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Four Past Midnight

Four Past Midnight [Kindle Edition]

Stephen King
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description


An incredibly gifted writer, whose writing, like Truman Capote's, is so fluid that you often forget that you're reading (Guardian)

A writer of excellence...King is one of the most fertile storytellers of the modern novel...brilliantly done (The Sunday Times)

Splendid entertainment...Stephen King is one of those natural storytellers...getting hooked is easy (Frances Fyfield, Express)

The Sunday Times

‘A writer of excellence...King is one of the most fertile storytellers of the modern novel...brilliantly done’

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1112 KB
  • Print Length: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder (12 Jan 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034095275X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340952757
  • ASIN: B003BKZW5O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,125 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good 12 Sep 2011
Yet another excellent collection of horror stories from Stephen King. If you've enjoyed his other books then you will certainly enjoy these.

Three of the stories are King at his best. Unfortunately, I found the first tale, The Langoliers, to be a bit too ludicrous to get into. It's like one of those ridiculous Airport movies only with a supernatural twist. I suppose that's what he intended but it just doesn't work as well as the other stories in this book and is why I can only give it a 4 star rating.

The remaining three tales are gripping, unrelenting and beautifully logical. Some terrific characters, my favourite being Pop Merrill, a conniving Castle Rock trader who'll stoop to nothing to make a fast buck.

There are certainly traces of his other books here with Sun Dogs reminiscent of Needful Things; Secret Window, Secret Garden (made into a film starring Johnny Depp) along the same lines as The Dark Half and The Library Policeman reminding me of Insomnia and to a certain extent IT.

Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few good stories 17 July 2004
I just recently read this book and although I really enjoyed the stories The Langoliers, Secret Window Secret Garden, and The Sun Dog I didn't really enjoy The Library Policeman. I thought it was a bit off the wall, and not in a good way. However I do rate this book 4 stars because of the other 3 good stories in the book. The Langoliers is one of the most interesting short stories I've ever read. I would definitely reccommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great creepy fun 27 Jun 2013
Simply put, this is why Stephen King is the master of his craft.

What we have here are four novellas; The Langoliers which is about an aircraft that finds itself in parallel (sort of) universe; "Secret Window..." which is about an author facing an impossible charge of plagiarism; "The Library Policeman" which about an ancient evil feeding off the fears of others; and it all finishes with "The Sun Dog", which about a photo coming to life (again, sort of).

My favourites were "Langoliers" and "Sun Dog", although that is not to take anything away from the other stories.

I once read a quote attributed to Stephen King, where he claimed to write the fast-food version of stories.

I could not disagree more. Don't get me wrong, this is not Hemmingway or Fitzgerald... but I'm not reading it for that. I'm reading it for fantastical escapism.

The characters have depth and nice (although uncomfortable) back stories. The plot has twists and intrigue, and it difficult to tell you how much I loved "The Sun Dog". As soon as I finished it, I read it again.

There are weak spots. If I am honest, "Secret Window..." did not set the heather on fire. Stephen King has written a number of stories about plagiarism and the fear of accusation. Personally I don't think this story added anything, and the idea of mental voices being made flesh has been explored before (in Skeleton Crew I think).

Equally, "The Library Policeman" reminded me of some cross between "It" and "The Tommyknockers". It was readable, but it was not original.

That said, "The Langoliers" and "The Sun Dog" are worth the cover price alone, and if you want to creep yourself out you could do far worse than this.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four for the price of one... 2 Aug 2007
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
Following on from the success of 'Different Seasons' Stephen King revisits the format with a second collection of four novellas:

In 'The Langoliers' a routine US passenger flight takes off, but midway into the flight a half-dozen sleeping passengers awaken to find the pilot, crew and almost all of the other passengers have vanished into thin air, leaving the plane flying on automatic and those remaining in a desperate fight for survival. King takes a fantastic Twilight Zone-style premise and successfully builds it into a gripping and nightmarish tale, with the slow revelations behind the mystery leading to a wild science fiction finale. There is sadly one flaw with this tale, as King presents a US authors attempt at an English lead character that is such a mangled caricature of that it brings to mind Dik Van Dyke in Mary Poppins - but even this bizarre characters habit of ending every other sentence with 'matey' (like all us Brits do) can't stop this from being one of King's best stories.

