Book Review: “Full Dark, No Stars” by Stephen King

This is the latest Stephen King novel that was released last year in 2010. It is also the latest short story collection. Stephen King has released a series of short story collection novels such as “Four Past Midnight”, “Skeleton Crew”, “Night Shift”, “Nightmares & Dreamscapes”, “Hearts In Atlantis”, “Just After Sunset”, and next here comes, “Full Dark, No Stars”.

I’m a huge Stephen King fanatic. I’ve collected most of his entire collection of novels, I only need like 14 or 15 of his books left to collect them all.

“Full Dark, No Stars” has 4 short novels. King still focuses on horror in this novel but he takes the genre into a different turn. It’s more realistic. He focuses on the mystery and the suspense in the stories. Below is the 4 stories and I will write a review for each story, what I think about them.

“1922” – Like the title says, this story is set in the year 1922. It tells the story of a man named Wilfred James, which he is the narrator of the story, telling the story in journal written form. He wrote a journal making a confession that he murdered his wife. He had his 14 year old son, Henry, help murder her. They also help hide the body, so they won’t get caught. I thought this was an incredibly shocking story. It’s pretty dark and King takes his storytelling to the extreme in this one. I think this is my favorite story of the whole novel. This is the only story in this book that I think that should be made into a movie for the big screen. It’s a bone chilling story and it will grab you. I read this story in one full day, I just couldn’t stop reading ’cause I was dying to know what was going to happen at the end.

“Big Driver” – This story is about a woman named, Tess, who is an author and is going on a road trip. She stops at some place to get directions because she was lost. The woman who gave her directions, to an area where she would get picked up by this huge man, whose nick name is, Big Driver. Tess is kidnapped and raped by this man. This is a revenge story, about survival. It was a pretty good story, but there are too many revenge stories where women who are rape victims come back to kill their rapist. The story was good half way through, but I didn’t like how it ended.

“Fair Extension” – This story is about a man named, Dave Streeter, who is dying of lung cancer. He talks with a man named, George Elvid, who sells extensions. Elvid offers Streeter a chance to live another 15 years if he pays 15% of his salary for everyone one of his years. The story focuses on trying to survive on cancer. This is what this story is mostly about, it’s about cancer. I think King’s goal with this story is that this is his way of bringing awareness to cancer and he did a good job with that I think.

“A Good Marriage” – This story is about a woman named Darcy Anderson who is married to her husband, Bob, for 27 years. After all these years, she’s been married to him, she never knew that he was a serial killer who murdered women. This is a serial killer story. In the book, Stephen said, this story was inspired from the BTK murders. You would think that Bob tries to kill Darcy in this book like in the horror films, but King takes this story in a different direction, where he doesn’t kill her and tries to be a good husband. The ending to this story is pretty shocking. This is my second favorite story of the novel.

This is not Stephen King’s best short story collections. I think “Nightmares & Dreamscapes”, and “Hearts in Atlantis” were the best, but “Full Dark, No Stars” is an okay read.

If you like Stephen King, you should check it out.

Kev

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