“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” – Stephen King
Why I’m Reading this Book?
Because it’s Stephen King. I love his books. I’m amazed at so much imagination and wealth of literature produced by him. He still has the skill to captivate me in his stories. I’m not usually impressed with the endings of his books, but when story is so good, who cares about ending. However this book is a collection of his short stories and hence I suppose it has to be good because it has his usual ingredients minus too many characters and too big hope of an end.
Dolan’s Cadillac – Classic story of revenge. No supernatural here, just plain vengeance. This story can stir your own revenge emotion if you have any. I found this kind of motivational and thinking to read it whenever I feel low in life and need extra boost. Robinson persistence can motivate anyone. Also, while reading I realized, I’ve seen this story as a movie and I was right. Is Hollywood running on Stephen King? What a guy.
The End of the Whole Mess– A very different kind of doomsday story. As T.S. Eliot rightly said “Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.” Initially I thought this story is about a genius and I’m kind of fed up with the stories of a brilliant but crazy man. So wearily I continued, but story has a different angle and I liked it.
Suffer the Little Children- A horror tale. Supernatural or psychological, it’s up-to the reader. One might get afraid of children after reading this though.
The Night Flier– This was a kind of bummer for me. A vampire story. I’m bored of those ones. But it might be good for others as this has also been an inspiration for a movie.
Popsy– Another vampire story. I think this story shared the character from “The Night Flier”. It was a good one though where I was rooting for vampire.
It Grows on You – Story about an evil house, which grows every-time a person dies. Like the house, story has that feeling of rustiness and I could literally smell mold sometimes.
Chattery Teeth– This story will make you squirm. How such a playful object can be turned into a nightmare is such a piece of cake for this author.
Dedication– This is very disgusting story where more than once I could feel nausea coming over me. I would rather not think about it ever.
The Moving Finger– A horror tale about bathroom. Nothing spectacular but amusing. Knuckles over knuckles on a finger and helpless timid man. Perfect combo.
Sneakers– A ghost waiting for someone to hear his story. Sometimes, living or dead wish for just a sympathetic ear.
You Know They got a Hell of a Band– Story about a wrong turn. Only difference from movie is that instead of hillbillies abode , this naive couple entered into twilight zone. And it’s a hell zone if you are not that into rock music.
Home Delivery– An alien invasion , zombie resurrection and a very pregnant woman in midst of it.
Rainy Season– Rain of monster toads. You would think it silly unless you take a look at those teeth.Story at one point mentions Shirley Jackson’s Lottery and it certainly has a feel like it.
My Pretty Pony– Not about ghost or monsters or zombie, but plain old horror. Time and old age. A grandpa ‘instructing’ his grandson to mind his pretty pony who goes by the name ‘Time’. Take care of it , respect it or this pony will be gone in a blink.
Sorry, Right Number– This story reminded me of a latest movie ‘Don’t Let Go’. A call from future. Interesting concept.
The Ten O’Clock People– A very different take about smoking, smokers and batmen.
Crouch End– Again a story from Twilight Zone. Very much like “You know they got a hell of a band”.
The house on Maple Street– Abusive step-father and tormented family. What would a house do? Will it intervene?
The Fifth Quarter– Meh. Not a horror story, not a thriller. I think the most mediocre one of this collection.
The Doctor’s Case– A Sherlock-Watson story. Good thing about this one is that style is very similar to Arthur Conan Doyle. And here beloved Doctor Watson superseded Sherlock.
Umney’s Last Case– What if God is a writer and we are all characters of his stories. What if a writer likes his character so much that he wants to live their life. What happens to those characters then? A very surreal story.
Head Down– An essay on baseball. Mr. King has written it about his son’s baseball team and it’s unbelievable journey to Little League championship. Initially , I was a little reluctant to go about this story as I’ve next to none knowledge about baseball and least interest in acquiring it, I ended up reading it anyways. And after a while even with all that baseball language, I liked the story. Because it’s a sport story, it’s about underdogs, its about friendship, winning, losing and life and who doesn’t like it?
Brooklyn August– A very small poem about baseball or something like it. I’ve no opinion as I’m brain dead in case of poetry.
Beggar and the Diamond– Inspired by a Hindu parable, this short story talks about fate, belief and God’s intentions.
My Rating – 3
On the scale of: (1- Hate , 2- Neither like nor dislike, 3- Like, 4- Love, 5- Gaga)
Why anyone else should read this Book?
First reason for anyone to read this should be the liking of Stephen King’s stories and see a different side of him. These are not his typical horror stories. There is a touch of supernatural in some of these, but these are a far cry from the It, shining or pet cemetery. These 24 stories have revenge, Zombies, baseball, smoking, vampire, afterlife, aliens and what not. There are notes by Mr. King at the end of the book which gives a great insight into what went inside author’s mind when he was writing them. Some stories are outright unexplainable. And that’s what writer intends. Narrating the unexplainable as like some of these stories, life comes without instruction manual. So if you love weird, different, what-was-that, this book is for you.
Have you read it? Are you planning to? What is your opinion? Share them here. Till next time, Happy Reading Folks!!!