Synopses & Reviews
"I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger..." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922," the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.
In "Big Driver," a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book-club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face-to-face with another stranger: the one inside herself.
"Fair Extension," the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest. Making a deal with the devil not only saves Dave Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment.
When her husband of more than twenty years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It's a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends a good marriage.
Like Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight, which generated such enduring films as The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, Full Dark, No Stars proves Stephen King a master of the long story form.
"Eerie twists of fate drive the four longish stories in King's first collection since Just After Sunset (2008). In '1922,' a farmer murders his wife to retain the family land she hopes to sell, then watches his life unravel hideously as the consequences of the killing suggest a near-supernatural revenge. 'Big Driver' tells of an otherwise ordinary woman who discovers her extraordinary capacity for retribution after she is raped and left for dead. 'A Good Marriage' explores the aftermath of a wife's discovery of her milquetoast husband's sinister secret life, while 'Fair Extension,' the book's most disturbing story, follows the relationship between a man and the best friend on whom he preternaturally shifts all his bad luck and misfortune. As in Different Seasons (1982), King takes a mostly nonfantastic approach to grim themes. Now, as then, these tales show how a skilled storyteller with a good tale to tell can make unsettling fiction compulsively readable. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Returning to the novella — possibly his brightest canvas — King provides four raw looks at the limits of greed, revenge, and self-deception.... If anyone can get reluctant short-story and novella readers into the swing, he certainly can with this book." (Starred Review) Booklist
"This is classic King....he is at his most acute when he deals with human evil, the depravity of which we are capable and the lengths to which we will go to convince ourselves that we are good." LA Times
"Whatever the length at which he writes, Mr. King leaves readers with a simple, one-word message: Gotcha! " New York Times
A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.
Following on the heels of his stunning #1 bestseller Under the Dome, Stephen King delivers a new collection of four original never-before-published stories, all linked by the common theme of retribution.
About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are Under the Dome, Just After Sunset, the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Lisey's Story, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book On Writing is also a bestseller. He was the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Maine with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.