fun to go to the grocery store to see if another installment was available.

I'll never forget the first ebook I ever read, "Riding the Bullet" (2000). It was $2.50, paid online by credit card, a scary proposition on its own. Who was on the other end? Did they have a little credit card machine like at the store? I had to clear a bunch of pictures from my Palm III (you could buy a separate camera and attach it to the top and the resolution wasn't great, but yes - you could take photos with it) to make room for the book. I had to physically synchronize the Palm III in a large docking cradle to get the book, and it took half an hour. Was "Riding the Bullet" worth it? You betcha.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

17 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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What the hell is this?

What disappointed you about Drunken Fireworks?

I couldn't listen to ten minutes of it b/c the voice killed the entire story for me. Its annoying and you cant understand what he's trying to say. Its awful!

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

Yes and have.... This is just bad

Any additional comments?

Wish this was in book format so I could read it and understand what was being said. This just failed all over for being made just for audible listening. (frowny face)

15 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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I come to expect more from Stephen King... :(

The narrator for this book was in someway is appropriate but I had to strain to understand.

The audiobook itself was only about an hour and so minutes and I would've been really upset if I invested a lot of time into this work which was so disappointing.

I don't recommend!

14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Where Do I Begin?

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I guess I'll start by saying that I am a King fan from his beginning years. I discovered Night Shift in my parents attic when I was a teen in the 80's, and it terrified me. I was hooked. However, in the past 15 years, he has constantly disappointed me. why do I keep throwing my hard earned money at him? I am what you would call a completist. After listening to this story, I think I can just classify myself as a glutton for punishment. The story was mediocre. The narration is what really put the nail int he coffin. Am I the only one that heard this guy go from and English accent back into a Maine one? And not with other characters, it was him talking as the main one. The trumpet sound he made actually made me shut the story off a few times because it was so grating. It used to be that everytime I picked up or listened to a King story/book, i was always engrossed. Now I am always disappointed.

Would you recommend Drunken Fireworks to your friends? Why or why not?

Not at all.

Would you be willing to try another one of Tim Sample’s performances?

With hesitation.

Did Drunken Fireworks inspire you to do anything?

Yes. Shut my iPod off several times while listening to the story.

13 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Sucks

Sucks! Stephen king at his worst. Normally I like him. This narrator ruined it. Accent is awful

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Can't listen to this

Awful performance - really annoying voices and accents - couldn't stand more than 10 minutes. 3 stars for story because could be 1 or 5.

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Waste of time

Narrator was excellent. Story was predictable. The end was similar than a wet sock. I apologize to Mr King for this or review because I'm a fan but it just doesn't size up to all of the rest of his work. this story should have remained unpublished. SORRY!!!!

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

bad book

didn't like it very well and I am a big Stephen King cannot not scary

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Awful

2 hours of my life I'll never get back. I kept waiting for something exciting to happen, and then it ended. Thee End.

12 people found this helpful