- I write and live with my beautiful wife, Sandra, and sons (Solstice, Finnegan and Brahms) in a little-big house on a dirt road in a valley in the hills. My secret identity struggles through the grind of teaching high school English to the denizens of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Review of Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
I have to admit that I am an unabashed fan of Stephen King. His work has inspired and informed my own writing. I firmly believe that someday he will be hailed as the literary genius of his time. Beyond that, he is a heck of a good tale-spinner, and I sure am glad that he has survived his brushes with death and continued to crank out quality fiction for the rest of us to admire and enjoy.
I did not want to love Full Dark, No Stars. Each story seemed too gruesome and bleak to love. In each case, I was left breathless in the face of his amazing characterization and plotting. I can't say I have loved every one of Mr. King's books (The Regulators, The Colorado Kid and The Wizard and The Glass complete that very short list), but I have come close.
Beyond the usual study of the darkness and, by contrast, the noble and enduring light in mankind, this collection of long stories almost completely follows a thread of destructive and murderous men and the women that make them pay. I've read reviews that have said that Stephen King is obsessed with breasts and doesn't know how to write women. I'm not sure that these people have really read Stephen King, otherwise they would understand how far off the mark these criticisms are.
I will now go through the works to discuss each:
1. 1922: A haunting tale in the vein of Edgar Allen Poe, about a farmer who kills his wife to maintain his way of life. A classic haunting psychological portrait of evil and madness.
2. Big Driver: Perhaps my favorite, this one stars a mystery writer and her ultimate payback against the man who rapes her and leaves her for dead.
3. Fair Extension: A deal with the devil story that is as wicked as it is unprecedented. Like much of the rest, I didn't think I would love this story, but left very satisfying chills.
4. A Good Marriage: A haunting and emotionally compelling story about a woman who, after 27 years of contented marriage, discovers that her loving husband has some very dark secrets.
I love this work. It served up a heady dose of catharsis for a guy who needed it at the end of a very long winter. I look forward with anticipation for Uncle Stevie's next publication.