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Description

Product Description

Stephen King’s first collection of short stories showcases the darkest depths of his brilliant imagination and will "chill the cockles of many a heart" (Chicago Tribune). Featuring “Jerusalem’s Lot,” the basis for the upcoming tv series Chapelwaite.

Here we see mutated rats gone bad (“Graveyard Shift”); a cataclysmic virus that threatens humanity (“Night Surf,” the basis for The Stand); a possessed, evil lawnmower (“The Lawnmower Man”); unsettling children from the heartland (“Children of the Corn”); a smoker who will try anything to stop (“Quitters, Inc.”); a reclusive alcoholic who begins a gruesome transformation (“Gray Matter”); and many more shadows and visions that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

Review

 
“A master storyteller.” — Los Angeles Times

“Eerie. . . . Ought to chill the cockles of many a heart.” — Chicago Tribune

“A master. . . . [King] will catch you in his web and reach you at an elemental level where there is no defense.” — The Cincinnati Enquirer

“Stephen King has built a literary genre of putting ordinary people in the most terrifying situations. . . . he’s the author who can always make the improbable so scary you''ll feel compelled to check the locks on the front door.” — The Boston Globe
 
“Peerless imagination.” — The Observer (London)

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are Full Dark, No Stars; Under the Dome; Just After Sunset; Duma Key; Lisey’s Story; Cell; and the concluding novels in the Dark Tower saga: Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower. His acclaimed nonfiction book On Writing is also a bestseller. In 2003, he was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and in 2007 he received the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Maine with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

JERUSALEM''S LOT

Oct. 2, 1850.

DEAR BONES,

How good it was to step into the cold, draughty hall here at Chapelwaite, every bone in an ache from that abominable coach, in need of instant relief from my distended bladder—and to see a letter addressed in your own inimitable scrawl propped on the obscene little cherry-wood table beside the door! Be assured that I set to deciphering it as soon as the needs of the body were attended to (in a coldly ornate downstairs bathroom where I could see my breath rising before my eyes).

I''m glad to hear that you are recovered from the miasma that has so long set in your lungs, although I assure you that I do sympathize with the moral dilemma the cure has affected you with. An ailing abolitionist healed by the sunny climes of slave-struck Florida! Still and all, Bones, I ask you as a friend who has also walked in the valley of the shadow, to take all care of yourself and venture not back to Massachusetts until your body gives you leave. Your fine mind and incisive pen cannot serve us if you are clay, and if the Southern zone is a healing one, is there not poetic justice in that?

Yes, the house is quite as fine as I had been led to believe by my cousin''s executors, but rather more sinister. It sits atop a huge and jutting point of land perhaps three miles north of Falmouth and nine miles north of Portland. Behind it are some four acres of grounds, gone back to the wild in the most formidable manner imaginable—junipers, scrub vines, bushes, and various forms of creeper climb wildly over the picturesque stone walls that separate the estate from the town domain. Awful imitations of Greek statuary peer blindly through the wrack from atop various hillocks—they seem, in most cases, about to lunge at the passer-by. My cousin Stephen''s tastes seem to have run the gamut from the unacceptable to the downright horrific. There is an odd little summer house which has been nearly buried in scarlet sumac and a grotesque sundial in the midst of what must once have been a garden. It adds the final lunatic touch.

But the view from the parlour more than excuses this; I command a dizzying view of the rocks at the foot of Chapelwaite Head and the Atlantic itself. A huge, bellied bay window looks out on this, and a huge, toadlike secretary stands beside it. It will do nicely for the start of that novel which I have talked of so long [and no doubt tiresomely].

To-day has been gray with occasional splatters of rain. As I look out all seems to be a study in slate—the rocks, old and worn as Time itself, the sky, and of course the sea, which crashes against the granite fangs below with a sound which is not precisely sound but vibration—I can feel the waves with my feet even as I write. The sensation is not a wholly unpleasant one.

