97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
King himself calls these stories "harsh" and indeed, I cannot think of a better word to describe them. Not easy reading by any means, but an excellent, riveting read. I was hooked from start to finish but had a few sleepless nights in the process (as I couldn't put book down, and when I did it was not easy to get the stories out of my head!).
Published on 1 Dec 2010 by amymdev
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Full Dark, Three Stars
I was looking forward to reading 'Full Dark', especially as it is a collection of stories rather than a novel. The short story (or novella) suits King perfectly; far less room for the sagging middle section, the proliferation of thumbnail-sketched characters, predictable plot-turns, etc. The writing tends to be both more concentrated AND more pacey; it gathers its wits...
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by W.S.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Liked it all!,
4.0 out of 5 stars The Less Supernatural, The Better,
The first, 1922, is that hokiest of ploys, the confession scribbled down as the forces of retribution are closing in. The protagonist, Wilfred Leland James, is at odds with his wife, who wishes to sell their farm to a corporation for big bucks that will mean their not having to scratch a living any more. Husband and son are opposed; husband eventually persuades son to do her in and hide the body down a well. Only the well attracts rats, which spread throughout the house and seem to purse Wilfred wherever he goes. Son goes off the rails, leaves home and becomes half of a sort of Bonny-and-Clyde team. The story starts off with some fusty stylistic tics like 'twas and capitalizing types like 'Conniving Man' and there are Biblical homilies but fortunately King abandons these. Still, it doesn't do a great deal for cohesion.
The third story, Fair Extension, tells of Dave Streeter, who is on chemotherapy. Stopping by a roadside to puke, he comes across a trader who promises him an extension on whatever he chooses. Which of course is his life. The roadside trader is called Mr Elvid (su pleh doG) and the catch is not that Dave has to sell his soul but the balancing aspect of evil luck has to happen to someone he hates. Dave reluctantly selects a buddy whose good fortune he has always envied. There are some fine details, as always with King: Mr Elvid's stall umbrella that glows yellow in the dying light but really turns out to be grey, the folksy sign by a dumpster: DERRY DAWG SEZ 'PUT LITTER IN ITS PLACE!' However, breaking the rule of Show, Don't Tell, King's story reads subsequently like a police report.
The other two stories in the collection are marvellous and more than worth the price of the book. Both, significantly, eschew external paranormal phenomena and concentrate on psychological realism. In Bad Driver, the second story, a lady crime writer is set up after a public reading and raped and left for dead by a grossly fat, psychopathic truck driver. Barely surviving, she nevertheless draws on her innate detective skills to exact revenge. The story is consistently gripping and convincing and again, it is King's eye for the telling detail that makes the whole thing so horribly believable. (The villainess' dreadful house, stuffed to the brim with troll dolls and The Sound of Music carolling through the stereo; the rapist grotesquely dancing to 'Brown Sugar'.) I am sure a film will be made of this at some point - at least I hope so. And a bit better than The Brave One, the Jodie Foster vehicle mentioned in the story.
You're happily married, your husband is a good father and provider, if a trifle dull. But what if, one evening when he's out of town, you discover he's a murderous rapist? Your good, honest man is Ted Bundy. This is the starting point for the last story, A Good Marriage. Particularly impressive is the denouement, nothing melodramatic or blood-curdling, and again, very psychologically convincing.
On the whole, although I enjoyed the unfolding of events in the first story, I did find it somewhat thin in terms of content, bolstered instead by powerful details that only drew attention to its absurdity, rather like putting a stained glass rose window in Wall-Mart. Enjoy the other two, and think perhaps how the third might have been an inspired black comedy, a genre King hasn't fully attempted, but could quite easily.
5.0 out of 5 stars once again stephen king does it again,
This review is from: Full Dark, No Stars (Kindle Edition)once again stephen king does it again telling 4 great short stories my favourite was the last story it makes you think "what would i do if it was me" highly recommend this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it,
This is the second book of Kings I have read. The first left me very much disappointed sadly, but this blew me out the window. It was powerful. That's the only word that describes it. Powerful. I literally couldn't put it down and it made me think about a lot of things in life. Strong emotions also came over me at times; sadness, shock and even heartache. When a book has such an effect on you, it's one of the greatest things to experience.
The book primarily consists of four short stories, with a fifth bonus story added to the paperback edition.
