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Night Shift [Paperback]

Stephen King
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 Jun 2012

A collection of tales to invade and paralyse the mind as the safe light of day is infiltrated by the shadows of the night.

As you read, the clutching fingers of terror brush lightly across the nape of the neck, reach round from behind to clutch and lock themselves, white-knuckled, around the throat.

This is the horror of ordinary people and everyday objects that become strangely altered; a world where nothing is ever quite what it seems, where the familiar and the friendly lure and deceive. A world where madness and blind panic become the only reality.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (7 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444723197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444723199
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description


Getting hooked is easy (Frances Fyfield)

A fabulous teller of stories (Daily Express)

Book Description

Hodder are boosting Stephen King's backlist with new covers, new author branding and a marketing campaign which directs readers to the right King title for them.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
How good it was to step into the cold, draughty hall here at Chapelwaite, every bone in an ache from that abdominable coach, in need of instant relief from my distended bladder-and to see a letter addressed in your own inimitable scrawl propped on the obscene little cherry-wood table beside the door! Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kings best short stories 4 Mar 2005
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
Night Shift is Stephen King's first collection of short stories, and features 20 tales. Not every story is perfect, but all in all Night Shift is a fantastic anthology stuffed with great ideas. Stephen King has subsequently published 3 more short story collections (Skeleton Crew, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, and Everything's Eventual) but Night Shift remains the best of the bunch.
While no date is given, collection opener 'Jerusalem's Lot' certainly reads as though it is the earliest of King's stories presented here, as the authors' voice is all but buried beneath those of his influences. Readers of 'Salem's Lot may be expecting a vampire-filled sequel to that novel, but this is in fact an unrelated Lovecraftian tale of a mans disturbing family inheritance. There are some nicely macabre moments, but the elements of the story are so familiar - presenting the tale as diary extracts; an inherited spooky old home; mysterious sounds in the walls and basement; superstitious locals; Cthulhu Mythos references - that they are virtually horror fiction clichés, making this a very average start to the collection.
'Graveyard Shift' is better, and though a story about clearing rats out of a basement doesn't sound particularly enthralling, the power play between drifter Hall and his obnoxious boss Warwick pushes the stakes to a higher, if rather unbelievable, level.
Next up is 'Night Surf', a powerful vignette detailing a handful of amoral survivors of an apocalyptic disease. Short but full of startling imagery.
Another science fiction style horror story comes with 'I Am The Doorway', where an astronaut is taken over by an alien infection picked up while orbiting Venus.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One thing that has always distinguished Stephen King among his peers is his commitment to the short story. You don't find many novelists writing short stories these days, but King has always excelled in the area of short fiction, and I daresay the discipline involved in telling a story in a relatively small number of pages has helped make him such a successful writer of long fiction. Night Shift, which was first published in 1976, is the first of King's short story collections, bringing together twenty stories originally published in such disparate magazines as Cavalier, Penthouse, and Cosmopolitan (yes, Cosmopolitan) in the early to mid 1970s. These stories have given birth to a surprising number of film adaptations, but I would urge you not to judge these stories in advance by the quality of films such as Children of the Corn, The Mangler, Sometimes They Come Back, and The Lawnmower Man (especially The Lawnmower Man, as the film has nothing whatsoever to do with King's story).
There is a lot of variety to be found in this collection, as King delivers much more than a sequence of horror stories. The horror is there in droves, of course, but so are stories of a general bent that show just how effective a writer King is when he wanders away from the dark forces usually driving his imagination. The Woman in the Room, for example, is a rather tender story of a son struggling with his mother's impending death, while I Know What You Need and The Man Who Loved Flowers display romantic sensibilities of a truly engaging nature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Most of these stories centre on the thing that has made Stephen King so famous - pure, old-fashioned horror. There is much more blood and guts in Night Shift then there is in later collections, such as Everything's Eventual. Some of the stories are pretty hard to get your head round, such as Night Surf, whereas a fair few are genuinely chilling (I Am The Doorway,'Salem's Lot). Most, however, rely on pure gruesome-ness to get along (Night Shift,The Mangler). You may well have seen some stories transposed to film in the Drew Barrymore/James Woods-starring Cat's Eye (Quitter's Inc., The Ledge, The Boogeyman). Reading these stories will not tax your brain, but they will most certainly keep you up at night. Pretty awesome.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King at his very best 28 April 2007
In my ongoing love-hate relationship with Stephen King, the short stories seem to universally come out on the side of love. They're frequently much more experimental than the novels, featuring ideas that in a full-length work would just be too outlandish, but in a short story, burn very bright indeed.

This collection begins with Jerusalem's Lot, a prequel to "'Salem's Lot" the novel. The short story is possibly even better than the book, a pure gothic classic, which explains the beginnings of the evil in the Lot. Less good was Night Surf a rather feeble and extremely bleak addendum to The Stand. King obsessives need to own this for these two stories alone.

The best stories here are the ones which mix humour into their horror. The Boogeyman is the tale of a man whose three children have all been taken by the monster in the closet. The thing that made this story for me was that the protagonist was so very unpleasant, I quite felt for the poor boogeyman having to deal with him, but the ending is genuinely chilling; I read it out loud to my little brother, and he came out in goosebumps.

In The Mangler, the ingredients for an ancient spell to summon demons are accidentally mixed inside a laundry machine, which then develops murderous tendencies. Sounds ridiculous, and it is, but it also has a deep sense of the dark.

Not all the stories here are supernatural. Both The Ledge and Last Ring on the Ladder concern very different forms of purely human nastiness, as does Quitters Inc., a return to the perennial King favourite topic of giving up smoking.

The collection also includes the famous stories Children of the Corn and The Lawnmower Man, both of which are great but seem to lack a little of the sparkle found elsewhere in the book. Recommended for King fans and newbies alike.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, some of SK's best work
Brilliant, some of SK's best work. It's amazing how he manages to scare the wits out of you/chill you to the bones with so few words. Read more
Published 1 month ago by RobynVP
5.0 out of 5 stars This will always be the best book of horror short stories I 've ever...
This will always be the best book of horror short stories I 've ever read. Truly frightening characters, the bogeyman, the astronaut. Each story gets more terrifying. Read more
Published 1 month ago by VickyE
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reads.
Night Shift contains a number of short stories, each one different and yet with an underlying theme of being grotesque or horrific. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
A collection of brilliant short stories. Ideal for the king novice. I particularly enjoyed, I am the doorway, children of the corn and the bogeyman
Published 3 months ago by emma lake
4.0 out of 5 stars goodnight!
"night shift" is a collection of short stories with eerie little twists which are sometimes predictable but otherwise haunting. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Val Kyrie
5.0 out of 5 stars great!
I'm only half way through this book but I thought id review it now. its a fantastic read, unusual and thrilling a great read like every King book!
Published 5 months ago by Robert C. Sutherland
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr King
What other rank could you give Mr K? No one else comes close.
Thank you for yet another wonderful book.
Published 5 months ago by VMJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Stephen King on top form with these short stories. Great characterisation and thrilling plots make these stories some of his best.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs SM Wheatcroft
4.0 out of 5 stars some stories
Not all Steven kings stories are based on supernatural powers ....some of them are based on powers and intricacies of human mind and those ones I particularly liked.... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Heba taher
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good
I am not a fan of King but saying that do read a lot of his books (generally on holiday). Most of King's books, to me, suffer with bloat however where I think King excels is with... Read more
Published 9 months ago by ps99
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