Full dark, no stars


A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.
1922
The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.
Big Driver
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences.
Fair Extension
Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay.
A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of over twenty years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles literally upon a box under a worktable in their garage.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams


A master storyteller at his best — the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.

Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers — the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.

Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader — “I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”
_______________________________________

“Renowned author King’s impressive latest collection wraps 20 stories and poems in fascinating commentary…the stories themselves are meditations on mortality, destiny, and regret, all of which showcase King’s talent for exploring the human condition…this introspective collection, like many of King’s most powerful works, draws on the deepest emotions: love, grief, fear and hope.” (Publishers Weekly, STARRED review)

“A gathering of short stories by an ascended master of the form… This collection speaks to King’s considerable abilities as a writer of genre fiction who manages to expand and improve the genre as he works; certainly no one has invested ordinary reality and ordinary objects with as much creepiness as King… Best of all, lifting the curtain, King prefaces the stories with notes about how they came about. Those notes alone make this a must for aspiring writers.” (Kirkus)

“To the reader’s delight, King provides a backstory for each tale, enticing the reader with a memory or scenario that prompted that particular selection’s birth… The stories collected here are riveting and sometimes haunting, as is the author’s style. Surprise endings abound. King is in a class all by himself. Be prepared to read voraciously.” (Library Journal, starred review)

“BAD DREAMS packs plenty of bite into the 20 stories found here… a welcome dose of horror from the modern master. A large helping, too: Dreams weighs in at 495 pages, every one of which whips by as you plunge into one jolting tale after another… in the space of just a few pages, King can leave your nerves thoroughly jangled. As always, King conjures nightmares you don’t necessarily want to wake up from.” (Preston Jones, The Fort Worth Star Telegram)

“[King] has always had a wicked (in more ways than one) sense of humor, too, and it’soften on display along with the scary stuff in his new short story collection, THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS…One of the bonuses of Bazaar is that each story is preceded by a note from the author about its genesis… If you’re looking for King’s paranormal horror side, though, Bazaar has plenty to satisfy you…And if you want King in full funny tall-tale mode, head for Drunken Fireworks. It’s the hilarious story of how its narrator, a Maine native named Alden who lives with his mother in a modest cabin on the ‘town side’ of Abenaki Lake, gets into an ever-escalating Fourth of July arms race with a rich guy on the other shore who’s rumored to be ‘connected,’ if you know what I mean. One lesson: Never buy a firework called Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind.” (Collette Bancroft, The Tampa Bay Times)

“The best stories in THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS are the ones that read like they meant something to King… A Death, which bears the easy, plaintive prose of Kent Haruf, follows a sheriff preparing to go through with the hanging of a man who may have been falsely convicted of murder. Obits channels the snark and cynicism of contemporary culture as its hero, a writer of celebrity death notices for a Gawker-like website, discovers he can kill people by writing their obituaries while they’re still alive. Summer Thunder, the touching post-apocalyptic story that concludes the book, ends on a note of lovely melancholy. Death may be inevitable, King says. But to fret about it or dwell on it is a waste of time when life, even at its most difficult, can bear so many rewards.” (Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald)

Mr. Mercedes


Table of Contents

About the Author

Also by Stephen King

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Gray Mercedes

Det. – Ret.

Under Debbie’s Blue Umbrella

Poison Bait

Call for the Dead

Kisses on the Midway

The Proclamation

Blue Mercedes

Author’s Note

About the Author

By Stephen King and published by Hodder & Stoughton

FICTION:

Carrie

’Salem’s Lot

The Shining

Night Shift

The Stand

The Dead Zone

Firestarter

Cujo

Different Seasons

Cycle of the Werewolf

Christine

Pet Sematary

IT

Skeleton Crew

The Eyes of the Dragon

Misery

The Tommyknockers

The Dark Half

Four Past Midnight

Needfu…

Finders Keepers


Contents

Also by Stephen King

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Epigraph

Part 1: Buried Treasure

1978

2009

1978

2010

1978

2010

1978

2013 – 2014

1979 – 2014

Part 2: Old Pals

Part 3: Peter and The Wolf

After

Picnic

Trunk

Clack

Author Note

By Stephen King and published

by Hodder & Stoughton

FICTION:

Carrie

’Salem’s Lot

The Shining

Night Shift

The Stand

The Dead Zone

Firestarter

Cujo

Different Seasons

Cycle of the Werewolf

Christine

Pet Sematary

IT

Skeleton Crew

The Eyes of the Dragon

Misery

The Tommyknockers

The Dark Half

Four Past Midnight

Revival


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eBookNews.SimonandSchuster.com

This book is for some of the people who built my house:

Mary Shelley

Bram Stoker

H. P. Lovecraft

Clark Ashton Smith

Donald Wandrei

Fritz Leiber

August Derleth

Shirley Jackson

Robert Bloch

Peter Straub

And ARTHUR MACHEN, whose short novel

The Great God Pan

has haunted me all my life.

