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Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,74148963 (3.69)1 / 106
One of the best-selling authors to ever set pen to paper, Stephen King crafts macabre tales of the highest order. In his third collection of short stories, King displays the range and fecundity of imagination that his readers savor.
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English (45)  French (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Three Stephen King books in one year? I know, right? I'm an animal.

Speaking of threes, Nightmares and Dreamscapes is the third in a loose trilogy of short story collections. Combined with Night Shift and Skeleton Crew King admits that this threesome comprises everything good he'd written up to Nightmares and Dreamscapes' publication in 1992. That description of this collection makes it sound like some barrel scraping might have gone on. I don't think that's really the case: none of the stories herein are particularly lousy. But it's short on the mythical wow! factor too.

That's not to say none of the entries are good, some of them are very good indeed. They're also long enough so that they had time to grow on me. Suitably enough a good example of this was It Grows on You, an epilogue to King's Castle Rock saga that ended with 1991's Needful Things. The story is about a bunch of old men sat in a diner talking in that way that old men do. The glacial pace and lack of, you know, anything happening, put me off for a start. But sure enough the story grew on me, and on looking back it's one of my favourite in the whole lot.

Another favourite was Chattery Teeth about a young father who buys an oversized and over-creepy set of those wind up novelty teeth. At first it feels like it's going to be one of those stories that Stephen King gets mocked for, the lamp-monster kind.


Raarh!

Here we go, I thought, he'll buy the teeth, take them home to his wife and adorable kid, and then have to defend himself and his family when the teeth tries to eat them all. But the story — while still being goofy schlock horror — managed to defy expectations and end on a satisfying note, a rarity with Stephen King.

Endings, as always with King, let down several of the stories. The Night Flier and Sneakers are both satisfyingly spooky stories that collapse like poorly made soufflés at their conclusion. And The Ten O'clock People, which was shaping up to be one of my favourite tales in the bunch, seems to lose all direction and stumble to its end rather than stride decisively. Apparently it was written in three days a few months before the collection's publication. The lack of steam by day three shows.

There are quite a few pastiches and homages covering a variety of genres, from Conan Doyle to Lovecraft, via Ray Bradbury and the Chandler–Hammett–Macdonald school of hard-boiled detective noir. I particularly enjoyed the Bradbury and Lovecraft ones despite not being a fan of the former author and never having read the latter. The Sherlock Holmes yarn was less enticing. And the hard-boiled detective one, Umney's Last Case, was… actually I don't know how I feel about that one. It reminded me of the whole Dark Tower series in microcosm, starting off like your average genre fiction with a bit of a twist, then suddenly becoming utterly surreal and playing with meta-fiction and the like. King says in the endnotes that it is his favourite story in the collection, and with time I certainly might come to agree with him.

Of course, the story that really stands out as different is the one that isn't a story at all. Head Down is the article about Little League baseball that King wrote for the New Yorker, prophetically during the season that his son's team made it to the State finals. It's like that film about the Boston Red Sox that was supposed to use them losing in the finals as per The Curse of the Bambino as a plot point, except it was filmed in 2004 when the Red Sox finally beat The Curse and won that important game thing, you know, that one. Oh who am I kidding, I know only the rudiments of baseball and while I was happy to follow the trials and tribulations of this bunch of kids playing a sport and doing better than expected, I really couldn't follow King's enthusiastic and long descriptions of the individual games. I'm not going to penalise the collection for my lack of baseball knowledge, though, that'd hardly be fair.

Of the three King works I've read this year, then, Nightmares and Dreamscapes is probably the least good. But even when he's not amazing, King can write a mean story. Which is why I suspect I'll be squeezing in a fourth visit to his repertoire before the year is out. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
Three Stephen King books in one year? I know, right? I'm an animal.

Speaking of threes, Nightmares and Dreamscapes is the third in a loose trilogy of short story collections. Combined with Night Shift and Skeleton Crew King admits that this threesome comprises everything good he'd written up to Nightmares and Dreamscapes' publication in 1992. That description of this collection makes it sound like some barrel scraping might have gone on. I don't think that's really the case: none of the stories herein are particularly lousy. But it's short on the mythical wow! factor too.

That's not to say none of the entries are good, some of them are very good indeed. They're also long enough so that they had time to grow on me. Suitably enough a good example of this was It Grows on You, an epilogue to King's Castle Rock saga that ended with 1991's Needful Things. The story is about a bunch of old men sat in a diner talking in that way that old men do. The glacial pace and lack of, you know, anything happening, put me off for a start. But sure enough the story grew on me, and on looking back it's one of my favourite in the whole lot.

Another favourite was Chattery Teeth about a young father who buys an oversized and over-creepy set of those wind up novelty teeth. At first it feels like it's going to be one of those stories that Stephen King gets mocked for, the lamp-monster kind.


Raarh!

Here we go, I thought, he'll buy the teeth, take them home to his wife and adorable kid, and then have to defend himself and his family when the teeth tries to eat them all. But the story — while still being goofy schlock horror — managed to defy expectations and end on a satisfying note, a rarity with Stephen King.

Endings, as always with King, let down several of the stories. The Night Flier and Sneakers are both satisfyingly spooky stories that collapse like poorly made soufflés at their conclusion. And The Ten O'clock People, which was shaping up to be one of my favourite tales in the bunch, seems to lose all direction and stumble to its end rather than stride decisively. Apparently it was written in three days a few months before the collection's publication. The lack of steam by day three shows.

