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Inspired by his stint as guest editor of Best American Short Stories 2007, King delivers his first collection in six years. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
In the introduction to his first collection of short fiction since Everything's Eventual (2002), King credits editing Best American Short Stories (2007) with reigniting his interest in the short form and inducing some of this volume's contents. Most of these 13 tales show him at the top of his game, molding the themes and set pieces of horror and suspense fiction into richly nuanced blends of fantasy and psychological realism. "The Things They Left Behind," a powerful study of survivor guilt, is one of several supernatural disaster stories that evoke the horrors of 9/11. Like the crime thrillers "The Gingerbread Girl" and "A Very Tight Place," both of which feature protagonists struggling with apparently insuperable threats to life, it is laced with moving ruminations on mortality that King attributes to his own well-publicized near-death experience. Even the smattering of genre-oriented works shows King trying out provocative new vehicles for his trademark thrills, notably "N.," a creepy character study of an obsessive-compulsive that subtly blossoms into a tale of cosmic terror in the tradition of Arthur Machen and H.P. Lovecraft. Culled almost entirely from leading mainstream periodicals, these stories are a testament to the literary merits of the well-told macabre tale. (Nov.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"King reminds us again of his power to unhinge with a single line or image. A master of the storytelling craft, he gets his ghastly fingernails right beneath the skin." -- John Marks, Salon.com "A master storyteller... Haunting." -- Karen Sandstrom, Cleveland Plain Dealer "In these 13 newly collected stories, we see a master craftsman at the top of his game and clearly enjoying himself.... Each story is a treat not just for King fans but for any fan of good fiction." -- Salem Macknee, Charlotte Observer "King is as sharp and disgusting as ever... Haunting." -- People magazine "King lets the reader put the book down at night after one story, knowing another horrific treat awaits the next day." -- Amanda St. Amand, St. Louis Post Dispatch "King continues to be dedicated to giving his readers a luxuriant experience, the basic pleasure of getting lost in a book." -- Charles Taylor, New York Times Book Review "Quietly dazzling." -- Ted Anthony, Associated Press "King is as sharp and versatile as ever." -- Erica Noonan, Boston Globe "Wonderfully wicked." -- Carol Memmott, USA Today