I know you disapprove my solitary habits, dear Bones, but I assure you that I am fine and happy. Calvin is with me, as practical, silent, and as dependable as ever, and by midweek I am sure that between the two of us we shall have straightened our affairs and made arrangement for necessary deliveries from town—and a company of cleaning women to begin blowing the dust from this place!

I will close—there are so many things as yet to be seen, rooms to explore, and doubtless a thousand pieces of execrable furniture to be viewed by these tender eyes. Once again, my thanks for the touch of familiar brought by your letter, and for your continuing regard.

Give my love to your wife, as you both have mine.

CHARLES.


Oct. 6, 1850.

DEAR BONES,

Such a place this is!

It continues to amaze me—as do the reactions of the townfolk in the closest village to my occupancy. That is a queer little place with the picturesque name of Preacher''s Corners. It was there that Calvin contracted for the weekly provisions. The other errand, that of securing a sufficient supply of cordwood for the winter, was likewise taken care of. But Cal returned with gloomy countenance, and when I asked him what the trouble was, he replied grimly enough:

"They think you mad, Mr. Boone!"

I laughed and said that perhaps they had heard of the brain fever I suffered after my Sarah died—certainly I spoke madly enough at that time, as you could attest.

But Cal protested that no-one knew anything of me except through my cousin Stephen, who contracted for the same services as I have now made provision for. "What was said, sir, was that anyone who would live in Chapelwaite must be either a lunatic or run the risk of becoming one."

This left me utterly perplexed, as you may imagine, and I asked who had given him this amazing communication. He told me that he had been referred to a sullen and rather besotted pulp-logger named Thompson, who owns four hundred acres of pine, birch, and spruce, and who logs it with the help of his five sons, for sale to the mills in Portland and to householders in the immediate area.

When Cal, all unknowing of his queer prejudice, gave him the location to which the wood was to be brought, this Thompson stared at him with his mouth ajaw and said that he would send his sons with the wood, in the good light of the day, and by the sea road.

Calvin, apparently misreading my bemusement for distress, hastened to say that the man reeked of cheap whiskey and that he had then lapsed into some kind of nonsense about a deserted village and cousin Stephen''s relations—and worms! Calvin finished his business with one of Thompson''s boys, who, I take it, was rather surly and none too sober or freshly-scented himself. I take it there has been some of this reaction in Preacher''s Corners itself, at the general store where Cal spoke with the shop-keeper, although this was more of the gossipy, behind-the-hand type.

None of this has bothered me much; we know how rustics dearly love to enrich their lives with the smell of scandal and myth, and I suppose poor Stephen and his side of the family are fair game. As I told Cal, a man who has fallen to his death almost from his own front porch is more than likely to stir talk.

The house itself is a constant amazement. Twenty-three rooms, Bones! The wainscotting which panels the upper floors and the portrait gallery is mildewed but still stout. While I stood in my late cousin''s upstairs bedroom I could hear the rats scuttering behind it, and big ones they must be, from the sound they make—almost like people walking there. I should hate to encounter one in the dark; or even in the light, for that matter. Still, I have noted neither holes nor droppings. Odd.

The upper gallery is lined with bad portraits in frames which must be worth a fortune. Some bear a resemblance to Stephen as I remember him. I believe I have correctly identified my Uncle Henry Boone and his wife Judith; the others are unfamiliar. I suppose one of them may be my own notorious grandfather, Robert. But Stephen''s side of the family is all but unknown to me, for which I am heartily sorry. The same good humour that shone in Stephen''s letters to Sarah and me, the same light of high intellect, shines in these portraits, bad as they are. For what foolish reasons families fall out! A rifled escritoire, hard words between brothers now dead three generations, and blameless descendants are needlessly estranged. I cannot help reflecting upon how fortunate it was that you and John Petty succeeded in contacting Stephen when it seemed I might follow my Sarah through the Gates—and upon how unfortunate it was that chance should have robbed us of a face-to-face meeting. How I would have loved to hear him defend the ancestral statuary and furnishings!

