Book Review: Night Shift by Stephen King
My rating: 9 of 10 stars
After some consideration I made my mind.
Most of these stories are very good. Fortunally. But a couple of them are bad (in my opinion of course).
My favourite was undboutbly Graveyard Shift with The Boogeyman; Quitters, Inc. and The Ledge close behind.
Before hand I must say I see a lot of other newer writers drawing their influences from here.
Jerusalem's Lot - This is a prequel of some sorts of Salem's Lot. It deals with the theme and the foundations of the city but not with the same characters. A good tale. In these tale and the Graveyard's Shift we see the influence of Lovecraft's. 8/10
Graveyard Shift - One of the best short stories I've ever read. It ends with the same tone some of HP Lovecraft stories. Rats in the Walls come to my mind as I think of it. - As a man tries to grab some extra work he explores a basement where are rats bigger than cats. With a dozen collegues and a bossy foreman they must not only clean but survive. Excelent finale. 10/10
Night Surf Probably a first attempt to The Stand which came a couple of years later. A post apocalyptic scenario where most of the population died of a Virus. A couple of friends (survivors of a previous disease called A2) thing of themselves imnunes until one of them dies. Confusing story. 5/10
I Am the Doorway Sci-Fi at it's worst. Didn't enjoy the little story. Weakest of the bunch. 3/10
The Mangler A story where daemons take care of a... machine? Excelent story. 9/10
The Boogeyman This story reminds me of one I read a couple of months ago called. A man confess that he is guilty by omission of the dead of his child. Quite interesting psychological tale. 9/10
Grey Matter Another good one. A couple guys in a bar help a boy getting his wits 'cause he has travelled through the snowstorm to get some beers for his father. He says that his father is changing. Good tale and another one that ends "well" 7.5/10
Sidenote: Like most stories so far, every story ends not with an happy ending but with the feeling Lovecraft was so kin to give his stories than unpending doom will befall them eventually.
Battleground Good tale about a hitman arrives at his home with a box where he finds a collection of plastic action figures that are more than it seems. Quite interesting tale with only a couple of dialogues. I saw the movie and it had no dialogue. Good tale. 8/10
Trucks Another tale that ends badly. Quite interesting to see how machines could rule the world and humanking be his cattle. Another pessimistic ending. 8/10
Sometimes They Come Back Another weak story in my opinion. I didn't enjoy. It seems that he got a trilogies of movies. I will try to watch it.
Strawberry Spring This story was a good one. A story in two phases. The NOW and the EIGHT YEARS BEFORE where the narrator tells us about a serial killer who was never caught and after a new murder in the same way he begins to wonder what has been he up to. 7/10
The Ledge One of the best stories in this novel and probably the first that ends with a good perspective for the main character. A man is blackmail into going to circumnavigate a Skyscraper on a ledge. If he can do it he will earn money, the wife of the blackmailer (whom he was in love), if don't do it his car will be discovered with drugs in it. Good story. It really gave me the shivers as he slides a 5 inch ledge. 9.5/10
The Lawnmower Man It seems there is a company that deals with lawnmower so you can relax. But not everything is at it seems. Bently Little all written in it as the new short story. 7/10
Quitters, Inc. Ahh.. smoke. How to get rid of it. If you can't do it yourself we will make your wife and child do it for you. So good my god. Why hasn't Stephen King wrote more short stories with this kind of tales. 10/10
I Know What You Need So what do womens wants? What if a man really do? Can he control her with everything she wants? A good tale about love and horror. Cthulhu mythos is a reference here with Necronomicon. 8/10
Children of the Corn Probably one of the best and known stories of Lovecraft due to the imensity of films (10 films so far) released it. There is also references in multi series and films. South Park and Simpsons on the top of my head. Nice story about a town, surrounded by corn, but with no residents with the exception of children who worship a pagan slash christian god called "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" probably a reference to Randall Flagg. Quite interesting tale. 10/10
The Last Rung on the Ladder Is a tale going back and forth as a man remembers his young years in a barn where he saved his little sister and how she wanted him to save him again. Unfortunally the letter arrived to late because he had grown apart from his family and when changing his house didn't inform his family. Quite good psychological thriller/horror. 8.5/10
The Man Who Loved Flowers Interesting Weird Tale. Perfect Serial Killer. I don't need to say more. 9/10
One for the Road This story is Salem's Lot sequel a couple of local residents help a guy, in blizzard's winter, to reach the wife and child that are stranded on Jerusalem's Lot. Even knowing of the peril in that city they try to help. Good ending. This story had some eerie feeling. This and "Grey's Matter". I really enjoy them both. I really enjoy Cold and Winter. 8.5/10
The Woman in the Room this book deals with euthanasia and the story of a son and a bedridden mother. What shall he do? See his mother in pain for the sake of being alive or helping slip away? 8/10
So after writing my short stories synopsis/opinion I will give this book 5 stars. The good ones surpasse the bads and a couple of the stories will be with me. I will read them again. Stephen King is the King of Short-Stories. But long lenghed novels are boring because he dwell so much on each character that gets bored. That's my opinion...
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