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Full Dark, No Stars Hardcover – November 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439192561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439192566
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (959 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: When a master of horror and heebie-jeebies like Stephen King calls his book Full Dark, No Stars, you know you’re in for a treat--that is, if your idea of a good time is spent curled up in a ball wondering why-oh-why you started reading after dark. King fans (and those who have always wanted to give him a shot) will devour this collection of campfire tales where marriages sway under the weight of pitch-black secrets, greed and guilt poison and fester, and the only thing you can count on is that "there are always worse things waiting." Full Dark, No Stars features four one-sitting yarns showcasing King at his gritty, gruesome, giddy best, so be sure to check under the bed before getting started. --Daphne Durham



Amazon Exclusive: Justin Cronin, Suzanne Collins, Margaret Atwood, and T.C. Boyle Review Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars

"King is Poe's modern heir, and no writer has a richer sense of the dark rooms in the human psyche and fiction's singular power to capture them."

Read more of Justin Cronin's
review of "1922"
"Fast-paced and beautifully plotted, 'Big Driver' pulls you into Tess's fragmented mind and holds you hostage until the story concludes."

Read more of Suzanne Collins's
review of "Big Driver"
"It wouldn't be Stephen King if somebody's messily bleeding neck did not sprout a huge white knob. As it were."


Read more of Margaret Atwood's review
of "A Good Marriage"
"[King's] very ordinary-looking devil has no use for human souls, which, in these enervated times, 'have become poor and transparent things.'"

Read more of T.C. Boyle's review
of "Fair Extension"


From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes 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 as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

561 of 602 people found the following review helpful By M. SEBOURN on November 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Some of King's best material-- "The Mist", "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption", "The Body", "Hearts in Atlantis", etc.-- can be found in his collections, particularly his novella collections. Yes, he's written some long books, many of them already considered modern classics (The Stand and IT come to mind), but the man has ALWAYS delivered when he confines himself a bit.

By delivered, I mean everything: characters, setting, story, emotion.

Read the first twenty pages of "1922." Try not to despise the utter selfishness of Wilfred and Arlette-- even while you're sympathizing with the unfortunate humanity of their situation. Try not to stare wide-eyed in horror at what Wilfred convinces his son to partake in... and just try to look away from the book (although you may have to-- for a breather-- after one grueling scene).

This is an honest book. Each story seems to revolve around the theme that there is a monster inside each one of us.

King is sometimes accused of being wordy, yet he seems to bat every ball out of the park when he confines himself to the constraints of a hundred or so pages.

Pay no attention to the fools who have chosen to lower the star rating of this excellent collection with their whining about the publishing industry and the expensive nature of their digital "books."

I paid fourteen dollars for this book several hours ago-- not a bad deal at all for a new hardback, I'd say-- and it's worth much more than that.

King is a modern master, and we're lucky to have him.
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214 of 228 people found the following review helpful By Robert "Dimndbangr" Hicks on November 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Full Dark, No Stars is a collection of 4 novellas that envelope the dark side in us all. The collection gets you started with...

1922 - This first person POV story is a confession of a farmer detailing his deeds which lead to the worst year of his life during the year 1922 in Nebraska. It is written with Mr. King's normal grab your attention right away and then bog the story down for a while throwing in those little blurbs to keep the plot moving. The majority of the story is predictable leading right up to an easily drawn conclusion. However, Mr. King does a nice job of ending the story on anything but relative to typical and in doing so saved it from being a low rating story. I would rate this one in the 3.5 stars range.

Big Driver - Another tale of rape and revenge. Even though this one was really predictable yet I still found it an engaging read, especially at the end. Mr. King does a great job of giving just enough details to get his vision across and at the same time leaves out enough so the reader can fill in the rest. I do feel he could have added more to the characters in this one. I wish he would have added more to the antagonist, but it seems he just let the deeds that were done to be enough to invoke a hatred for the antagonist and it just wasn't enough. The protagonist had her high and low points, but it was actually one of the side characters that seemed to have more to them in just their short scenes. The pacing and flow of the story was well done and so I will give this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

Fair Extension - How remorseless can a person be? Read this story and find out. To me, this one portrayed hatred in its purest form. This one was a really quick read as it is the shortest story in the collection. This story doesn't beat around the bush.
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496 of 559 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Duncan on November 10, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I admit, I'm a fan of SK, but that doesn't stop me from NOT liking one of his books if I find it uninteresting. There have been a few-- like Rose Madder, Insomnia and Bag of Bones-- that I just didn't like and couldn't finish reading. Not that they're bad books, just not to my tastes. FULL DARK, NO STARS is one Stephen King book I'm putting in my great list. It was absolutely enthralling and very, very frightening. I'm not real big on bloated books that are more filler than sizzle, but the short novels in this book are lean and mean. I highly recommend this book.

****************

Now, as far as all the Kindle owners complaining about the price... back in the day, before the convenience of ebook readers and the wonder of having your reading collection all in one 4 ounce e-ink device, if someone could not afford a book they wanted to read, they went to the library and checked it out. They didn't protest in front of the bookstore. They didn't disparage a writer's reputation. They bought it used at a second-hand book shop, waited to find it at a yard sale or borrowed it from someone who is more affluent.

But back in the day, people had a little more pride, and they didn't think they should get everything for free, or next to free, just because they wanted it. Have a little dignity, people! Stop yapping like you think you're the star of your own little reality TV show. If you can't afford it, wait for the price to drop.

The review section is for book reviews, not for pricing complaints.
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100 of 112 people found the following review helpful By W.S. on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was looking forward to reading 'Full Dark', especially as it is a collection of stories rather than a novel. The short story suits King perfectly; far less room for the sagging middle section, the proliferation of thumbnail-sketched characters, predictable plot-turns, etc. The writing tends to be both more concentrated AND more pacey; it gathers its wits and gets down to what King does best: telling a great story. At his worst, he coasts along on automatic, happy to let the characters, plots and effects from earlier stories reappear in different guises, and he pads, so that dreary middle section becomes pendulous and plodding.

Since three of the four stories in Full Dark are longish ones (or novellas), there is room for quite a bit of 'automatic' writing. The first story, simply titled '1922' is, essentially, a ghost story, in the form of a prolonged confession by a man who murdered his wife. The murderer is a poor and desperate Nebraska farmer. King establishes the man's voice (contrite but not above self-deception) quite beautifully in the first few pages. Here's a sample: 'I believe that there is another man inside of every man, a stranger, a Conniving Man. And I believe that by March of 1922, when the Hemingford County skies were white and every field was a snow-scrimmed mudsuck, the Conniving Man inside Farmer Wilfred James had already passed judgement on my wife and decided her fate.' But the story has a middle which sags and then some, and by the time the ghost makes its appearance the encounter has been so over-prepared that it is, inevitably, a non-event. And there are rats. Anyone find rats scary? If you do, you may find this tale engrossing, but in my experience an abundance of these critters usually indicates that the fiction will be seriously dilapidated.
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