But do not let me denigrate the place to an extreme. Stephen''s taste was not my own, true, but beneath the veneer of his additions there are pieces [a number of them shrouded by dust-covers in the upper chambers] which are true masterworks. There are beds, tables, and heavy, dark scrollings done in teak and mahogany, and many of the bedrooms and receiving chambers, the upper study and small parlour, hold a somber charm. The floors are rich pine that glow with an inner and secret light. There is dignity here; dignity and the weight of years. I cannot yet say I like it, but I do respect it. I am eager to watch it change as we revolve through the changes of this northern clime.

Lord, I run on! Write soon, Bones. Tell me what progress you make, and what news you hear from Petty and the rest. And please do not make the mistake of trying to persuade any new Southern acquaintances as to your views too forcibly—I understand that not all are content to answer merely with their mouths, as is our long-winded friend, Mr. Calhoun.

Yr. affectionate friend,

CHARLES.



Oct. 16, 1850.

DEAR RICHARD,

Hello, and how are you? I have thought about you often since I have taken up residence here at Chapelwaite, and had half-expected to hear from you—and now I receive a letter from Bones telling me that I''d forgotten to leave my address at the club! Rest assured that I would have written eventually anyway, as it sometimes seems that my true and loyal friends are all I have left in the world that is sure and completely normal. And, Lord, how spread we''ve become! You in Boston, writing faithfully for The Liberator [to which I have also sent my address, incidentally], Hanson in England on another of his confounded jaunts, and poor old Bones in the very lions'' lair, recovering his lungs.

It goes as well as can be expected here, Dick, and be assured I will render you a full account when I am not quite as pressed by certain events which are extant here—I think your legal mind may be quite intrigued by certain happenings at Chapelwaite and in the area about it.

But in the meantime I have a favour to ask, if you will entertain it. Do you remember the historian you introduced me to at Mr. Clary''s fund-raising dinner for the cause? I believe his name was Bigelow. At any rate, he mentioned that he made a hobby of collecting odd bits of historical lore which pertained to the very area in which I am now living. My favour, then, is this: Would you contact him and ask him what facts, bits of folklore, or general rumour—if any—he may be conversant with about a small, deserted village called JERUSALEM''S LOT, near a township called Preacher''s Corners, on the Royal River? The stream itself is a tributary of the Androscoggin, and flows into that river approximately eleven miles above that river''s emptying place near Chapelwaite. It would gratify me intensely, and, more important, may be a matter of some moment.

In looking over this letter I feel I have been a bit short with you, Dick, for which I am heartily sorry. But be assured I will explain myself shortly, and until that time I send my warmest regards to your wife, two fine sons, and, of course, to yourself.

Yr. affectionate friend,

CHARLES.



Oct. 16, 1850.

DEAR BONES,

I have a tale to tell you which seems a little strange [and even disquieting] to both Cal and me—see what you think. If nothing else, it may serve to amuse you while you battle the mosquitoes!

Two days after I mailed my last to you, a group of four young ladies arrived from the Corners under the supervision of an elderly lady of intimidatingly-competent visage named Mrs. Cloris, to set the place in order and to remove some of the dust that had been causing me to sneeze seemingly at every other step. They all seemed a little nervous as they went about their chores; indeed, one flighty miss uttered a small screech when I entered the upstairs parlour as she dusted.

I asked Mrs. Cloris about this [she was dusting the downstairs hall with grim determination that would have quite amazed you, her hair done up in an old faded bandanna], and she turned to me and said with an air of determination: "They don''t like the house, and I don''t like the house, sir, because it has always been a bad house."

My jaw dropped at this unexpected bit, and she went on in a kindlier tone: "I do not mean to say that Stephen Boone was not a fine man, for he was; I cleaned for him every second Thursday all the time he was here, as I cleaned for his father, Mr. Randolph Boone, until he and his wife disappeared in eighteen and sixteen. Mr. Stephen was a good and kindly man, and so you seem, sir (if you will pardon my bluntness; I know no other way to speak), but the house is bad and it always has been, and no Boone has ever been happy here since your grandfather Robert and his brother Philip fell out over stolen [and here she paused, almost guiltily] items in seventeen and eighty-nine."

