- Paperback: 1008 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (10 Jan. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 034095275X
- ISBN-13: 978-0340952757
- Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 17.8 x 4.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 803,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Four Past Midnight Paperback – 10 Jan 2008
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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)
Reissue of the international bestseller in dramatic new graphic cover style.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I have, of course, read the book again since then and I must confess that it's impact on me has grown in the intervening years. Whilst before, I could find a great deal of entertainment in the stories, I can now appreciate them on a deeper level. There is a sense of empathy that is kindled by the characters in the tales. Although I am not in jail like Andy Dufresne, i often feel trapped in certain siuations and can often be overwhelmed with the feeling that each day will be exactly like the last.
If I was looking for a favourite among the four novellas contained in the book, I would plump for The breathing Method. It is a polished, expertly written tale of triumph over adversity and animates perfectly the strength of will that we mere mortals can sometimes display.
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.
The first story (The Langoliers) is part horror story and part homage to the golden age of science fiction. A commercial jet travels through a strange vortex in the sky leaving only a handful of passengers alive to land the plane in a deserted airport where they find out what really happens to the past.
The second novella (Secret window, secret garden) is one of Kings best. Morton Rainey (Played by Johnny depp in the up coming movie) goes to his quite lakeside home to escape his divorce and work on his writer's block, things take a nasty turn when a sinister individual shows up at his door accusing him of plagiarism. This story also provides fans with a very telling insight into some of King's own thoughts and feelings as a best-selling author.
'The Library policeman' is an enjoyable little shocker, everything from eye sucking monsters to alien librarians grace the pages of Kings third story. After reading this you'll never return Library books late again.
The last story in the collection 'The Sun Dog' is my personnel favourite. Kevin Delevan receives a polaroid camera for his 15th birthday, every photo he takes yields the same image, that of a monstrous black dog, with picture taken the dog seems to be getting closer and closer to it's viewer. Cool
This is a brilliant collection, every story presents King at his very best.
Am I glad I did! This book interfered with exams, this book interfered with my life - this book was my life, and when it ended, it was like I ended.
Stephen King's tale of a young boy interested in history, discovers a German Commander living near him and he can't help take advantage.
His parents knew nothing, his parents didn't even know about his bad grades (cleverly disguised with ink eradicator) - or how Todd actually turned sadistic (Like Me!)
What a story! Stephen King; you have a new fan!
The ending. . . Why did it end? Why did it have to end there?. . . Todd should've dominated the world!
I well recommend this, and you will to :-)
********The Langoliers (247 pages)********
"Then they rushed at him again, gibbering, yammering, buzzing, whining, and he saw...the blur of their gnashing teeth..."
Brain Engle is a pilot for America's Pride airlines and he's just had the crappiest couple of days in his life. He's just completed a flight where an air leak in the plane he had been piloting had caused the air pressure in the plane to come dangerously close to destroying the airplane. Then he's notified when he's landed that his ex-wife has died in a freak apartment fire, so now he's on Flight 29 to Boston for his wife's funeral.
THEN he falls asleep and when he awakes, to the panicked screams of one of the other passengers, he finds that he is, along with ten other people, are the only passengers left on the airplane. Among the others that are left behind are little Dinah Bellman, who is blind and on her way to get an operation that may restore her sight, and who is secretly psychic, with ability to see through other people's eyes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful writing - each of these "shorts" are captivating and could well have been the basis of a full book.Published 1 month ago by I D Martin
(Review for the first ten stories)
This is a short story collection full of supposedly scary short story tales. Read more
A wonderful read, with one of SK's best stories IMHO. The Library Policeman just had me riveted, though I'd warn people there's one very unpleasant scene. Read morePublished 1 month ago by JPRsean