Stephen King | November 2015
#HiKingFans This is a must read for any King stan. King loves for us to traipse about attempting to get our hands on European only releases, men’s magazine excerpts and rewrites of original transcripts he’s lost somewhere. 🤦🏾♀️ According to him, this collection of short stories includes all the above. With 21 stories and forwards by King, this is a pretty big short story collection. All the stories are interesting in that weird King way that he makes ordinary people deal with extraordinary phenomena.
Mile 81, is a rewrite of a story King says he lost forever ago. It’s about a car that eats people. A’la Christine…before Christine. Grittier, bloodier and faster paced than Christine because short stories have to get to the point.
Bad Little Kid is the telling of a man that’s being executed for the killing of a young boy in front of a ton of witnesses. He’s defense is, the kid wasn’t a kid but, some alien that’s been stalking the world causing havoc. Kind of an interesting take on seeing children as individuals/adults. Very strong To Kill A Mockingbird vibes.
Afterlife is about a fictional employee of Goldman Sachs, impacted in the 2000’s economy downturn. He’s lived a long life filled with ups and downs but eventually dies amongst friends and family. Afterwards he arrives in the ‘office’ of a certain gentleman that tells him he has a choice to make: door 1, allows him to relive his life offering him an opportunity to change things or door 2, he will cease to exist. I especially enjoyed the theme of possible alternate choices. I think, a life well lived has at least one pivotal moment we can reflect on and wonder what could’ve been had we went in another direction. But, if all things were the same and you did it again, WOULD you go in a different direction? Reminds me of a favorite Jay-Z lyric “…you was who you was before you got here.”
UR was my personal favorite because it includes a cameo by The Dark Tower. The story was origins an e-book only published on the Amazon Kindle but by 2015, a heavily revised version was placed in this book. The story is about a young teacher, Wesley that orders a Kindle and receives more than what he bargains for. When he turns on his Kindle, The Dark Tower flashes on the screen and he can read stories from future newspapers. Of course, he’s going to try and change future because…wouldn’t you?
These were my favs, though I don’t recall any that I disliked. I love when King writes about, what I consider, the human condition. Like, what would you do if you thought 2 kids were going to be eaten by a car? Would you believe it? Hell no! You’re going to go check it out, get to close and get pulled in! It’s infuriating but true!
I’m happy I read this because I’ve not been enjoying most of my King reads since I started my fiction challenge in 2018. I’m starting to think I’ve outgrown some of the plots and I yearn for scarier, less complex fair. But, the short stories hit the mark, for me. Tell me what you think? #GoodBook Book 25 of 36!