Such memories these folks have, Bones!

Mrs. Cloris continued: "The house was built in unhappiness, has been lived in with unhappiness, there has been blood spilt on its floors [as you may or may not know, Bones, my Uncle Randolph was involved in an accident on the cellar stairs which took the life of his daughter Marcella; he then took his own life in a fit of remorse. The incident is related in one of Stephen''s letters to me, on the sad occasion of his dead sister''s birthday], there has been disappearance and accident.

"I have worked here, Mr. Boone, and I am neither blind nor deaf. I''ve heard awful sounds in the walls, sir, awful sounds—thumpings and crashings and once a strange wailing that was half-laughter. It fair made my blood curdle. It''s a dark place, sir." And there she halted, perhaps afraid she had spoken too much.

As for myself, I hardly knew whether to be offended or amused, curious or merely matter-of-fact. I''m afraid that amusement won the day. "And what do you suspect, Mrs. Cloris? Ghosts rattling chains?"

But she only looked at me oddly. "Ghosts there may be. But it''s not ghosts in the walls. It''s not ghosts that wail and blubber like the damned and crash and blunder away in the darkness. It''s—"

"Come, Mrs. Cloris," I prompted her. "You''ve come this far. Now can you finish what you''ve begun?"

The strangest expression of terror, pique, and-I would swear to it—religious awe passed over her face. "Some die not," she whispered. "Some live in the twilight shadows Between to serve—Him!"

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
3,287 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

C. M Mills
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Night Shift is a collection of twenty tales of ghouly delight by Stephen Kinig
Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2017
Stephen King and I both turn the dreaded age of 70 years old this year! If that is not scary enough I decided to plunge into a reading of many of King''s classic novels and short stories. Night Shift is the first of his story collections . It was published in 1976. The tales... See more
Stephen King and I both turn the dreaded age of 70 years old this year! If that is not scary enough I decided to plunge into a reading of many of King''s classic novels and short stories. Night Shift is the first of his story collections . It was published in 1976. The tales hold up well and will be read well into the future. Among the stories:
Graveyard Shift-Mutant Rats run on a rampage of murder and horror deep within the confines of an old and decaying building
The Mangler;A machine possessed by evil goes on the rampage in a laundry.
Trucks-Trucks without their drivers unite in an evil confederacy against humanity.
Sometimes they Come Back-A group of murderers return to a classroom to torment a man whose brother had been murdered by the returned students many years before the story begins.
Battleground-Toy soldiers run wild and attack a man.
The Lawnmower Man-A worker for the mythical god Pan destroys a suburban homeowner with his mad mowing
Quitters Inc.-You will never pick up another cigarette after this story!
Children of the Corn-A famous story about children with evil eyes in the cornfields of middle America.
The edition I read contained a good introduction to King by John MacDonald and also a fine prologue written by King. Curl up and enjoy this early but outstanding book of short stories!
74 people found this helpful
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J Dean
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It''s Night Shift by Stephen King...
Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2017
I''m a bit hesitant to write a review on this book, seriously are any of us worthy to review and or critique Stephen King? No, no we are not. If you haven''t read this book, I am both jealous of and shocked by you at the same time. You get to read this book for the... See more
I''m a bit hesitant to write a review on this book, seriously are any of us worthy to review and or critique Stephen King? No, no we are not.

If you haven''t read this book, I am both jealous of and shocked by you at the same time. You get to read this book for the first time! That is a precious gift. Yet, I am shocked! How have you never read this book? Is that possible? The mind whirls...

Buy this book, read it, put in your library.
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RedRedtheycallmeRed
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Stephen King is excellent at short stories, and this was a great collection
Reviewed in the United States on July 12, 2019
I can''t believe I''d never read this one before. Stephen King is excellent at short stories, and this was a great collection. The only story I didn''t like was Night Surf, the rest were good to great. Standouts for me: The Mangler The Boogeyman... See more
I can''t believe I''d never read this one before. Stephen King is excellent at short stories, and this was a great collection. The only story I didn''t like was Night Surf, the rest were good to great.

