Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

86%

18 Critic Reviews

...the nuances of character and the sympathetic qualities of both Darcy and Bob make it a great read...
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

The acclaimed #1 New York Times and undisputed King of Horror Stephen King delivers five unforgettable short works, two of which will soon be adapted for film, and which Booklist called “raw looks at the limits of greed, revenge, and self-deception.” Like Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight, which generated such enduring hit films as The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, Full Dark, No Stars proves Stephen King a master of the long story form.

“I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger…” writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up “1922,” the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife Arlette proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

In “Big Driver,” soon to be a major Lifetime movie starring Maria Bello, a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger is along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face to face with another stranger: the one inside herself.

“Fair Extension,” the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest. Making a deal with the devil not only saves Harry Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment.

In the last of the tales, soon to be a major motion picture, Darcy Anderson’s husband of more than twenty years is away on one of his business trips and his unsuspecting wife looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It’s a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends “A Good Marriage.”
 

About Stephen King

See more books from this Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. Joe Hill is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Heart-Shaped Box and Horns and writes an ongoing comic book series, Locke & Key. He makes lots of noise on Twitter under the handle @joe_hill.
 
Published November 9, 2010 by Scribner. 545 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Comics & Graphic Novels, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Crafts, Hobbies & Home. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Full Dark, No Stars
All: 18 | Positive: 16 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent

A collection of page-turning narratives for those who prefer the prolific tale spinner at his pulpiest.

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NY Times

Good
on Nov 26 2010

...a characteristic King performance, speedy and craftsmanlike and solidly unnerving.

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Guardian

Excellent
on Nov 05 2010

...King states that he wanted the stories to linger in the imagination. And they do...they are never less than satisfying and are fine stories to take with us into the night.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
on Dec 09 2010

...the nuances of character and the sympathetic qualities of both Darcy and Bob make it a great read...

Read Full Review of Full Dark, No Stars | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Globe and Mail

Excellent
on Nov 12 2010

...It's too recognizable. We can see our grim darkness, our horrific potential, in every story.

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AV Club

Above average
on Nov 18 2010

...a book of satisfying, modest pleasures, like an average bottle of wine aged to just the right amount of bitterness.

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LA Times

Good
on Nov 13 2010

This is classic King, with its evocation of possession...he is at his most acute when he deals with human evil...

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The Washington Post

Good
on Oct 27 2010

...four satisfyingly bleak accounts of human behavior at its most extreme.

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The Telegraph

Good
on Nov 07 2010

For all King’s avowed seriousness of intent, he remains alert to the black comedy of his diabolical set-ups and more than one of his doomed characters is reduced to helpless laughter...

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The Telegraph

Excellent
on Nov 05 2010

King’s most striking effects have traditionally come when he rebels against the traditions of genre, but sometimes he just likes to have fun. In this collection...he does both.

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Christian Science Monitor

Good
on Dec 29 2010

...King leads us back to the everyday colliding with the horrible.

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The Seattle Times

Good
on Nov 10 2010

...King leaves readers to think about how they might react under similar circumstances. And while we might do as the characters did, the suspense is in the uncertainty.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Good
on Nov 08 2010

...drag you along by your hair: like them or not, you're going to finish them. Are they horrible? They are quite horrible.

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About.com

Excellent

All the characters in King's collection grapple with the harshness of reality, much of which will be devastatingly relatable to some readers.

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Salon

Above average
Reviewed by JAMES PARKER on Nov 08 2010

This being a book by Stephen King, it goes without saying that the stories — with the possible exception of “1922,” which suffers from a distracting instability in the language — more or less drag you along by your hair: Like them or not, you’re going to finish them.

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SFX

Excellent
on Nov 05 2010

Even with the shortage of supernatural shenanigans, there’s still enough visceral impact to keep any self-respecting horror fans happy...thanks to some skin-crawlingly horrible sequences...

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IBN Live

Good
on Jan 18 2011

He offers the idea that there is the potential in each of us to kill, not only in immediate self-defense, but with diabolical cunning, if the situation warrants.

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Nerdist

Excellent
on Nov 16 2010

...if you enjoy Stephen King’s darker tales, those that are gruesome and rattle deep in your bones, this will be a collection that you’ll absolutely enjoy.

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Reader Rating for Full Dark, No Stars
85%

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Sarra Moogski

Sarra Moogski 26 Oct 2014

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