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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

Critic Reviews

"[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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Nice Variety

The stories told are stories that make you think. Anytime a book brings you in, and engages your mind, I believe it's a winner!

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Soooooo dark

I just love it when I find a new collection of Stephen King stories I didn't know about. I'm not his "constant reader," but I do really tend to love his stuff, and when I'm bored I pick up one of his books and he rarely disappoints.

This collection of four stories is a journey in a very dark place, where we get to look inside some twisted minds, around them, and through them.

1922 is a very interesting story about a man who kills his wife for very practical and rational reasons, and the murder has unforeseen ramifications. It's one of those stories where you can sympathize with the protagonist, even though he's committed this terrible act. You can't help kinda hoping things will go his way.

Big Driver is a very difficult story about rape and revenge. Very painful to read, but deeply soul searching, and again, we look inside some of the darker regions of the human psyche.

Fair Extension is an absolutely wonderful story about what you probably wish you wouldn't do, but, in the end you might. It's short and simple and I actually love that the protagonist is refreshingly unapologetic.

A Good Marriage is an engaging story about a woman who thinks everything is just peachy in her suburban dream life, only to find out - oops! It's not. Mr. King does a very good job of baiting and switching on this one. I was rolling my eyes for the first 1/3 of the story, only to have him say WHAMMO, and go in a different direction entirely.

All in all, again, a nice collection of very dark stories - no stars.

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King is one dark author!

I need an up lifting book after that.
Still, of you like King you won't be disappointed.

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Had it not been for the narrator, I would have given it more stars.

The first story I enjoyed very much. It was very dark and the descent of the main character into madness was compelling.
The second-story left me a bit frustrated. It was a difficult read based on the subject matter but I felt the story was well told and I think it was well narrated. The third story ruined the book for me. The narrator was reading a horrible story but the narration was a complete contradiction. The narrator's tone sounded like a Disney princess reading nursery rhymes to a roomful of two-year-olds. It was infuriating and caused me to want to pull my hair out of my head. Her voice sounded like she was riding on a unicorn under a rainbow on a bright sunny day and butterflies were fluttering all around her. The inflections were so inappropriate throughout the story, made it nearly impossible to listen to it to the end. If her narrating style was intentional, then I just didn't get it.

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very entertaining

great compilation of short fiction. great plotlines and while they were shorter than his novels, each story was still the perfect length. best of King's short story writing in my opinion

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The female narrator sounds hideous

OHMYGOD!! I don't know how I was able to finish listening to this book because of the female narrator. I'm sorry I sound so harsh but I hated her voice. Why on earth she made all women sound like they were hundred years old?! I mean come on lady! Geez her idiotic old lady voice still annoys me even after the book is finished.

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I love Stephen King, but...

I can't write a full review, since I stopped reading before finishing the first story. I've loved King for years, but this was by far the goriest thing I've seen from him.

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King is still ever the master story teller, but...

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Craig Wasson and Jessica Hecht ?

I have been a Stephen King fan since childhood and am always excited to read what he puts out. But not if it's read by Jessica Hecht.

How could the performance have been better?

Jessica Hecht is INSUFFERABLE. All her dialogue is recited like the women are simpering four year olds on the brink of an epic whining fit and the men all sound like pre-teen boys with laryngitis who's voices are just starting to crack from the onset of puberty and haven't learned to convey the emotion appropriate to the conversation at hand. Seriously all of the inner dialogue she recites is done in an unbearable sing song that has absolutely nothing to do with the contextual tone of the lines. Just because it's happening in a lady's head doesn't mean it needs to sound like a bad dream sequence from a 1950s children's cartoon. And even the regular dialogue sounds like the women are practicing elocution lessons while disingenuously smiling around a mouthful of chocolate icing. I just couldn't even. Wasson was alright, especially during the telling of his second story. The opening vignette wasn't my favorite of the bunch and I thought he read it too much like every line was the build up to a major explosion.

Any additional comments?

All in all, I typically enjoy listening to Stephen King spin a good yarn, and this wasn't a complete fail just because of some bad casting. But please, please I'm begging you, next time pick a woman who knows how to read lines without sounding like a June Cleaver robot.

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  • val
  • Indiana, USA
  • 11-20-16

Great Stories!

Would you listen to Full Dark, No Stars again? Why?

No, I never listen twice.

Any additional comments?

I loved this book. It is a collection of stories/short novels all with a common theme. The title of the book doesn't lie-- these are very, very, dark tales. The stories illustrate a concept that Mr. King and I tend to agree on: people aren't good bad but we all have within us the ability to do wonderful and horrible things. We are all capable of a dark side given the right (or i suppose, the wrong) circumstance.

The stories are about 4 ordinary people who are put into very extraordanry and unpleasant circumstances. They are stories about the character's fight within themselves as their sanity and their control slips away from them as they go through the worst possible situations. This book will make you extremely uncomfortable. You will want to stop reading but won't be able to - one of the best qualities a book can have.

I liked the male narrator but the female was pretty bad... That is half the book.... but, It is worth it to suffer through her sing-songy voice to hear the stories.

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2 amazing narrators and 4 great stories.

1922 is by far the best, by no means does that discount the other two stories. All 4 make you want to stay in the car "for just 5 more minutes" and finish the next chapter. Craig is my favorite "Everyman" narrator. His ability to emote, to convey, to reach through your ears and hug your soul is second to none. This man is the Tom Hanks of Audiobooks.