Standouts for me:
The Mangler
The Boogeyman
Battleground
The Ledge
Quitters, Inc.
Children of the Corn (about a thousand times better than that crappy movie)
The Last Rung on the Ladder
One for the Road
15 people found this helpful
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Negan 88
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Retro Review: Night Shift
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2021
Night Shift was my first dive into a compilation of Stephen King’s short stories. I really enjoyed this book a lot, and was very surprised considering I am not a fan of short story anthologies very much. However, the King of horror can seemingly pull anything off with... See more
Night Shift was my first dive into a compilation of Stephen King’s short stories. I really enjoyed this book a lot, and was very surprised considering I am not a fan of short story anthologies very much. However, the King of horror can seemingly pull anything off with finesse.

Although Night Shift is packed with twenty stories, many of which have been adapted to film or television, it was a new experience. The aspect I loved the most was the very bleak nature to the stories that with many of the adaptations, although nostalgic, are a bit campy. I am a sucker for an extremely bleak ending.

I picked five stories that I loved the best from Night Shift. Although I did enjoy almost the entire book, I had to choose my favorites. Therefore, I will say in this review I will rate Night Shift as a whole, but for fun will mention my top five.

My top five favorite short stories of Night Shift has to be 1.) The Ledge 2.) Children of the Corn 3.) Sometimes They Come Back 4.) Trucks 5.) Quitters, Inc. The reason I chose these, and this order is for personal reasons and taste, but most of all how they are darker, more sinister, and definitely more bleak. As runners up I would probably have to choose Graveyard Shift, The Mangler, I Am the Doorway, and One for the Road. My top five I chose have been adapted into films, and two are included in the movie Cat’s Eye. I definitely felt that the adaptations, although fun, cannot hold a flame to the cold and bleakness of the endings of these short stories.

Overall, I enjoyed most of the stories in Night Shift with the exception of a couple I thought were just alright. Therefore, I give Night Shift by Stephen King four stars out of five stars. I think this compilation is a great book to suggest to a reader new to King’s writing. It is a very easy, quick, and entertaining read. Until next time, my friends.
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Mike Rankin
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Pandora’s Box full of unearthly nightmares
Reviewed in the United States on July 12, 2020
Night Shift by Stephen King opens a Pandora’s Box full of unearthly nightmares. Stories of miniature army men coming to life, a bandaged hand that has a mind of its own, a terrifying wager taking place on a five inch apartment building ledge many stories up and a monster... See more
Night Shift by Stephen King opens a Pandora’s Box full of unearthly nightmares. Stories of miniature army men coming to life, a bandaged hand that has a mind of its own, a terrifying wager taking place on a five inch apartment building ledge many stories up and a monster worm that dwells in darkness beneath a church.
Many of these works of art harkens back to the Tales From The Crypt days of old. This classic formula of grabbing the reader instantly and not letting go, is achieved by successfully claiming their undivided attention by applying an unordinary reading experience leading to an unforeseen twist ending. With his dark imaginative twists on life and conceiving things that go bump in the night that are cleverly hidden in the darkness of a bedroom closet, Stephen King may be at his best using the short fiction format. There have been an abundance of screen adaptations of these twenty tales of terror, it seems this collection resembles a gruesome greatest hits album. King indeed has a writing capability that is guaranteed many sleepless nights and will permanently stain your mind with the macabre.
Readers, grab a copy of Night Shift, pull up your favorite nice comfy chair and your beloved giant flabby warm legless rat and enjoy what King has to offer...times twenty.
4 people found this helpful
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Deborah Eden Perfidio
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
STEPHEN WHAT HAPPENED???????
Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2014
I have been an avid book reader since I was 6 years old (this was many many moons ago my gentle readers) I read Carrie, Salems Lot and The Shining etc when they first came out - the Nghtshift escaped me somehow; plus I do not like short stories that might be why I missed... See more
I have been an avid book reader since I was 6 years old (this was many many moons ago my gentle readers) I read Carrie, Salems Lot and The Shining etc when they first came out - the Nghtshift escaped me somehow; plus I do not like short stories that might be why I missed it,,,anyway I have recently read Doctor Sleep, Mr Mercedes and Revivial and out of the three I guess I''d pick Doctor Sleep as the best one but even that is tepid by King standards WHAT HAPPENED - I am reading this Nightshift and am so amazed at his writing - he IS the epitomy of author extraordinaire and I again do NOT like short stories but these are so good, so entertaining - they aren''t dated in a bad way - to me theyre dated in a way that takes me back way back to being 7/8 years old under the covers with my torch staring at the words in the middle of the night as my mom told me time and time again GO TO BED and yet my spine was tingling for Pet Semetary or whatever other deliciously scary book King was creating why can''t he go back to that I guess Joe Hill is picking up where his dad left off? I don''t know I just know that after reading this Nightshift I am going straight to "IT" the only other great King novel that I didn''t get a hold of when it came out (at the time I think its page numbers intimidated me then I read the 1400 page the stand and now I can read anything) point of all this gibber gabbish is I WANT MY KING BACK!!! STEPHEN BABY SWEETHEART COME BAAAACK SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK .....RIGHT???? RIGHT?.....hello...??
36 people found this helpful
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Jeanva1jean
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Night Shift
Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2018
"The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn''t real. I know that, and I also know that if I''m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle. " This is the first time I have ever read a collection of stories and who... See more
"The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn''t real. I know that, and I also know that if I''m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle. "

