Tuesday 20 March 2018

FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King

Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been meaning to read this anthology for ages, and have no idea why I haven't. LOL.

So, because I'm totally in the mood to read a bunch of catch-up books this year, I pushed this one to the top of the pile.


I'm curious about the Thomas Jane Netflix movie made for this novella, so I was pretty excited about getting stuck into it.

Wilf and Arlette James have a prosperous farm, a young son and a handful of animals. But when Arlette decides she wants to sell some land that belongs to her and is determined to make the deal whether Wilf likes it or not, he decides the only way to stop her is to kill her.

To do that he poisons his son's mind, manipulates him into helping, and sets off a chain of events that can only lead to ruin...

Well. That was quite a story!

Wilf is everything I hate: sexist, racist, entitled, arrogant. So I really shouldn't have cared about his story, but I did. Part of the reason is because I was looking forward to seeing karma slap him upside the head, but mostly it was Stephen King's ability to suck me into the story so easily. The man can sure weave a tale.

Following one man's vicious and selfish plan to eliminate the one thing in his way, turned into a character study of becoming unhinged by your own decisions, as well as sneaking in the moral of the story. And what's that, you ask? That nothing is easy. That every action has a consequence. And that sometimes, you just ain't right. What this man did to his child was as criminal as what he did to his wife.

Great story!


I went into this novella looking forward to reading a tale of revenge I thought might involve a strong woman versus some crazy hick killer. Instead, I was disappointed to find it's just another rape story.

So I stopped reading.

For a week I kept picking up the book, would read a paragraph or two and then put the book down, before finally deciding to DNF. I just couldn't.


I didn't know anything about this novella, but was instantly intrigued.

Dave Streeter is sick, really sick. Cancer might be what is killing him, but treatment is making him violently ill. The day he meets George Elvid, the strange man makes him an offer he can't refuse...

Yikes! This story was great. Good to see the anthology get back on track after the previous (very disappointing) story.

What I loved the most about this novella is how simple it is. Or at least, how simple it first appears: terminally ill man is made an offer to live a much longer life as long as he's willing to offload all his bad energy onto someone else. A simple concept loaded with so much.

This isn't the first time King has tackled something like this, but it's still different.

This story is so well written, and starring such a despicable man that although his narrative kept me hooked from start to finish, I couldn't believe just how cruel and heartless he turned out to be. Streeter is a truly awful individual so drunk on his own shit that he gets worse with every twist of fate his unfortunate target encounters.

King is such a great writer.


I've been interested in this one for a while, and want to watch the movie. So I was excited to get stuck into it.

After reading the other three stories I knew this one would be just as dark and screwed up, but didn't think it would go the way it did. Yikes!

Darcy and Bob Anderson have been married for twenty-seven years and have two grown children. One is just about to get married, and the other is embarking on a huge business deal. Both of them idolise their father and are close to their mother.

Darcy is happy. Bob is a good man--an accountant who likes to collect coins. He might not be the most exciting or handsome guy in the world, but they've got a good thing going. That is until Darcy goes into the garage looking for batteries and instead stumbles into a horrible secret her husband has been keeping...

Whoa. I already knew what this was about, but didn't expect where it went. Such a happy family situation quickly turns into a nightmarish reality anyone would struggle with, but how things turned out really surprised me. Didn't expect THAT to happen, but in a twisted way I was really glad it did.

This was another great one!

I really enjoyed the Afterword, too. Of course I did. I always love reading about how writers get their ideas.

I might not have enjoyed one of these stories, but enjoyed the other three enough to still like the collection as a whole.

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