Full Dark, No Stars

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Overview

FULL DARK, NO STARS

Four new, unforgettable short works from the #1 internationally bestselling author . . . “Four raw looks at the limits of greed, revenge, and self-deception” (Booklist, starred review) from the greatest storyteller of our time.

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Overview

FULL DARK, NO STARS

Four new, unforgettable short works from the #1 internationally bestselling author . . . “Four raw looks at the limits of greed, revenge, and self-deception” (Booklist, starred review) from the greatest storyteller of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This 384-page hardcover collects four novellas about revenge and other traits that most of us strive hard to keep tightly locked. In "Big Driver," a vicious attack on the way home from a book club fest leaves a cozy writer with an insatiable thirst for blood. In another story, Darcy Anderson's "good marriage" loudly collapses with a startling late night discovery in the garage. Another novella charts Dave Streeter's devil deal cancer reprieve, while "1922" rekindles the sudden onslaught of Midwest murder and madness. Trademark Stephen King.

Bill Sheehan
…four satisfyingly bleak accounts of human behavior at its most extreme…all of the stories in Full Dark, No Stars…[deal] with people encountering the darkest aspects of themselves and those they love. Through his mastery of detail and his deceptively effortless narrative voice, King transforms this disquieting material into a disturbing, fascinating book.
—The Washington Post
Janet Maslin
Mr. King's Full Dark, No Stars has a lot of straight-up horror. The sheer size of its rodent population is enough to stamp it with the horror label. But it will serve as a page turner even for the reader who is aghast at some of the whisker-twitching particulars…King…seems able to write compact tales or gargantuan ones with equal ease…Whatever the length at which he writes, Mr. King leaves readers with a simple, one-word message: Gotcha!
—The New York Times
Terrence Rafferty
…a quartet of previously unpublished tales that more than satisfy their prolific author's stated criteria for good fiction. Propulsive? Check. Assaultive? Don't ask…King at 63 still writes with the verve and glee and heedless ease of a very young man. He has not mellowed perceptibly. He has not put aside childish things. When you're reading the grisly tales in Full Dark, No Stars, carried along by his rollicking, vivid prose, you think (if you're thinking at all): "God help him, this man is having fun." A writer who takes such unabashed joy in the act of storytelling is a rarity. This naked pleasure is King's secret ingredient: it makes his work…weirdly irresistible, even addictive.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Eerie twists of fate drive the four longish stories in King's first collection since Just After Sunset (2008). In "1922," a farmer murders his wife to retain the family land she hopes to sell, then watches his life unravel hideously as the consequences of the killing suggest a near-supernatural revenge. "Big Driver" tells of an otherwise ordinary woman who discovers her extraordinary capacity for retribution after she is raped and left for dead. "A Good Marriage" explores the aftermath of a wife's discovery of her milquetoast husband's sinister secret life, while "Fair Extension," the book's most disturbing story, follows the relationship between a man and the best friend on whom he preternaturally shifts all his bad luck and misfortune. As in Different Seasons (1982), King takes a mostly nonfantastic approach to grim themes. Now, as then, these tales show how a skilled storyteller with a good tale to tell can make unsettling fiction compulsively readable. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“King [is] the most wonderfully gruesome man on the planet… The pages practically turn themselves.”—Carol Memmott, USA Today

Full Dark, No Stars is an extraordinary collection, thrillingly merciless, and a career high point.”—The Telegraph (UK)

“A page turner.… King … seems able to write compact tales or gargantuan ones with equal ease.”—Janet Maslin, New York Times

“Might yield another classic… Solid psychological chillers.”Columbus Dispatch

“Just as gripping as his epic novels.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Library Journal
Acclaimed horror/thriller author King's latest release (after Blockade Billy and Under the Dome) is another collection of satisfying short stories. As with his other collections (Four Past Midnight and Everything's Eventual), this volume features four never-before-published novellas focusing on the theme of retribution, justice, and getting even. Offering fast reads, three tales run around 100 pages ("1922," "Big Driver," and "A Good Marriage"), while one story ("Fair Extension") weighs in at fewer than 50 pages. While not as subtle as some of King's other fiction, these novellas offer dark humor and to-the-point gore. VERDICT This quick and more brutal King installment will be in high demand for horror/thriller readers and dedicated King fans. Public libraries, order multiple copies. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/10.]—Carolann Curry, Mercer Univ. Medical Lib., Macon, GA
Kirkus Reviews

Following an overstuffed feast of a novel (Under the Dome,2009), King returns with four comparative snacks, each of which deals in some way with the darkest recesses of the human soul.

