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Just After Sunset: Stories by Stephen King
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Just After Sunset: Stories (original 2008; edition 2018)

by Stephen King (Author)

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4,5381241,920 (3.71)1 / 148
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."
Member:jenniferannwoods
Title:Just After Sunset: Stories
Authors:Stephen King (Author)
Info:Scribner (2018), Edition: Reprint, 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Just After Sunset by Stephen King (2008)

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» See also 148 mentions

English (115)  French (3)  Finnish (2)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
Maybe I like Stephen King too much to enjoy Stephen King these days. I mean, I like the guy even when he's writing lousy books-- I'll put up with a ton of sloppy repetitive filler because he's always a little weirder than I remembered, and because he has heart. But the sloppiness still bugs me, and a collection like this, which I might've liked just fine if it were by someone I'd never heard of, clashes unpleasantly with my memory of times when he was really on his game. There's so much steady noodling, like a guitar player who can keep improvising around one key forever but doesn't seem too interested in moving the song to a new place. Characters get the whole first half of a story just to think about themselves and their backgrounds, and it's fun enough to follow King along as he sketches out what amounts to a Lake Wobegon monologue, but then none of that ends up having much to do with what happens: if they run into curse A, or friendly ghost B, or deadly crazy person C, then they're probably going to end up doomed, or comforted, or just barely surviving a horrible ordeal and then getting revenge, often in a predictable way but sometimes with a semi-interesting twist, but who they are ends up being more or less irrelevant. This is a problem in a lot of horror stories anyway-- maybe most of them-- but it stands out here because King puts so much effort and verbiage into the setup. The one story that felt solid and involving nearly all the way through was "N.", a simple enough Lovecraft/Machen homage with enough characterization and evocative imagery to make it seem new, but then at the very end he can't help writing some extra perfunctory post-endings after the good ending just in case you somehow didn't get the point. His World Trade Center ghost story "The Things They Left Behind" was the opposite: I hated it and didn't believe any of it until the very end, when he took a character who'd been kind of a stock King nice person and suddenly let them react to weird events just as unpleasantly as most people would do. ( )
  elibishop173 | Oct 11, 2021 |
I really only like N., The Cat from Hell, Mute, Harvey's Dream and Willa
-----------------

Harvey's Dream - 5*
I first read years ago and it was only a 2* at the time but age has made me appreciate it more.
Visual free here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/06/30/harveys-dream
This audiobook edition read by Stephen King

It opens with an empty nest couple in the middle of their morning routine. We hear the wife's internal thoughts and they are interesting, realistic for many. I even had to add a quote to GRs. If this is where you come out of the deep dark woods, Janet thinks, this . . . this parking lot . . . then why does anyone do it?

A couple over the hump, stuck in their routines... The husband tells the wife he had a bad dream last night, not sure if wants to share it with her. "Harvey never dreams..." The wife's anxiety starts pumping and she regrets pondering how routine, dull life has become. She wishes she could go back to that feeling but the shadows are growing.

What was Harvey's dream? If you say it out loud it's not supposed to come true. Or does she have that backwards?
-----------------

~Willa - 3*
Read by Holter Graham

~The Gingerbread Girl - 2* Realistic horror. Read twice. meh
Read by Mare Winningham

~Rest Stop - 2*
Rad by Denis O'Hare

~Stationary Bike - DNF
Read by Ron McLarty

~ The Thinks They Left Behind - skipped

~ Graduation Afternoon - skipped

~N. - 3*
Read by Holter Graham, Denis O'Hare, Ben Shenkman & Karen Ziemba

~The Cat from Hell - 3*
Read by Holter Graham

~The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates - 2*
Read by Jill Eikenberry

~Mute - 3*
Read by Skip Sudduh

~ Avana - skipped

~A Very Tight Place - 2* If I ever talk to the author I would like to ask him if he had to act out "A Very Tight Place" to get the details just right.
Read by Ron McLarty

"Only 1 of the stories, N. really did anything 4 me. It's King's homage/fanfiction for H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos where he links obsessive-compulsive disorder with rituals that in reality keep otherworldly horrors at bay for the select few that are unlucky enough to be chosen as guardians for the "thin places" between worlds. It's a really neat concept, and he executes it well. It was only when I read the notes section that I understood that the homage was to Arthur Machen's Great God Pan"

story details in author folder on comp ( )
  Seayla2020 | Aug 20, 2021 |
Fun, fast, and just frightening enough. ( )
  ashelocke | Jun 10, 2021 |
I love short stories and I love SK's tale telling. These were excellent. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
Mostly pretty good, although there are a few real clunkers. The good: "Willa", which manages to be both sweet and haunting, "The Gingerbread Girl", which is a thriller in that exacting way King has, and "N." which is one of the better (maybe the best?) attempts at a modern Lovecraft story. The rough: "The Cat from Hell", which shows its pedigree as an older story, and "Graduation Afternoon", which feels weirdly unfinished. Ultimately, though, King is still up there in the ranks of the masters. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 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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Epigraph
"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
Dedication
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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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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Book description
Contains the following stories;
Willia
The Gingerbread Girl
Harvey's Dream
Rest Stop
Stationary Bike
The Things They Left Behind
Graduation Afternoon
N.
The Cat From Hell
The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates
Mute
Ayana
A Very Tight Place


AR 5.9, 21 pts
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Average: (3.71)
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