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The giant new fiction title from Stephen King

About the Author

King is the author of forty bestsellers, including MISERY and CELL. Some of his books have been turned into celebrated films including The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. He now divides his time between Maine and Florida.

Reviews

In King's latest collection of short stories (following 2002's Everything's Eventual), he presents 14 tales that range from the philosophically themed, to one in which the author gleefully admits to playing with the gross-out factor ("A Very Tight Place"), to "The Cat from Hell," which makes its hardcover debut some 30 years after its original publication as part of a contest in Cavalier, one of the gentleman's magazines that put food on the table in King's early years as a writer. In his introduction, King cites his recent stint as guest editor for the 2007 edition of Best American Short Stories as an impetus to return to the form in his own writing. Several of the works included here were written following that experience. Finally, as King has done previously in his collections, at the end of the volume he provides the reader with brief insights into the inspirations for each tale. Recommended for all popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/08.]--Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

'The true narrative artist is a rare creature. Storytelling - the ability to make the listener or the reader need to know, demand to know, what happens next - is a gift...Stephen King, like Charles Dickens before him, has this gift in spades.' -- The Times on CELL 'Thrilling, genuinely terrifying, beautifully textured and full of wonderful invention' -- Daily Mail on LISEY'S STORY 'He has become a fascinating paradoxical figure, still seen as ultra-commercial but, in fact, increasingly highbrow and self-conscious' -- Sunday Times on DUMA KEY 20080120

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.

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