Thursday, January 13, 2011

[Book Review] FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King


Darletha reviews FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King (Scribner, 2010)

Full Dark, No Stars consists of four short stories in which the darker side of
four main characters surface.

The first story, “1922,” is the lengthy confession of Wilfred James, a farmer from Nebraska. He devises a sinister plan to prevent his wife from selling her larger portion of the family’s farmland to a slaughterhouse. Gory details and downspiraling events make "1922" a true horror piece in this book.

In “Big Driver,” a cozy-mystery writer named Tess becomes the victim of a violent crime, when she takes a short cut on her way home from a book engagement. After she is left for dead, a vengeful Tess emerges. With the guidance of some unexpected helpers, the unassuming author pursues her attacker. The portions that reveal Tess' psychological state are unforgettable.

“Fair Extension” is the third story. Dave Streeter, a man with terminal cancer, meets George Elvid, a roadside vendor who has more to offer than material goods. Elvid gives Dave the opportunity to reverse his misfortune, but only at the expense of another person. What follows is a grim timeline in this short, ironic tale.

In “A Good Marriage,” Darcy Anderson makes a shocking discovery--her husband of over 20 years is a serial killer. What appears to be a satisfying, predictable marriage changes in an instant--simply because Darcy needed batteries for a remote control.

King uses these engrossing character-driven stories to depict what farmer Wilfred says: "there is another man inside every man, a stranger..." Be prepared to cringe at or cheer on these individuals--you won't forget them.

An interactive website is also available. Visit

Darletha Matthews, South Branch

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