28 September 2011

Review: Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Full Dark, No Stars is a collection of four short stories by one of my favourite authors, the legendary Stephen King.  The first in the collection is entitled 1922 and is an unsettling story about a husband who believes he has no choice but to murder his wife.  The theme of retribution is ever present, however the main character is haunted by his actions and there's a good morale here.  There were some quite memorable visual descriptions throughout the tale, and some gave me the shivers.  Not gory so much as creepy, and let's face it, that's why King is King!

In the second story Big Driver, we meet Tess, a single, middle-aged cat owner and well-known author who is raped and left for dead.  I was amazed at King's skill and ability to capture the essence and emotions of a middle-aged female character under extreme duress so exceptionally well.  The main characters in 1922 and Big Driver couldn't be more different, and it really highlights King's skill as a writer.

The third story in the collection, Fair Extension was the one I enjoyed the least, however was still an interesting concept.  Streeter - suffering from terminal cancer - purchases an 'extension' of life from a salesperson on the side of the road in exchange for passing on the name of someone he hates.  The consequences of the purchase and what happens to the person he named seem anything but fair, or do they?

The final story is A Good Marriage, and this was gripping reading.  In the beginning, Darcy and Bob appear to have a loving and solid marriage.  After years and years together and raising two children, they know each other inside out, irritating habits and all; until one day when Bob is away on business Darcy discovers he has been hiding something.  My favourite character in the entire collection was the retired Detective in A Good Marriage, so well drawn, and completely unforgettable!

All in all, a very entertaining read here from Stephen King.  No supernatural themes or monsters here, just the monsters lurking deep within some of us.

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!

Would you like to comment?

  1. I really enjoyed this too, I think some of SK's best work are his novellas.

  2. Thanks Danielle, glad you enjoyed it too. His volume of work is impressive.

  3. One more day, one more exam and I can read some of your suggestions guilt free!


Thanks for your comment, Carpe Librum!