fiction · Horror · Mystery & Thriller · Short Stories

Four Past Midnight

“And didn’t they say that, although curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought the beast back?”

― Stephen King

Why I’m Reading this Book?

I don’t need any excuse to read Stephen King . Whenever I’m disappointed in books and have strings of bad books in a row, I turn to Mr. King. Only reason I sometimes hesitate is because his books are very long and need serious commitment, but since this was a collection of four novellas , it was perfect for me.


When it’s long past your bed time and you are still wide awake, pick up this book and fill your night with four tales of terror. All four have supernatural tinge in them and as always I’m amazed how Stephen King turns a very ordinary thing into an object of horror.

My Review…

Every story has a little excerpt from the writer detailing about his thought process before , during or after writing that particular story. It’s an interesting collection of trivia to know how these stories took birth.

One Past Midnight (“The Langoliers”): While travelling from LA to Boston, eleven passengers find themselves alive but in an empty world. All other fellow passengers have disappeared leaving their things behind. Mystery deepens and panic spreads as plane is flying on autopilot and pilot is missing. After frantically trying to reach anyone at land, they decides to land the plane themselves and find themselves in an equally empty airport. Landing the plane turns out to be a mistake as something is coming for them and if they don’t do anything before that, they would wish they had never survived.

I really liked this story. I even tried searching if any motion picture is made on this story and there is. When time permits, I’m definitely going to watch it. My rating for this story is 3.

Two Past Midnight (“Secret Window, Secret Garden”): Worst nightmare of a writer occurs when a person accuses him of plagiarism. Mort, a fairly successful writer, recently divorced, is staying alone nursing his wounds, when he receives a visitor, John Shooter. Shooter claims that Mort has stolen a story written by him and handed him his manuscript and demands justice. Mort is aghast as it was written a long time back and wasn’t even that successful. But when he reads Shooter’s manuscript, he couldn’t help but notice if there is anything in his accusation. Story is very similar but Mort hasn’t stolen it. He tries to prove it using different ways that he was the original writer but seems to be losing the battle and shooter is getting dangerous by minute.

Story ends with a twist and tragedy and it would leave you asking for more. Loved this story. My rating for this story would be 4.

Three Past Midnight (“The Library Policeman”): I have not heard about Library policeman before, but this is to encourage children to return the books or else they will have to deal with Library Policeman. When Sam Peebles, an adult, borrows books from library one day and eventually loses them, he gets to meet this policeman. Only this is no gentle rebuke for lost books, it’s much more dangerous and Sam has to think fast before he loses something more than just books.

This was so-so, and my rating is 2.

Four Past Midnight (“The Sun Dog”): A supernatural camera, which acts like a portal and with every click is making a scary and mean dog closer to viewer. It’s not easy to put it down and not click pictures as it has some hold over you. Finally when the dog teeth have filled the frame and its just one picture away, will it enter into this world and then what would happen? An amusing story. My rating would be 2.

My Rating — 4

On the scale of: (1- Hate , 2- Neither like nor dislike, 3- Like, 4- Love, 5- Gaga)

Why anyone else should read this Book?

For all Mr King’s fan, its a treat to read this book.

Stories are captivating and have enough human emotions other than just horror element to keep a reader hooked throughout.

As mentioned, its a collection of stories, you can always read a one or two and keep the rest for later.

“Good books dont give up all their secret at once.” – Stephen King


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