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Full Dark, No Stars

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

32 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

THERE IS HELL TO PAY!

King's short stories focus sharply and to the point on the horror without the delayed reaction from his longer more wordy novels. FULL DARK, NO STARS portrays lack of soul, I think; How else could one explain the horrific, inhumane things that happen in these stories? "...
King's short stories focus sharply and to the point on the horror without the delayed reaction from his longer more wordy novels. FULL DARK, NO STARS portrays lack of soul, I think; How else could one explain the horrific, inhumane things that happen in these stories? "1922" is the story of a farmer who murders his wife for no better reason than to stop her from selling off their land. Her excruciatingly painful death lets loose the devil that will get him in the end. In "Big Driver", after a middle-aged woman is attacked on an out-of-the-way back road and left for dead, a thirst for revenge over powers her. She finds herself suddenly capable of committing bone-chilling acts to get even. "A Good Marriage" tells us about a wife who discovers the man she's been married to for 27 years is not the man she thought she married and all that that entails. "Fair Extension" is a horrifying tale of a dying man's resentment, and misfortunes over powering him and unleashing on his thought to be best friend who stole his high school sweetheart. There is hell to pay.

posted by GEORGIAMOON on December 21, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

19 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

I'd give this one a "pass"

This book was, thankfully, short at only 304 (nook) pages. The only story that I felt was really good was A Good Marriage. The others had the potential, but I don't feel Mr. King ever fully developed the stories. I don't mind that the endings weren't, I've always been o...
This book was, thankfully, short at only 304 (nook) pages. The only story that I felt was really good was A Good Marriage. The others had the potential, but I don't feel Mr. King ever fully developed the stories. I don't mind that the endings weren't, I've always been one who enjoys the STORY, the JOURNEY. The characters were rich, and very vivid, but the lack of development of the story just left me feeling let down.

posted by Certifried on November 17, 2010

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  • Posted December 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    THERE IS HELL TO PAY!

    King's short stories focus sharply and to the point on the horror without the delayed reaction from his longer more wordy novels. FULL DARK, NO STARS portrays lack of soul, I think; How else could one explain the horrific, inhumane things that happen in these stories? "1922" is the story of a farmer who murders his wife for no better reason than to stop her from selling off their land. Her excruciatingly painful death lets loose the devil that will get him in the end. In "Big Driver", after a middle-aged woman is attacked on an out-of-the-way back road and left for dead, a thirst for revenge over powers her. She finds herself suddenly capable of committing bone-chilling acts to get even. "A Good Marriage" tells us about a wife who discovers the man she's been married to for 27 years is not the man she thought she married and all that that entails. "Fair Extension" is a horrifying tale of a dying man's resentment, and misfortunes over powering him and unleashing on his thought to be best friend who stole his high school sweetheart. There is hell to pay.

    32 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I'd give this one a "pass"

    This book was, thankfully, short at only 304 (nook) pages. The only story that I felt was really good was A Good Marriage. The others had the potential, but I don't feel Mr. King ever fully developed the stories. I don't mind that the endings weren't, I've always been one who enjoys the STORY, the JOURNEY. The characters were rich, and very vivid, but the lack of development of the story just left me feeling let down.

    19 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Full Dark, Indeed

    "A Good Marriage" poses the question, however deeply you wish to consider it: Do we ever really know each other? A similar question sums up Full Dark, No Stars, and that is: Do we ever really know ourselves? Unlike King's previous collections, there is a very strong unifying theme at play here, and that is a study of how people react when pushed, or how we handle the ugly choices we're given. In all of these stories, people find themselves forced to face sides of themselves they might never have known existed if not for the intervention of exterior forces. In "1922? Wilfred James finds himself driven to murder by the threat of losing the only thing he truly knows. In "Big Driver" a rapist awakens the primal vengeance of an otherwise mild-mannered writer. In "Fair Extension" a man is asked to condemn another for the chance at a new life. And in "A Good Marriage" an ordinarily housewife is forced to make the ultimate choice when she finds out her loving husband is not what he has pretended to be. Take away the safety and security, the gravity we take for granted and you truly see what we are behind the mask. Good people, King says, may only be good as long as they're allowed to be. There is always a high and a low road, the good and the bad. But when the line of demarcation is not clear, when the gray area is a blur, and when we stand to benefit more from taking the path that will ultimately bring horror to others but an element of peace to ourselves, what do we do? In Full Dark, No Stars, Stephen King offers four unflinchingly brutal scenarios in response to that question. It is a grim and often ugly journey of discovery, but as always when it comes to King, one worth taking, if only to see what we look like when the masks come off.

    18 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2011

    what happened to ebooks being less expensive????