'Secret Window, Secret Garden' takes us back to King's number one favourite topic: writers and writing - as a successful author is suddenly confronted by a mysterious stranger who accuses them of stealing his story, and takes violent revenge. King freely admits in the forward that this is essentially a variation on his novel 'The Dark Half', but the premise is different and compelling enough to make this a worthwhile excercise, and with it's effective and disturbing breakdowns in the lead characters perception of what is fantasty and reality this may even be the better tale.

'The Library Policeman' has the threat of a fine over unreturned library books taken to ridiculous levels as a man finds himself stalked by a decidedly different vampire.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Planes, writers, libraries and dogs 19 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This Stephen King book is a collection of 4 novellas. Each of them can stand on their own as a book (so not short stories!) Each of the stories look at the concept of time - in the unique King way of course!

1. The Langoliers
I don't think this story is recognised enough - it is in fact one of my favourite Stephen King stories.
Now I'm not a very nervous flyer, but lets just say I always breathe I sigh of relief when we touch down. Now imagine this:
Brian, an ex-pilot, is on a plane travelling from Los Angeles to Boston overnight. He falls asleep.When he awakes, he finds that, apart from 9 other fellow passengers, all the other passengers have simply vanished, and that includes the crew. The plane continues to fly on autopilot. They all quickly figure out that they all have been asleep when 'something' must have happened to the plane which they think is a 'time rip'. In usual King fashion, we have a range of different characters who have to pull together. Lovely memorable types who will stay in your memory including the blind girl Dinah and Craig Toomey, the investment banker who will go bad (long before investment bankers went bad in movies / news)
My absolute favourite read of this collection of stories. Brilliant idea beautifully executed.

2. Secret Window, Secret Garden
Every writer's nightmare?
Mort is a successful writer. One day a man knocks on Mort's door who calls himself John Shooter and claims that Mort has stolen his story and leaves him a manuscript. Mort is horrified at the accusation of plagiarism and dismisses it, but eventually looks at the manuscript and finds it almost identical to one of the stories he has written. But it looks like his story was published 2 years before Shooters story. now he just needs to prove it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good old read!
I love stephen king so no surprise that i love this book as well really. I am on dialysis 3 times per wee and this kept me going for a good few sessions of reading. Read more
Published 12 months ago by K. Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars The Langoliers
The first story (The Langoliers) made me cry at the end. Tears of joy and sorrow. This is a great collection of stories. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Teresa Fortes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Stephen King strikes again with these fantastic short stories. Keeps your interest all the way through. I love getting lost in his stories.
Published 17 months ago by peanut40
4.0 out of 5 stars worthy of 4 stars
Read this for the langoliers alone ... enjoyed secret window secret garden.... the other 2 stories in this collection the library policeman and the sun dog are not stephen kings... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Karl
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic King chiller from 1990
Absolutely brilliant collection of 4 Novellas, the best two in my opinion being The Sun Dog, a 'Castle Rock' story about a very special camera (a prelude to Needful Things... Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2010 by Gav.76
3.0 out of 5 stars Two out of four isn't good enough
There's a curious mix of the mind-boggling and the mundane in this collection.

I read them in order, starting with THE LANGOLIERS. Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2009 by S. M. Saunders
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing in places but awful in others
A collection of 4 novellas by stephen king (supposedly too long for short stories and too short for novels (although 2 of the included stories are longer than the published... Read more
Published on 8 July 2008 by Toby Andersen
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's The Government Warning???
At 930 pages I thought I was in for a veritable feast here, with four novellas by the prince of darkness. Read more
Published on 31 May 2008 by Mr. John Frank Herbert
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as 'Different Seasons'
I am a Stephen King fan and have read quite a few of his books. Often Mr King will write a novel that is a stroke of genius, at other times he will produce some real stinkers... Read more
Published on 24 Aug 2006 by Son of King
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you must be careful each time you step out of your door, because your front walk is really a road, and the road leads ever onward. If you aren’t careful, you’re apt to find yourself . . . well . . . simply swept away, a stranger in a strange land with no clue as to how you got there. &quote;
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