Book Review: Full Dark, No Stars

Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t grow up as a Stephen King fan. I think up until college, my sole attempt at reading one of his books was The Stand, and I just couldn’t get into it. It wasn’t until I picked up The Gunslinger that I started to understand the appeal he has–I read all of the Dark Tower series at once, and I really enjoyed them. Since then, I’ve read quite a bit of his new material. I’ve said it before, and I’ll reiterate it here, the man has a real gift for telling a story.

Take Full Dark, No Stars. I checked it out of my library and took it home. I glanced at the first page, thinking I’d just check out a paragraph to see how it begins. The next thing I knew, I was twenty pages into it. I’d gone from knowing nothing about the characters to *needing* to know what happens next. That’s not an easy thing for a book to accomplish.

Full Dark, No Stars is a collection of four stories by King, all of them exploring the darker reaches of human behavior. It certainly isn’t for everyone. I found it quite disturbing, and I definitely recommend against reading it late at night (unless you prefer nightmares). One of the things that makes it so unnerving is how realistic he makes it. How understandable and normal his horror is. This isn’t outlandish, unbelievable stuff. This is stuff that could happen. Possibly has happened. Now, it wasn’t like that in all 4 of the stories, but even in the bizarre, King manages to keep the connection to the realistic. The characters are people we can understand, and that’s far more frightening than complete monsters.

In any case, it’s a good book, but really unsettling. If you’re not into horror, stay away. But maybe you’re like me–not necessarily into horror, but unable to turn away when it presents itself. In that case, good luck. 🙂

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