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Skeleton Crew Mass Market Paperback – Jun 3 2014


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; 1 edition (June 3 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451168615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451168610
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 3.2 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

In the introduction to Skeleton Crew (1985), his second collection of stories, King pokes fun at his penchant for "literary elephantiasis," makes scatological jokes about his muse, confesses how much money he makes (gross and net), and tells a story about getting arrested one time when he was "suffused with the sort of towering, righteous rage that only drunk undergraduates can feel." He winds up with an invitation to a scary voyage: "Grab onto my arm now. Hold tight. We are going into a number of dark places, but I think I know the way."

And he sure does. Skeleton Crew contains a superb short novel ("The Mist") that alone is worth the price of admission, plus two forgettable poems and 20 short stories on such themes as an evil toy monkey, a human-eating water slick, a machine that avenges murder, and unnatural creatures that inhabit the thick woods near Castle Rock, Maine. The short tales range from simply enjoyable to surprisingly good.

In addition to "The Mist," the real standout is "The Reach," a beautifully subtle story about a great-grandmother who was born on a small island off the coast of Maine and has lived there her whole life. She has never been across "the Reach," the body of water between island and mainland. This is the story that King fans give to their friends who don't read horror in order to show them how literate, how charming a storyteller he can be. Don't miss it. --Fiona Webster

From Publishers Weekly

This hefty sampler of King's shorter works, from all stages of the horror master's career, demonstrates the range of his abilities. Some of the stories here rank among his best, and "even the less successful ones are fun," PW observed.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I guess there's something for everyone in "Skeleton Crew," - or at least for most people. The book contains a few tales where, as King himself puts it in one of his other short-story anthologies, "things happen just because they happen." In other words, impossible (or maybe just improbable) things become possible, and even frequent. Stories like this in "Skeleton Crew" include "The Mist," "Here There Be Tygers" and "The Raft."
Interestingly enough, these are three of my favourites. I was a bit disappointed by the end of "The Mist," with a proper ending and more detail in between, it could've been a standalone novella. As it is, the ending leaves a lot - too much, in my opinion - to the imagination. We want to know what happens in the end, but that's largely unexplained. Still, it's a great story. "The Raft" is simply King at his gruesome, unforgiving best.
Stories like "Here There Be Tygers" and "Cain Rose Up" held my interest, but at the end I found myself thinking "What's he trying to say with this?"
In my opinion, there are no outright stinkers in the bunch, although I would say my least favourite is the sci-fi attempt "Beachworld." Another that I liked less was "The Reach."
On the other hand, my favourite story of all is the other one with a sci-fi feel, called "The Jaunt." Some have called it a cautionary tale, I call it just plain brilliant. In my opinion, it's got some of the funnier moments of the whole book, but these are contrasted with some of the most frightening, which is what makes the story superior. Highly recommend it.
In fact I highly recommend the whole collection.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before I shifted in literary tastes from mostly science fiction and fantasy to Tom Clancy-style military thrillers, I was a regular reader of Stephen King's macabre masterpieces. I have about two-thirds of his literary output, and if books were not as expensive now I'd still be a regular reader of King's works.
One of my favorite books by Steve-o is Skeleton Crew, his second collection of short stories, including the novella "The Mist." And as in any collection of short fiction, some of the 22 stories stand head and shoulders above the rest.
The creepiest, by far, is "The Mist," which begins with, as in all good King works, with a seemingly normal event (a storm) and a routine occurrence (a trip to the supermarket) and slowly but surely morphs into a situation which becomes scarier as the story progresses. While not wanting to give anything away, I can tell you this much -- I'll never go to the Kash n' Karry and look at it quite the same way again, particularly in the spaghetti sauce section.
"Survivor Type" is King's take on Robinson Crusoe. Its protagonist is Richard Pine, a surgeon who, unfortunately, has also been involved in the narcotics "business." Now, after he is shipwrecked and marooned on a desert isle, Pine is forced to face his inner demons and, by the way, cope with the problem of what to eat in a place where there is no viable food source. Suffice it to say that in his desperation he will have to use his surgical training to solve this dicey problem.
While there are other stories that give me the willies, I am always drawn to "Word Processor of the Gods.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Skeleton crew is a highly recommendable collection of short stories by Stephen King, including a large variety of little masterpieces that are worth reading more than once. More than anything, the novella "The mist" makes this book a must-buy for any serious horror fan. It is not typical Stephen King, miles away from "Christine", "Cujo", "Salem's Lot" and even "The Shining", it is, apart from some short stories, Stephen King's darkest, most hopeless, and most cosmic story ever.
It is in every sense lovecraftian without even mentioning one of the usual prerequisites, but combines Lovecraft's concept of cosmic alienation with all the merits of Stephen King's fine writing: a detailed and sympathetic characterisation of his protagonists and antagonists, a good sense of black humour, an action-packed plot and some delvings into the funny horror of old school splatter movies (among many others).
"The mist" tells about the dire adventures of a bunch of Mainers (of course) caught in a supermarket and confronted with the unknown and utterly alien, told from the perspective of a family father. The horror is generated on several levels, by the mysterious "mist" that traps the people (and for which a good 1950'ies horror movie explanation is provided) which creates an eerie atmosphere of constant threat, by the creatures that inhabit it (which range from the ridiculous to the awe-inspiring), and particularly by the behaviour of the people that are confronted with supreme horrors, and which slowly but constantly go nuts one after the other.
It is easily one of Stephen Kings masterpieces and easily outshines any of the other stories in the collection -well done as they are.
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