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The Audio Book Guy - No Fluff. Just my honest opinion of the audio books I listen to.

Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King

 

Title: Full Dark, No Stars

Author: Stephen King

Read By: Craig Wasson and Jessica Hecht

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Genre: Fiction, Horror, Suspense

Number of Cd’s and/or Total running time: CD’s AND RUNNING TIME

ISBN-13: 978-1442335769

Link to the Author’s and/or Publisher’s Website: Stephen King

Link to Amazon.com for purchase (if applicable):

Release Date (if applicable): 11.09.2010

Brief Summary:

Stephen King delivers another stunning collection of novellas in this collection. Four stories, all revolving around empathy (maybe a little sympathy) for the devil as portrayed by ordinary people as the main characters.

In the first story, 1922, a family of farmers in (you guessed it) 1922 deal with everyday life. The main character Wilfred, his wife Arlette and their son deal with an inheritance, familiarity, greed, envy, and pride. Wilfred goes from being a hard working self sustaining farmer with a loving family to a basket case, alone in a hotel room.

The second story, Big Driver, is anything but the typical rape and revenge story we have grown accustomed to in fiction. The main character Tess (a fiction writer) unravels the clues to find her aggressor and hunt him down for the unspeakable act he committed before leaving her for dead alongside other decaying remains.

In the third novella, Fair Extension, a man with cancer makes a deal with the Devil. The Devil requires his extended life to be at the expense of another person. Someone he hates. Subtle yet thought provoking ending here!

The last, A Good Marriage, is a serial killers tale from the point of view of the wife (Darcy). After 28 years of happiness and routine in a stable marriage, Darcy finds out (by accident) that her husband is one of the most notorious serial killers of the time. How she deals with the knowledge brings the book to a chilling yet uplifting end.

Personal Review:

Jessica Hecht and Craig Wasson really make this book, and the characters come alive. Each tell two of the stories and the voices are still reverberating in my mind a week later. This definitely shows that great material matched with great readers is the one-two punch audiobook lovers seek out in every novel.

1922 – Can you sympathize with a murderer? I found myself at many points during this story empathizing with Wilf, despising him, laughing at him, and wishing I was him. The premise of the story is not new, but the twists and turns that life gives Wilf and his family, and the level of detail in which it is told (all during a “short” story) are amazing and will have you waking to every bump in the night, and every movement of the sheet will have you screaming “rats!…rats are gnawing at me!”

Big Driver – From a woman’s point of view, this chilling tale of brutal rape and being left for dead keeps your blood boiling from the first time Tess meets Big Driver until the end. The people that saw me while I was driving in the car listening to this must have thought I was crazy. From yelling “Look out!” or “Kill him!” to the wincing and gasps, the story kept me glued to the speakers. Hecht’s voice ranged from borderline whine to downright evil. The twist in this story made me laugh and empathize with Tess, and the ending …

Fair Extension – My least favorite as far as action and speed of listening, but by far my favorite when it came to analyzing the character’s psyche. Could you inflict a long and miserable death on someone you knew? Even if it was someone you hated? The twist in this story is that there is no twist. You think you know the “made a deal with the devil” story and wait for the ending, and wait, until the story ends and you are left with nothing but questions about your own morals and longevity.

A Good Marriage – How can you be married for 28 years and not know? What do you do when you find out? What about the kids? All I could say was “wow”. The build-up to Darcy finding out that her husband Bob was a notorious and elusive serial killer instead of the accountant and coin collector husband she knew and loved was chilling. The thoughts running through her head once she knew for sure and was confronted by Bob just threw all of my “run to the police” ideas out the window. King brings to the forefront of conversation everything you think about after your knee-jerk reaction subsides. I don’t know if I could have let this play out as Darcy did, but quite enjoyed listening to her do it!

Epilogue – King comes forth in his frank and witty style to explain the age old question “Where do you come up with this material?”

I would definitely recommend this to anyone that can handle darker fiction and the subject matter.

 

 

Rating: Excellent

 

 

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7 comments to Full Dark, No Stars – Stephen King

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