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Just After Sunset by Stephen King

Just After Sunset (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Stephen King

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3,5431011,494 (3.71)136
Title:Just After Sunset
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Scribner (2008), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Fiction, Horror, Read, Used to Own
Tags:Used to Own, Fiction, Horror, Short Stories

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Just After Sunset by Stephen King (2008)


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Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Once gain Stephen King shows that he really has an uncanny knack for extricating suspense and horror from the smallest mundaneness of everyday life. Truth be told I'm a huge fan of his short story collections over and above his more well known long form writing (with the exception of the Dark tower series!) and Just After Sunset is yet another fantastic collection of scares that will keep you reading from the first page until the last. ( )
  MerkabaZA | Jun 12, 2017 |
It's been years since I read anything by Stephen King that wasn't a column in Entertainment Weekly, but after tearing through this collection I will be picking up those books I missed. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
To begin, I was going to give this collection 3 stars, but the final story is so good, ending my experience on such an up note, that I'm giving it 4! There are 13 tales in here (bad number!), and they range from so-so, to top notch! I liked "A Very Tight Place" a lot, having had my own negative experience in a port-a-potty, though not this negative! And "Rest Stop" reminded me of another experience of mine, down in Mexico. "Stationary Bike" really resonated with me on many levels. "Harvey's Dream" gave me the willies, big time! And "Mute" gave me the unreasonable urge to start picking up hitchhikers! So, pick this up and nibble away at the stories Uncle Stevie has left behind. They're good for what ails ya'! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Feb 26, 2016 |
I finished this a while ago, should have posted a review but I got busy. Anyway, I really enjoyed this and it's been on my to read list for a really long time. To me most of these stories read like classic King, by that I mean the 'voice' I remember from his older novels. Although, his voice is still the same...I can't explain the difference. There is a difference in the feel of newer books of his when compared to what I call the classics. Of course, there should be, right?

Sorry, tangent. There were two that I found myself skipping through, which is why I'm giving it four stars instead of three. Nothing wrong with the writing really, the stories just didn't hold my attention. One of my favorites was the story about the bus station. I think it was one of the first. I can't even refer back because I loaned the book out.

Anyway, this book of short stories is definitely worth picking up. I recommend. ( )
  ReneeMiller | Feb 25, 2016 |
In the introduction to [Just After Sunset], Stephen King admits that he’d lost the rhythm for short fiction, that he had quit writing for that format and didn’t know how to find his way back. It’s a declaration that might befuddle the casual reader, but one that writers will understand, maybe even be uncomfortable with. If anything, it’s a subtle warning not to ignore something that works for you, not to lose the muscle or brain memory once you’ve trained it. King found his way back to short fiction when he was asked to edit a collection of short stories, meaning that he had to read a lot of short fiction and remember what good work looked like. The experience reignited the spark, and he began writing short format stories again – the Constant Readers in us rejoiced.

[Just After Sunset] collects mostly stories from after that point in his career when he’d quit writing in the arena. There is one – The Cat From Hell – from his early days, and it’s a hoot. I mean, haven’t we all looked at a cat and wondered how many way’s it was plotting to do us in? The others are all written as King is stretching some atrophied muscles, and it shows occasionally. Not all the stories are up to the quality that we’ve come to expect. But those that are up to snuff, are marvelous.

Harvey’s Dream is one of the shortest stories, but one of the most powerful. A man wakes up and recounts a dream he had the previous night for his wife. The tension that King builds in the wife’s narration, as she sees the tragic signs glimmering in the corner of her eye, is palpable. It’s the kind of story that you want to put down, because it’s too much to handle, and you can’t possibly put down, because you’re afraid not to know. Part of the reason it works so well is that it is a slice of everyday life, a nightmare told over a kitchen table. You’ll feel yourself in the room, because you’ve been in that room before, and the connection to your own fears makes it all the more frightening.

Mute is another story in that same vein – an everyday guy with everyday problems is thrust into the fringes of experience. A guy tells the sad story of his failed marriage to a person he thinks is deaf, only to find out that the deaf guy is going to be a bloody avenger for him. But it’s a story in a story, because the narrator is confessing his situation to a priest – the device allowing us to walk in the narrator’s shoes, dip into his mind a bit – King’s a master at that, and it’s another thing that make his fiction so relatable.

Finally, Things They Left Behind, is a story about the aftermath of 9/11. There have been a few stories and novels over the decade plus since the towers came down. But I challenge you to find one more evocative and heart-wrenching than this one. King taps into the horror and guilt we all felt watching those black obelisks implode more than anyone I’ve ever read. The story centers on a man who called in sick to work that day. After a couple weeks, items from his colleague’s desks began to appear in his apartment, and they are not silent. King’s narrator quotes a magical realist writer – he can’t recall whether it is Borges or Marquez – “As infants, our first victory comes in grasping some bit of the world, usually our mothers’ fingers. Later we discover that the world, and the things of the world, are grasping us, and have been all along.”

Bottom Line: Not the best collection of King’s short fiction, but there are a couple that match the best work of his career.

4 bones!!!!! ( )
2 vote blackdogbooks | Feb 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (77 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eikenberry, JillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graham, HolterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Likas, LeonardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLarty, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Hare, DenisNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shenkman, BenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sudduth, SkippReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winningham, MareNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ziemba, KarenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"I can fancy what you saw. Yes; it is horrible enough; but after all, it is an old story, an old mystery played....Such forces cannot be named, cannot be spoken, cannot be imagined except under a veil and a symbol, a symbol to the most of us appearing a quaint, poetic fancy, to some a foolish tale. But you and I, at all events, have known something of the terror that may dwell in the secret place of life, manifested under human flesh; that which is without form taking to itself a form. Oh, Austin, how can it be? How is it that the very sunlight does not turn to blackness before this thing, the hard earth melt and boil beneath such a burden?" -- Arthur Machen, The Great God Pan
For Heidi Pitlor
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One day in 1972, I came home from work and found my wife sitting at the kitchen table with a pair of gardening shears in front of her.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Contains the following stories;
The Gingerbread Girl
Harvey's Dream
Rest Stop
Stationary Bike
The Things They Left Behind
Graduation Afternoon
The Cat From Hell
The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates
A Very Tight Place

AR 5.9, 21 pts
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This collection of short works is comprised of pieces that previously appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, Playboy, and McSweeney's, in a volume that includes such tales as ""The Gingerbread Girl"" and "N."

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