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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 20 March 2014
My first book was damaged in transit, so I contacted barginbooks and they instantly sent me out a new copy, without me having to return the damaged one. It was bubble wrapped, and in perfect condition. I am amazed with the company's customer service, and the book is beautiful. I couldn't believe I got a beautiful leather bound, silver gilded book for such a cheap price. It is worth ten times what I paid. It seemed to good to be true, but it is a lovely book. I would highly recommend you snap up a copy whilst they have them. Thank you for such wonderful service, and such a beautiful book. I will be buying all my books from you from now on.
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on 19 April 2016
Eventually arrived. Not in time for Xmas though even though I ordered it on 15th nov and it said would be here for Xmas. I must say the book was worth the wait tho. Husband is delighted with it and it's on display with all his other Barnes and noble books. Thanks you. :-D
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on 16 November 2014
Three great novels in one beautiful edition.
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on 13 October 2014
As expected, on time
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on 28 December 2014
This book was bought as a Christmas present and my daughter loved it! Thank you for a great service
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on 20 October 2002
Like a lot of people in the 1980's, I grew up reading Stephen King. I enjoyed all of his works up until The Tommyknockers- particularly The Dead Zone, Different Seasons, Misery & The Stand. I read a few more, The Dark Half was fine and the short story collections always great; but I found the fantasy books not to my taste- while books like Gerald's Game, Needful Things and Insomnia were either (or both) boring or overwritten. Dolores Claiborne was a pearl in this era. More recently I have enjoyed King's The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon, Hearts of Atlantis and On Writing (though DreamCatcher is a bit reminscent of It). This recent resurgence in interest in Stephen King makes me want to read those works again- and so here is the place to start.
Carrie (1974) was King's debut novel and tells the story of Carrie White- who lives with her religious maniac of a mother and develops telekinesis as she comes of age. A lecturer I had a few years ago chastised this book for misogny, developing the constrictive theory that a male cannot possibly write about a female. As On Writing reveals, King's wife Tabitha read the various drafts and offerred insight into the high school female (at one point she rescued Carrie from the bin). I think it captures the nasty hierarchy of school, though American school seems to be even worse with its emphasis on status and events like the prom. King captures an outsider wonderfully, though there are more scenes and styles of exploration around Carrie (newspaper reports, letters from relations) than in Brian de Palma's excellent film adaptation. This novel is a lot deeper if you read about its inception in On Writing; it is notable that feminist songwriter PJ Harvey took the slang for breasts ("dirtypillows") for her great song Sheela-Na-Gig (from Dry).
The next novel is my favourite of the three contained here, Salem's Lot. This develops around the short-story Jerusalem's Lot (see Night Shift) and is a combination of Dracula, I am Legend and Our Town. The story is generally a flashback around a smalltown and the arrival of some mysterious occupants- King portrays the surface of the utopian town - and the underbelly no one sees. This reminds me of David Lynch's Blue Velvet. The novel is wonderfully paced, King creating realistic characters and friendships withing the hierarchy of the smalltown. This leads to several great conclusions- Salem's Lot is one of the finest vampire novels, perhaps only bettered by Dracula and I am Legend.
The final novel here is The Shining, which has most definitly been superseded by Stanley Kubrick's strong (if overlong) film, particularly the camerawork and Jack Nicholson's performance. King was so attached to his own work (and upset by Kubrick's adaptation) he would make his own TV-version of it (this is awful and along with Maximum Overdrive proof that King is best behind the typewriter/word processor/notepad). This is probably a bit too long, but has a more satisfying conclusion than the film (though I love the film's final image, of a man removed to another time- very Last Year at Marienbad). The portraits of the decadent era and prior murders at the Overlook hotel are excellent and the Jack Torrance being an alcoholic would have unconscious significance for King at a later point. The opening interview [...] is an example of the finest dialogue writing I've read this side of Elmore Leonard.
This collection is an excellent purchase, three of King's finest novels and great value when looking at the price of the novels seperately.
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