Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King


BLURB
Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled listeners 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.

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

MY THOUGHTS
Stephen King is an author I've wanted to read more of for some time, however I felt a little overwhelmed by his extensive backlist. I have read a couple of novels by King, a few years ago now, but thought returning to his work with a short story collection would be a great way of dipping my toe back into his style of writing.

As with any short story collection, there are going to be some stories enjoyed more than others; I found that to be the case here, however overall thoroughly enjoying The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

In total there are 21 stories, with the book running at a chunky 507 pages. The stories all vary in length, ranging from under ten pages to just over sixty, all with an introduction from Stephen King himself sharing a little insight as to how the story came about.

There was one story that I didn't read: Afterlife. My reasons for not reading this particular story are because I have a deep set fear of death (in particular the afters of death) and I tend to avoid certain things that I know will get the thoughts going and such like. I read plenty of books that deal with death, and in fact my favourite story within this collection also involved such a subject, it just depends on the context that it is being addressed. I don't know if that makes sense... I hope it does!

My favourite story within the collection is titled Under the Weather - relatively short in length, the story is well paced and a little bit sad, but a stand out from the collection.

Both of the stories I mentioned involved the sensitive subject of death, but there are a bunch of elements running through the collection, and as with Stephen King's other works, no one specific genre; there is something for everyone.

If you're already a fan of King's writing, then of course pick this up, but if you're like me and wanting to explore Stephen King's writing style a little more before fully committing to reading a bunch of backlist books, then The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is the book for you.

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10 comments

  1. Great review! I’ve read 30-something of King’s books now, but I haven’t read this one. I usually like his novels more than his short stories. One of my goals in life is to read his whole backlist.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I love that goal, and it sounds like you're making great headway with it!

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  2. I enjoyed this collection, too. Have you read Joyland? I would recommend that one to ease you back into his novels.

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    1. I have read Joyland actually, and loved it. Thanks for the rec though!

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  3. I haven't read King in a while. This does seem like a good way to get back to him and his stories. Great review!

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  4. I like a good short story collection, and I've never read King, so I'm intrigued. I'm not big on horror so that's probably why I've never read him, but I can see reading something like this where I can get a bunch of shorter stories without committing to a long novel I may not like. Nice review!

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    1. Surprisingly, there wasn't too much horror within this particular collection. Short story collections are great to get stuck into; of late I've had a newfound appreciation for them.

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  5. I've only read a couple of Stephen King's books, mainly just because horror isn't really my genre of choice. I've never tried his short stories though so maybe I should give those a shot.

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    1. The short stories are a great way to discover his work, other than the genre of horror, although there are a some stories in here that would fall into that category.

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