Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Just After Sunset by Stephen King

Sarah says:
My siblings and I read pretty much all of Stephen King's works up until we became "adults."  And we haven't dropped him entirely, it's just that our adolescent fascination with some of the world's scariest (in my opinion) stories has been satisfied to a degree and we've moved on to other things.  I still love Stephen King though.  I know he's not "literati" and that his works aren't the stuff of heavy hitting literature, but the man tells a really great story.  And if you've only seen the movies "Shawshank Redemption," "Stand By Me," and "The Green Mile" you should read the books as proof of that.  Because they're even better than the movies.  (Also, The Shining is even scarier as a book.  If you haven't read it, do so but be prepared to put it in the freezer.)  All that being said....

We're both getting older.  Mr. King relies less on his former scare tactics and I'm just fine with that.  I had saved this book to read on vacation thinking I would need the bright lights and constant company as distractions from the fright (I like to do things like watch episodes of Paranormal State but ONLY at the gym because I, ever so logically, figure that a gym is the last place someone would haunt).  Turns out I could have read this when I first got it.  There were some scary stories, but mostly just well written tales of sadness, loss, fright, obsession and desperation.

I am always surprised at how easily an author known for "horror" can move me to tears.  One story about a phone call two days after a death had me clutching at Kleenex.  He articulates love, loss and the effects of death well.  The story of a dream premonition was the scariest of the collection because of its plausibility. I could imagine it happening; see it so clearly in my head that I thought maybe it had been a movie I'd already watched.  As far as I know it's not, but that's how well Mr. King tells a story.  A story involving a circle of eight in Ackerman's Field was the most like his earlier short stories.  I almost wish he would develop it into a novel.

While some of the stories from this collection are already fading into the background, this Constant Reader enjoyed walking back into the fray of short stories with an old favorite.  Grab some tissues and a night light and read on.  Bonus; it's now in paperback!

From School Library Journal:
In King's latest collection of short stories (following 2002's Everything's Eventual), he presents 14 tales that range from the philosophically themed, to one in which the author gleefully admits to playing with the gross-out factor ("A Very Tight Place"), to "The Cat from Hell," which makes its hardcover debut some 30 years after its original publication as part of a contest in Cavalier, one of the gentleman's magazines that put food on the table in King's early years as a writer.  In his introduction, King cites his stint as guest editor for the 2007 edition of Best American Short Stories as an impetus to return to the form in his own writing.  Several of the works included here were written following that experience.  Finally, as King has done previously in his collections, at the end of the volume he provides the reader with brief insights into the inspirations for each tale.  Recommended for all popular fiction collections.  Pin It

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