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Four Past Midnight (Signet) Mass Market Paperback – September 3, 1991
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New Hogwarts short stories from J.K. Rowling
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
- John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I was honestly amazed. King may be hailed as the Master of the Macabre, but this man is first and foremost a *good writer*--all four of his novellas in this volume drew me in and gave me no choice but to keep turning pages to find out what happened next. It was a pleasant surprise to find so much wit and humor buried amidst the horror, and I can't help but be in awe of a man who can make you laugh out loud in a library one moment and make you hold the book out at arm's length with a mutter of, "Ew," the next.
Like so many others, I would call "Langoliers" my favorite--clever, engaging, and well-paced, it has a delightful coterie of characters and a Twilight Zone-esque plotline. Next would be a toss-up between "Secret Window, Secret Garden" and "Library Policeman." I'm not certain why so many people dislike SWSG; Mort Rainey was perhaps the most strongly drawn character of the lot. And while LP is certainly excellent, it had too much gore for sheer gore's sake to win an unchallenged second favorite slot. (Some say that LP is nothing but perversion. I would disagree. Its scenario is revolting, yes; disconcerting, yes... and entirely too plausible in real life.)
"Sun Dog" is probably the story that cost the book a star in my rating, for while chilling in its way and well-written by all accounts, it seemed the most shallow and downright absurd in retrospect. (Yes, I take the licorice from "Library Policeman" into account when I say that.Read more ›
The Langoliers - This was definitely my favorite story out of them all. It was interesting and different from the other things that I've read. Sometimes the characters got a little boring though. I think the ending seemed a bit rushed so it was a let down from the rest of the story. You should read this if you're on the plane or if you're planning to fly soon... it'd make you think again.
Secret Window, Secret Garden - At first I found this story quite boring and simple, but then it turned out to be much more. My favorite part of this story was the ending because it was just completely unexpected. It was a nice twist.
The Library Policeman - I think that this story just progressed too slowly. Many parts seemed to drag on forever.
The Sun Dog - Like "The Library Policeman", this story progressed too slowly. Some parts of it were interesting, but there were a lot of parts that I just wanted to skip! The ending was a disappointment as well
What I like about all the stories is the detail that Stephen King often includes. While reading certain parts, you can see the whole scene happening in front of you in slow motion because of the detail.
Nonetheless, about two or so years after reading Desperation, I was searching around for a book to read and came upon this by Stephen King, so I asked myself why not? I was pleasantly surprised by how well written and exciting the stories contained with this book are.
Let me break it down story by story.
1) The Langoliers - A fine story by any measure. I started reading this sometime in the afternoon and I simply couldn't put it down until I finished late in the evening
Not only is the premise of the story incredibly interesting, but the execution was well appreciated. The pace of the story and the character development (save for a few characters) left little to feel disappointed about, but the plot was especially deserving of praise.
Normally, it is advise that one saves the best for last but the Langoliers is hardly a small feat of story telling. Great story no matter how you look at it!
2) Secret Window, Secret Garden (SWSG) - Also a finely written story. Has a finely woven plot and I consider a great second read about finishing the Langoliers.
But as they say, even the best stories has its fair share of flaws. SGSW's most obvious flaws, at least for this reader, lies in the pacing of the given clues and the ending.
By the pacing of the clues, what I mean is how King spread out the clues to the final answer. SWSG contains an a very enjoyable mystery to solve and like any good mystery stories, the clues were given out accordingly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Langoliers and The Library Policeman were great. The Sun Dog was good and Secret Widow, Secret Garden was boring and made no sense. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Wish they made The Library Policeman into a TV film. All very good. Like how The Langoliers TV mini series followed book.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customercherann7
I am a major KING FAN , and think this book is a great collection of short stories that deliver. ( KING is the KING ) If you do not love this book, you simply do not like to read... Read morePublished 4 months ago by jeffry t. dahl
Great stories by a great author. Don't miss The Langoliers/Published 4 months ago by Hardworking Woman
As you may or may not know, this book contains 4 stories. I decided that I should write a quick little review for each story right after finishing it because that's when it's fresh... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Melissa Burke
As someone who loves the Langoliers story within this collection novel, I wanted to get the chance to read it again, given the library where I live doesn't stock it.Published 5 months ago by InuKun