Monday, December 21, 2015


It's always an event when a new Stephen King short story collection is released. Much of his best material comes in the short form and he's proven time and again to be one of the best short story writers working these days. I adored his previous collection Just After Sunset, and I couldn't wait to jump into this one! I had read about a third of the stories when they were previously published, including the two novellas in the collection, the inventive and entertaining magic Kindle story UR, and the highly disappointing killer car story Mile 81, which is wrecked by it's atrocious ending.

Unfortunately my favorite stories in the book were ones I'd read before, which lessened my enjoyment a bit with the collection as a whole. It's by no means a bad collection, I just didn't have many amazing discoveries but enjoyed the re-reads. My favorites were the captivating "Morality," about a New York City couple who are approached with a tempting way to get themselves out of the economic slump, the beautiful and heartbreaking story of a highway accident, "Herman Wouk Is Still Alive," and the Raymond Carver-esque tale of a doomed marriage, "Premium Harmony", all of which I'd read before. There were a few new stories that I enjoyed and which read like classic King shorts: "The Dune" (which had a nifty ending), "Obits," and "Bad Little Kid," all of which would fit snugly right in the middle of his Skeleton Crew collection.

Some of the others were less enjoyable, with King's occasional tendency toward disappointing endings on display. He's famous for not outlining his stories and not knowing what will happen once he starts writing, which most of the time is not a problem. But in some of these stories, it's glaringly obvious and he doesn't bring it home very well. But as I mentioned, a collection of new King stories is always a big deal. And there's enough great stuff here to get excited about!
"Memory's job is not only to recall the past but to burnish it."

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