Friday, 18 October 2013

Reading - Just After Sunset by Stephen King

I think this is as good a place as any to begin a foray into King's work. Many of these tales are nail-biters, making me skim so fast (to find out what happens) that I barely recall anything about the language use or the writing itself. Others are less so, just creepingly creepy, and there's even a couple in there I would call sweet.

King explores his own fears and in doing so, banishes them from his mind and possibly into his readers'. He never shies away from the gritty side of life, whether it be someone's ignominious sexual memories, the texture of decomposing excrement, or the obscenities and prayers that factually would occur in such situations.

He does have a particular gift for depicting what goes through people's minds when they think they are about to die. It's a very human thing.

Although these are horror and thriller stories, many with a paranormal element, there is a thread of triumph running through the collection. The protagonist doesn't always get through unscathed, but there are plenty of positive outcomes - and plenty of ambiguous ones as well, where things have changed forever and the character now faces a different future that may not have been wished for.

Of this bunch, my favourites were Stationary Bike and The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates. And it has a cool cover. While it was on my couch, two different people wanted to know if it was printed in 3D - but no, that's all in the ordinary 2D effect.
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