Nightmares and Dreamscapes

Nightmares and Dreamscapes

4.0 140
by Stephen King

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Twenty superlative stories that take King's millions of fans where they never dreamed of going before. Included, too, are a telescript that made home screen history, a startling poem, and an essay that Stephen King regards as his best nonfiction writing.See more details below


Twenty superlative stories that take King's millions of fans where they never dreamed of going before. Included, too, are a telescript that made home screen history, a startling poem, and an essay that Stephen King regards as his best nonfiction writing.

Editorial Reviews

A King-sized success.
Chicago Tribune
Thoroughly exciting...scary and real.
Houston Chronicle
Gather around the pages of his literary campfire, and he'll weave you a darn good yarn.
Columbia Herald
A King-sized success.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is a wonderful cornucopia of 23 Stephen King moments (including a teleplay featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, a poem about Ebbet's Field and a brilliant New Yorker piece on Little League baseball) that even the author, in his introduction, acknowledges make up ``an uneven Aladdin's cave of a book.'' There are no stories fans will want to skip, and some are superb, particularly "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band," in which a husband and wife drive through a town that may literally be rock-and-roll heaven; "The Ten O'Clock People," about unredeemable smokers; and "The Moving Finger," which chronicles a digit's appearance in a drain. Together with Night Shift and Skeleton Crew, this volume accounts for all the stories King has written that he wishes to preserve. The introduction and illuminating notes about the derivation of each piece are invaluable autobiographical essays on his craft and his place in the literary landscape. An illusionist extraordinaire, King peoples all his fiction, long and short, with believable characters. The power of this collection lies in the amazing richness of his fevered imagination -- he just can't be stopped from coming up with haunting plots.
Ray Olson
When you're reading him, you can think that Stephen King is the best writer in America. His first collection of shorter stuff in eight years includes plenty of reasons for harboring that litcritically heretical thought. Mind you, nothing in it suggests King's about to go toe to toe with Updike, Mailer, Bellow, et al. But which of them has, all at once, his color and vitality, his sheer joy in words and the power of the imagination? Okay, he's a "genre writer," but one who's brilliantly revivified the visceral poetry and allure of the fantastic, emblematic romance tradition that, traceable back to the Bible and Greek mythology, flowers in America most famously in Hawthorne. Yet it is Dickens and Kipling whom King's verve and dynamism most powerfully bring to mind, even if, when he decides to flat-out imitate an old master, he chooses -- as he does here, in fact -- Conan Doyle and Raymond Chandler. (For the record, the Doyle pastiche is a delightful Holmes case that Dr. Watson solves first, and the Chandler "hommage" propels the whole hard-boiled milieu into the empyrean of metaphysics while managing to be funny.) In less direct imitations, King pens a hard-boiled vampire story that's both amusing and thoroughly chilling, sets up Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents situations and works them out better than those excellent TV series would have, and creates striking variations upon themes by Shirley Jackson. But star of this volume, and a nonfiction piece, is "Head Down," which traces the winning season of a little league team that included King's son. This may be the most suspenseful and moving writing he's ever done, a sports story that everyone who cares about American prose should read.
Kirkus Reviews
King's third collection, after Night Shift (1978) and Skeleton Crew (1985), offers 23 formerly uncollected works, with King as bizarre as ever. A handful of the stories have been rewritten or dressed up for this occasion. King's introduction (a defense against the ivory tower opinions of his critics) and endnotes mentions several sources, including The New Yorker, which printed the lengthy "Heads Down"—about Little League teams up in Maine—that King calls "the best nonfiction writing of my life." Other oddities are a nostalgic baseball poem and a downbeat teleplay, "Sorry, Right Number," which appeared on Tales from the Darkside. Some pieces display King's charging, looser, richly vulgar style ("Dolan's Cadillac," a revenge tale in which the narrator gets even with a Mafia chieftain who killed the hero's wife, and buries him alive in his Caddie), while others occasionally show an unusually neat style hardly different from any other journeyman writer's, aside from the magical King touches ("The Moving Finger"—perhaps the best in the collection, about a man haunted by a live finger that keeps climbing out of the drain of his bathroom sink and finally grows to seven feet). Still others strive for human feeling ("Dedication"—about a longtime black cleaning maid in a fancy hotel who gets whammied by a voodoo lady and made pregnant by sperm on the bedsheets of a white novelist whose writing style gets passed on to her son)—and then some are just the King ticket readers expect: 'The End of the Whole Mess'—about a polymathic genius who discovers the way to end man's inhumanity to man by altering his drinking water. Addicts, fearnot: the King lives.

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Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.26(w) x 10.46(h) x 1.51(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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