You Like It Darker: Stories

You Like It Darker: Stories

by Stephen King

Narrated by Will Patton, Stephen King

Unabridged — 20 hours, 12 minutes

You Like It Darker: Stories

You Like It Darker: Stories

by Stephen King

Narrated by Will Patton, Stephen King

Unabridged — 20 hours, 12 minutes

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Notes From Your Bookseller

It's Stephen King, and it's short fiction, which should be all you need to know. This collection of mostly never-before-published material is more content from one of the greatest storytellers ever.

From legendary storyteller and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary new collection of twelve short stories, many never-before-published, and some of his best EVER.

“You like it darker? Fine, so do I,” writes Stephen King in the afterword to this magnificent new collection of twelve stories that delve into the darker part of life-both metaphorical and literal. King has, for half a century, been a master of the form, and these stories, about fate, mortality, luck, and the folds in reality where anything can happen, are as rich and riveting as his novels, both weighty in theme and a huge pleasure to read. King writes to feel “the exhilaration of leaving ordinary day-to-day life behind,” and in You Like It Darker, readers will feel that exhilaration too, again and again.

“Two Talented Bastids” explores the long-hidden secret of how the eponymous gentlemen got their skills. In “Danny Coughlin's Bad Dream,” a brief and unprecedented psychic flash upends dozens of lives, Danny's most catastrophically. In “Rattlesnakes,” a sequel to Cujo, a grieving widower travels to Florida for respite and instead receives an unexpected inheritance—with major strings attached. In “The Dreamers,” a taciturn Vietnam vet answers a job ad and learns that there are some corners of the universe best left unexplored. “The Answer Man” asks if prescience is good luck or bad and reminds us that a life marked by unbearable tragedy can still be meaningful.

King's ability to surprise, amaze, and bring us both terror and solace remains unsurpassed. Each of these stories holds its own thrills, joys, and mysteries; each feels iconic. You like it darker? You got it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


King proves he’s still a master of short fiction in his sterling seventh collection (after The Bazaar of Bad Dreams). Standouts from the five previously unpublished entries include “Danny Coughlin’s Bad Dream,” in which the title character has a psychic vision and then accidentally incriminates himself in a murder he didn’t commit, and the eerie yet touching “Two Talented Bastids,” in which a young man discovers the dirty secret that helped his famous father and successful best friend develop their artistic prowess. Among the notable entries previously published elsewhere are “The Fifth Step,” about a recovering alcoholic making amends for his more sinister impulses, and “On Slide Inn Road,” which traces a family’s wrong turn en route to a family reunion in Maine. Themes of fate, morality, and heartache crop up again and again in these tightly coiled tales, and King expertly utilizes them to make every twist of the knife all the more terrifying. This remarkably assured collection will thrill the author’s fans. Agent: Liza Darhansoff, Darhansoff & Verrill. (May)

From the Publisher

Praise for You Like it Darker

“The titular darkness promised is as riveting and all-consuming as ever.” —New York Magazine

"King is writing some of the best work of his long career." —Seattle Times

“King does it again in this collection of stories... there’s no doubt that King is still a master.” —AARP

“King proves he’s still a master of short fiction in his sterling seventh collection... This remarkably assured collection will thrill the author’s fans.” —Publishers Weekly

“King’s first book, Carrie, was published 50 years ago. You Like It Darker proves that he is still at the height of his powers. A triumph.” Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Readers will be thrilled by these tales. They all have that King touch.” Library Journal, STARRED review

“A dozen tales from the master will draw you in—page by page, horror by horror—and hold you fast.” Kirkus, STARRED review

“Holly demonstrates that one of the last true rock stars of fiction can continue to grow as a writer, and doesn’t define success solely as a continuation of what’s worked for him before.” —The Washington Post

“Stephen King does something amazing in his new novel, HOLLY... King’s storytelling skills are not dimming one bit.” —Tampa Bay Times