    I've read all of Stephen Kings books. This one was no dissapointment. I enjoyed it and could not put it down. My only problem is the cost. Ebook (nook) is $3.33 more expensive than paperback. What happened to, as the Nook salesmen said to me before my nook purchase, "ebooks are less expensive than paper books"? I'm finding ebooks are more expensive than many, many, many paperbacks.

    15 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Noted for his horror novels, Stephen King is also a super novella/short story writer

    "1922". Wilfred Leland James loves his Nebraska farm. His wife Arlette hates the spread. When she inherits 100 acres, she wants to sell it and her spouse's land while he wants to work both. She will learn how he plans to keep her and Henry on the farm after they've seen Omaha.------------------------

    "Big Driver". After a Massachusetts speaking engagement, cozy novelist Tess is given a short cut home by her patron Ramona. While driving the back road, she runs over a nail causing a flat. A man stops to change the tire, but instead rapes her and leaves her dead. However, he failed to kill her so she plots vengeance as only a mystery writer could.--------------

    "Fair Extension". Dying from cancer, Streeter talks with Mr. Elvid who offers him a Faustian deal of passing on much of his bad luck to a person he hates in exchange for an annual portion of money. Over the years Streeter and his family enjoy a good life, but his former best friend and his family have one catastrophe after another----------

    "A Good Marriage". After twenty-seven years of marriage to Bob, Darcy believes they have had a good life together. While he is away on business, she finds in their garage catalogues that he hid from her so she would not order items. She finds a second box, but when Darcy opens it, she learns secrets about Bob that he hid from her; now she must decide what to do with this other Bob she just met.-------------

    Noted for his horror novels, Stephen King is also a super novella/short story writer as proven by Different Seasons, which includes tales that were adopted into movies (see The Shawshank Redemption, The Apt Pupil and Stand By Me). This quartet affirms Mr. King's shorter thriller writing skills as the naturing stranger inside of everyone is masked by nurturing so that even long term partners and in some case the person do not know the inner sanction of their soul.---------------------

    Harriet Klausner

    11 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This is my favorite King collection. 1922 is extremely character

    This is my favorite King collection. 1922 is extremely character driven. I really rooted for the two men out on a farm and thus the things that happened to them felt like they were happening to me. Big Driver was about the same for me really. A Fair Extension is kind of sinfully nice. A Good Marriage is also very satisffying. There's really no weak story here. 

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Well done

    While I did not "love" all the short stories in this novella, Stephen King has returned to what i feel he does best and that is his short stories. The characters are well developed and for the most part the tales are highly entertaining. King lovers will love it and King may even bring back some readers he has lsot over the past few years.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    Very good

    This is not what I was expectlng. However, it made me think. I love the way Steve pulls you in.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A great book by a great author . . .

    Why are you wasting time reading this review when you could be reading the book instead? That is really all I need to say about Full Dark, No Stars. I am more than impressed with these stories by Stephen King. My review is not going to make you read the book. You either like Stephen King or you don't. This book will please most if not all of his fans and just may persuade some of those who don't enjoy the works of Stephen King. If you are looking for "heart-warming" tales for this upcoming holiday season, look elsewhere. But if you want some dark, practically "pitch black" stories, this is the book for you.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not a short story fan, but enjoyed this book Review Brought to

    Not a short story fan, but enjoyed this book

    Review Brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

    Spoilers Ahead

    Full Dark, No Stars is a set of four stories brought to you by the king of horror himself, Stephen King and is followed by a brief afterword from the author explaining where he came up with the ideas for these stories.

    I will break the book down by each story.

    1922:

    In this story Wilfred James and his wife, Arlette, are feuding over the property she inherited and the farm they own. She wants to sell it all and move to the city. Whereas, he wants to keep it and farm it all. The conniving man inside of him decides that she must die and convinces his son, Henry, to go along with it.

    Wilfred murders his wife and dumps her in an old well on their property and him and Henry cover it up, but are never the same again.

    Henry gets his girlfriend, Shannon, pregnant and her family sends her away to have the baby and give it up for adoption. Henry runs away to find her and starts a life a crime in order to support them. It eventually leads to both of their deaths and the death of their unborn child.

    Wilfred is haunted by his dead wife and the rats that were attracted to her dead body and it eventually leads to his demise, as well.

    This story is written in the form of a confession letter from Wilfred about everything that happened in the year of 1922, the year he murdered his wife and everything that happened thereafter.

    I have to say that I really did not care for this story. I found it to be quite morbid and I had trouble staying interested in it.

    Big Driver:

    Famous writer Tess has just finished a public speaking, and the librarian that hired her tells her about a shortcut to get her home sooner. She gladly takes it, but on her way there is scattered wood with nails all across the road. She tries to avoid them, but ends up running over one of them, leaving her stranded on the side of the road.

