Full Dark, No Stars
Stephen King, 2010
Premise: Four long short stories about revenge and human behavior.
The first story was slightly darker and more brutal than I prefer, but I know I can't really complain on that account. “1922” is kin to “The Telltale Heart”. It is the longest story in the collection, and the one I liked the least. The rest, though, were quite good.
My main nitpick about this book is actually that the stories are slightly too long. Each premise is not enough to fill a book, and too much for a normal short story, but most feel just slightly padded out to their current length.
I know not everyone likes Rose Madder, but I do. Of these four new stories, two center on wronged women, and I enjoyed both. “Big Driver” follows a mystery writer who is attacked on the road, “A Good Marriage” is about discovering the dark side of someone the protagonist thinks she knows. Both are about women who struggle with finding a hidden side of themselves, almost a separate person, after extreme events. The stories are different enough from each other to have both in this collection, although it's a near thing.
The other story, “A Fair Extension”, is an amusing and dark piece about making a deal with the devil on the side of the road.
Overall, a decent assortment, and I think the whole book is well written, visceral, dark and bloody, in other words, what I expect from King. All the same, nothing quite grabbed me the way that some of the pieces in Just After Sunset did.
3 Stars – A Good Book
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