As well as being the most celebrated horror and fantasy writer of the modern age, Stephen King is a noted commentator on the genre, and some of his most intriguing writing includes studies of his great predecessors.
The first story in the mesmerising collection of novellas which is Full Dark, No Stars bears the imprint of one of King’s favourite writers, Edgar Allen Poe: it is the first-person confession of a murderer, in which he invites us not to judge him — not unlike the narrator of Poe’s ‘The Tell-tale Heart’. King’s protagonist, an unlettered farmer, does not relate his gruesome story in an elegant fashion. But King, of course, as well as being adroit at chilling our blood, has few equals at finding the right voice for his characters, whatever background they come from. That is precisely what happens here, as the farmer, Wilfred James, tells us how he planned the murder of his unsympathetic wife with the aid of his reluctance son. The murder itself has all the typical King flair for the macabre, but it is the steady unravelling of the killer’s plans that fascinates here – a theme that reappears in a grim tale involving a young woman’s revenge on a man who raped her. As always with King’s novellas, characterisation is strongly to the fore in these pieces, but the principle appeal of this form for the author would appear to be the opportunity to exercise his steely grasp of narrative technique, displayed in all the stories on offer here.
What Girlie Gossip Thought…
We are big Stephen King fans here at Girlie Gossip. Since first being terrified by Pennywise the Clown in ‘IT’ we’ve enjoyed being scared and entertained by the master of horror.
Full Dark No Stars by Stephen King is the latest book in the same vein as the classic ‘Nightmares and Dreamscapes’ and is a selection of short but punchy stories that will have you hooked. Great for bedtime reading (if you dare!) and the perfect book to snuggle up and read over the festive period! We loved it.