This is the first time I have ever read a collection of stories and who better to start with than Mr. King. I wasn''t sure how I was going to feel reading a bunch of separate stories compared to one whole tale. In the end I enjoyed it but was left wanting to feel a little more invested in the works as a whole. That is the reason for a four star rating over a five, because they''re five star stories in this book. My favorite ones being The Last Rung on the Ladder, Children of the Corn, and One for the Road. Overall this was a pleasant experience and I will definitely read more collections but for now back to the novels.
10 people found this helpful
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Asheley
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Short stories by Stephen King
Reviewed in the United States on May 19, 2021
I can honestly say that I''ve never enjoyed a collection of short stories as much as I enjoyed this one. I read them one at a time so the stories wouldn''t run together in my head, and that was the perfect way to do it. They''re all such perfect lengths for reading in the car... See more
I can honestly say that I''ve never enjoyed a collection of short stories as much as I enjoyed this one. I read them one at a time so the stories wouldn''t run together in my head, and that was the perfect way to do it. They''re all such perfect lengths for reading in the car between errands or while I was waiting on my kids at their activities, or in waiting rooms, or for a few minutes in the morning with my coffee. Not all of them are creepy, but some definitely are. Some are absolutely ridiculous, and some were darkly humorous. Stephen King is a genius, he really does have the biggest and best imagination out there.

My favorites were: Graveyard Shift, The Mangler, Trucks, The Ledge, and The Lawnmower Man. I wish most of these stories were longer.
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Top reviews from other countries

