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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More intelligent than horror
It's stephen King, and another collection of "horror" stories. But if you're looking for unsightly festering wounds, and big bad creepy things: Avoid. If on the other hand you're looking for a more complex psycholigical novel(s), based on character rather than "ickiness" factor you've just found yourself an armchair partner.
Published on 11 Dec 1999 by kitty@mciancia.freeserve.co.uk

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite compilation
Whilst this was quite good with some interesting stories, I have to say that I didn't find it as compelling as some of his other short story compilations. A lot of the material in this book almost felt "Experimental", and a few of the stories left me somewhat underwhelmed. One or two classics in the mix, but not enough to make this volume anything special for me.
Published 12 days ago by Bazz


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 26 Nov 2008
This review is from: Different Seasons (Paperback)
This is one of my favourite books.
We have four short stories, each around a bit more than 100 pages long and corresponding with the four different seasons. A tale of spring hope, summer corruption, a fall from inocence and a cold winter's tale.

The typical horror story is the one of winter and is chilling, i.e. normal King horror fashion.
But the others are something different altogether.
The horror of the summer story, about a young boy and how his mind is corrupted, you feel in the pit of your stomach. King, never one to shy away from graphic detail, creates a true atmosphere of foreboding in this shocking story.
The tale of spring is astounding, it gives you a true insight into a world anyone who has not been to prison has never seen. It's an inspirational story and leaves a real impact on you.
The Body - the one about autumn/fall - is about four young boys going to discover something morbid and how their journey towards it has a great effect on them. It's a really touching story, and it will move you to an extent that will stay with you forever.
Each of the four stories is narrated in true King manner, the characters being so real it's almost as if you know them personally. A great book.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four out of four, 11 Aug 2006
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Different Seasons (Paperback)
Different Seasons is a collection of 4 novellas, and is notable for seeing King beginning to stretch away from writing just horror tales, though there is certainly enough macabre moments contained here to keep the more bloodthirsty fans happy. `Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption' tells the story of a wrongly convicted murderer and his escape from prison, seemingly a tale told so many times there's nothing more to add, but King transforms this into a beautifully moving character study. `Apt Pupil', while containing no supernatural elements, is certainly close to King's horror territory, being a disturbing a tale about a young boys blackmail of an ex-Nazi concentration camp commandant. A trifle overlong perhaps (this `novella' is around the same length of King's debut novel Carrie) but the bizarre double-blackmail relationship between the two characters is compulsive, and the dispassionate finale is memorable. `The Body' is undoubtedly the highlight of the collection, and certainly one of the best things King has ever written - a thinly-disguised childhood reminiscence fictionalised as a successful authors thinly-disguised childhood reminiscence - it captures brilliantly the coming of age from childhood to adulthood, and features some of King's best prose. Finally `The Breathing Method' is a back to basics old-fashioned horror story - all the basic tropes are familiar genre favourites: the mysterious gentleman's club where Lovecraftian things slither out of sight in upstairs rooms; the Victorian-style Christmas fireside ghost story - but King injects some modern-day grand guignol splatter horror to keep things fresh - slightly ridiculous, but good fun.

With four long stories in different genres, and every one in it's own way is successful, this is an excellent collection, and one of King's best books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 31 July 2014
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This review is from: Different Seasons (Paperback)
I bought this book primarily for the Shawshank Redemption but found that I loved all the stories and wasn't aware that other stories featured were also made into films - Apt Pupil and Stand By Me. The stories were easy to read and enjoyable, even though I'd already seen two of the movies - not realising they were Stephen king. Good edgy fiction that isn't the horror that I'd previously associated with the author.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite compilation, 14 Dec 2014
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Whilst this was quite good with some interesting stories, I have to say that I didn't find it as compelling as some of his other short story compilations. A lot of the material in this book almost felt "Experimental", and a few of the stories left me somewhat underwhelmed. One or two classics in the mix, but not enough to make this volume anything special for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book to read, 7 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Different Seasons (Kindle Edition)
I chose this book because I had read others by Stephen King.
I really liked all of the stories.
Initially I thought there was going to be a link between them to tie them all together, but apart from a vague link between two, each one was a fascinating story in its own right.
They each give an insight into aspects of human nature, both good and bad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scarier with every reading, 16 Mar 2001
This review is from: Different Seasons (Paperback)
I have read this book many times over, I find it a great stop gap when no other book available. You can find all kinds of emotion in here. From the inspiring perseverance shown in 'Rita Hayworth' to the disturbance of 'Apt pupil'. Excellent reading no matter what the situation. The only one that is better is 'nightmares and dreamscapes'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars These stories stay with you, 28 Aug 2008
By 
DC Nicoll (Daventry, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I read this book several years ago, and even now I cannot think of Crouch End without thinking of Slaughter Towen, or of a boney skeletal finger growing out of the toilet.

