Saturday, January 1, 2011

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Full Dark, No Stars
Cannonball Read 2011 #4
384 pages

Full Dark, No Stars is Stephen King's newest anthology. It contains four novellas called 1922, Big Driver, Fair Extension, and A Good Marriage. They were kind of hit or miss for me as I only enjoyed two of the four. I'm a pretty big Stephen King fan, but there are some of his books and stories that I just have a harder time getting into.

My favorites were definitely Big Driver and A Good Marriage, with Big Driver probably being my favorite overall. It was about a female writer who takes a shortcut home from a book signing where she gets raped and almost murdered. She opts to get revenge herself rather than go to the police. It starts a little slow for a shorter story, but once the action gets going, it's a pretty intense ride.

A Good Marriage is about a woman who finds out that her husband is an infamous serial killer who has alluded the police for years. King says that his inspiration for this story was the BTK killer, who had a normal life with a wife who supposedly had no idea that he tortured and killed women on the side. I thought this story had good pacing as well.

As for 1922, it was probably my least favorite. Unfortunately, it was also the first and the longest novella in the book. It is about a man in the 1920s who decides to murder his wife with the help of his son. The two are fighting over some land she inherited from her parents - she wants to sell and he wants to keep it. The story is well-written, but I just found it too drawn out and slow at times.

Fair Extension was fairly forgettable. It is about a man with cancer who makes a deal with the devil for his health. Of course dealing with the devil always has consequences, so in order to prolong his life, he must cut someone else's short. The story wasn't bad, but it just wasn't that memorable either. It also seems vaguely familiar, like I've read or seen something similar that I just can't put my finger on.

Overall, it's a pretty solid read from King. He's a phenomenal writer, but different people tend to like different things from him. I tend to like his ones like Carrie and Misery. This one might be more suited towards fans of slower moving, less horror stories like Bag of Bones.

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