None of the narratives have previously been published, and all are apparently recent. The first, best and longest is "1922," a richly detailed ghost story about a Nebraska farmer whose wife wants to sell land she's inherited and move to the city, and how he enlists their 14-year-old son to conspire against her. He had been convinced that moving to the city would be hell, but discovers, as he tells himself, "You realize that you are in a hell of your own making, but you go on nevertheless. Because there is nothing else to do." "Big Driver" concerns an implausible plot against an author speaking to a book club, and the toll her revenge takes on her, transforming her into a different person in the process. "Fair Extension," the shortest, is a fable about a terminal cancer patient who experiences a miraculous remission following a transaction with the devilish Mr. Elvid. "A Good Marriage," is, of course, a title dripping with irony, with a wife of more than 25 years discovering devastating secrets—a secret life! even a dual identity!—about her boringly predictable husband. Can things somehow go on as they have before? Or does she risk ruining her own life and those of their children by exposing her husband? "Does anybody really know anybody?"asks the story (rhetorically). Explains King in his "Afterword," "From the start...I felt that the best fiction was both propulsive and assaultive. It gets in your face. Sometimes it shouts in your face."

A collection of page-turning narratives for those who prefer the prolific tale spinner at his pulpiest.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451650600
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 5/24/2011
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 102,854
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

- 1 -

The one thing nobody asked in casual conversation, Darcy thought in the days after she found what she found in the garage, was this: How’s your marriage? They asked how was your weekend and how was your trip to Florida and how’s your health and how are the kids; they even asked how’s life been treatin you, hon? But nobody asked how’s your marriage?

Good, she would have answered the question before that night. Everything’s fine.

She had been born Darcellen Madsen (Darcellen, a name only parents besotted with a freshly purchased book of baby names could love), in the year John F. Kennedy was elected President. She was raised in Freeport, Maine, back when it was a town instead of an adjunct to L.L.Bean, America’s first superstore, and half a dozen other oversized retail operations of the sort that are called “outlets” (as if they were sewer drains rather than shopping locations). She went to Freeport High School, and then to Addison Business School, where she learned secretarial skills. She was hired by Joe Ransome Chevrolet, which by 1984, when she left the company, was the largest car dealership in Portland. She was plain, but with the help of two marginally more sophisticated girlfriends, learned enough makeup skills to make herself pretty on workdays and downright eye-catching on Friday and Saturday nights, when a bunch of them liked to go out for margaritas at The Lighthouse or Mexican Mike’s (where there was live music).

In 1982, Joe Ransome hired a Portland accounting firm to help him figure out his tax situation, which had become complicated (“The kind of problem you want to have,” Darcy overheard him tell one of the senior salesmen). A pair of briefcase-toting men came out, one old and one young. Both wore glasses and conservative suits; both combed their short hair neatly away from their foreheads in a way that made Darcy think of the photographs in her mother’s MEMORIES OF ’54 senior yearbook, the one with the image of a boy cheerleader holding a megaphone to his mouth stamped on its faux-leather cover.

The younger accountant was Bob Anderson. She got talking with him on their second day at the dealership, and in the course of their conversation, asked him if he had any hobbies. Yes, he said, he was a numismatist.

He started to tell her what that was and she said, “I know. My father collects Lady Liberty dimes and buffalo-head nickels. He says they’re his numismatical hobby-horse. Do you have a hobby-horse, Mr. Anderson?”

He did: wheat pennies. His greatest hope was to some day come across a 1955 double-date, which was—

But she knew that, too. The ’55 double-date was a mistake. A valuable mistake.

Young Mr. Anderson, he of the thick and carefully combed brown hair, was delighted with this answer. He asked her to call him Bob. Later, during their lunch—which they took on a bench in the sunshine behind the body shop, a tuna on rye for him and a Greek salad in a Tupperware bowl for her—he asked if she would like to go with him on Saturday to a street sale in Castle Rock. He had just rented a new apartment, he said, and was looking for an armchair. Also a TV, if someone was selling a good one at a fair price. A good one at a fair price was a phrase with which she would grow comfortably familiar in the years to come.

He was as plain as she was, just another guy you’d pass on the street without noticing, and would never have makeup to make him prettier… except that day on the bench, he did. His cheeks flushed when he asked her out, just enough to light him up a little and give him a glow.

“No coin collections?” she teased.

