"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 twenty 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.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010
: When a master of horror and heebie-jeebies like Stephen King calls his book Full Dark, No Stars
, you know you’re in for a treat--that is, if your idea of a good time is spent curled up in a ball wondering why-oh-why you started reading after dark. King fans (and those who have always wanted to give him a shot) will devour this collection of campfire tales where marriages sway under the weight of pitch-black secrets, greed and guilt poison and fester, and the only thing you can count on is that "there are always worse things waiting." Full Dark, No Stars
features four one-sitting yarns showcasing King at his gritty, gruesome, giddy best, so be sure to check under the bed before getting started. --Daphne Durham
Amazon Exclusive: Justin Cronin, Suzanne Collins, Margaret Atwood, and T.C. Boyle Review Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars
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|"King is Poe's modern heir, and no writer has a richer sense of the dark rooms in the human psyche and fiction's singular power to capture them." |
Read more of Justin Cronin's
review of "1922"
|"Fast-paced and beautifully plotted, 'Big Driver' pulls you into Tess's fragmented mind and holds you hostage until the story concludes." |
Read more of Suzanne Collins's
review of "Big Driver"
|"It wouldn't be Stephen King if somebody's messily bleeding neck did not sprout a huge white knob. As it were." |
Read more of Margaret Atwood's review
of "A Good Marriage"
|"[King's] very ordinary-looking devil has no use for human souls, which, in these enervated times, 'have become poor and transparent things.'" |
Read more of T.C. Boyle's review
of "Fair Extension"