“Hugely successful... Holly surely deserves further episodes in the spotlight.” — Portland Press Herald

“Holly has a thrilling finish, in which our heroine looks horror in the face. The outcome is most satisfying.” —St Louis Post-Dispatch

“What makes King’s work so much more frightening than that of most other suspense writers, what elevates it to night-terror levels, isn’t his cruelty to his characters: It’s his kindness.” —Flynn Berry, New York Times Book Review

“Both intimate and sprawling in its ambitions... Holly is the imperfect but determined angel among all those demons...” —Brian Truitt, USA Today

“Holly is the heart of the narrative. Her growth from a shy, muttering mess in Mr. Mercedes to the smart, strong, smoking, slightly better, and much richer woman we see in Holly is tremendous. Please, Mr. King, give us more Holly soon.” —Gabino Iglesias,

“In half a century of writing horror novels, Stephen King has created some remarkable villains. Who can forget the sing-song voice of Pennywise the clown, the devil incarnate Randall Flagg, or the drooling jaws of Cujo? The big bads in King’s latest novel, Holly, aren’t quite so memorable, but that’s part of what makes them terrifying.” —Rob Merrill, Associated Press

“A deadly folie a deux... Holly pursues this case to the gates of hell, figuratively—there’s no supernatural element in this powerful exploration of grief and delusion, just pure, undistilled evil.” —New York Magazine

Library Journal

★ 04/01/2024

In King's (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams) new collection of short stories, a rogue scientist tries to peer past the boundaries of the world by hypnotizing "The Dreamers"; "Danny Coughlin's Bad Dream" becomes a nightmare when a police officer mistakes Danny for the murderer of a young woman; and the son of a famous author discovers how his father's writing talent blossomed in midlife in "Two Talented Bastids." There's also a young lawyer in the 1930s who is trying to determine whether he should work at his family's white-shoe law firm or open his own small practice; he's lucky enough to fall into a fold of space and time to find "The Answer Man." In fact, the lawyer will come to find the Answer Man three times in his life; will he like the answers he hears? Meanwhile, in "Rattlesnake," the Constant Readers bump into a character from Cujo long after the events of that book, who is trying to outrun his own ghosts and the ghosts of others. VERDICT King explains in an afterword to the collection that short stories are hard for him to write, but readers will be thrilled by these tales. Some of the stories are darker and more poisonous than others, but they all have that King touch.—Jennie Mills

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2024-04-05
A dozen tales from the master of creepiness.

Do you like your short stories on the dark side? Enjoy having eerie images and unsettling plot points turn your dreams into nightmares? Take pleasure in jumping at shadows and feeling your heart beat faster after nightfall? If so, this beefy new collection is for you. In a dozen stories—some considerably longer than others—spanning about 500 pages, King gives the reader a host of things to fear: deadly snakes, ghoulish ghosts of long-dead children, man-eating alligators, stealthy serial killers, plummeting airplanes, mad scientists, mistaken identity. Along the way, he also offers insights about, among other things, the fickleness of talent, the power and pathos of unrealized dreams, the pain and pleasure of relationships, and the meaning and meaninglessness of life and, of course, death. In “Two Talented Bastids,” the son of a famous writer seeks out the source of his father’s success as well as that of his father’s best friend, an artist—and confronts his own limitations. In “Danny Coughlin’s Bad Dream,” a man’s dream about a dead body turns into a living nightmare of suspicion and disbelief. “The Answer Man” explores the value of knowing your future; “Rattlesnakes,” a sequel to King’s bestseller Cujo (1981), the importance of reckoning with the past. And while the book is not without an occasional misstep (“Red Screen,” about a cop with a nitpicking perimenopausal wife, say), King’s conversational prose, relatable characters, and knack for knowing precisely what you are afraid of will draw you in—page by page, horror by horror—and hold you fast.

The disturbing stories in King’s latest collection will seep into your psyche and haunt you.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940160363066
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 05/21/2024
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 200,007
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