He smiled, revealing even teeth. Small teeth, nicely cared for, and white. It never occurred to her that the thought of those teeth could make her shudder—why would it?

“If I saw a nice set of coins, of course I’d look,” he said.

“Especially wheat pennies?” Teasing, but just a little.

“Especially those. Would you like to come, Darcy?”

She came. And she came on their wedding night, too. Not terribly often after that, but now and then. Often enough to consider herself normal and fulfilled.

In 1986, Bob got a promotion. He also (with Darcy’s encouragement and help) started up a small mail-order business in collectible American coins. It was successful from the start, and in 1990, he added baseball trading cards and old movie memorabilia. He kept no stock of posters, one-sheets, or window cards, but when people queried him on such items, he could almost always find them. Actually it was Darcy who found them, using her overstuffed Rolodex in those pre-computer days to call collectors all over the country. The business never got big enough to become full-time, and that was all right. Neither of them wanted such a thing. They agreed on that as they did on the house they eventually bought in Pownal, and on the children when it came time to have them. They agreed. When they didn’t agree, they compromised. But mostly they agreed. They saw eye-to-eye.

How’s your marriage?

It was good. A good marriage. Donnie was born in 1986—she quit her job to have him, and except for helping with Anderson Coins & Collectibles never held another one—and Petra was born in 1988. By then, Bob Anderson’s thick brown hair was thinning at the crown, and by 2002, the year Darcy’s Macintosh computer finally swallowed her Rolodex whole, he had a large shiny bald spot back there. He experimented with different ways of combing what was left, which only made the bald spot more conspicuous, in her opinion. And he irritated her by trying two of the magical grow-it-all-back formulas, the kind of stuff sold by shifty-looking hucksters on high cable late at night (Bob Anderson became something of a night owl as he slipped into middle age). He didn’t tell her he’d done it, but they shared a bedroom and although she wasn’t tall enough to see the top shelf of the closet unaided, she sometimes used a stool to put away his “Saturday shirts,” the tees he wore for puttering in the garden. And there they were: a bottle of liquid in the fall of 2004, a bottle of little green gel capsules a year later. She looked the names up on the Internet, and they weren’t cheap. Of course magic never is, she remembered thinking.

But, irritated or not, she had held her peace about the magic potions, and also about the used Chevy Suburban he for some reason just had to buy in the same year that gas prices really started to climb. As he had held his, she supposed (as she knew, actually), when she had insisted on good summer camps for the kids, an electric guitar for Donnie (he had played for two years, long enough to get surprisingly good, and then had simply stopped), horse rentals for Petra. A successful marriage was a balancing act—that was a thing everyone knew. A successful marriage was also dependent on a high tolerance for irritation—this was a thing Darcy knew. As the Stevie Winwood song said, you had to roll widdit, baby.

She rolled with it. So did he.

In 2004, Donnie went off to college in Pennsylvania. In 2006, Petra went to Colby, just up the road in Waterville. By then, Darcy Madsen Anderson was forty-six years old. Bob was forty-nine, and still doing Cub Scouts with Stan Morin, a construction contractor who lived half a mile down the road. She thought her balding husband looked rather amusing in the khaki shorts and long brown socks he wore for the monthly Wildlife Hikes, but never said so. His bald spot had become well entrenched; his glasses had become bifocals; his weight had spun up from one-eighty into the two-twenty range. He had become a partner in the accounting firm—Benson and Bacon was now Benson, Bacon & Anderson. They had traded the starter home in Pownal for a more expensive one in Yarmouth. Her breasts, formerly small and firm and high (her best feature, she’d always thought; she’d never wanted to look like a Hooters waitress) were now larger, not so firm, and of course they dropped down when she took off her bra at night—what else could you expect when you were closing in on the half-century mark?—but every so often Bob would still come up behind her and cup them. Every so often there was the pleasant interlude in the upstairs bedroom overlooking their peaceful two-acre patch of land, and if he was a little quick on the draw and often left her unsatisfied, often was not always, and the satisfaction of holding him afterward, feeling his warm man’s body as he drowsed away next to her… that satisfaction never failed. It was, she supposed, the satisfaction of knowing they were still together when so many others were not; the satisfaction of knowing that as they approached their Silver Anniversary, the course was still steady as she goes.