There are quite a few pastiches and homages covering a variety of genres, from Conan Doyle to Lovecraft, via Ray Bradbury and the Chandler–Hammett–Macdonald school of hard-boiled detective noir. I particularly enjoyed the Bradbury and Lovecraft ones despite not being a fan of the former author and never having read the latter. The Sherlock Holmes yarn was less enticing. And the hard-boiled detective one, Umney's Last Case, was… actually I don't know how I feel about that one. It reminded me of the whole Dark Tower series in microcosm, starting off like your average genre fiction with a bit of a twist, then suddenly becoming utterly surreal and playing with meta-fiction and the like. King says in the endnotes that it is his favourite story in the collection, and with time I certainly might come to agree with him.

Of course, the story that really stands out as different is the one that isn't a story at all. Head Down is the article about Little League baseball that King wrote for the New Yorker, prophetically during the season that his son's team made it to the State finals. It's like that film about the Boston Red Sox that was supposed to use them losing in the finals as per The Curse of the Bambino as a plot point, except it was filmed in 2004 when the Red Sox finally beat The Curse and won that important game thing, you know, that one. Oh who am I kidding, I know only the rudiments of baseball and while I was happy to follow the trials and tribulations of this bunch of kids playing a sport and doing better than expected, I really couldn't follow King's enthusiastic and long descriptions of the individual games. I'm not going to penalise the collection for my lack of baseball knowledge, though, that'd hardly be fair.

Of the three King works I've read this year, then, Nightmares and Dreamscapes is probably the least good. But even when he's not amazing, King can write a mean story. Which is why I suspect I'll be squeezing in a fourth visit to his repertoire before the year is out. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
I read this one while I was in Europe for the first time. I liked it, but not enough to bring the book back home with me. I picked up another copy years later. ( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
Dolan's Cadillac : 3/5
-2 for its routine plot
The end of the whole mess :3.5/5
A different attempt but not so engaging
Suffer the Little children :3.5/5
Scary and weird
The Night Flier :2.5/5
Slow and boring narrative
Popsy :3/5
Strange!
It grows on you :0/5
Awfully bad
Chattery teeth: 4.5/5
Engaging narrative with good ending
Dedication: 1.5/5
Weird and boring
The Moving Finger : 3.5/5
Thrilling but the ending was abrupt
Sneakers: 2.5/5
Bad ending
You know they got a hell of a band :3.75/5
Starts off slowly but the ending was good
Home Delivery : 1.5/5
Slow narrative and a bad attempt at Zombie Apocalypse
Rainy Season: 4/5
Scary ,Thrilling and Engaging
My Pretty Pony:0/5
What the hell was that!
Sorry, Right Number: 4.75/5
Intense,Engaging and Terrifying
The Ten O' Clock People: 3.5/5
Different attempt
Crouch end :4.75/5
One of King's finest
The House on Maple street: 3.5/5
Routine story line but engaging
The Fifth Quarter : 3/5
Just OK
The Doctor's case : 1.5/5
Why did I even read this!
Umney's last case : 3/5
-2 for its abrupt ending
Head Down
Skipped It :p (Not a serious fan of baseball)
The Beggar and the Diamond : 1.5/5
Baaah!!
( )
  Kausik_Lakkaraju | Jan 20, 2020 |
This book of Stephen King's short stories was not up to my epectations. It seemed very different, and apart, from his others and the formats of the stories and the way they were written did not strike chords in me like his other collections did. Although it was generally a disappointment, there were a couple stories which maintained my interest all the way through. Nevertheless, for the most part it was a letdown.

2 stars. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Oct 15, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
NIGHTMARES AND DREAMSCAPES BY STEPHEN KING is a series of short& novella stories that goes back to Kings early days . He always has said he likes short stories & in my opinion I think NIGHTMARES AND DREAMSCAPES is one of his best short stories books. So , Constant Reader, as Mr.King calls us fans of his, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride. Of all of his short stories I have to think my total favorite is CHATTERY TEETH which is in this book. My son, who is also a King Constant Reader agrees. While on vacation I happened to find a set of Chattery Teeth & brought it home as a gag present for my son! He loved them! So sit back, turn the lights on, put on your favorite tunes & enjoy NIGHTMARES AND DREAMSCAPES BY STEPHEN KING
added by rosalita | editlowongan kerja Banjarmasin
 

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Körber, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kröger, KlausCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
In memory of Thomas Williams, 1926-1991: poet, novelist, and great American storyteller.
First words
When I was a kid I believed everything I was told, everything I read, and every dispatch sent out by my own overheated imagination. (Introduction)
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
"Alpträume" is used for a German translation of the entire "Nightmares & Dreamscapes" collection, and is also used for the first half of the collection. Check ISBN to make sure an entry is correctly combined.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
Short story collection containing the following titles:

| Dolan's Cadillac
| The End of the Whole Mess
| Suffer the Little Children
| The Night Flyer
| Popsy
| It Grows on You
| Chattery Teeth
| Dedication
| The Moving Finger
| Sneakers
| You Know They Got a Hell of a Band
| Home Delivery
| Rainy Season
| My Pretty Pony
| Sorry, Right Number
| The Ten O'Clock People
| Crouch End
| The House on Maple Street
| The Fifth Quarter
| The Doctor's Case
| Umney's Last Case
| Head Down
| Brooklyn August
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