Brilliant - Steven King's genius in short accessible asnd hugely entertaining form.

And the TV series based on the book was OK too, but the book was better.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A "monster" collection..., 30 Aug 2007
By 
B. D. Wilson (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Nightmares and Dreamscapes contains a diverse array of stories which will, once again, provide something both for horror fans and appreciators of more sophisticated literature. There are all-out screamers, spooky subtler stories, downright strange tales and tearjerkers.

Of these, I have three favourites:

- THE MOVING FINGER: This was the first King short story I read, and what compelled me to go out and buy all his collections. It is the single freakiest thing I have ever read. When you read it you will understand what I mean.
- SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN - A short, snappy story about a primary school teacher who becomes convinced that the little children in her class are monsters. Builds to a typically morbid King ending and has a nice psychological aspect to it.
- THE TEN O'CLOCK PEOPLE - One of the longest stories in the collection. It tells the tale of a group of people - the Ten O'Clock People of the title - who are trying to cut down on their smoking. The result of this is that they are able to see what others cannot: that many people in positions of power are actually batlike monsters in disguise. It's a very complete story and I reckon that if he had wanted to King could have expanded it into a full novel, such is the scope of the story that he sets up. But it works well short and pacy like this.

There are other contributions in here, however, that fall down flat. Chattery Teeth takes King's overused "inanimate objects take on a life of their own" routine and relegates it to a side-detail which only comes into play in the last few pages. It Grows On You takes an interesting idea - a house where grisly things happen, then followed by a new wing appearing on the house overnight - and makes it plain boring. Nothing really comes of it; it reads almost like King's outline of the idea rather than an actual story based on that idea. There are others, also, that are less than impressive.

Nevertheless, some of the tales in here are among the best King has written (for out-and-out gory splatter stories, Home Delivery and Rainy Season get special mentions). The fact that it's such a big volume should mean that you will find a few tales that satisfy whatever you're after. If you're a King fan, get this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King's best, 17 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This edition of the anthology is a fabulous, attractive book - something that seems fitting for such a great work.
King's not a great writer. He's not going to be taught at Oxford or Harvard. However, at the best of times he's one of the best storytellers going, and the stories in this one are his best ever. "Stand By Me" and "The Shawshank Redemption" are two of the best movies ever made, and this book has both... and then two more as well!
King may be more at home with blood, ghouls and hideous freaks, but in "The Body" (the novella that became "Stand By Me") and "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" he's written his two best stories yet. Both are touching, full of heart but also honesty. "The Body" is semi-autobiographical, and you can tell. King has made a name for himself making monsters seem real. Now he turns that on reality and elevates it from the mundane to something illuminating. "The Body" could have been self-indulgent in the hands of lesser authors, but King knows his craft, and that's to tell a cracking story.
"Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" is likewise a powerful tale. It is not a horror story, though it is sometimes disturbing, as with "The Body". This is not off-putting, as I sometimes find with King's straight horror. It just seems real. King sees the world with an eye few of us will ever have, and that's one of the main reasons to read him.
My only lasting thought is if he wrote more fabulous books like this, perhaps he would get on those university reading lists.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of King!, 12 Aug 2003
This review is from: Different Seasons (Paperback)
this is probably my favorite King's book of all times.
The book is divided into four different stories, unrelated to each other. People who have heard of King but never read one of his book may expect horror stories but this is not the case and it is probably why it is one of the best books of King ever.
My favourites are 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption' and 'The Breathing Method'. The first has been made in a very famous movie so a lot of people would know the story of this man wrongly accused of murdering his wife, that quietly, smartly, but with many difficulties finds his place in the prison with other prisoners, one of which his the narrating voice of the story. This may not be 'horror' in the normal meaning of the word but it shows how life can, in itself, be more frightening than stories. What I liked most of the last story, 'The Breathing Method' was the all atmosphere of the strange club, with strange rooms...pure King!
However, the other two novels as well are very well worth mentioning as they are gems as well. 'The Body' and 'The Apt Pupil' talks respectively about the discovery of a body by a gropu of boys and by the sickening but intriguing 'friendship' between a boy and an ex-nazi general.
To reveal too much would be to spoil a beatiful book, well written in pure King's style, a definite good choice to start with if you have never read King
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Four Past Midnight by Stephen King (Paperback - 7 Jun 2012)
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