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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 7 months ago by Joelle

3.0 out of 5 stars good, not great
Stephen King's Skeleton Crew is typical of his short story collections: there are some dramatic stories, some all out screamers, and a couple plain weird ones. This book has got several of all three catagories, some great, some terrifying. The great stories make the book worth its money alone, but as a whole, this book gets heavily dumbed down by stories that are either...
Published on Aug. 8 2002

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5.0 out of 5 stars King, Dec 5 2013
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Very satisfied. The preface alone is Worth the buy. Some stories are better than others. But for 10$, it's money well spent....
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4.0 out of 5 stars Second Stories, May 10 2013
Jonathan Stover (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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 of this collection. As always with his collections, King rewrites a lot from the originally published versions. Indeed, "The Raft" is entirely recreated: King has never been able to locate the original published story from the late 1960's, a story he was paid for but which he's not entirely certain was actually printed.

The result is a collection with more range than the first collection -- Night Shift -- but a certain drop in intensity and consistency. One negative is the inclusion of two of King's science-fiction horror stories, "The Jaunt" and "Beachworld," neither of which are particularly scary or well-imagined. The science fiction of interplanetary travel and robots and alien planets is not an area in which King is especially good. But by God, he's going to keep trying to write it even if doing so kills either him or us or possibly both.

Thankfully, both the straightforward horror and the darkly fantastic are handled a lot better. "The Reach" is probably King's best tale of non-horrific supernatural doings, a meditation on mortality set off the coast of Maine. "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut", a more Bradburyian effort, is also a lot of fun, while "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet" is a solid examination of madness and writing.

On the horror front, we get the Lovecraft-by-way-of-the-drive-in romp "The Mist." "The Monkey" and "The Raft" are the best of the horror stories here, turning the mundane (a wind-up monkey toy, a popular swimming destination just a bit out of season) into the terrible. That wind-up monkey is one of King's best distillations of strange, explanation-resistant horror. I'd like to see it go a few rounds with the more benevolent wind-up Chattery Teeth of the much-later story of the same name.

Other stand-outs include the understated story of supernatural revenge, "Uncle Otto's Truck," and the murderous road-odyssey "Nona." The latter works beautifully as a gender-flipped companion to King's earlier novel Carrie, as it deals with many of the same gender and social issues from a different perspective. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read., Feb. 8 2006
This review is from: Skeleton Crew (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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5.0 out of 5 stars the mist...super scary, June 14 2004
By A Customer
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!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Few Low Points, But Mainly Great Stuff, June 1 2004
Mike Lake (Bellevile, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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 Great read!, May 31 2004
Denny Gibbons (Champaign, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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. If you liked "Night Shift", you will definitely like this.
This book is packed with great stories, but the best in my opinion have to be The Mist, The Raft, The Jaunt, and Survivor Type. The Mist is probably the longest entry (it's actually more of a novella than a short story), but I guarantee you that it will be well worth it. You'll freak out the next time you're driving in heavy fog.
One word of caution, however: most of the stories in this book are great, but there are some bad ones. I would STRONGLY recommend skipping "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet", because it is EXTREMELY long and goes absolutely nowhere. King also wrote some poems which he threw in that don't really serve a purpose, so I'd skip those as well. The rest are well worth the read.
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Justin W. Thole (Grand Rapids, MI) - See all my reviews
Stephen King's best book yet! One of the stories in the book, "The Mist", is the best short story I've ever read! King is a genius story-teller, and any Stephen King fan will love this book!
5 stars all the way!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic King, Oct. 15 2003
Jon (Pittsburgh, PA United States) - See all my reviews
Read this book if you have any interest in King what-so-ever.
His short stories...though many aren't all that short...each have a different flavor, a different set of characters, and range from touching to chilling.
Some favorites: "The Mist", (could have been sold by itself) "Word Processor of the Gods", "Survivor Type", "Gramma", and, of course, "The Raft".
For some reason, I remember seeing The Raft, or a version there-of, on cable TV years and years ago as a kid. Scared me then, scared me more now reading it!
A few of the stories fall somewhat flat (Uncle Otto's Truck...lame...sorry...), but you get something different with each...including a writing style. I bet Koontz wishes he could say that.
This indeed ranks up among King's best. Just read it already.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, creepier, creepiest.....oo ee oo, Sept. 13 2003
Alex Diaz-Granados "fardreaming writer" (Miami, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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." I first read it before I ever owned -- or even used -- a personal computer, and its premise involving a word processor with supernatural powers, while silly on the surface, was very compelling to me as an aspiring writer. King asks: What if you simply typed a sentence like "I wish I were married to the loveliest, kindest person on earth," and by pressing ENTER, it came true? Maybe in the hands of a lesser writer the premise is silly, but King tells his story with a fine balance of spookiness and wit. The closing paragraph is a gem.
The beauty of an anthology like Skeleton Crew is that you can read as much or as little of it as you like, choosing whatever story strikes your fancy at any given moment. If you are a newcomer to King's storytelling and don't want to commit yourself to a major novel such as IT or The Stand, this is a fine place to start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars King opens the gate, Sept. 7 2003
michael maisch (Tuebingen Germany) - See all my reviews
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. It is more lovecraftian than anything Derleth, Carter or Lumley ever wrote, because it understands the cosmological concept. H. P. L. always raged about what would happen if the gates to the outer spheres are opened. Stephen King shows it and leaves no (or, at best, a pathetic) hope for mankind.
To put it in one word: brilliant. If King wouldn't have written anything else, this book would secure him a place among the masters of weird fiction.
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Skeleton Crew
Skeleton Crew by Stephen King (Paperback - Jan. 1 2012)
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