Full Dark, No Stars

I picked Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King for my Peril of the Short Story section of RIP 7. I've had a ton of fun reading and participating in RIP 7 and am happy that I joined in. I was certainly exposed to books I wouldn't normally pick up, like this short story collection. They just aren't my cup of tea. BUT, this is Stephen King. That makes it a whole new ball game. I finished up Full Dark, No Stars last week and I must say- it was amazing. I love Stephen King. His writing is beautiful yet terrifying. I'm always a bit suspicious of short story collections, but this was definitely phenomenal. It was just as creepy as any of King's full length novels.

Reading Full Dark, No Stars at one of Maddie's soccer practices
Full Dark, No Stars contains four grisly tales from master of the eerie, Stephen King. The version that I picked up was the May 2011 paperback reprint edition by Gallery Books, which also included a fifth tale titled "Under the Weather". I was thrilled to purchase this book at Ollie's for a mere $2.99 -- woohoo bargain books!

Let me first say that I love the version I purchased. I think this cover is much more eye-catching than the hardcover version. KING plastered across the top does, as always, scream "buy me!" (well, at least for me!). King's writing is plain spectacular, without a doubt.
Full Dark, No Stars features the short stories "1922", "Big Driver", "Fair Extension", "A Good Marriage", and included in this paperback version, "Under the Weather". I certainly enjoyed all of the stories in this collection, but do have thoughts on each in their own respect. I will just breifly touch on them, as I do not want to provide any spoilers.

  • The first story, "1922" starts this book out with a bang. It is intense and thrilling, leaving you guessing until the end. I think this is one of the best in the book, and am pleased that this is what leads the book. It definitely plunges you into the creep-tastic land that is Stephen King's mind.
  • The second tale, "Big Driver" was gruesome. There were some moments when I had to put the book down for a break- some scenes were so disturbing that I needed to take time away to clear my mind of the images. I did like the story, even if it was quite upsetting at times.
  • "Fair Extension" is well-placed in the book. I thought this was the weakest of the stories. It is the shortest of the four main tales and in my opinion, is better off for that. The story didn't feel fully developed to me, and the ending kind of left me hanging. Strange, but not really scary or creepy, which is what I like from King.
  • The conclusion of Full Dark, No Stars comes full circle with "A Good Marriage". This one was by far my favorite of the stories. Not only was this story grisly and terrifying, it was also thought-provoking. It really put into mind intense situations viewed from the inside. I think it gave readers a reason to question when they are being told, in a non-judgmental way.
  • Lastly, my version contained the story "Under the Weather". A short addition to the book, I thought it was okay. It didn't blow me away but it didn't disappoint me either. I did find it predictable, but I know that MANY people reviewed it as being shocking too. Maybe I just watch to many horror flicks.

In all, this book is a great collection of disturbing stories that is sure to set your hair on edge and prickle your skin. Stephen King once again delivers exactly what his readers want: gruesome, interesting, scary, thought-provoking tales. I would highly recommend this to any King fan and to those looking for a few good scary stories. This is a great book for cuddling in a blanket on a dark and stormy night!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

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