Book Review: Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Full DarkTitle: Full Dark, No Stars
Author: Stephen King
Series: None
Published: November 9, 2010
Genres: Fiction > Horror
My Rating: ★★★★★
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Full Dark, No Stars is a collection of four intense short stories with retribution as the central theme. It is a powerful read featuring some of Stephen’s most graphic and merciless content to date.

“In the end, we are all caught by devices of our own making.”

Okay, I think I’m obsessed with short stories now! Especially those by the King. All four of these stories packed a punch that was full of creepy, gory, and thought-provoking awesomeness.

1922: It’s 1922 in Hemingford Home, Nebraska and Wilfred James convinces his son to help him murder his wife when she becomes determined to sell their 180 acres.  It is the perfect crime with the perfect cover-up — until everything begins to fall apart, including their sanity.

While this isn’t exactly a unique storyline, the way King writes it is phenomenal. Fair warning: there’s a heck of a lot of blood, gore, and death. But if you’re into that sort of thing, this story is awesome.

5/5 stars

Big Driver: Tessa Jean makes a living writing cozy mysteries that everyone’s granny seems to love. After a meet-and-greet at a small town library, she takes a shortcut home which takes her down a back road where she is raped, assaulted, and left for dead. But she’s not dead — unlike the other women discarded in the culvert with her — and now she’s got justice to serve.

This was quite a powerful story — possibly because it was so realistic and really could happen to anyone. The change in Tess’s personality after her attack is haunting and sad, and her plan for revenge is justifiable. Listen to your mothers, kids! Stay away from back roads.

5/5 stars

Fair Extension: Dave Streeter’s been dealt a bad hand — he has cancer and doesn’t have long to live. Plus, his jealousy for his best friend is eating him alive. But one night, a strange man offers Streeter an extension on his tragically short life. To Streeter, it seems like a blessing, but who is it a blessing from and what’s the price?

This paranormal tale brings up a lot of morality questions: how much of a burden would you be willing to put on someone else in order to improve your own life? Where would you draw the line? Could you stop?

P.S. I love how this story took place in Derry, Maine. #youllfloattoo

4/5 stars

A Good Marriage: When Darcy Anderson’s husband goes away on one of his frequent business trips, she accidentally (and quite literally) stumbles over a dark secret that immediately changes their thirty-year marriage forever.

This was another very realistic tale that makes you realize how easy it is to hide secrets. We all have somewhat of a false sense of security. We aren’t the ones married to monsters, and we aren’t the ones who live next door to serial killers. But as Agatha Christie once said: “Every murderer is probably somebody’s old friend.”

4/5 stars


If you’ve read a short story collection by Stephen King, did you enjoy it?
Which would you recommend that I read next?

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