Just After Sunset by Stephen King
Just After Sunset is an anthology of short stories by Stephen King.
Yes, I am a fan of Stephen King….right back to Carrie. I am also a fan of his short stories. His shorts are not always scary, not always gory, and not always for everyone. They are usually very good. Sometimes small doses of something are all you need. A brief description of each and my rating follows:
Willa...A train derailment leaves passengers in different states of belief and confusion. Rating: 3 – okay
Gingerbread Girl...A woman starts running to bury the grief of losing a child. Then she runs from her husband, and ends up running from a killer. Rating: 5+ – I enjoyed this one
Harvey’s Dream.…A husband opens up to his wife about a dream he had, but suddenly she doesn’t want to hear it. Rating: 3 – too predictable.
Rest Stop….A mild-mannered English teacher who also writes and sometimes “lives” as his alter-ego author, stops at a rest area, where he finds himself in a quandry when he interrupts a man beating his wife. As the unassuming English teacher, he wants to ignore it, but as the author, he wants to step in. Rating: 4 – interesting
Stationary Bike.… An artist paints his walls to give him some motive to ride his bike. His painting comes to life, but may yet kill him. Rating: 3 – okay
The Things They Left Behind.…When objects belonging to his dead co-workers start to appear in a survivor’s locked apartment, Staley ‘s guilt of not being in one of the Twin Towers on the day they fell threatens to drive him insane. Rating: 5+ – tastefully handled
Graduation Afternoon… A girl from the wrong side of town attends her boyfriend’s graduation party on the day a mushroom cloud appears over New York. Rating: 2 – boring
N.… After his patient (N) commits suicide, a psychiatrist takes over the OCD rituals N had been experiencing and visits the location where everything started. Rating: 5+ – probably the best of the bunch.
The Cat From Hell…. A millionaire hires a hitman to kill a cat who has apparently killed 3 others in his house. Rating: 4 – better than it sounds.
The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates....A woman gets a call from her dead husband, who warns her of things to come. Rating: 3 – okay
Mute... A man picks up a deaf-mute hitchhiker, and feels confident enough to tell him his story. Rating: 5 – I liked this one.
Ayana…. A man re-tells the story of how his father was saved by a little girl, and how this gift passed to him. Rating: 3 – okay.
A Very Tight Place… OMG. This was just a little gross. As the result of an on-going battle over a piece of land, one of the men locks the other in a Port-a-Potty. Most of the story was about his attempt to escape from “it”. Rating: 5 for the imagery, and… 1 for the imagery.
Overall, they are definitely Stephen King. I didn’t hate any of them, but when they were good, they were really good!
Re-Read: January 2017
Favorite Quotes from Just After Sunset:
“Perception isn’t everything, but perception and expectation together? Together they can move mountains.” – Willa
“The other is that living babies are glue when it comes to marriage. Dead ones are acid.” – The Gingerbread Girl
About the Author: Stephen King doesn’t really need an introduction.