Wilfred Leland James is a struggling farmer with a measly eighty acres of land. His marriage takes a turn for the worst when his wife inherits a whopping hundred acres from her father, but instead of adding it to his acreage, she wishes to sell it and move to the city. Wilfred does not want this, especially a hog factory being built there and having blood and guts in the nearby river, so he comes up with a plan when Arlette just won't quit and includes his young teenage son. Together they commit murder.
At times many forget that actions do indeed have consequences that will eventually come around. Something that can be done so easily in the moment could cause mayhem afterward, perhaps not right away, but in the future. Then there are such things as guild and regret, something our mind can plague us with, which can drive someone completely crazy in the end. This story is a prime example and was a great beginning to the book. It pulled you in, made you wonder. Many questions arose; is there such a thing as karma? Are there really ghosts that can haunt us, or just our minds simply playing with us?
Tessa Jean is a mystery writer, known for her cosy group of elderly ladies that swap recipes, text like teenagers and solve crimes. After a speaking engagement, she listens to some bad advice about taking a shortcut home. Everyone likes a shortcut, or so she thinks. Soon Tessa is at the mercy of a monster that rapes and leaves her for dead. But Tessa certainly isn't dead, nor willing to report her abuse to the authorities. Instead, she decides to take things into her own hands and dish out her own revenge.
This was a very emotional story about a very delicate topic. I shouldn't have been surprised that King, being a male, pulled it off so well. You could really feel Tessa's pain and even grow with her as she comes to accept the situation after much misery. She was such a strong woman, which she discovered about herself after her ordeal. It is also terrifying to think that being in the wrong place at the wrong time can really have such a huge impact on your life.
Dave Streeter is terminally ill with cancer, which is ravaging his body more each day. When out for a drive, he comes across a very odd man selling extensions. What could be the price for a life extension? Well Dave certainly finds out.
This may be the shortest of all the stories, but for me it stood out the most, yet was quite difficult to read at the same time. My mother is also terminally ill and fighting each day, so anything that reminds me of it makes me feel an inner pain I cannot describe. But this tale was spun fantastically. Would you give your bad fortune to someone else?
A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson has been married for twenty-five years to her husband. Together they raised two children and have a pretty well-built life. Bob is a business man and while away on a trip, Darcy discovers something that changes her life dramatically. Her world crumbles as she realises she really doesn't know her husband at all, least of all the secrets that he's hidden so well for many years.
I found this one frightening and it's something hardly anyone thinks about. We're not mind readers, we don't know every little secret of those we care about, let alone our other half. I just loved how gripping it was to be with Darcy during this discovery that was so awful. It was written so well and was shocking, to say the least.
Under the Weather was the added bonus story, which was simply heartbreaking. It was one of the saddest things I have ever read.
I will definitely be searching for more of Stephen Kings short story works. I can only hope they are as great and powerful as these.
© Catherine Forbes 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars Best stephen king book i've read,
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr K doesn't let you down,
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary!!!,
5.0 out of 5 stars King Gets Back,
This review is from: Full Dark, No Stars (Unabridged) (Audio Download)This is the third collection of four novellas Stephen King has released. The first two are Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight. The common theme among the stories in this volume seems to be revenge or retribution. Readers shouldn't miss the Afterward section in which King discusses the events that prompted him to begin writing each story.
The four stories are:
"1922" reads like a Stephen King treatment of The Tell-Tale Heart. A depression-era Nebraska farmer and his son commit murder and seem to get away with it. But the experience festers in their minds and in their lives.
"Big Driver" tells about the rape of a woman on a lonely country road and the steps she takes to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. She gets some good advice from those around her. But she makes a mistake.
"Fair Extension" is a deal-with-the-devil story. Dave Streeter gets an "extension" on his life that makes his cancer go away. He doesn't have to sign away his soul. Not exactly. But he no longer envies the happy life of his best friend, Tom Goodhugh.
"A Good Marriage" introduces Darcy Anderson, who has a happy life and a part-time rare coin business with her husband Bob. One day she discovers that he is a brutal serial killer. It isn't at all clear what the next steps are.
The collection is highly recommended, especially as an audio book. I don't often sit in my car, becoming later and later for work, while I listen to the end of a story. This book did it to me twice.
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical King.,
4.0 out of 5 stars That last story is brilliant,
The fourth and last story is different. Once you start that one you won't be able to put it down. Cliche but true. This is the Good Old King at work, like in Misery. Absolutely brilliant.
I have yet to read the third story, but I was so impressed with the last that I decided to forward my 'review' ;-)
This book is worth buying for the last story alone, the rest is bonus.
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Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King (Hardcover - 9 Nov 2010)