Sunday, 25 October 2015

Review - The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams
by Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Pub. Date: November 3, 2015
ISBN: 978-1501111679
Pages: 512
Buy Link: Amazon


Author Stephen King, the master of horror suspense, will be releasing his newest collection of stories - The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams on  November 3, 2015 through Scribner, which will features 20 novellas and short stories.

The collection features a mix of never-before-published titles and previously released ones, such as Mile 81 (originally published as an e-book), Premium Harmony (published in The New Yorker), Batman and Robin Have an Altercation (published in Harper's Magazine), The Dune (published in Granta), A Death (published in The New Yorker), The Bone Church (published in Playboy), Morality (published in Esquire), Afterlife (published in Tin House), Ur (published as an e-book), Herman Wouk Is Still Alive (published in The Atlantic), Under the Weather (published in the Full Dark, No Stars paperback), Blockade Billy (previously published as a novella), Tommy (published in Playboy), The Little Green God of Agony (published in A Book Of Horrors), That Bus Is Another World (published in Esquire), Drunken Fireworks (previously published as an audiobook) and Summer Thunder (published in Turn Down The Lights). Previously unpublished titles includes Mister Yummy, Obits and Bad Little Kid, though the latter was published as an audiobook in Europe.

While Mr. King is known for his horror novels, not all of the stories in this collection are meant to be scary as there are dramas, character studies, science fiction and thrillers. It would take me forever to go over each and every story, so I'm going to pick just my favorites.

Blockade Billy is a baseball tale about a minor-league player, William "Billy" Blakely, that is brought in to be the catcher for the New Jersey Titans. He becomes a great addition to to team and gets the nickname "Blockade Billy" for his ability to stop runners from crossing home plate. Sadly, Blakely has a deadly past that eventually catches up with him. I read the novella when it was originally released in 2010 and I absolutely enjoyed it. It's a great baseball story, but with a Stephen King twist.

Premium Harmony is a short, but moving tale about a man named Ray Burkett who loses his wife and dog while on his way to Walmart to buy grass seed. It's a fast-paced tale set in Mr. King's fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. It's simple, but well-written story that stays in your head long after you finish reading it.

I've been aware of Mile 81 for awhile, but I've never read the e-book, so it was completely new for me in this collection. The story is set around an abandoned rest stop on Rt. 95 in Maine and features a variety of different characters that are all intrigued by the station wagon that is parked there. To me, Mile 81 is throwback to Christine and From a Buick 8, with plenty of scares to keep you awake during the night.

Yes, Ur might look like an advertisement for Amazon's Kindle, but it's an interesting tale with a Twilight Zone feel to it. The plot involves a college professor, Wesley Smith, being sent a pink Kindle that allows him to read books and newspapers from another parallel universe. It's a fun story to read and it has a connection the Dark Tower novels

Overall, The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams has some of Stephen King's best works. While I wrote about my four favorites, I enjoyed reading the other sixteen eerie tales as well. With Christmas just around the corner, this book would make a great gift for any Stephen King fan.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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