    A stranger comes along and offers to change her tire for her. But he soon turns on her and takes her to a nearby abandoned store and rapes and beats her. He then places her in culvert with other dead corpses and leaves her to die.

    She later makes her way back to the store and recovers her clothes, but her purse and diamond earrings are gone, and so is her vehicle.

    After she gets back home she can’t get past the rage and starts plotting her revenge. And she knows she’s losing her mind when she starts having conversations with her GPS, Tom the Tomtom, and her cat and they start talking back to her.

    I thought this story was decent. It definitely kept me interested. It was also a bit more believable than the previous story in the book. I could totally see a rape victim taking matters into her own hands like Tess did in this story.

    Fair Extension:

    David Streeter is dying from cancer and on a drive one night sees a roadside stand with a sign “Fair Extensions, Fair Price”. He has no idea what it meant, but went over to talk to the vendor. He makes a deal with him to give him part of his income for fifteen years, in exchange for the vendor extending his life. The only catch is that he has to put the bad things that are lifted from him onto someone else he knows. He decides to have the dirty luck put on his best friend, Tom, who Streeter has always been jealous of.....

    See the FULL review and more at openbooksociety dot com

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Stunning!

    Stephen King is the master of short story fiction. Three out of four of the stories in the book featured terrible violence to women, a topic I find difficult to read. King takes you right to the heart of evil and forces you to stand witness. He sums it up best in an afterword. He wanted to take ordinary characters and place them in extraordinary circumstances to see what they would do. You will find out if you read this extremely excellent book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2010

    Disturbing

    I read this in three short evenings. Couldn't put it down. My favorite of the four was the shortest of all, Fair Extension, and I wished it was longer.
    Be prepared from the very first story though, they are all disturbing, but necessarily so and he spends just the right amount of time on it and moves on.
    If you are a fan of Rose Madder/Gerald's Game then you will like Good Marriage and Big Driver. Seemingly normal women overcoming great obstacles with well-thought-out planning and courage with a Stephen King spin.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Enticing

    I have enjoyed Stephen King books for many years and this holds a high place as one of my favorites. The first short story is the most beautifully written it makes you question the capabilities of your own sanity and is a tale of heart break leaving you thinking that if one thing had gone differently the outcome might have left some of those who deserved to survive.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

    Have never read, or tried to read a book this awful.

    I can't get past the first 8 pages. The misspelling and typos, and non sense sentences and paragraphs, I would think George Valentine would fire the person who typed this. If it's his work he needs to find other work. I don't really think it deserved the one star I gave it.

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    love this book!!

    It's a great book, very hard to put down. I read the 1st page out loud and needless to say 3 people in the room ha their jaws on the floor.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    OMG - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    Perfect Price for a Perfect Read

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

    money while spent !!

    Thanks !

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    Could not put this one down!!

    Can not beleive this job is really out there, crazy life this guy had.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2013

    I have come to expect a lot from Stephen King, especially his sh

    I have come to expect a lot from Stephen King, especially his short stories and novellas, and I was not disappointed. The four stories in this anthology were all very well written, engaging, engrossing and (as one would expect from the King) just a little disturbing.

    The first story, 1922 is presented as the written confession of a farmer who, by murdering his wife, destroyed his son, his soul and his peace of mind. This tale demonstrates how, by our own actions, we can create for ourselves a hell on Earth long before we encounter any kind of divine punishment.

    The second story, Big Driver, is the best description of how it feels to be raped that I have read by someone who hasn't actually experienced this horror for themselves. It highlights the humiliation, the terror, the anger, the disgust, the burning need for revenge combined with the desperate desire to hide that is felt by many victims of this awful crime.

    The third story, Fair Extension, shows the lengths many of us are willing to go to in order to topple those of whom we are jealous and to put our own selfish interests ahead of the interests of those around us. Many of us are all too eager to do a deal with the devil, no trickery or bribery needed.

    The fourth, and final, story is called A Good Marriage. In my opinion, this is the best of the four. By reading this tale, we are asked just how well we can really know another person, even those nearest and dearest to us. What would we do if we found out our most-loved ones had been hiding a horrible secret from us, so terrible that we refused, at first, to believe it to be true? Could you suddenly stop loving someone who turned out to be evil?

    As is typical for Stephen King's works, these stories are enjoyable to read while they last, and stay in your mind, churning your thoughts, exciting your emotions and disturbing your peace long after they are finished.

    I have made no secret of the fact that King is one of my favourite authors, so it should come as no surprise to you that I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Steve king?

    Is this even stephen kings work or is someone using his name for$


    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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