In 2009, twenty-five years down the road from their I-do’s in a small Baptist church that no longer existed (there was now a parking lot where it had stood), Donnie and Petra threw them a surprise party at The Birches on Castle View. There were over fifty guests, champagne (the good stuff), steak tips, a four-tier cake. The honorees danced to Kenny Loggins’s “Footloose,” just as they had at their wedding. The guests applauded Bob’s breakaway move, one she had forgotten until she saw it again, and its still-airy execution gave her a pang. Well it should have; he had grown a paunch to go with the embarrassing bald spot (embarrassing to him, at least), but he was still extremely light on his feet for an accountant.

But all of that was just history, the stuff of obituaries, and they were still too young to be thinking of those. It ignored the minutiae of marriage, and such ordinary mysteries, she believed (firmly believed), were the stuff that validated the partnership. The time she had eaten bad shrimp and vomited all night long, sitting on the edge of the bed with her sweaty hair clinging to the nape of her neck and tears rolling down her flushed cheeks and Bob sitting beside her, patiently holding the basin and then taking it to the bathroom, where he emptied and rinsed it after each ejection—so the smell of it wouldn’t make her even sicker, he said. He had been warming up the car to take her to the Emergency Room at six the next morning when the horrible nausea had finally begun to abate. He had called in sick at B, B & A; he’d also canceled a trip to White River so he could sit with her in case the sickness came back.

That kind of thing worked both ways; one year’s sauce for the goose was next year’s sauce for the gander. She had sat with him in the waiting room at St. Stephen’s—back in ’94 or ’95, this had been—waiting for the biopsy results after he had discovered (in the shower) a suspicious lump in his left armpit. The biopsy had been negative, the diagnosis an infected lymph node. The lump had lingered for another month or so, then went away on its own.

The sight of a crossword book on his knees glimpsed through the half-open bathroom door as he sat on the commode. The smell of cologne on his cheeks, which meant that the Suburban would be gone from the driveway for a day or two and his side of the bed would be empty for a night or two because he had to straighten out someone’s accounting in New Hampshire or Vermont (B, B & A now had clients in all the northern New England states). Sometimes the smell meant a trip to look at someone’s coin collection at an estate sale, because not all the numismatic buying and selling that went with their side-business could be accomplished by computer, they both understood that. The sight of his old black suitcase, the one he would never give up no matter how much she nagged, in the front hall. His slippers at the end of the bed, one always tucked into the other. The glass of water on his endtable, with the orange vitamin pill next to it, on that month’s issue of Coin & Currency Collecting. How he always said, “More room out than there is in” after belching and “Look out, gas attack!” after he farted. His coat on the first hook in the hall. The reflection of his toothbrush in the mirror (he would still be using the same one he’d had when they got married, Darcy believed, if she didn’t regularly replace it). The way he dabbed his lips with his napkin after every second or third bite of food. The careful arrangement of camping gear (always including an extra compass) before he and Stan set out with yet another bunch of nine-year-olds on the hike up Dead Man’s Trail—a dangerous and terrifying trek that took them through the woods behind the Golden Grove Mall and came out at Weinberg’s Used Car City. The look of his nails, always short and clean. The taste of Dentyne on his breath when they kissed. These things and ten thousand others comprised the secret history of the marriage.

She knew he must have his own history of her, everything from the cinnamon-flavored ChapStick she used on her lips in the winter to the smell of her shampoo when he nuzzled the back of her neck (that nuzzle didn’t come so often now, but it still came) to the click of her computer at two in the morning on those two or three nights a month when sleep for some reason jilted her.

Now it was twenty-seven years, or—she had amused herself figuring this one day using the calculator function on her computer—nine thousand eight hundred and fifty-five days. Almost a quarter of a million hours and over fourteen million minutes. Of course some of that time he’d been gone on business, and she’d taken a few trips herself (the saddest to be with her parents in Minneapolis after her kid sister Brandolyn had died in a freak accident), but mostly they had been together.

Did she know everything about him? Of course not. No more than he knew everything about her—how she sometimes (mostly on rainy days or on those nights when the insomnia was on her) gobbled Butterfingers or Baby Ruths, for instance, eating the candybars even after she no longer wanted them, even after she felt sick to her stomach. Or how she thought the new mailman was sort of cute. There was no knowing everything, but she felt that after twenty-seven years, they knew all the important things. It was a good marriage, one of the fifty percent or so that kept working over the long haul. She believed that in the same unquestioning way she believed that gravity would hold her to the earth when she walked down the sidewalk.

Until that night in the garage.

© 2010 Stephen King

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1520 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1533 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

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  • 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 33 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 20 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. 

    7 out of 7 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 3 people found this review helpful.

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