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Full Dark, No Stars

4.5 out of 5 stars 243 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444712594
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444712599
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,176,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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!).

A thought provoking book that delves into the darker side of life. If you have never read a Stephen King book before, I would perhaps suggest you do not start with this, as it is one of the darkest books of his I have read, but die hard King fans should really enjoy it.

One more point, I do not understand why people put spoilers on here?! I am glad I did not read these reviews before I read the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was a huge fan of King's books growing up, but somewhere around 'Dreamcatcher' and 'Rose Madder' I gave up. This was recommended by several people and critics and was heralded as a return to form, with some saying King was having a renaissance in his later years. I'd say that's true.
These four novellas revolve around death, murder, guilt, revenge and redemption and only the third story (the weakest in my opinion) hints at anything supernatural. The strength of the other stories comes from the characters and the way their minds wrestle with their actions or events that unfold. He's always been very good at winning the reader over with a warm and inviting voice (think of 'Red' from 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption') that can charm you whilst simultaneously pulling you further and further into a dark and twisted world. It has to be said, at times this book is incredibly grisly and graphic, with vivd images of decaying corpses and monstrous crimes dancing around your head long after you've stopped reading. I think King may've been inspired by some of Cormac McCarthy's work when writing the first tale, "1922". It's by no means in the same league but there's an undeniable feel of darkness that's reminiscent of 'Child of God'.
As I mentioned, the third of the four is the weakest and it jarred against the sustained tension and pace of the others. It's a shame as overall it's some of the best work he's ever done. If you like horror but have grown weary of werewolves and vampires, then this will keep you entertained and reinstill some faith in one of the best mainstream writers of our time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As one of Stephen King's "constant readers" I was delighted to discover this collection of four extremely dark tales.

The title is very well chosen - there is hardly any light shining in this "voyage into the heart of darkness", therefore you should be ready for the very tough stuff, even harder and darker than the rest of King's works. Here, evil is everywhere and it leaves a mark even on the good people - and sometimes swallows them whole.

The first story, "1922", is the longest, the darkest, the hardest - and the best! Without providing too much spoilers let's just say that it describes a troubled family of farmers from Nebraska who, in 1922, find themselves in financial and personal troubles - and something must be done about it... It is a "crime and punishment" story, described in a very King'ish style, with just a very slight (but masterly applied) touch of Lovecraftian atmosphere in the second part. I was deeply shocked but also very very impressed by this story and I count it amongst the best things Stephen King's ever wrote!

The second story, "Big Driver", is not as excellent as the first one, but it is still a very honest read. This one is also a "crime and punishment" story, but here the word "punishment" should be in fact understood as "revenge" or "vigilante justice". The main hero here is a woman who was victim of a terrible crime and who, at the peril of her life, wants retribution... A very dramatic story, well written, with a great lot of unexpected twists.

The third story, "Fair extension", is a retelling of a Faustian deal with the Devil.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's difficult to give this collection of stories a star rating. It'd be easier to rate each of its five tales individually, as I enjoyed them differently. A couple ('1922' and 'Fair Extension') were marginally above average in terms of originality, but written with King's distinctive passion for the macabre. The former failed to stir up in me the horror that Stephen King presumably aimed to arouse in readers. The reason for this failure: the story relies almost exclusively on readers' fear of rats to drive home its emotional horror. I have no fear of furry creatures large or small; I find them cute. The tale does include some incisive observations of how humans behave under pressure. This kept me turning the pages, even though the story could have been improved by cutting its length. 'Fair Extension', on the other hand, was eminently readable from start to finish, and loaded with King's blackest humour. It's not an original story (a modern take on the Faustian deal), but the author throws in enough new details to make the upgrade effective. 'Big Driver' is an edge-of-the-seat tale of redemption told from a woman's perspective. Rich in originality, full of tension and containing beautifully fleshed out characters, it is the book's standout piece of work. 'A Good Marriage' delves into the question of how a wife might react if she discovers that her husband of several decades - the father of her children - is not the man he claims to be. It's well written and eminently satisfying in its conclusion. The bonus story - 'Under the Weather' - is short and sweet (in a sick way).

All in all, an impressive collection. Don't be afraid of the dark. Delve in.
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