Just so we're clear - this is an anthology book. There's no new fiction from the King here, what you see are 5 "short" stories culled from other volumes that have been made into popular films and been gathered into this one book. What are the stories? "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption", "1408", "Low Men in Yellow Coats", "The Mangler", and "Children of the Corn".
Purists might argue that these are the wrong choices. After all, nearly all of King's books have been turned into great films. "The Shining", "Carrie", "Misery", "The Body" (Stand by Me), "The Green Mile", "Cujo", "It", to name but a few. So in a way if you want to read some great movies, pick up any King book and chances are it'll be even better than the film. You could also argue a book of short stories that were turned into great films already exists - "Different Seasons" features 3 of 4 stories that were made into tremendous films. But anyhoo, I think the publishers wanted to explicitly point out to anyone not in the know that Stephen King has written a lot of great stories that have been turned into a lot of great films. And here it is.
"The Mangler" is an odd choice, a crappy story about a haunted laundy mangler. Yeah, it's as bad as it sounds and I've never heard of the film. I'd read "1408" and "Shawshank" before and of course seen the amazing film adaptations. The new ones for me were the deliciously trashy "Children of the Corn" (Wicker Man meets Lord of the Flies) and the 300+ page "Low Men in Yellow Coats" filmed as "Hearts in Atlantis".
The last King fiction I'd read was the godawful "Lisey's Story" which put me off King for 5 years. "Low Men" brought me back to the fold. No messing about with idiotic colloquialisms, lack of plot, bad characterisation - here was the King I loved. A fantastic coming of age story of tragedy between a young boy, his unloving mother, and a mysterious lodger in the attic. It's the start of "Treasure Island" crossed with King's own "Dark Tower" books. The character of Ted Brautigan was endlessly fascinating and his relationship with Bobby was brilliantly realised.
I'm not sure why this collection was published but I'm glad it was if only for me to spend some time on holiday in King's fantastically written world of 1960's east coast America. For King fanatics they'll buy it for the 5 pages of new material introducing each story but for those who're fans and have read a lot of his work then chances are you'll have read most of what's in this volume already. "Low Men in Yellow Coats" though, wow. Loved it, just for that.