Just After Sunset by Stephen King

'Did you maybe leave the oven on? Or forget to turn off the gas under your patio barbecue? What about the lock on your back door? Did you remember to give it a twist? Things like that are so easy to forget, and someone could be slipping in right now...'
Just after sunset, as darkness grips the imagination, that's when reality grows thin. When you can feel the everyday become the unexpected in his captivating collection of twist-in-the-tail stories of suspense, terror and dark comedy from the No. 1 best-selling writer.
This tantalising, thrilling volume explores the human experience as ordinary objects assume extraordinary powers and familiar journeys take a different turn. From the surreal to the horribly real, King plays a riveting riff which will keep you spellbound from the first page to the last.
What would you do if your everyday world were turned upside down in an instant?

I always find it hard to review short story collections. Do you talk about all the stories? (impossible, the review would go on for ages) Do you pick a few favourites? (but there are so many good ones with particular good elements or features) How do you avoid spoiling the twist but still manage to say more than just "this story is brilliant"? (it's so very very hard)

King's collection of stories in Just after Sunset is an assorted bunch. There's a mix of horror, fantasy/sci-fi and crime/thriller. Some had twists and turn. Some were horrifying. A few were mesmerising. A couple made me flinch. One made me cringe in disgust. I skipped one out of boredom/confusion. One kept me up way past my bedtime - and was definitely not the sort of story you're supposed to read right before going to sleep. Several made me smile and nod, acknowledging just how genius King is at writing.

If forced to pick my favourite 5 (without ranking them!) I'll say Willa, The Gingerbread Girl, Stationary Bike, N. and Mute. I won't explain why they're my favourites other than that each and every one struck a chord. Pulled me in. Made me feel something (though not the same).

If you like King's style this is definitely a book to read. Some stories are better than others, but a few are absolutely terrific.

by Stephen King
ISBN13: 9780340977163
353 pages / Published in 2008

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2015


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