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Nightmares & Dreamscapes by Stephen King
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Nightmares & Dreamscapes (original 1993; edition 2009)

by Stephen King

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5,32333827 (3.69)1 / 98
Member:yrizaria
Title:Nightmares & Dreamscapes
Authors:Stephen King
Info:
Collections:Your library, Nook
Rating:*****
Tags:horror, short stories

Work details

Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (1993)

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English (29)  French (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
A proof copy of the book is available in the giant Stephen King contest for the 20 years of the Club Stephen King : more than 100 gifts to win ! >>> http://clubstephenking.com/ ( )
  ClubStephenKing | Apr 11, 2014 |
Another book by 'The King' of horror that you won't want to read alone on a cold, dark night. ( )
  MFRizzi | Jan 29, 2014 |
This is King’s third short story collection, mostly assembling stories he’d written in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s since the publication of his last collection, Skeleton Crew, but also containing a few bits and pieces from the ‘70s and some unpublished work.

I was wary of this one, because circa 1990 is when King started to show sings of decline – and also because his story in Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse was absolutely terrible and actually dated from 1986, which throws my whole concept of King’s decline out of whack. But anyway. This was for the most part a decent collection with. My two favourites were ‘Chattery Teeth,’ about a travelling salesman in the deserts of the south-west, which was one of those moments King hits a pitch perfect note on setting and character, and also looked like it was going to be a very different horror story from what I’d imagined (but then was the original idea after all); and ‘The Moving Finger,’ about a mild-mannered man who suddenly finds a wiggling human finger impossibly sticking out of his bathroom sink plughole.

Some of the others are hit and miss. ‘Crouch End’ is a Lovecraftian tale about two American tourists who stumble into an ancient, eldritch part of London. The part told from the tourists’ perspective is great, but the other half of the story follows two local policeman. King is apparently unaware that American and British culture are, relatively speaking, almost identical, and their dialogue is overflowing with English slang – “Pull the other one,” “a swatch of the old whole cloth,” Give us a fag, mate,” “doddy old prat,” etc. Similarly, ‘Home Delivery’ is a good zombie story on a remote Maine island, with feelings of isolation that are simultaneously uneasy yet (given the state of the world) reassuring. King ruins this atmosphere with an interlude from the spaceship sent to investigate the orbiting alien craft creating the undead, which ends with a cliched scrambled radio transmisison as everything goes to shit, and is irritatingly narrated with calm detachment by the comic British professor figure attached to the mission. And then there’s a pretty bad story called ‘Dedication’ which bothered me not for the fact that it involves a black hotel maid eating semen off the bedsheets of a wealthy guest as part of a voodoo ritual, but more for the uncomfortable way King regularly portrays black characters, up to and including phonetic spelling for their dialogue.

The collection gets more experimental towards the end – there’s a Bachman-style crime caper, a Sherlock Holmes story (which is surprisingly not bad, given how badly King fumbled in ‘Crouch End’ when portraying those exotic, bizarre, non-American people known as the English) and a Raymond Chandler pastiche called ‘Umney’s Last Case’ which also has its own Stephen King twist, and which he says is his favourite story in the collection. Then there’s a fairly long non-fiction piece about a Little League team making it to the finals, which bored me the same way the movie Field of Dreams did – I assume if you’re not American, you just can’t understand. The book wraps up with a poem about baseball and an old Hindu fable.

Nightmares and Dreamscapes also has (and I think all short fiction collections should) a section of author notes at the back for most of the stories, describing their genesis and original publication and what King thinks of them. These were always interesting to read, if a little confusing sometimes – in the notes for ‘The Moving Finger,’ for instance, King says, “My favourite sort of short story has always been the kind where things happen just because they happen… I hate explaining why things happen.” This, from the writer who ruined more than one perfectly creepy story in Night Shift by explaining various frightening things as being caused by Satanic witchcraft rituals.

Overall, this is certainly the least of the three Stephen King short story anthologies I’ve read, but for the most part I enjoyed it and it was worth reading. ( )
1 vote edgeworth | Dec 10, 2013 |
Stephen King talks a lot. I swear I only got through this one on sheer stubbornness. 14176 locations, what does that translate to in pages? 8000? Now I remember why I never used to read anthologies in tree book. Why do authors (or publishing houses, who knows which,) insist on putting so many short stories in a single volume, that you could easily use the tome to reinforce your home's retaining wall?

I have at least two more of these bricks on the bookcase (one by Lewis Shiner that contains 41 stories, 41!) that, being realistic, I'll probably never read, unless I start lifting weights again.

Kindle is trying to trick me... lulling me into a false sense of "you can doooo eeeeet! you can read this 8000 page book, doooo eeeet!"

And when it's all said and done, in a year, I'll probably still only remember the same two stories from this collection that I remember from the last time I read it, 10 years ago.

Those were:

"Chattery Teeth" - which is so awesome because windup toys are the coolest ever, especially when they're on your side,

and

"You Know They Got a Hell of a Band" - because I think of it sometimes when I see one of those turnoffs from a state highway that goes off into the trees to some little town that nobody has ever heard of, and has a population of 100. It's like evil Sasquatch! Festival.

This time I might also manage to remember "Dolan's Cadillac" because any horror story that depends on trajectory math, just tickles my not-so-inner nerd.

There were a few other stories in here that I really liked, (even if I soon might not remember them,) but there were just so damn many. Not as many as Shiner's, but still enough that I'm mostly just relieved to shelve this and call it finished. ( )
  StaceyHH | Apr 8, 2013 |
A collection of horror stories by the matster. Not as focused as his precious anthologies, N&D has something for everybody. ( )
  srboone | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Körber, JoachimÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kröger, KlausCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
In memory of Thomas Williams, 1926-1991: poet, novelist, and great American storyteller.
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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)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

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
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451180232, Mass Market Paperback)

Many people who write about horror literature maintain that mood is its most important element. Stephen King disagrees: "My deeply held conviction is that story must be paramount.... All other considerations are secondary--theme, mood, even characterization and language."

These fine stories, each written in what King calls "a burst of faith, happiness, and optimism," prove his point. The theme, mood, characters, and language vary, but throughout, a sense of story reigns supreme. Nightmares & Dreamscapes contains 20 short tales--including several never before published--plus one teleplay, one poem, and one nonfiction piece about kids and baseball that appeared in the New Yorker. The subjects include vampires, zombies, an evil toy, man-eating frogs, the burial of a Cadillac, a disembodied finger, and a wicked stepfather. The style ranges from King's well-honed horror to a Ray Bradbury-like fantasy voice to an ambitious pastiche of Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald. And like a compact disc with a bonus track, the book ends with a charming little tale not listed in the table of contents--a parable called "The Beggar and the Diamond." --Fiona Webster

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:59 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A collection of short stories including classic tales of the macabre and the monstrous, cutting-edge explorations of the borderlands between good and evil, brilliant pastiches of Chandler and Conan Doyle and much more.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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