I live in Bristol UK horror dark fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
There is a lovely story that the author tells towards the end of this excellent collection when he is approached by a lady in a supermarket who declares: You're Stephen King. You write those scary stories." SK would dispute this..."Yes I like horror stories. I also love mysteries, tales of suspense, sea stories, straight literary novels, and poetry." The point about this and what I love about King as an author is he is simply a story teller. All of us from little children over many many hundreds of years have thrilled to the "story" and no one tells it better than Stephen King.
The author has the ability to remove me from the mundane to a spellbinding world full of exciting adventures full of characterization, joy, sadness as he analyzes this life we live. Apart from one exception (Blockade Billy; a tale about baseball which did not ring true for me as a UK resident) all the stories encompass a range of subject; some are excellent and a few outstanding. Of particular note; "Batman and Robin Have an Altercation" Sanderson visits his father twice a week at the Harvest Hills Special Care Unit where he suffers from Alzheimer's often taking him to lunch. On this particular occasion a road rage incident occurs with a most unexpected and brilliant conclusion which I did not see coming and made me laugh smile and weep (well almost weep) in equal order. "Afterlife" reflects on the question we all ponder at some time in our short existence...what if anything comes after? This is an interesting, fun and thoughtful read and really asking if we could would we live our life again...and how would we live that life? "Drunken Fireworks" is perhaps my favourite which surprises me as it is not "scary" in any sense but comical in its content and execution. This illustrates beautifully that a good story can be about any subject or situation but if it has the ability to immerse, enthral, and consume you then it must be read. Alden and his mum live in a cabin on Lake Abenaki. On the opposite side of the lake live The Massimos and every Fourth of July an "arms race" occurs where each party tries to outdo the other in their fireworks display. The ending may not surprise but getting there is a fun adventure....
Most people who read for enjoyment have at some time or other slipped into the delicious fun and exciting world of Stephen King. He has been a constant companion to me from a teenager and still has the ability to enthral and excite me with his innovative writing and soulful observations....."God knows everyone in this place has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, but there's no way you can know for sure" Highly Recommended.