5 / 5 Stars
And voila - I fell back in love with Stephen King's writing all over again!
When I was younger, Stephen King was such a huge influence on me. It wasn't just the inventive (and often very scary) plots, it was also the characterisation and the strong sense of place that he established, right from the word go.
However, it's been a while since I've read any of his books - probably because I blitzed them all so thoroughly when I was younger. So, it was a welcome experience to read a new one, and even better, for it to be lots of very good short stories.
I'm not a massive fan of short stories in general, but King is (in my opinion) a total master of them. He's so deft at creating immediately identifiable characters, and ramping up the atmosphere in a few paragraphs or so. Most are also satisfying to read as a whole, with fun twists or eerie, unsettling endings.
There are a few stand-outs in here. I LOVED the story of the guy who wrote cruel obituaries, only to find out that some of his 'joke' ones had unexpected side-effects. Likewise, the man who bought a Kindle, only to find a whole lot more books on there than he'd intended - genius. However, there were some smaller, less 'complete' stories that also really stayed with me. A short piece about a down-on-her luck woman and her family being involved in a car-crash, for example. That was surprisingly moving.
Anyway - it's fair to say I totally loved this book, and am now desperately scouring the charity shops for more Stephen Kings that I haven't read... there aren't many, to be honest!