Darren Lysenko
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Kindle Version Riddled With Errors!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 11, 2018
Don''t get me wrong! The book is fantastic, and Mr King is on top form with these stories, all of which range from the horrific to downright grotesque (with more than a touch of beauty along the way). My 1-star review is for the Kindle edition which is full of spelling...See more
Don''t get me wrong! The book is fantastic, and Mr King is on top form with these stories, all of which range from the horrific to downright grotesque (with more than a touch of beauty along the way). My 1-star review is for the Kindle edition which is full of spelling errors which are NOT in the paperback version of the book, right down to an entire line of text missing from the story ''Battleground''. Okay, the line is only one word long, but it''s pretty crucial to the story. I contacted Amazon about the issue, but never received a response.
20 people found this helpful
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craig
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 31, 2021
Some absolute gems in this collection. I''d say this is King at his earliest best. Strange, dark, wierd and funny as you would expect but also quite thought provoking. The Lawnmower Man is just outrageous and confirms that Mr King enjoyed his drugs! Genius work that takes...See more
Some absolute gems in this collection. I''d say this is King at his earliest best. Strange, dark, wierd and funny as you would expect but also quite thought provoking. The Lawnmower Man is just outrageous and confirms that Mr King enjoyed his drugs! Genius work that takes you to places and introduces you to characters that chill and astound. Jerusalems Lot was an excellent prequel story to Salems lot and worth the purchase price alone if your a fan. If this is your first venture into a King book be prepared for some oddities but don''t let it put you off the multiverse.
3 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A mixed bag
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2017
Kings short stories vary between brilliant and very clumsy and poor. The last rung on the ladder, the woman in the room are very poignant stories. Children of the corn reminds me in part of the wicker man, and pagan gods. Graveyard shift is like a short story version of...See more
Kings short stories vary between brilliant and very clumsy and poor. The last rung on the ladder, the woman in the room are very poignant stories. Children of the corn reminds me in part of the wicker man, and pagan gods. Graveyard shift is like a short story version of James Herbert''s, the rats novel. Strawberry Spring is a brilliant atmospheric story written by a then young Stephen King. Some stories though like the mangler, and lawnmower man are almost comedy such is the ridiculous nature of the story.
3 people found this helpful
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ryan jackson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great collection of stories
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2021
Having read other stephen king short story collections in the past this is by far his best. This was his first story collection and like all his early novels seem to be of a higher standard compared to his later works. Some of these stories you may recognise as they''ve been...See more
Having read other stephen king short story collections in the past this is by far his best. This was his first story collection and like all his early novels seem to be of a higher standard compared to his later works. Some of these stories you may recognise as they''ve been adapted to film such as THe Graveyard Shift, The Lawnmower Man, Children of the corn and about a couple which featured in the film CATS Eyes starring James woods. If you''re a stephen king fan then this you should definitely add this this to your collection, as its such an important body of work. Another collection I recommend is Different Seasons.
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Val Kyrie
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
goodnight!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2014
"night shift" is a collection of short stories with eerie little twists which are sometimes predictable but otherwise haunting. the best one, in my opinion, is ''the boogeyman'', where a man confesses to a local psychiatrist what happened when the boogeyman came...See more
"night shift" is a collection of short stories with eerie little twists which are sometimes predictable but otherwise haunting. the best one, in my opinion, is ''the boogeyman'', where a man confesses to a local psychiatrist what happened when the boogeyman came knocking. although you''re all familiar with the monster-in-the-closet scenario, something occurs in this story that you didn''t think would be possible & as silly as it seems, it surprisingly works; it makes you realise just how ubiquitous the stretch of a monster can be. (see also ''oh, whistle & i''ll come to you lad'' by m. r. james for a similar feeling). my other favourites were ''i am the doorway'', ''battleground'', ''sometimes they come back'' & ''quitters inc.'' the first is the only short story with a sci-fi/horror element. an astronaut survives the crash-landing of his spaceship from an orbit of venus, only to discover that there are alien eyes peering up at him from his hands... the second is strangely humorous: a professional hitman receives a mysterious parcel from the wife of a man he just killed & finds himself in combat with a sentient toy army with real-life weaponry... the third is about a teacher recovering from a nervous breakdown. he is still haunted by the death of his brother by a gang of bullies & if he isn''t mistaken, they''re coming back for him too in the guise of transfer students at the school where he works... the fourth takes quitting cigarettes to interesting extremes. a man determined to quit needs only the right incentive & the program will punish not just the man but also his wife & children... what i wasn''t so impressed with were ''strawberry spring'' (the culprit & ending was too obvious), ''night surf'' (really boring), ''the man who loved flowers'' (made no impression on me apart from the charming descriptions of a man clearly in love), ''the woman in the room'' (quite drab & had no suspense or passion whatsoever) & ''the lawnmower man'' (became a little too ridiculous in the end for me). all in all, "night shift" is quite enjoyable, teenage-friendly (in my opinion!) & offers a nice break from the soft, normal stories out there on the bookshelves. i would definitely recommend & will probably read another short story collection by stephen king.
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