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Full Dark, No Stars
Stephen King
Scribner, Nov 9 2010, $27.95, ISBN: 9781439192566
reviewed by Harriet Klausner

"1922" - Wilfred Leland James loves his Nebraska farm. His wife Arlette hates the spread. When she inherits 100 acres, she wants to sell it and her spouse’s land while he wants to work both. She will learn how he plans to keep her and Henry on the farm after they’ve seen Omaha.

"Big Driver" - After a Massachusetts speaking engagement, cozy novelist Tess is given a short cut home by her patron Ramona. While driving the back road, she runs over a nail causing a flat. A man stops to change the tire, but instead rapes her and leaves her dead. However, he failed to kill her so she plots vengeance as only a mystery writer could.

"Fair Extension" - Dying from cancer, Streeter talks with Mr. Elvid who offers him a Faustian deal of passing on much of his bad luck to a person he hates in exchange for an annual portion of money. Over the years Streeter and his family enjoy a good life, but his former best friend and his family have one catastrophe after another

"A Good Marriage" - After twenty-seven years of marriage to Bob, Darcy believes they have had a good life together. While he is away on business, she finds in their garage catalogues that he hid from her so she would not order items. She finds a second box, but when Darcy opens it, she learns secrets about Bob that he hid from her; now she must decide what to do with this other Bob she just met.

Noted for his horror novels, Stephen King is also a super novella/short story writer as proven by Different Seasons, which includes tales that were adopted into movies (see The Shawshank Redemption, The Apt Pupil and Stand By Me). This quartet affirms Mr. King’s shorter thriller writing skills as the naturing stranger inside of everyone is masked by nurturing so that even long term partners and in some case the person do not know the inner sanction of their soul.

Editor's Note: While I read anything that King writes, it seems he pulls me in deeper with his novella length stories. All of these are gems. They stand tall when compared to DIFFERENT SEASONS, DREAMSCAPES AND NIGHTMARES, or HEARTS IN ATLANTIS. Be sure to get this one! Its top drawer entertainment and some of the ideas will really make you stop and think.

contents - editorial - reviews