Wednesday

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Author: Stephen King
Pages: 384
Genre: Fiction / Horror
Source: Purchased

As someone who has read Stephen King since her Junior High School days, I might be a bit biased on my reviews of his books.  For some reason, I especially enjoy his short story/novella compilation books.  Which is a big deal, considering I don't normally "do" short stories.  But Mr. King expertly finds a way of getting the full gist of his story even if he is confined to a small word count.

Full Dark, No Stars consists of four stories.  They are dark, strong, terrorizing, graphic (really graphic, at times), scary... well exactly what you would expect from Stephen King, I would think.

1922 - Reads like "classic" Stephen King.  It has an old world feel to it... this might be since it's set in the early 20's, in an isolated farmhouse in Nebraska.  Wilfred James is making a confession as to the murder of his wife, Arlette, and how the consequences of his actions and ensuing guilt changed his life and that of his young son (who he manipulated into helping with the murder).  A very creepy story full of creaking floor boards and rats, lots and lots of rats.

Big Driver - Features Tess, an author who after giving a reading and signing at a local bookstore decides to take a shortcut home when a flat tire causes an unexpected delay. After being raped, beaten and left for dead, she manages to escape but decides to take matters into her own hands.  A tale of vengeance... my favorite.  I find these types of stories much more sinister and scary since they are the stories we hear of in the news. Tess didn't want the backlash of reporting to the police the crimes committed against her so she decides to seek her own justice.  With a few unexpected twists, I was at the edge of my seat reading this one. 

Fair Extension -  This one held the most WOW for me - it was also the shortest in the group.  It is the simple story of  Dave Streeter who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  On a random meeting with a stranger he is offered a "fair extension" in life - at least for the next 15 years.  The only draw back, he has to choose someone else to get the short end of the stick... or his misfortune.  I loved the way that this story was told.  It was stark, blunt and told in a voice that I found to be bitingly cold.  I almost didn't want this one to finish.        

A Good Marriage - or is it?  Darcy and Bob have been together for 25 years.  They live in a lovely home, empty-nesters now, since their children have left home in pursuit of their own goals. They are comfortable with one another, they rarely disagree and know and understand each other perfectly.  Things might be a bit dull now but otherwise they are content with the lives they've shared.  At least Darcy feels this way, until she discovers a horrifying secret that her husband has been keeping.   This story gave me chills.... to think you know someone only to find out that they are a complete stranger.  Goosebump-inducing!

This may very well be my favorite Stephen King book.  Mr. King's focus on everyday topics - whether it be the consequences of a bad decision, getting a flat tire on a remote street, being jealous of a friend's good luck or the discovery a spouse's dark secret - made this a much more horrifying read then ones with paranormal aspects.  Each story was amazing - the plot and characters were very well done in such short stories.  I was fully gripped within each of the four worlds depicted - I was haunted along with Wilfred, abused along with Tess, seduced by greed along with Dave and disgusted and shocked in Bob along with Darcy.  These are ordinary people meeting extraordinary circumstances - yet they were believable. 

If you're looking for a good scare, this is the book for you.  If you're a long time fan of Stephen King - well, don't hold off on reading this one - he is at the top of his game here.  And, if you've never read Mr. King then this is the perfect book for you to start on.


My Rating:

16 comments:

Jenny said...

Wow, great review!! I've only read a couple King books ever, and those are two of his older ones. This one sounds really good but absolutely terrifying!!! I definitely want to read this now but am a little afraid to, LOL!!

Kristy Nicole said...

I'm a big fan of Stephen King and I ordered this a couple days ago ~ Can't wait to get it :)
Kristy @ Dreaming By Day

Kate said...

I loved Full Dark, No Stars- just a brilliant collection of novellas. Great review!

Tina said...

Um wow- I think this is one of your best reviews!! I havent read a King book since highschool. It scared me so bad I have an eternal fear of clowns now. I tried to read Lizzys Story but couldnt get into it. Im totally getting this right now on the Nook...Thanks a lot Nely Im going broke.....:D

Celine said...

Great review!

I love Stephen King, but I have to admit I haven't read any of his short stories yet. I never read short stories. According to your review, I should start reading them though :D

~*~Jessica~*~ said...

I'm so happy you posted this review! I've been browsing for a good scary book lately and everything I've found seems to come up short. Great review(s)!

debbie said...

I have been wanting to read this. I am glad it was good.

Kathie @ my kozy korner said...

I have loved Stephen King since Jr. High and I will definitely read this. Great review!

Crystal said...

I loved this one as well - there was just something about the stories that made them all so good and scary. It's definitely one of his best novella collections.

Rabid Fox said...

A very good review. I'm already convinced I need to read this, and it really seems to be a step up from the disappointing read that was Under the Dome.

Lily Child said...

Fantastic review! Sounds like a very, very creepy read! :D

librarypat said...

I just got this in the mail in both book and audio form. I don't do horror and scare easily. I have a feeling I will have to be in a very special mood to be able to read these.

BookChums said...

http://worldsstrongestlibrarian.com/9079/book-review-full-dark-no-stars/

PremierAudiobooks.com said...

King never seems to dissapoint. You can find this best seller and more at PremierAudiobooks.com. Pretty good prices and you can download audiobooks too. toolhttp://premieraudiobooks.com/sql/nyt/nyt_best_sellers.php

PremierAudiobooks.com said...

King never seems to dissapoint. You can find this best seller and more at PremierAudiobooks.com. Pretty good prices and you can download audiobooks too. toolhttp://premieraudiobooks.com/sql/nyt/nyt_best_sellers.php

Tony Olaad said...

I have loved Stephen King since Jr. High and I will definitely read this. Great review!

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