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The Bazaar of Bad Dreams Hardcover – November 3, 2015
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One of the best aspects of his new collection of short stories, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, is the commentary that prefaces each one, describing the creative process through which it travelled from brain to page * GQ * A meaty collection with interesting insights into the creative process of a writer who caused many sleepless nights * Washington Post * Short stories have a famous place in the King oeuvre, with the likes of The Body and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption finding second lives on the big screen as Stand By Me and Shawshank Redemption... Like all the greats, though, his ability to grip the reader's mind, body and soul with his prose makes it all look easy * USA Today * Some of King's strongest work in recent years brought together to form an excellent collection * Sci-Fi Bulletin * A more versatile writer than you might imagine * Sunday Times * King is a laureate of small towns; his ear for dialogue is unerring ... He is also one of those rare authors who can write well about childhood. Most potently, King can sketch a full-blooded character in just a few pen strokes. This gift comes to the fore in his short stories, where every syllable counts * Sunday Telegraph * A tense inventory of stories... King manages to portray a remarkable depth of character within the swiftness of a short story and manoeuvres a vast range of plots...There are treasures to be found in The Bazaar of Bad Dreams and those who love King... will find much to savour * Independent * This collection of short works... reveals King's mastery of the novella * Guardian * The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is the title it more than lives up to, but just as interesting as the stories themselves are their prefaces, in which he reveals what inspired each one. Who besides King would conjure a flesh-eating station wagon from a drive to see his college sweetheart? * Observer * He seduces you with an intimate author's note introducing each tale, then proceeds to chill you to the bone. Do not read before bed * Daily Mail *
About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes DOCTOR SLEEP, REVIVAL and MR MERCEDES, winner of the prestigious Edgar Award for best novel. Many of his books have been turned into successful films or TV series including UNDER THE DOME, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, CARRIE and MISERY. King 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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Primary greatness is on the inside. It’s about character. Secondary greatness is on the outside. As Dr. Covey taught, ‘Many people with secondary greatness—that is, social recognition for their talents—lack primary greatness or goodness in their character. Sooner or later, you’ll see this in every long-term relationship they have, whether it is with a business associate, a spouse, a friend, or a teenage child going through an identity crisis. It is character that communicates most eloquently. As Emerson once put it, ‘What you are shouts so loudly in my ears that I cannot hear what you say.’”
~ Stephen R. Covey’s colleagues from the Preface to Primary Greatness
Stephen Covey is one of my favorite teachers.
In fact, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was *literally* the first book I ever read that introduced me to the idea that we could actually improve our lives and make a difference in the world.
On the first pages of my book, I share this quote from 7 Habits as it so powerfully captures the essence of my work:
“I believe that a life of integrity is the most fundamental source of personal worth. I do not agree with the popular success literature that says that self-esteem is primarily a matter of mind set, of attitude—that you can psych yourself into peace of mind. Peace of mind comes when your life is in harmony with true principles and values and in no other way.”
(Which came right after this Nietzsche quote, btw: “This is my way; where is yours?— Thus I answered those who asked me ‘the way.’ For the way—that does not exist.” :)
Stephen Covey passed away in 2012. This book was published posthumously and features a collection of wisdom focusing on the fact that private victory precedes public victory.
Primary greatness. It’s all about what’s on the INSIDE.
I'm excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas:
1. The 12 Levers of Success - Here they are.
2. Esse Quam Videri - "To be rather than to seem."
3. Virtues: Meet Your Parents - Humility + Courage.
4. Say "YES!!" - If you want to be able to say "No."
5. High-Tech Power Saw - = Next purchase.
That’s how we want to live—with primary greatness ever in mind.
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.
In total, there are twenty stories in this collection, with only three or four I have not recognized from prior publication either in magazines or on Amazon Kindle. A few, like "Blockade Billy," even made it into a hardback format. Despite this, however, there are a few of his recent efforts (like "Into the Tall Grass") that have been regrettably omitted. That does not detract from the overall quality of this work.
One of his stories, "Ur" contemplates the possibility of alternate realities in a vein similar to his novel 11/22/63, and also throws in a few allusions to his Dark Tower series, which personally thrilled me. Another story, "Afterlife," features a man who suffers a slow, painful death from cancer, but finds himself in a vicious ouroboro, repeating the mistakes of the past in slightly new ways, but with the same ultimate result. Although Mr. King has delved into Holmesian detective fiction before, his story "Batman and Robin Have an Altercation" unfortunately does not actually involve the masked detective. It does, though, grimly describe the visit of a middle-aged man to his Alzheimer's-stricken father in a nursing home and what that leads to. My personal favorite among these stories, however, is "The Dune," featuring a state supreme court judge whose attorney discovers the secret of the judge's childhood haunt. Surprisingly, Mr. King also includes a few pieces of poetry in this collection. While he has done so in the past, I must admit that I personally prefer his prose.
Some of his other stories reveal Mr. King's age. When I saw the title for his story, "Hermann Wouk Is Still Alive," I wondered to myself if anyone under the age of forty even knows who he was. That is not a bad thing, however, and he also gives tips of the hat to horror writers like H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur Machen who ceased writing long before Mr. King began his career. For those with a love of the horror genre, these are welcome acknowledgements to some of King's most frequent inspirations.
On the whole, this is a great collection by Stephen King. While it is not the best collection he has produced, it presents new and recently published material that meets the demanding standards of his fans. A great way to spend one's evening reading hours.
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Many thanks to Mr. King for sharing his world again. My Ned is just as soft, but not as inviting.