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Skeleton Crew [Mass Market Paperback]

Stephen King
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 9.99
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Book Description

June 3 2014 Signet

Who could imagine…?

In this brilliant collection of twenty-two stories, Stephen King takes readers down paths that only he could imagine….

A supermarket becomes the place where humanity makes its last stand against unholy destruction…a trip to the attic turns into a journey to hell…a woman driver finds a very scary shortcut to paradise…an idyllic lake harbors a bottomless evil…and a desert island is the scene of the most terrifying struggle for survival ever waged.

Features the novella “The Mist”—Now a major motion picture

 

Frequently Bought Together

Skeleton Crew + Night Shift + Nightmares & Dreamscapes
Price For All Three: CDN$ 28.47

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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

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read. Feb. 8 2006
Format:Hardcover
I've read most of the stories in this book and can safely say that this is a very diverse collection of stories from King (with whom I am a fan). Each story has its own little something to bring to the table and each story has its good points. But by far the best story in this book would have to be The Mist. I really wish King had spent more time on that and turned it into a novel, it would've been a killer book.
The Mist creates the creepiest and most frightening atmospheres of all the stories in the book. I'll give you an idea of how creepy this story was. I was working overtime at my town's community centre where the local high school was having their prom. It was basically a babysitting job so I brought Skeleton Crew to read while the kids had their fun. I picked The Mist to read and finished it over the course of the evening. When I first arrived there, ahead of the kiddies, it was a clear day and sunny outside. By the time I left it was dark and a fog bank had rolled in (...creepy). I RAN to my car and locked the doors as soon as i got in. That's the level of creepiness this story has.
Some other good stories are Gramma; suspenseful and creepy but could've been longer, and The Raft; kind of a B-Movie type of horror.
Overall a really good book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Few Low Points, But Mainly Great Stuff June 1 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, creepier, creepiest.....oo ee oo Sept. 13 2003
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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5.0 out of 5 stars King opens the gate Sept. 7 2003
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars King
Very satisfied. The preface alone is Worth the buy. Some stories are better than others. But for 10$, it's money well spent....
Published 10 months ago by Joelle
4.0 out of 5 stars Second Stories
Stephen King's second short-story collection ranges from the beginnings of his published career as a writer in the late 1960's to stories that were not published until the release... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jonathan Stover
5.0 out of 5 stars the mist...super scary
wow - this book has some of the creepiest stories ever..the mist especially so..don't read it at night when you are home alone!
Published on June 14 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
As someone who's read almost every Stephen King book, I can safely say that his short story collections are by far the best things he's ever done. Read more
Published on May 31 2004 by Denny Gibbons
5.0 out of 5 stars PACKED WITH GREAT SHORT STORIES! ESPECIALLY "THE MIST"
Stephen King's best book yet! One of the stories in the book, "The Mist", is the best short story I've ever read! Read more
Published on May 28 2004 by Justin W. Thole
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic King
Read this book if you have any interest in King what-so-ever.
His short stories...though many aren't all that short... Read more
Published on Oct. 15 2003 by Jon
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I loved this book. The Mist was an excellent novella, the best in the book. the best short storie was probably the Jaunt, closely followed by, the ballad of the flexible bullet. Read more
Published on June 13 2003 by Timothy Crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a shame The Mist wasn't a full length novel
Better than Nightshift this collection of short stories is a must just for one story alone. That story is The Mist about a strange mist engulfing a small town which makes bugs and... Read more
Published on May 30 2003 by James N Simpson
4.0 out of 5 stars Twenty Two Tales
Stephen King is a well-known, best-selling author. Many of his books have made it to the movies, like Dream Catcher, and The Shining (which has made it to the movies many times). Read more
Published on May 28 2003
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