Synopses & Reviews
Stephen King -- who has written more than fifty books, dozens of number one New York Times
bestsellers, and many unforgettable movies -- delivers an astonishing collection of short stories, his first since Everything's Eventual
six years ago. As guest editor of the bestselling Best American Short Stories 2007
, King spent over a year reading hundreds of stories. His renewed passion for the form is evident on every page of Just After Sunset
. The stories in this collection have appeared in The New Yorker
, The Paris Review
, and other publications.
Who but Stephen King would turn a Port-O-San into a slimy birth canal, or a roadside honky-tonk into a place for endless love? A book salesman with a grievance might pick up a mute hitchhiker, not knowing the silent man in the passenger seat listens altogether too well. Or an exercise routine on a stationary bicycle, begun to reduce bad cholesterol, might take its rider on a captivating -- and then terrifying -- journey. Set on a remote key in Florida, "The Gingerbread Girl" is a riveting tale featuring a young woman as vulnerable -- and resourceful -- as Audrey Hepburn's character in Wait Until Dark. In "Ayana," a blind girl works a miracle with a kiss and the touch of her hand. For King, the line between the living and the dead is often blurry, and the seams that hold our reality intact might tear apart at any moment. In one of the longer stories here, "N.," which recently broke new ground when it was adapted as a graphic digital entertainment, a psychiatric patient's irrational thinking might create an apocalyptic threat in the Maine countryside...or keep the world from falling victim to it.
Just After Sunset -- call it dusk, call it twilight, it's a time when human intercourse takes on an unnatural cast, when nothing is quite as it appears, when the imagination begins to reach for shadows as they dissipate to darkness and living daylight can be scared right out of you. It's the perfect time for Stephen King.
"Kingâ€™s latest anthology reminds readers that while his many works contains supernatural elements, his true skill as a writer lies in his ability to tap into the minds of his characters and, more importantly, his readers. The story topics are scattered, but most have that signature King style that blurs the line between fiction and reality. His most effective story, â€œN,â€ is a tale about obsession and compulsion that will make even the mellowest listeners a bit paranoid. Part of the beauty of this tale is the use of multiple narrators for different points of view. Using a different narrator for each story works well. (Ron McLartyâ€™s Stationary Bike and Mare Winninghamâ€™s The Gingerbread Girl were previously produced and released as solo efforts.) King reads the introduction, one story and the end notes about each story. While not necessarily of the same caliber as his co-narrators (including Jill Eikenberry, Holter Graham, George Guidall, Denis Oâ€™Hare and Karen Ziemba), his ability as a narrator has improved significantly over the years. A Scribner hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 1). (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Wonderfully wicked." -- Carol Memmott, USA Today
"King is as sharp and versatile as ever." -- Erica Noonan, Boston Globe
"Quietly dazzling." -- Ted Anthony, Associated Press
"King continues to be dedicated to giving his readers a luxuriant experience, the basic pleasure of getting lost in a book." -- Charles Taylor, New York Times Book Review
"King lets the reader put the book down at night after one story, knowing another horrific treat awaits the next day." -- Amanda St. Amand, St. Louis Post Dispatch
"King is as sharp and disgusting as ever... Haunting." -- People magazine
"King reminds us again of his power to unhinge with a single line or image. A master of the storytelling craft, he gets his ghastly fingernails right beneath the skin." -- John Marks, Salon.com
"In these 13 newly collected stories, we see a master craftsman at the top of his game and clearly enjoying himself.... Each story is a treat not just for King fans but for any fan of good fiction." -- Salem Macknee, Charlotte Observer
"A master storyteller... Haunting." -- Karen Sandstrom, Cleveland Plain Dealer
In his first collection in six years, Stephen King delivers his strongest, most broadly appealing stories ever.
"Gingerbread Girl," published in Esquire in July 2007 (unprecedented in number of magazine pages devoted to it), is set, like Duma Key, in Florida. It is a riveting, fabulously dramatic stalker tale featuring a young woman as vulnerable and resourceful as Audrey Hepburn's character in Wait Until Dark.
"Willa," published in Playboy, blurs the lines between living and the dead. "Ayana," one of the most beautifully written and haunting stories, was published in the Paris Review. From the subtle and disturbing to the outright terrifying, these tales will thrill every known King fan and win new ones.
Following his two recent critically acclaimed bestsellers, "Duma Key" and "Lisey's Story," King delivers a stunning collection of short stories, his first in six years.
About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Drunken Fireworks, Finders Keepers, Revival, Mr. Mercedes (winner of the 2015 Edgar Award), Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Drunken Fireworks, Finders Keepers, Revival, Mr. Mercedes (winner of the 2015 Edgar Award), Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.George Guidall has recorded more than 800 unabridged novels and is the recipient of two Audie Awards for excellence in audiobook narration. His 40 year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie award for best performance Off-Broadway, and frequent television appearances.Ron McLarty has appeared on Broadway in That Championship Season, Our Country's Good, and Moonchildren. His film credits include Two Bits, The Postman, and The Flamingo Kid. He has starred on television in Spenser for Hire and Cop Rock. Mr. McLarty is also a novelist and an award-winning playwright.Mare Winningham has appeared in more than fifty film and television projects, garnering an Academy Award nomination for Georgia and Emmy Awards for the telefilms George Wallace and Amber Waves. She is also an accomplished singer-songwriter.