That is not dead which can eternal lie,

And with strange aeons, even death may die.

—H. P. Lovecraft

I

Fifth Business. Skull Mountain. Peaceable Lake.

In one way, at least, our lives really are like movies. The ma…

A Death


A Death

BY STEPHEN KING

Jim Trusdale had a shack on the west side of his father’s gone-to-seed ranch, and that was where he was when Sheriff Barclay and half a dozen deputized townsmen found him, sitting in the one chair by the cold stove, wearing a dirty barn coat and reading an old issue of the Black Hills Pioneer by lantern light. Looking at it, anyway.

Sheriff Barclay stood in the doorway, almost filling it up. He was holding his own lantern. “Come out of there, Jim, and do it with your hands up. I ain’t drawn my pistol and don’t want to.”

Trusdale came out. He still had the newspaper in one of his raised hands. He stood there looking at the sheriff with his flat gray eyes. The sheriff looked back. So did the others, four on horseback and two on the seat of an old buckboard with “Hines Mortuary” printed on the side in faded yellow letters.

“I notice you ain’t asked why we’re here,” Sheriff Barclay said.

“Why are…

The Wind Through the Keyhole


In The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King returns to the rich landscape of Mid-World, the spectacular territory of the Dark Tower fantasy saga that stands as his most beguiling achievement.

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy, the billy-bumbler—encounter a ferocious storm just after crossing the River Whye on their way to the Outer Baronies. As they shelter from the howling gale, Roland tells his friends not just one strange story but two . . . and in so doing, casts new light on his own troubled past.

In his early days as a gunslinger, in the guiltridden year following his mother’s death, Roland is sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a “skin-man” preying upon the population around Debaria. Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, the brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter. Only a teenager himself, Roland calms the boy and prepares him fo…

The Dark Tower


THE DARK TOWER VII: THE DARK TOWER

by Stephen King, © 2004

Illustrations © 2004 byMichael Whelan

He who speakswithout an attentive ear is mute.

Therefore, ConstantReader, this final book in the Dark Tower cycle is dedicated to you.

Long days andpleasant nights.

 

Not hear? When noise waseverywhere! it tolled

Increasing like a bell.Names in my ears

Of all the lostadventurers, my peers—

How such a one wasstrong, and such was bold,

And such was fortunate,yet each of old

Lost, lost! one momentknelled the woe of years.

There they stood, rangedalong the hillsides, met

To view the last of me,a living frame

For one more picture! Ina sheet of flame

I saw them and I knewthem all. And yet

Dauntless the slug-hornto my lips I set,

And blew. ‘Childe Rolandto the Dark Tower came.’

—Robert Browning“Childe Rolan…

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption


Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption

There’s a guy like me in every state and federal prison in America, I guess — I’m the guy who can get it for you. Tailor-made cigarettes, a bag of reefer, if you’re partial to that, a bottle of brandy to celebrate your son or daughter’s high school graduation, or almost anything else … within reason, that is. It wasn’t always that way.

I came to Shawshank when I was just twenty, and I am one of the few people in our happy little family who is willing to own up to what he did. I committed murder. I put a large insurance policy on my wife, who was three years older than I was, and then I fixed the brakes of the Chevrolet coupe her father had given us as a wedding present. It worked out exactly as I had planned, except I hadn’t planned on her stopping to pick up the neighbour woman and the neighbour woman’s infant son on the way down Castle Hill and into town. The brakes let go and the car crashed through the bushes at the edge of th…

Sympathy for the Devil


Tim Pratt, Neil Gaiman, Andy Duncan, Richard Butner, Charles de Lint, Holly Black, Stephen King, Natalie Babbitt, Sarah Zettel, Mark Twain, Elizabeth M. Glover, Charles Stross, Scott Westerfeld, Jan Wildt, James Morrow, Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Jeffrey Ford, Robert Bloch, Michael Chabon, David Ackert, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Nick Mamatas, Robert Louis Stevenson, Kage Baker, Carrie Richerson, Kris Dikeman, Kelly Link, China Miéville, Scott Bradfield, John Kessel, Theodore Sturgeon, Jonathan Carroll, David J. Schwartz, John Collier, Dante Alighieri

Sympathy for the Devil

Acknowledgments

Thanks to my publisher Jeremy Lassen for agreeing to let me turn my love of devilish things into a book, and to my agent Ginger Clark for expediting the deal. Many thanks also to the authors (and their representatives) who were kind enough to allow me to reprint their work. Special thanks to John Joseph Adams for giving me advice (both theoretical and practical) on the care and feeding o…