Full Dark, No Stars share button
Stephen King
Format Hardcover
Dimensions 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)
Pages 384
Publisher Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication Date November 2010
ISBN 9781439192566
Book ISBN 10 1439192561
About Book


Five unforgettable short works from the #1 internationally bestselling author . . . “Raw looks at the limits of greed, revenge, and self-deception” (Booklist, starred review) from the greatest storyteller of our time.


From Barnes & Noble

This 384-page hardcover collects four novellas about revenge and other traits that most of us strive hard to keep tightly locked. In "Big Driver," a vicious attack on the way home from a book club fest leaves a cozy writer with an insatiable thirst for blood. In another story, Darcy Anderson's "good marriage" loudly collapses with a startling late night discovery in the garage. Another novella charts Dave Streeter's devil deal cancer reprieve, while "1922" rekindles the sudden onslaught of Midwest murder and madness. Trademark Stephen King.

Publishers Weekly

Eerie twists of fate drive the four longish stories in King's first collection since Just After Sunset (2008). In "1922," a farmer murders his wife to retain the family land she hopes to sell, then watches his life unravel hideously as the consequences of the killing suggest a near-supernatural revenge. "Big Driver" tells of an otherwise ordinary woman who discovers her extraordinary capacity for retribution after she is raped and left for dead. "A Good Marriage" explores the aftermath of a wife's discovery of her milquetoast husband's sinister secret life, while "Fair Extension," the book's most disturbing story, follows the relationship between a man and the best friend on whom he preternaturally shifts all his bad luck and misfortune. As in Different Seasons (1982), King takes a mostly nonfantastic approach to grim themes. Now, as then, these tales show how a skilled storyteller with a good tale to tell can make unsettling fiction compulsively readable. (Nov.)

From the Publisher

“Just as gripping as his epic novels.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Library Journal

Acclaimed horror/thriller author King's latest release (after Blockade Billy and Under the Dome) is another collection of satisfying short stories. As with his other collections (Four Past Midnight and Everything's Eventual), this volume features four never-before-published novellas focusing on the theme of retribution, justice, and getting even. Offering fast reads, three tales run around 100 pages ("1922," "Big Driver," and "A Good Marriage"), while one story ("Fair Extension") weighs in at fewer than 50 pages. While not as subtle as some of King's other fiction, these novellas offer dark humor and to-the-point gore. VERDICT This quick and more brutal King installment will be in high demand for horror/thriller readers and dedicated King fans. Public libraries, order multiple copies. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/10.]—Carolann Curry, Mercer Univ. Medical Lib., Macon, GA

Kirkus Reviews

Following an overstuffed feast of a novel (Under the Dome,2009), King returns with four comparative snacks, each of which deals in some way with the darkest recesses of the human soul.

None of the narratives have previously been published, and all are apparently recent. The first, best and longest is "1922," a richly detailed ghost story about a Nebraska farmer whose wife wants to sell land she's inherited and move to the city, and how he enlists their 14-year-old son to conspire against her. He had been convinced that moving to the city would be hell, but discovers, as he tells himself, "You realize that you are in a hell of your own making, but you go on nevertheless. Because there is nothing else to do." "Big Driver" concerns an implausible plot against an author speaking to a book club, and the toll her revenge takes on her, transforming her into a different person in the process. "Fair Extension," the shortest, is a fable about a terminal cancer patient who experiences a miraculous remission following a transaction with the devilish Mr. Elvid. "A Good Marriage," is, of course, a title dripping with irony, with a wife of more than 25 years discovering devastating secrets—a secret life! even a dual identity!—about her boringly predictable husband. Can things somehow go on as they have before? Or does she risk ruining her own life and those of their children by exposing her husband? "Does anybody really know anybody?"asks the story (rhetorically). Explains King in his "Afterword," "From the start...I felt that the best fiction was both propulsive and assaultive. It gets in your face. Sometimes it shouts in your face."

A collection of page-turning narratives for those who prefer the prolific tale spinner at his pulpiest.

Bill Sheehan

…four satisfyingly bleak accounts of human behavior at its most extreme…all of the stories in Full Dark, No Stars…[deal] with people encountering the darkest aspects of themselves and those they love. Through his mastery of detail and his deceptively effortless narrative voice, King transforms this disquieting material into a disturbing, fascinating book.
—The Washington Post

Janet Maslin

Mr. King's Full Dark, No Stars has a lot of straight-up horror. The sheer size of its rodent population is enough to stamp it with the horror label. But it will serve as a page turner even for the reader who is aghast at some of the whisker-twitching particulars…King…seems able to write compact tales or gargantuan ones with equal ease…Whatever the length at which he writes, Mr. King leaves readers with a simple, one-word message: Gotcha!
—The New York Times

Terrence Rafferty

…a quartet of previously unpublished tales that more than satisfy their prolific author's stated criteria for good fiction. Propulsive? Check. Assaultive? Don't ask…King at 63 still writes with the verve and glee and heedless ease of a very young man. He has not mellowed perceptibly. He has not put aside childish things. When you're reading the grisly tales in Full Dark, No Stars, carried along by his rollicking, vivid prose, you think (if you're thinking at all): "God help him, this man is having fun." A writer who takes such unabashed joy in the act of storytelling is a rarity. This naked pleasure is King's secret ingredient: it makes his work…weirdly irresistible, even addictive.
—The New York Times Book Review