Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Skeleton Crew by Stephen King

Skeleton CrewSkeleton Crew by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A collection of stories that starts with the novella "The Mist." There are a couple of fantastic stories with the rest being good. I didn't enjoy the inclusion of two poems, but overall the ratings averaged out to a solid four. This is King's second short story collection, but I enjoyed his first, "Night Shift", the best.

1.The Mist -I reviewed this where it originally appeared in the anthology "Dark Forces". See my review there. (5/5)

2. Here There Be Tygers - Short and strange. There is a tiger in the boy's bathroom. Interesting but has no point. (2/5)

3. The Monkey - Great! Loved this! Typical King. Two brothers find an evil toy, it causes death and the narrator gets rid of it. Twenty years later his son finds it and he tries to get rid of it for good before anyone else dies. (5/5)

4. Cain Rose Up - Short little story where we are inside the mind of a college kid who decides to go sniper on the college campus from his room. Ends mid-action. (3/5)

5. Mrs.Todd's Shortcut - I vaguely remembered this one as I read it.An old caretaker relates to his friend what happened the few months before a summer visitor rich woman disappeared. It has magical realism elements and is a very satisfying read.(5/5)

6. The Jaunt - A very compelling science fiction story set three thousand years in the future. While a family waits to teleport to Mars, the father relates the story of the invention of teleportation. The narrative switches from the father telling the story to inventor's point of view in the past. Shock ending. (5/5)

7. The Wedding Gig - A mob story involving the Irish, Italian and Greek. The Irish "boss's" very huge sister gets married and the reception is where the Greek gets even with him. An intriguing story. (4/5)

8. Paranoid: A Chant - A poem. Didn't like it.(1/5)

9. The Raft - Fantastic horror story! Four college kids swim out to an anchored raft at the deserted beach in October. There evil finds them. This one came back to me too. (5/5)

10. Word Processor of the Gods -This was really good! A writer who is depressed about his life receives a word processor from his nephew who just died.He finds that the "execute" and "delete" buttons make whatever he writes become true.(5/5)

11. The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands - Love, love, loved this one! A group of men gather around a fireplace where one man tells a tale. This is George's turn and his tale is riveting. (5/5)

12. Beachworld - Another excellent story! This one reminded me of classic science fiction. A ship crashes on a planet that is entirely made of sand. Two of the crew survive but one becomes hypnotised by the sand right away. Excellent creepy ending.(5/5)

13. The Reaper's Image - A creepy story of a supernatural mirror. The story slowly unwinds finally giving up the mirror's power at the end. Good! (4/5)

14. Nona - A man in jail writes about what got him in there, his murder spree and a supernatural force. Pretty good.(3/5)

15. For Owen - Another poem. Boring.(0/5)

16. Survivor Type - This is the story that I was excited to read again. It totally freaked me out the first time I read it. And it was as good as I remembered it! Really creepy (gross) story.(5/5)

17. Uncle Otto's Truck - The suspense rises from start to finish in this excellent tale with a common King theme of a malicious vehicle.(5/5)

18. Morning Deliveries (Milkman #1) - A strange little story of a milkman who occasionally delivers poisoned goods. An odd ending which leaves the reader feeling creepy.(3/5)

19. Big Wheels: A Tale of The Laundry Game (Milkman #2) - Strange story that I couldn't make sense of.Related to the previous story but incomprehensible. The story is quite readable, though.(2/5)

20. Gramma - One of the best stories in this collection and probably my favourite. It's a story of fear. A boy is left alone with gramma whom he is terrified of. His fear rises and rises until something happens then the fear becomes terror and it rises and rises until the twisted end. Very creepy! (5/5)

21. The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet - The second longest story in the collection after "The Mist" and by far one of my favourites in the whole book. A fascinating story of madness. Five people in the literary business are having a get-together, an agent, an editor, and a writer and two wives. The single editor then proceeds to tell the story of a writer he knew in the late sixties and how both of them descended into madness and suicide. Even though it's quite long it was a fast read.(5/5)

22. The Reach - The oldest woman on an island tells her story. We learn about her life and the events of her death. A tale of living in one place your whole life and all the death that occurs in a long life. A good choice for a final story. (4/5)



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