The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

Book Description:

Published: November 3, 2015  

Format: Audio/Library Book

A master storyteller at his best—the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.

Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.

Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”

Review –
Always a pleasure to read a Stephen King book and this one was no exception.
The principal purpose of  the stories in this book is to entertain. Mr. King  says, “Although life experiences are the basis of all stories, I’m not in the business of confessional fiction.” No, he really isn’t, and the reason “The Little Green God of Agony” is one of the strongest stories in “The Bazaar of Bad Dreams” is that in this one, at least, King finds a serviceable horror metaphor for what’s on his mind, rather than trying to express it more directly. (He wrote this during his rehabilitation after his near fatal accident and all the pain he suffered)
There were some stories that I liked more than others but on the whole it was a delightful (if anything about Stephen King can be called delightful) collection of short stories concerning  various life changing subjects. What’s unusual about the tales in this volume is how many of its deaths are ordinary, mundane sorts of demises: deaths by cancer or heart failure or car accident or simple, non-­supernatural homicide. 
If you’re a “constant reader” or have never (GASP!) read Stephen King this is a great book to add to your TBR list or pile. Since it’s a collection of short stories it’s easy to commit to the book because you know you can read one story and put it down, but I doubt you will want to put it down after you start reading.
Loved it!

Delta of Venus by Anais Nin

Book Description:

Published: January 1, 1977

Delta of Venus is a book of fifteen short stories by Anaïs Nin published posthumously in 1977 — though largely written in the 1940s as erotica for a private collector.

In “Delta of Venus”, Anais Nin conjures up a glittering cascade of sexual encounters. Creating her own ‘language of the senses’, she explores an area that was previously the domain of male writers and brings to it her own unique perceptions. Her vibrant and impassioned prose evokes the essence of female sexuality in a world where only love has meaning. Her second volume of erotic writings, “Little Birds”, is also published by Penguin.

Within Delta of Venus, Nin explores what constitutes masculinity, patriarchal dominance, homosexual desire, sexual restraint, pedophilia, and incest.

The short stories are as follows:

1. The Hungarian Adventurer / 2. Mathilde / 3. The Boarding School / 4. The Ring / 5. Mallorca / 6. Artists and Models / 7. Lilith / 8. Marianne / 9. The Veiled Woman / 10. Elena / 11. The Basque and Bijou / 12. Pierre / 13. Manuel / 14. Linda / 15. Marcel

Review –

I maybe the only one, but I didn’t like any part of this book and I felt it was a waste of my time but I always finish a book so I was stuck with it. Others may think it’s the greatest book of erotica ever written. If you decide to read it let me know your opinion.

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904270

Houses Without Doors by Peter Straub

Product Description:19585

Published November 30, 1990

These psychic and horror fictions–seven of them short-shorts–reveals Straub at his spellbinding best. Two tales (first installments of his Blue Rose trilogy), are linked to Koko and Mystery and exactingly probe the consequences of boyhood clashes with evil. In “Blue Rose,” sadistic Harry Beevers, 10, hypnotizes and destroys his younger brother; the tale leaps ahead to the ironic verdict in Harry’s court-martial for wreaking atrocities in Vietnam. In the outstanding “The Juniper Tree,” a novelist relives a harrowing, seductive summer when, at age seven, he was sexually molested in a movie house by drifter Stan, a seedy Alan Ladd lookalike. “The Buffalo Hunter” fastidiously chronicles the fixations of a 35-year-old who numbs his fear of women by sucking his coffee and cognac from baby bottles. In the ambitious gothic thriller/academic spoof “Mrs. God,” a fatuous professor is lured to a creepy English mansion crammed with grisly secrets to research the papers of his poet ancestress; dead babies provide a subtheme. Wry and riveting, “A Short Guide to the City” fuses and parodies two genres: the self-congratulatory tourist blurb with a news alert on the “viaduct killer.”

Review –

I was soooo let down by this book that I can’t even tell you.  I gave it one star on GoodReads and I have never rated a book so low.

Thankfully I had the audio version or else I would have laid it aside to finish later, so as I drove around town running my errands I listened and just shook my head.   The stories were just STRANGE, not subjecct or plot wise but ending wise.  All of the endings were BLAH. Enough said.

Just After Sunset by Stephen King

Book Description

Publication Date: September 22, 2009
Stephen King — who has written more than fifty books, dozens of number one New York Times bestsellers, and many unforgettable movies — delivers an astonishing collection of short stories, his first since Everything’s Eventual six years ago. As guest editor of the bestselling Best American Short Stories 2007, King spent over a year reading hundreds of stories. His renewed passion for the form is evident on every page of Just After Sunset. The stories in this collection have appeared in The New Yorker, Playboy, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, Esquire, and other publications.Who but Stephen King would turn a Port-O-San into a slimy birth canal, or a roadside honky-tonk into a place for endless love? A book salesman with a grievance might pick up a mute hitchhiker, not knowing the silent man in the passenger seat listens altogether too well. Or an exercise routine on a stationary bicycle, begun to reduce bad cholesterol, might take its rider on a captivating — and then terrifying — journey. Set on a remote key in Florida, “The Gingerbread Girl” is a riveting tale featuring a young woman as vulnerable — and resourceful — as Audrey Hepburn’s character in Wait Until Dark. In “Ayana,” a blind girl works a miracle with a kiss and the touch of her hand. For King, the line between the living and the dead is often blurry, and the seams that hold our reality intact might tear apart at any moment. In one of the longer stories here, “N.,” which recently broke new ground when it was adapted as a graphic digital entertainment, a psychiatric patient’s irrational thinking might create an apocalyptic threat in the Maine countryside…or keep the world from falling victim to it.

Just After Sunset— call it dusk, call it twilight, it’s a time when human intercourse takes on an unnatural cast, when nothing is quite as it appears, when the imagination begins to reach for shadows as they dissipate to darkness and living daylight can be scared right out of you. It’s the perfect time for Stephen King.

Review –

I am a Stephen King from way back and this book of short stories was like icing on a cake, sweet,delicious and something you want more of.  The stories were great and if you’re a King fan you need to put this book on your “to read” list and find a comfy chair and enjoy.