Review – Stephen King’s Full Dark, No Stars

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Often things will enter a person’s life either exactly when they need it or exactly when it’s capable of taking on another meaning, one so subjective and personal that it is almost impossible to be impartial. I’m not here to write impartial reviews, so it appears we are all in luck then. What I will do is give you my honest opinion sandwiched between a whole lot of neurosis and quite possibly an out of control foot fetish, but I digress. I wanted to dislike Full Dark, No Stars. I wanted to dislike it in the most pompous, holier than though, “what ? that must be your shit or possibly your dog’s, because mine simply doesn’t stink” kinda way. King’s latest is actually quite good. Good in an unexpected way, and good in a very subjective way.

If you’re looking for bump in the night, fur and fangs horror, then keep on movin… this one aint for you. Horror however, again, is a very subjective thing, and that is where Full Dark No Stars hits the hardest. King not only vacations in some very morally grey areas in his new story collection, but gets downright native with the blackest cores of the human heart.  In doing so King might let down hardcore horror readers and admittedly, I might have felt differently had I read FDNS (oh yeah, shat that little nugget out quick enough to go acronym crazy by the third paragraph) ten years ago. I didn’t though. I read it at a time when my own relationships are as unpredictable, heavy handed and maybe even as morally complex as those King breathes his life into.
Some may find the stories in FDNS a little hard to digest. They are provocative and unrelenting in their portrayl of the depravity of their characters. In that respect they are cinematic enough on their own that I can imagine any single story being made into a film that would carry the same weight of their literary counterpart. A Good Marriage, the last tale in the collection immediately comes to mind.

King channels his inner Poe in the opener and lets a little of the ole supernatural into the second story, Fair Extension. It is the suspense and drive of his characters in the latter tales that shine here though. For those of us who are examining our own human condition a little too thoroughly those are the ones with the “sticky”, the ones that linger, and the ones that are shockingly probable, maybe even right next door to our little yard gnomes, lawn jockeys and pink fucking flamingos.

Written by
Ash Hamilton is not only the owner of, but also one of its major contributors. A long time horror movie enthusiast, Ash has lent his personality to radio and television and continues to support his favorite genre through his writing and art. He also loves beef jerky and puppies... and low-grade street-quality hallucinogens.

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