Like "Different seasons", "Four past midnight" is a book featuring four stories that were too long to be considered short stories and too short to be considered full books. Bur while "Different seasons" can be considered a "lighter" book by Stephen King standards, "Four past midnight" is a comeback to King's earlier darker, fantastic stories. The main problem with this book is that Stephen King is, in my opinion, a great author concering character development. But these developments usually take time, chapter, and pages. King's short stories are almost always a step down from his lenghtier works. "Four past midnight" is no exception. The four premises are good, but every time I finished a story I felt there was something lacking in it.
"The langoliers" - the most fantastic story in the "Four past midnight", about a plane that goes through a rip in time. This is the story with the best premise, and with the most developed characters, so it is the best story in the book. Graphic descriptions, deaths, thrilling, a good work. 8.0
"Secret window" - this is the basic plot of the recent movie with Johnny Depp. I had high expectations, bu I was let down. It's a simple story, and a little bit obvious. This is an example that, if King should have chosen to develop the plot further, we could end up with a terrific book. The way it is, I didn't like very much. 6.5
"The library policeman" - Once again, a plot dealing with fantasy and terror. This story has all the elements to be great, bu t it isn't. When I read it, it became very clear to me that Stephen King started to write one story and ended up with another. The beginning has an almost comic style (as opposed to the somber ending), and there are many characters that were intended to be bigger parts in the plot, but were left aside after the initial chapters. It's cool to see that a story may have a life on its own, but I think in this case there could have been more editing to it. Also, the final is too rushed. This story has too many elements is too few pages. 7.0
"The sun dog" - this could be the best story in the book, because the initial plot was really great. It's about a malfunctioning Polaroid camera, and a ferocious dog that appears in every photograph taken with it. This is the kind of idea that makes SK one of my favorite authors, but, as happens with the previous two stories, "The sun dog" lacks strenght in the end. 7.5
So, "Four past midnight" is a good collection of short stories, but Stephen King has written many better books than this one.