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The bazaar of bad dreams : stories
2015
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
Fiction
Horror
Thriller
Collection
Short story
Topics
Morality
Afterlife
Guilt
Cancer patients
Death and dying
Supernatural powers
Columnists
Husbands and wives
Deals-with-the-devil
Accidental deaths
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

King (Everything's Eventual) is back in the short fiction business with this collection of 20 stories. Most have been previously published, but two ("Mister Yummy" and "Obits") are new and one ("Bad Little Kid") is newly available in English. With such topics as a monstrosity of a car (no, not Christine), a sand dune that writes the name of people who will soon die, a study in morality, and even a cowboy tale, the anthology explores vastly different landscapes and introduces listeners to interesting characters. Each of the stories are prefaced by King himself, and the narrators, 16 total, are perfectly matched to their pieces, though Edward Herrmann, Mare Winningham, Will Patton, and Cotter Smith stand out. The stories differ in length, from longer tales, such as "UR" and "Mile 81," to quite short fables like "The Bone Church" and "The Dune." This would be a perfect choice when trying to ease a new fan into the King realm. -VERDICT Recommended for any library with a good King collection and patrons who love well-crafted short stories; in other words, all libraries should purchase. ["The stories collected here are riveting and sometimes haunting": LJ 10/1/15 starred review of the Scribner hc.]-Jason L. Steagall, Gateway Technical Coll. Lib., Elkhorn, WI © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

A dream team of talented performers reads these 18 tales and two poems by master fictioneer King. Several of the stories-including "Blockade Billy," a baseball yarn with a predictable violent punch line, and "Under the Weather," an exploration of the grim effect a tragedy has on an ad man-are not the author's strongest, but they are given a boost by, respectively, Craig Wasson's keep-rounding-the-bases-and-slide-into-home exuberance and Peter Friedman's conversational narration, which shifts the emphasis from the repetitiveness of what he's saying to the compelling way he's saying it. Other stories are as strikingly composed as they are performed. As wonderful as the professional readers are, it is King's nasal voice that distinguishes the production, preceding each story with information about its creation. He also begins the collection with an intriguing introduction explaining the differences between writing novels and short fiction, warning about the stories that follow: "The best of them have teeth." A Scribner hardcover. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
A master storyteller at his best--the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.<br> <br> Since his first collection, Nightshift , published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.<br> <br> There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. "Afterlife" is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers--the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in "Obits;" the old judge in "The Dune" who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In "Morality," King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil's pact they can win.<br> <br> Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King's finest gifts to his constant reader--"I made them especially for you," says King. "Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth."
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