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Night Shift Mass Market Paperback – July 26, 2011
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“A master storyteller.” —Los Angeles Times
“Eerie. . . . Ought to chill the cockles of many a heart.” —Chicago Tribune
“A master. . . . [King] will catch you in his web and reach you at an elemental level where there is no defense.” —The Cincinnati Enquirer
“Stephen King has built a literary genre of putting ordinary people in the most terrifying situations. . . . he’s the author who can always make the improbable so scary you'll feel compelled to check the locks on the front door.” —The Boston Globe
“Peerless imagination.” —The Observer (London)
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Graveyard Shift-Mutant Rats run on a rampage of murder and horror deep within the confines of an old and decaying building
The Mangler;A machine possessed by evil goes on the rampage in a laundry.
Trucks-Trucks without their drivers unite in an evil confederacy against humanity.
Sometimes they Come Back-A group of murderers return to a classroom to torment a man whose brother had been murdered by the returned students many years before the story begins.
Battleground-Toy soldiers run wild and attack a man.
The Lawnmower Man-A worker for the mythical god Pan destroys a suburban homeowner with his mad mowing
Quitters Inc.-You will never pick up another cigarette after this story!
Children of the Corn-A famous story about children with evil eyes in the cornfields of middle America.
The edition I read contained a good introduction to King by John MacDonald and also a fine prologue written by King. Curl up and enjoy this early but outstanding book of short stories!
If you haven't read this book, I am both jealous of and shocked by you at the same time. You get to read this book for the first time! That is a precious gift. Yet, I am shocked! How have you never read this book? Is that possible? The mind whirls...
Buy this book, read it, put in your library.
This is the first time I have ever read a collection of stories and who better to start with than Mr. King. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel reading a bunch of separate stories compared to one whole tale. In the end I enjoyed it but was left wanting to feel a little more invested in the works as a whole. That is the reason for a four star rating over a five, because they're five star stories in this book. My favorite ones being The Last Rung on the Ladder, Children of the Corn, and One for the Road. Overall this was a pleasant experience and I will definitely read more collections but for now back to the novels.
Standouts for me:
Children of the Corn (about a thousand times better than that crappy movie)
The Last Rung on the Ladder
One for the Road
Top international reviews
My 1-star review is for the Kindle edition which is full of spelling errors which are NOT in the paperback version of the book, right down to an entire line of text missing from the story 'Battleground'. Okay, the line is only one word long, but it's pretty crucial to the story.
I contacted Amazon about the issue, but never received a response.
the best one, in my opinion, is 'the boogeyman', where a man confesses to a local psychiatrist what happened when the boogeyman came knocking. although you're all familiar with the monster-in-the-closet scenario, something occurs in this story that you didn't think would be possible & as silly as it seems, it surprisingly works; it makes you realise just how ubiquitous the stretch of a monster can be. (see also 'oh, whistle & i'll come to you lad' by m. r. james for a similar feeling).
my other favourites were 'i am the doorway', 'battleground', 'sometimes they come back' & 'quitters inc.'
the first is the only short story with a sci-fi/horror element. an astronaut survives the crash-landing of his spaceship from an orbit of venus, only to discover that there are alien eyes peering up at him from his hands...
the second is strangely humorous: a professional hitman receives a mysterious parcel from the wife of a man he just killed & finds himself in combat with a sentient toy army with real-life weaponry...
the third is about a teacher recovering from a nervous breakdown. he is still haunted by the death of his brother by a gang of bullies & if he isn't mistaken, they're coming back for him too in the guise of transfer students at the school where he works...
the fourth takes quitting cigarettes to interesting extremes. a man determined to quit needs only the right incentive & the program will punish not just the man but also his wife & children...
what i wasn't so impressed with were 'strawberry spring' (the culprit & ending was too obvious), 'night surf' (really boring), 'the man who loved flowers' (made no impression on me apart from the charming descriptions of a man clearly in love), 'the woman in the room' (quite drab & had no suspense or passion whatsoever) & 'the lawnmower man' (became a little too ridiculous in the end for me).
all in all, "night shift" is quite enjoyable, teenage-friendly (in my opinion!) & offers a nice break from the soft, normal stories out there on the bookshelves. i would definitely recommend & will probably read another short story collection by stephen king.
Alongside Pet Sematary this has to be one of the best Stephen King publications I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot of them! The Boogeyman is, quite simply, one of the scariest pieces of literature ever. Like the best of King, it’s terrifying but also filled with heart and the ending is truly devastating. Similarly, Sometimes They Come Back is absolutely brilliant for the same reasons.
And you would think a story about a box of toy soldiers coming to life and attacking a man would be stupid. It’s not, it’s entirely gripping.
Even the lesser stories here (Trucks, Night Surf, etc.) are fun, entertaining reads.
This really is vintage King. It’s scary, bloody, funny and there is a warmth to his writing that makes you really care what happens to his characters.
Don’t let the fact that this is a collection of short stories put you off – this is right up there with the best King has written.
If you haven't read many short stories, start with these.