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.