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Nightmares & Dreamscapes Mass Market Paperback – June 30, 2009


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Nightmares & Dreamscapes + Skeleton Crew + Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reissue edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439102562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439102565
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Many people who write about horror literature maintain that mood is its most important element. Stephen King disagrees: "My deeply held conviction is that story must be paramount.... All other considerations are secondary--theme, mood, even characterization and language."

These fine stories, each written in what King calls "a burst of faith, happiness, and optimism," prove his point. The theme, mood, characters, and language vary, but throughout, a sense of story reigns supreme. Nightmares & Dreamscapes contains 20 short tales--including several never before published--plus one teleplay, one poem, and one nonfiction piece about kids and baseball that appeared in the New Yorker. The subjects include vampires, zombies, an evil toy, man-eating frogs, the burial of a Cadillac, a disembodied finger, and a wicked stepfather. The style ranges from King's well-honed horror to a Ray Bradbury-like fantasy voice to an ambitious pastiche of Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald. And like a compact disc with a bonus track, the book ends with a charming little tale not listed in the table of contents--a parable called "The Beggar and the Diamond." --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This is a wonderful cornucopia of 23 Stephen King moments (including a teleplay featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, a poem about Ebbet's Field and a brilliant New Yorker piece on Little League baseball) that even the author, in his introduction, acknowledges make up "an uneven Aladdin's cave of a book." There are no stories fans will want to skip, and some are superb, particularly "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band," in which a husband and wife drive through a town that may literally be rock-and-roll heaven; "The Ten O'Clock People," about unredeemable smokers; and "The Moving Finger," which chronicles a digit's appearance in a drain. Together with Night Shift and Skeleton Crew , this volume accounts for all the stories King has written that he wishes to preserve. The introduction and illuminating notes about the derivation of each piece are invaluable autobiographical essays on his craft and his place in the literary landscape. An illusionist extraordinaire, King peoples all his fiction, long and short, with believable characters. The power of this collection lies in the amazing richness of his fevered imagination--he just can't be stopped from coming up with haunting plots. 1,500,000 first printing; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

Customer Reviews

This was the third collection of Stephen King short stories.
Charles L. Wilkins
This is the book for you if you like short stories, actually "You know they got a hell of a band" is a good one.
cesarnda
They are easy to enjoy without having to allow the time for the reading of an entire book.
Jorma Knowles (knowles@povn.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By sweetmolly on September 28, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At 692 pages, "Nightmares & Dreamscapes" is a doorstopper of a book. I planned to read it a story at a time over a period of weeks, but as usual got hooked on King and read it straight through, right from his usual folksy introduction (each of which I am sure he writes solely for me!) to the charming little moral folktale tacked on at the end. The stories are to say the least, diverse. I would call this collection "King's Scrapbook."
"Dolan's Cadillac" highly regarded by most Amazon reviewers is very hard tech for King. Interestingly, he says in his notes that technical stuff bores him, but it had to be done for this story. I have no more interest than he does in the proper "arc of descent;" I would have been just as mindlessly satisfied if he had shot the Cadillac out of a cannon, so it's not one of my favorites.
"Clattery Teeth" I just know SK had a hoot of a time writing it. He lovingly sets the scene and characters and then puts them at the mercy of a set of not-so-funny joke teeth (that wear spats). It's 80 degrees more grotesque than the "Young Frankenstein," and I felt guilty for laughing.
"The Moving Finger" Mr. Mitla is the perfectly normal man living a perfectly normal life when one morning he goes into his bathroom, and a finger is emerging from his bathroom sink drain and tapping on the porcelain. No one can see this finger except Mr. Mitla, and he slowly goes bonkers and his entire life is in a shambles. Unlike "Clattery Teeth" this one is terrifying. See for yourself.
"My Pretty Pony" though highly acclaimed, didn't much interest me UNTIL I read in Notes that the exquisitely sensitive little boy, Clive Banning, grew up to be a hardened killer in an unpublished Richard Bachman novel. We leave Clive at 7-years old in the Pony story.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By doctor_beth #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 11, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This collection of stories is typical King--you may not like every single one, but you're sure to find at least one that scares you and one that makes you laugh. My favorite was "Dolan's Cadillac," a chilling tale of painstakingly-plotted revenge. Also intriguing is "The 10 O'Clock People," a must-read for every smoker who has cut back but who just can't seem to quit completely. In "Sorry, Right Number," King tries something new by writing the story in screenplay fashion; the gimmick doesn't necessarily add anything, but the plot itself is engaging nonetheless. On the scary side, l found "Night Flier" to be extremely creepy--the final scene will definitely make you want to sleep with the lights on!--and for a more light-hearted offering, there's "Clattery Teeth." Each story here is likely to have its fans; you'll have to read them all to find your own favorite.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jorma Knowles (knowles@povn.com) on October 11, 1997
Format: Paperback
An elementary school teacher leads her students down the hall and kills them, one by one. A tabloid photographer pursues a vampire with a private pilots license, finding a grisly horror in a small airport and meeting a modern Dracula. A single finger sticks out of a man's bathroom drain while he is watching a quiz show, triggering a life-destroying madness. The dead come alive and walk the shores of Maine, succesfully ending the world and sending isolated islanders into hostile terror. A couple gets lost in a dark end of London and find some very Lovecraftian terror. In Stephen King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes, it seems that reality and the macabre come together in what is almost a natural effect, blending horror, fantasy, and even non-fiction (in an essay about baseball called "Head Down") to make what may just be the perfect page entertainment. While some people insist that short stories and novellas are not as enjoyable as full-length novels, I find myself begging to differ. With short stories, you can begin them and sometimes finish them in a few minutes to an hour, engrossing yourself in and enjoying an entire tale in a fraction of the time it takes you to read a novel. They are easy to enjoy without having to allow the time for the reading of an entire book. And, perhaps most importantly, you can be entertained on an equal level with the best novels.
All these things only add to the power of King's collection, his fifth after "Night Shift," "Different Seasons," "Skeleton Crew," and "Four Past Midnight." His imagination, as usual, astounds, and, in many of the stories, scares the reader silly.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Wanderer on September 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
I would recommend this book just for the introductory essay (see below).

[Note: I made some Mormon angry because of my negative reviews of books out to prove the Book of Mormon, and that person has been slamming my reviews almost as fast as they are posted.]

So your "helpful" vote is greatly appreciated. Thanks

King is a master writer, and I enjoyed this collection. I loved "Umney's Last Case" (evocative of 1930s crime fiction). Also liked the "House on Maple Street" (it kept me turning the pages).

The book is worth it for the introductory essay by Steven King. Here are some of the great lines from that essay, and I hope they make my short review worth reading.

Steven King wrote:

"When I was a kid I believed everything I was told, everything I read, and every dispatch sent out by my own overheated imagination. This made for more than a few sleepless nights, but it also filled the world I lived in with colors and textures I would not have traded for a lifetime of restful nights. I knew even then, you see, that there were people in the world--too many of them, actually--whose imaginative senses were eight numb or completely deadened, and who lived in a mental state skin to colorblindness."

Robert McCammon said something similar his brilliant coming-of-age novel, "Boy's Life"

"See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age.
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