Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Stephen King's "Full Dark No Stars"...A Book Review

Title details for Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King - Available

I'd never heard of this particular book before. I found it while searching for my next audiobook on our library's website. For the most part, you can't go wrong with Stephen King. There's only one Stephen King book I couldn't finish, and I believe it was one of the very first books he ever wrote, The Long Walk. If you know about the book, you know it's pretty gruesome. Maybe one day I'll finish it.

I should say that Full Dark No Stars is gruesome at times, too. It's a collection of short stories, most likely novella-length. There's the story of a farmer in the 1920s who kills his wife, first-person. There's the story of a woman writer who is attacked and how she plots her revenge. There's another story of a man who trades all his bad luck for good, and the bad luck he experienced somehow transfers to a friend he inwardly hates. And finally King includes a story of a woman who discovers her husband's dark secret and how she deals with it, how the couple deals with it, and ultimately, how their marriage ends.

These are creepy tales, folks. Each stands on its own, but there is one thing I found that ties them all together. With each story, a secondary voice/character played a part. The farmer has an alternative personality that he can't control. It's the bad man who justifies the bad thing the farmer does. The writer has a voice tell her things she should and should not do. The man who sheds his bad luck meets a man by the road who talks him into his choice, so even though this isn't a voice inside the character's head, it still sort of works. And finally, the wife learns first-hand how her husband listens to an evil voice telling him what to do.

I'm not normally a fan of horror. Reading it makes me feel uncomfortable. For many, that's what they enjoy most about the genre. I can understand it, even respect it on some level. I do enjoy shorts that get to the point and stay focused. These stories definitely do that. And, as always, the man knows how to write. I didn't know about this collection. If you're a fan of King and you didn't know about this one either, you might want to check it out.

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