Sunday, March 20, 2011

Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King

Genre:                Short stories
Year:                   2010
Pages:                 368
Publisher          Scribner
Preceded by:     Just After Sunset
  • 1922
  • Big Driver
  • Fair Extension 
  • A Good  Marriage

A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.

The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.

Big Driver
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences.

Fair Extension
Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay.

A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of over twenty years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles literally upon a box under a worktable in their garage. (

"Life is fair. We all get the same nine-month shake in the box, and then the dice roll. Some people get a run of sevens. Some people, unfortunately, get snake-eyes. Its just how the world is."

"He supposed that even in Hell, people got an occasional sip of water, if only so they could appreciate the full horror of unrequited thirst when it set in again."

There are 4 trailers, one for each story, and you can find them all on youtube. I included one to A Good Marriage because this is the story I liked the most!

We don't fully know anyone.
Least of all ourselves.

In his brand new set of never before published novellas, Stephen King skillfully performs a deeply disturbing vivisection of the human soul.

I am a HUGE Stephen King  fan. I read almost everything this brilliant man published so far (with few exceptions that are still on my TBR list). I love his writing style, his wittiness and darkness. I don't think I ever read anything by SK that I wouldn't enjoy. So be informed, that my review might not be fully objective. I will do my best, though, I promise. 

This being said, let's talk about Full Dark, No Stars.

I can honestly say that King's recently published stories are so far my favorite short stories ever. It's Stephen King at his best. You know these dark, shadowy places hidden deep in the human soul? Well, King finds them all, carefully examines them, pokes around and then drags them into light to share the findings with his readers. 

The novellas are dealing with the theme of retribution. These are stories of complicity. Skillfully crafted, with just a tasteful pinch of paranormal, enough to keep us interested, but not as much as to distract us from the core of the story - humans and their crimes, their good and bad decisions and the consequences that follow.
King plays with the idea that everyone of us has an "outside me", the face we put on like a mask, to live through yet another day without revealing our true selves and whatever lies underneath. He digs deep, in search of the ugly, nasty and often horrifying truth that we try so hard to keep from others. He then brings whatever he dug up, holds it up to our eyes in a palm of his hand and says with a crooked smile: "look what I found... What do YOU think about it?"

I loved it. I enjoyed it a LOT, I had a huge kick out of reading it. 
The cover might not be the best I've ever seen, but the title reflects the content of the book in 100%. When you pick up this book and start reading, the night is very dark, and there are definitely no stars that could lighten it up.


Shannon said...

I have never been a Stephen King reader, but you might have changed my mind. I enjoyed your review and will definitely put him on my TBR any suggestions for a first read?

Anonymous said...

You just said everything I have ever wanted to say about Stephen king! He's not just a "blood and guts" writer, the way his detractors portray him. It's that uncanny ability to dip into the psyche of an average person and show you what he finds there that fascinates me.

Lindsay said...

A Good Marriage immediately caught my attention! Gotta pick this up soon. I love Mr King!

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Though not really a fan of novellas, like you, every Stephen King book has left an impression on me.


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Jolene and Family said...

What, Stephen King and Novellas?? I'm not a huge fan of Novellas, mostly my problems lay with romance short stories. I grew up with Stephen King and Dean Konntz and think it's time I revisit him :)

Nikita said...

I love each book from Stephen King so I am going to read this one too. :) This man is god of horror books. :D Amazing review! :)


Kacennnka said...

I've never read Stephen King but, maybe I'll do it after I read that... :)

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I see that you're a fan of Stephen King! As am I...and I'm dying to read this new book of his! It sounds so promising, and after reading your review, I just want to read it that much more! :D

Thanks for this wonderful review :)

GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

Angel Snyder said...

I feel the same way about dear Stephen King! He's just amazing to me! :) I brought this book without even reading what it was about! I just saw his name on it and thought to myself, "New book? YES!" and went to pay for it without even caring what it was about! :)

Akshay Bakshi said...

Despite of hearing so much about him, I have never had the chance to read King's works. Hopefully, I can start with this one.

Unknown said...

I think I should try to read a Stephen King book, have never done it, but I have heard so much good about his books...

Jana said...

I wanted to read Stephen King very long time but I still didn´t read anything :( I think that I would like his books so i hope I´ll read something from him soon. This book sounds good to me so maybe I´ll read it :)

Rose said...

I've read some of Stephen King's books, but I haven't heard of these stories. However, I really like his writing style, it's unique.

Andra Lyn said...

Sounds awesome! I love Stephen King. He is what truly got me to appreciate horror. I decided that I was going to try to read all of his works chronologically so I am only on the Stand. But I think it has to be one of my favorite books of all time. It is SO wonderful. King is a genius :D

Paper Cut Reviewer said...

I'm also a huge SK fan but for some reason I have no idea why I don't have this book, lol! Anywho I'm excited about this book! Thanks! I enjoyed your review=)


Anonymous said...

I don't have this book yet. The cover reminds me a lot of The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho. Like, they could be book brothers. :P

Krystal Larson said...

I love Stephen King! I have to read this!!!

aurora M. said...

This guy has WEIRD down flat. Love the movies made from his books but I have never been able to get through even one of his books. Too weird...too scary! Loved the review though.

therainhouse said...

I haven't read any Stephen King books yet..

Maybe because I'm afraid I'll get nightmares.

Full Dark No Stars' cover is actually kind of interesting. It makes you wonder about that figure.

Sky said...

Love the cover!

The Happy Booker said...

Great review! I'm actually not a big fan of Stephen King's writing EXCEPT for his short stories. I think most of his books are entirely too wordy and he sometimes rambles on too much for me BUT his short stories are phenomenal. I've had Full Dark sitting on my shelf for a while now but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. It sounds like this batch of shorts are no exception.

Munnaza said...

Another Stephen King book I'll now be checking out thanks to you! I did;t know he wrote short stories/novellas as well!

Jaime Lester said...

This is Stephen King. I will be reading it. Nothing more to say about that. It. Is. Stephen. KING!!

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