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Nightmares and Dreamscapes [Mass Market Paperback]

Stephen King
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)


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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

From Publishers Weekly

King's cornucopia of short tales, each accompanied by an introduction from the author, was a 15-week PW bestseller.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

King's third collection, after Night Shift (1978) and Skeleton Crew (1985), offers 23 formerly uncollected works, with King as bizarre as ever. A handful of the stories have been rewritten or dressed up for this occasion. King's introduction (a defense against the ivory tower opinions of his critics) and endnotes mentions several sources, including The New Yorker, which printed the lengthy ``Heads Down''--about Little League teams up in Maine--that King calls ``the best nonfiction writing of my life.'' Other oddities are a nostalgic baseball poem and a downbeat teleplay, ``Sorry, Right Number,'' which appeared on Tales from the Darkside. Some pieces display King's charging, looser, richly vulgar style (``Dolan's Cadillac,'' a revenge tale in which the narrator gets even with a Mafia chieftain who killed the hero's wife, and buries him alive in his Caddie), while others occasionally show an unusually neat style hardly different from any other journeyman writer's, aside from the magical King touches (``The Moving Finger''--perhaps the best in the collection, about a man haunted by a live finger that keeps climbing out of the drain of his bathroom sink and finally grows to seven feet). Still others strive for human feeling (``Dedication''--about a longtime black cleaning maid in a fancy hotel who gets whammied by a voodoo lady and made pregnant by sperm on the bedsheets of a white novelist whose writing style gets passed on to her son)--and then some are just the King ticket readers expect: ``The End of the Whole Mess''-- about a polymathic genius who discovers the way to end man's inhumanity to man by altering his drinking water. Addicts, fear not: the King lives. (First printing of 1,500,000; Book-of-the-Month Main Selection for October) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A bumper collection of short stories...You can't help admiring King's narrative skills and his versatility as a story-teller Sunday Telegraph Merely by tickling the keys on his word processor King can make flesh creep half a world away. But where he differs from so many chill merchants is that his horror is rarely gratuitous and often informed with a wry humour The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

STEPHEN KING is a master of the novella and short narrative form. As he describes it: 'A short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.' King's novellas and stories are among his most popular and some have been turned into celebrated films including STAND BY ME and THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

In this short story collection Stephen King shows his versatility as a writer. This collection contains, among other things, a ghost, the undead, a finger poking out of a bathroom drain, a set of chattery teeth which run amuck, and a plan to mellow out the whole world. In other words, great fun for King fans. The actors and actresses emphasize the variety of the stories themselves, from Tim Curry's wonderful portrayal of Holmes's Dr. Watson, to the author's delightful rendering of the folk who live off the coast of Maine. With few exceptions, they're skilled readers giving fine performances. A nice feature of this set is that each story is complete on one cassette. P.B.J. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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