Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories; Stephen King

Scribbler - 2015

For a number of years I tended to avoid short story collections but, something changed after reading  listening to, Just After Sunset and Full Dark, No Stars -- two of my favorite short story collections by King.  It's nice to be pulled in by a story and get to finish it in a short amount of time. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams allowed me that pleasure once again, and what I really enjoyed was that King provided a brief intro to each story often telling where he got the idea to write it.  

This book is a collection of (20) short stories, a few of them  ere family to me having surfaced previously as singles: UR, and Mile 81 .

A few of the other ones I really enjoyed were:
  • Mile 81,  a closed down rest stop off I-95 that proves deadly for those who stop and dare to check out a mud-splattered old wagon parked there.  The Little Green God of Agony, inspired by King's 1999 accident where he was hit by a car while walking and required 2-3 years of physical therapy recover.  In this story the victim is Andrew Newsmen, the 6th richest man in the world, who will do just about anything to have his pain taken away.  
  • After Life,   is there one or not?  William Andrews is a Goldman Sachs investment banker who dies an unexpected death.  He doesn't believe in the "after life", but gets a big surprise.
  • Obits,  a recent URI graduate with a degree in Journalism finds a job writing snarky "obits" for someone who is still living, but each dies an unexpected death once the "obit" has been written.
  • Batman and Robin Have an Altercation,  a father with Alzheimer's and his son go out for lunch each Sunday and on the way home a road rage incident changes things up a bit for the duo.

Some of the stories were just okay but, for the most part I enjoyed this collection. King's enthusiasm for the his craft shows through in many of these stories.  I also enjoyed that some of these stories were inspired by things that happened to him in some form.  The Maine setting and the creepiness and weird elements infused into each story came across as signature King.  I thought it was interesting that many of the stories were about aging, death and even the afterlife. I guess even Stephen King, now in his late 60's, clearly wonders about these things.

Enjoyable collection, I'm guessing the audio version would be awesome as well.

4/5 stars


  1. I do like short stories but King can be too scary for me.

  2. Diane, I also think this collection of short fiction would work well as an audio book. After all, scary stories are meant to be heard out loud! Thanks for sharing some of the premises of these Stephen King stories.

    1. I agree, scary stories are best listened too, although this was nice in print as well.

  3. We like creepy Stephen, long or short!

  4. I don't read a lot of short story collections either and am hoping to add some of those this year to my reading. This sounds like it would be a good one. King's stories can be a bit hit or miss for me but I guess I'll have to check it out!

  5. I happened to come across this article about King's "Bachman books" written under the Richard Bachman pseudonym just this week and thought I was suddenly in on some secret. I'm guessing every Stephen Kind fan already knows about it, but I thought I'd share just in case :)

    1. I liked that you could pick this one up, read a story in less than 20 minutes and then go do something else. Yes, I was familiar with Bachman/King book but, I do hate when authors write under different names. Think the Bachman one was from the early 80s.

  6. Our kids picked out this book to give to my husband for Christmas, since they know he's a big King fan. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  7. I love King! I have this one on my shelf and can't wait to cozy up with it. Sounds like I will definitely be enjoying it ;)


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