This is a short story collection full of supposedly scary short story tales.
What intrigued me: I haven't read a book by Stephen King before and I'm in a massive reading slump, so reading a scary short story collection seems like a good idea!
Not scary, not even remotely horror!
My favorite thing about this is probably the foreword. The stories weren't what I expected them to be. I was hoping for a lot of scary reads, but this is just a random collection of mediocre short stories.
His ideas are very unique, inspiring, and interesting, but in no way what the title NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES suggests. You aren't going to find anything remotely creepy in here, most are just tales about weird people with weird goals, but scary and nightmare-ish is a completely different thing. As it is I was somewhat entertained, but this is just not what the short story collection is advertised as and it's very disappointing, especially because this is my first Stephen King read.
However, I do enjoy King's writing style to some extent. It's easy and quick to read, but I think he overdoes it with the character building. That's also why most of his stories have very weak and slow beginnings that make you want to quit before you've actually gotten to the story. Especially for short stories, you don't need to know about the protagonist's parents and grandparents, or any other specific character building element. I was hoping for the stories to terrify me from beginning to the end but most stories can only deliver a small somewhat eerie conclusion and are 90% filler.
Individual stories & ratings
- 1. Dolan's Cadillac ★☆☆☆☆
Plot: A widower is trying to murder the guy who's responsible for his wife's death by digging a hole and burying him and his expensive car alive.
Opinion: Not scary, just insanely boring. and long-winded. I could hardly finish this.
- 2. The End of the Whole Mess ★★★★★
Plot: A brilliant prodigy finds a way to cure humanity from its original sin. But for a price.
Opinion: I loved this so much, it's so interesting to see how the mind of a highly intelligent character works. I would love a full-length novel about this. Some continuity issues and an unsatisfying ending, but overall SUPER interesting. Again, not scary though.
- 3. Suffer the Little Children ★★★☆☆
Plot: Mean teacher is the only one that realizes all children in her school are possessed by monsters.
Opinion: Another boring one. The premise is very interesting, but it's not very scary and too much is left open.
- 4. The Night Flier ☆☆☆☆☆
Plot: Reporter seeks out someone whom he believes to be a serial killer that thinks they're a vampire, but the guy actually turns out to be a vampire.
Opinion: Horrible. Such a slow beginning, so much unnecessary monologues and backstory, and a very, very disappointing creature that isn't scary in the least. A very long story that feels like I 100% wasted my time even bothering with this one.
- 5. Popsy ★★★★☆
Plot: A gambling-addict-turned-child-abductor abducts a monster spawn.
Opinion: I loved this. Less annoying backstory as in the previous stories and a convincing monster story, that I really, really liked. Not as scary as I wanted it to be, but another candidate that I'd like a full-length novel of.
- 6. It Grows on You ☆☆☆☆☆
Plot: A mysterious house keeps on growing and adding new wings even long after its owner died.
Opinion: The worst case of please show instead of tell I've ever witnessed. So much backstory oh my god. Seems very pointless to me.
- 7. Chattery Teeth ★★★★☆
Plot: A man picks up an evil hitchhiker and gets saved by a joke item.
Opinion: Interesting and a little eerie. Though too much gore for my taste.
- 8. Dedication ★★☆☆☆
Plot: A maid consumes eats her boss' semen to work a magic spell so her child would grow up to be as talented as him
Opinion: The main flaw of the story is that it's told in retrospective. It's also really weird.
- 9. The Moving Finger ★★★☆☆
Plot: There is a moving finger perking out of someone's drain and they really don't like it.
Opinion: Super weird. I don't know if I thought it was scary, more bloody, actually. It was okay, but I missed the ~logical explanation~ part.
- 10. Sneakers ★★☆☆☆
Plot: The ghost of a murdered man comes back to sit on a toilet and wear dirty sneakers.
Opinion: Not a fan of public restroom horror or whatever this is. I was glad to have at least one ghost story in this though.
- 11. You Know They Got a Hell of a Band ★☆☆☆☆
Plot: A couple on a road trip encounters a town full of dead musicians.
Opinion: Too much gore for me and a very weak premise.
- 12. Home Delivery ★☆☆☆☆
Plot: An old-fashioned zombie outbreak story.
Opinion: Nothing special, very boring!
Overall: Do I Recommend?Not as your first King read. I was disappointed because I was looking for something super scary. It's an okay short story collection, but the title is very misleading.
Published: June 30th 2009
Pages: 897 (1+2)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Adult / Horror
"A collection of short stories, several being published for the first time, offers a spine-tingling journey to the nightmare world created by a master of sheer terror and grotesque imagination."