Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Full Dark, No Stars
Stephen King

2010/ ISBN 9781418009601

Reviewed by Cyndi Wright

The king is back.

For fans of Stephen King’s flat-out, no apologies asked for horror thrillers, Full Dark, No Stars will certainly sate. These four (lengthy) short stories will take readers on a thrilling, moaning, groaning and retching ride complete with rats, rape, murder and betrayal only found and made possible by the monsters that reside in humans and their minds.

And no one brings those monsters to life better than master storyteller King, who can make his readers’ hair follicles rebel in one second and elicit a chuckle at the sheer absurdity of it all in the next.

“1922” is the story of a wretched family whose matriarch and patriarch cannot see past their own pride, greed and folly to care for the one thing that really is valuable – their son. Complete with murder most foul, rats, the dead coming back to life, animal abuse and descriptions that you want to quit reading but can’t, “1922” is a grand tale of retribution.

Retribution is also the moral in “Big Driver,” where a likable, mild-mannered mystery writer is the victim of a maniacal murdering rapist. Her own self-deprecating thoughts before, during and after the rape and beating lend a humorous slant to the horrible story. She survives the attack and uses her skills as a mystery writer to exact revenge on this monster. Readers will be shouting encouragement as she proceeds, even as they quake at some of her methods.

In “A Perfect Marriage” readers will find vintage Stephen King – where what appears to be a perfect life on the surface turns into a nightmare of dark, chilling secrets unearthed. How will Darcy, a mild-mannered June Cleaver of a wife, handle finding out that her husband is a serial murderer of women – and what happens when he finds out she knows? It’s a nail biter.

“Fair Extension” is a parody on the old “sell your soul to the devil” tale with a twist. This devil doesn’t want sick and dying Dave Streeter’s soul – he wants cash. And for that cash, Streeter will get back his health. As part of the bargain, an envious Streeter, whose life has been not so great, watches with glee as his successful high school friend suffers one horrific downturn after another. It’s dark comedy at its best.

Reviewer's Note:

Reviewed 2011
© 2011