Nightmares And Dreamscapes Hardcover – Sep 15 1993
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Many people who write about horror literature maintain that mood is its most important element. Stephen King disagrees: "My deeply held conviction is that story must be paramount.... All other considerations are secondary--theme, mood, even characterization and language."
These fine stories, each written in what King calls "a burst of faith, happiness, and optimism," prove his point. The theme, mood, characters, and language vary, but throughout, a sense of story reigns supreme. Nightmares & Dreamscapes contains 20 short tales--including several never before published--plus one teleplay, one poem, and one nonfiction piece about kids and baseball that appeared in the New Yorker. The subjects include vampires, zombies, an evil toy, man-eating frogs, the burial of a Cadillac, a disembodied finger, and a wicked stepfather. The style ranges from King's well-honed horror to a Ray Bradbury-like fantasy voice to an ambitious pastiche of Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald. And like a compact disc with a bonus track, the book ends with a charming little tale not listed in the table of contents--a parable called "The Beggar and the Diamond." --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
This is a wonderful cornucopia of 23 Stephen King moments (including a teleplay featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, a poem about Ebbet's Field and a brilliant New Yorker piece on Little League baseball) that even the author, in his introduction, acknowledges make up "an uneven Aladdin's cave of a book." There are no stories fans will want to skip, and some are superb, particularly "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band," in which a husband and wife drive through a town that may literally be rock-and-roll heaven; "The Ten O'Clock People," about unredeemable smokers; and "The Moving Finger," which chronicles a digit's appearance in a drain. Together with Night Shift and Skeleton Crew , this volume accounts for all the stories King has written that he wishes to preserve. The introduction and illuminating notes about the derivation of each piece are invaluable autobiographical essays on his craft and his place in the literary landscape. An illusionist extraordinaire, King peoples all his fiction, long and short, with believable characters. The power of this collection lies in the amazing richness of his fevered imagination--he just can't be stopped from coming up with haunting plots. 1,500,000 first printing; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Three of my favorites:
In "Dolan's Cadillac" we live through years of obsessive investigation and planning for revenge. A man traps the mob boss who ordered his wife's death and systematically covers up all evidence of his crime. Perfect.
If you could remove mankind's violent tendencies and bring about "The End of the Whole Mess" of murder and war, you would do it, right? Even if it wasn't the smartest thing to do.
In "Suffer the Little Children" we meet Miss Sidley, a teacher who has been taking care of children all of her adult life. One day her students begin acting strangely...so she takes care of them.
This book is highly recommended for Stephen King fans and readers who enjoy a well-crafted story that makes their brains squirm for a day or two after reading.
In "Dolan's Cadillac," a man gets revenge for his murdered wife...through hard labor and ingenious thinking. "Suffer the Little Children" is a tale for every child who had an insufferable teacher, and wanted to do something about it."The Night Flier" is a tale of obsession that leads to the ultimate horror. In "Popsy," a young boy is kidnapped...but his grandfather is on his trail, and has a few surprises up his cape. "The Moving Finger" is a macabre tale of madness...or the utmost sanity. In "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band," a young couple is about to attend an amazing rock concert...which may last for the rest of eternity. "The Ten O'Clock People" tells of two societies who live beneath normal human radar; one is benevolent, while the other is bent on world domination. "Crouch End" and "The Doctor's Case" are great examples of British fiction by an American, the latter about Sherlock Holmes. In the fantisful "The House on Maple Street," four children are about to unlock the secrets of their home. "Umney's Last Case" is a bizarre crime-noir, about the power an author has over his story, and vice versa. "Head Down" is an enchanting essay about kids and baseball.
NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES. Stephen King. Need I say any more than that? A wonderful, intriquing, and entertaining collection, this book is guaranteed to occupy a welcomed place on your bookshelf. This collection goes to show why Stephen King is one of contemporary literature's best writers.
"Dolan's Cadillac" highly regarded by most Amazon reviewers is very hard tech for King. Interestingly, he says in his notes that technical stuff bores him, but it had to be done for this story. I have no more interest than he does in the proper "arc of descent;" I would have been just as mindlessly satisfied if he had shot the Cadillac out of a cannon, so it's not one of my favorites.
"Clattery Teeth" I just know SK had a hoot of a time writing it. He lovingly sets the scene and characters and then puts them at the mercy of a set of not-so-funny joke teeth (that wear spats). It's 80 degrees more grotesque than the "Young Frankenstein," and I felt guilty for laughing.
"The Moving Finger" Mr. Mitla is the perfectly normal man living a perfectly normal life when one morning he goes into his bathroom, and a finger is emerging from his bathroom sink drain and tapping on the porcelain. No one can see this finger except Mr. Mitla, and he slowly goes bonkers and his entire life is in a shambles. Unlike "Clattery Teeth" this one is terrifying. See for yourself.
"My Pretty Pony" though highly acclaimed, didn't much interest me UNTIL I read in Notes that the exquisitely sensitive little boy, Clive Banning, grew up to be a hardened killer in an unpublished Richard Bachman novel. We leave Clive at 7-years old in the Pony story.Read more ›
There is something for everyone here, lovers of non-fiction and baseball will love "Head Down" a great little non-fiction "essay" on Little League. Admittedly, i wasn't very interested in it so skimmed it, but it's an incredibly enjoyable piece of writing, very very well written, and at times touching.
If detective novels are your thing, you'll love "The Doctor's Case" a short story about Holmes and Watson, where it is Watson who cracks the crime, not Holmes.
Then there is the rather strange story, Sorry, Right NUmber, which is not told conventionally, more in the style of a TV script, but it's another very clever story that is very enjoyable.
And you of course then have the typical horror stories, such as Chattery Teeth and The Moving Finger. Then there are more "message" stories, such as My Pretty Pony.
King's variety is remarkable. Every story touches on a different element, but they all have something in common: The fact that they are all immensely enjoyable and well written. Once again, his notes at the end make the book even more special. My personal favourites of this colelction are Chattery Teeth and The House on Maple Street.
Most recent customer reviews
It was ok. Some of the stories were pretty good but mostly they bored me. Not my favorite book.Published 22 months ago by B. Cavener
I love Stephen King, however after reading this book, I have re-confirmed that short stories really are not my cup of tea. Read morePublished on March 27 2010 by Sarah Lynn Morrison
If you're a King fan, I'd read this pretty good collection of short stories. A few stories are amazing (Umney's Last Case, Crouch End, and Dolan's Cadillac to name a few), and most... Read morePublished on May 20 2004 by Denny Gibbons
This collection of stories is typical King--you may not like every single one, but you're sure to find at least one that scares you and one that makes you laugh. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2003 by Reviewer Dr. Beth
I recommend this to anyone out there who love steven king and/or short stories. this is an excelent collection!Published on Sept. 10 2003 by Amanda Wright
i like SK particularly as a short story writer. if he has a good story he never fails then. considering his other collections, this was not as inventive as the two previous. Read morePublished on May 15 2003 by jan erik storebø
I'm not a big Stephen King fan but Nightmares & Dreamscapes is quite good. I worked for three years as a summer camp counselor and when you have a group of 15 year old boys,... Read morePublished on Dec 17 2002 by Aaron Marks
Good old fashioned horror, and when the master speaks we listen. I dug into a used copy of this after finishing "Night of the Beast," Harry Shannon's rollicking,... Read morePublished on Dec 8 2002