My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published November 9th 2010 by Simon & Schuster AudioChallenges: Mt TBR Challenge, Colour Coded Challenge
(first published 2010)
"I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger . . ." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922," the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King.
For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.
In "Big Driver," a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book-club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face-to-face with another stranger: the one inside herself.
"Fair Extension," the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest. Making a deal with the devil not only saves Dave Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment.
When her husband of more than twenty years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It's a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends "A Good Marriage."
Wow, this is the first Stephen King book I have read in quite a long time and it reminded me of how I never seem to be disappointed in anything that he does.
Full Dark, No Stars is a haunting compilation of four short stories that all seem to centre around human nature and highlight what we could all be capable of as a species if provoked or pushed to our limits.
The first story, '1922', centres around a husband's attempt to stop his family home from being sold off by his wife and is a chilling tale of how our mind can play tricks on us when guilt eats away at our systems.
'Big Driver', the second story, clearly shows us what we can be capable of when pushed to our limits and when the notion of revenge takes hold.
The third story, 'Fair Extension', is a tale that every one of us can relate to who has ever had that one person in our life who seems to have everything and win at every opportunity, and who you may have harboured that tiny amount of jealousy or resentment towards because of it.
Finally, 'A Good Marriage', is a great story that shows us that even the most placid person can be pushed to do the unthinkable in certain circumstances.
I thoroughly enjoyed each one of these stories but have to say that 'A Good Marriage' was probably my favourite.
If you are a fan of classic Stephen King then you certainly won't be disappointed by Full Dark, No Stars. It's full of his trademark psychological horror and vivid detailing that enables the reader to get swept up in the story and completely visualise every aspect as it is happening.
Yet again, this book has ensured that King stays at the top of the list as my favourite author of all time.
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