Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
(Other versions of the cover are nicer, but I always try to use the one I read.)
I used to read Stephen King all the time. For a long time, I was caught up with him -- I had read every book he published, and read the new ones as they came out. Then there were a few in a row that didn't work for me, and I got distracted with other authors, and for no real reason I just stopped reading any book by him. Turns out I was really missing out.
He's such a good storyteller. Some people say he's not a good writer, but I had no issues at all with anything in this book.
Full Dark, No Stars contains four novellas (and one bonus story, though unfortunately only in the paperback version of the book but not in the ebook version). None of them were what I'd consider horror, but all were disturbing and "horrible" (in a good way).
1922 - Set in the beginning of the Great Depression, a man kills his wife. The whole story is his confession letter, which seems like it shouldn't work but it very much does (King books are long, and this first story was nearly half the book, and it's all one long letter). Even when one gets away with murder, that doesn't mean they're home free...
Big Driver - This one was the most disturbing story in the book. A woman's car gets a flat, a man pulls over to help her, and ends up repeatedly raping and beating her, and then leaves her for dead. While not graphic, it was too damned realistic. All parts were too realistic: the set-up of her situation, her reactions during it, and her reactions immediately after. Her later revenge didn't really work for me, but the rest of the story was more than strong enough to carry it. This was my "favorite" story in the book, though "favorite" seems like the wrong word for it. It hit me the hardest (and I suppose I should thank King, it made me realize I don't really take the threat of rape as seriously as I should).
Fair Extension - The least disturbing, most "fun" story of the book. ("Fun" doesn't seem the right word choice, but there isn't really one. "Most lighthearted" for a story in which a man is destroyed, loses his family, and all sorts of bad accidents happen?) Basically a 'deal with the devil' story. The least disturbing of the four stories. A good story, but without a harsh emotional blow.
A Good Marriage - 25+ years into a marriage, a woman finds out her husband has an awful secret, a pitch black dark side. While the story was great, her actions and the process she went through fully believable, it's the last pages of the story and a minor character that I fell in love with. I wish we'd see more of him, but I suspect we never will.
How much did I enjoy this book? I'm going to try to catch up on all the King books I haven't read yet. :) *googles* Which looks like 11 books. Well, that's going to take me a while... At least it should be good reading!