Stephen King – "The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates" Review

This short story of Mr. King’s “The New York Times…” really needed to be longer, it is better than “Harvey’s Dream,” but that isn’t saying much. It starts off with a mystery, and ends in twilight. He is by far no Bram Stoker in writing short stories; it is goofy, a little gross, plainly written, more satire than drama or whatever: to be honest, when he wrote the book “Just before Sunset,” he should have reviewed some of H.P. Lovecraft’s short stories, and Clark A. Smith’s, and Stokers: you can see he’s out of practice.

It is about a plane crash, and although Mr. King has a great imagination, he unendingly and unnecessarily plants dumb innuendos here and there throughout this ten-page story, although I think he’s having fun doing it. Anyhow, there is not much energy in this story, but a good story line. He cusses, and I can’t guess why, do people really cuss that much around him-do people really get a jolt out of that? It doesn’t do the story any good. His style is like a flat balloon although his dialogue is better than “Harvey’s Dream” and the narration is one step up.

I’m not going to tell you the end of the story, a writer needs to sell books, good or not. If you read it, you’ll have to read it twice to absorb it completely I do believe: or read it slow. Plus, he could have found a better name for the story. He’s lucky he has a following; he’d starve to death if he depended on this book. (8-12-2010)

Short Story Review – Stephen King’s "Harvey’s Dream"

From the book “Just after Sunset,” by Stephen King: “Harvey’s Dream” a ten page story, in a book over 350-pages, $28.000 (I got it on sale for $7.00; thank goodness), dated 2008. To my knowledge, Mr. King hasn’t written short stories for a while, this book was his first in a number of years. It says on the leaf inside the book “Stephen King…delivers an astonishing collection of short stories….” Harvey’s Dream, is far from being astonishing. I read a few of his books years ago, only one impressed me, but I never read his short stories, and this story is badly written, by anybody’s standards. I haven’t gotten to the full book yet, it make take a year or two after reading this ten-page story which is real stale, oversimplified, written in short sentences that don’t seem to connect properly.

He uses stupid phrases, idioms that don’t fit the character or mood or life of the story-and perhaps a bit confusing for the younger reader; it seems he’s simply grabbing at anything, knowing his name will carry the book over the silliness of it all, the sentences-in particular their endings awkward to say the least. He sounds like a reporter, and a 3rd person reporter, that shouldn’t be reporting. He uses four-letter words, cuss words, to maximize the potency, or let’s say, to emphases the mood, and by gosh, it just falls fat, like someone staring at you, dumbfounded.

He uses click, catchphrases, tags like “Waterloo,” or “Alfalfa of the Little Rascals,” or “The Sopranos,” to make his point (dumb, dumb and dumber). I can’t imagine any one wanting to reread this story, and I’m afraid to move on and read the other several stories in the book, it’s embarrassing, I’m embarrassed for him-odd isn’t it. He’s evidently, not working for posterity of his works, most folks, writers nowadays aren’t, and it shows. But this story should never have been put into the book, it’s really beneath him. (8-11-2010)

Ayana (Short Story Written by Stephen King)

(Short Story Written by Stephen King)

For a short story we are dealing with a lot of character names to remember. Consequently, this takes a lot of work and concentration, is the story worth it? Good question. In comparison to “Harvey’s Dream,” and “The New York Times…” along with “Rest Stop,” it is a little better written, although the ending in “Rest Stop,” is far above “Alana’s ending.

In “Ayana” he only cusses once, thank goodness- every time someone does in these so called modern stories, it just smells as if s/he has a bad vocabulary (the author, not the character), as if the author couldn’t find a good replacement-limited expressions. Anyhow, this is my forth review and forth short story out of the book: “Just after Sunset,” of which I’ve read of Mr. King’s. It is better written than the previous three-I repeat- and has good descriptions, good explaining, theme building is good, stays in his proper tenses; he shows the despairing-ness in growing old, his similes are good for once, in the last three stories it would have been better to have dropped them. I actually found a little style in this story believe it or not, although he took it from Sherwood Anderson, but as Hemingway once said: you can take, only if you can do it better. Perhaps he didn’t need much dialogue in this story either, because it is not there, since he used a narration that was more reporting than being involved-which always lacks in adjectives. There is not much suspense in this as there was in “Rest Stop.”

Actually the ending was a little flat in “Ayana” but we all can’t come up with dynamic endings every time-now can we. I guess the story is good enough, although I’d not nominated it for a Blue Ribbon. It is not a great story, but again I repeat, the aging dilemma we all face is the thread that holds the story together for me.