It wasn’t just books. In the early 2000s, Stephen King seemed existentially exhausted. He had started the decade with 2 audio books about the limitations and failures of storytelling (From a Buick 8 and The Colorado Kid), gone back into the hospital for surgery still dealing with his 1999 accident, emerged with memory issues, then turned in one of his least favorite novels (Cell), prior to getting his groove back together with Lisey’s Story and Duma Key in 2006 and 2008. Throughout that low point, he had also turned in one of his least interesting short story collections, Everything’s Eventual, which felt as though it was largely made up of recycled thoughts. Stephen King – Just After Sunset Audiobook.
There were a few great stories in there, but those who just lay there, hardly breathing, far outnumbered them. Confessing that he’d lost his knack for writing short stories after composing a lot of long books in the late Nineties he said that studying the huge quantity of stories required to gather the Best American Short Stories anthology reignited his spark and in 2006 he composed “Willa”, his breakthrough narrative. It felt just like the old days to him again, and inspired by his rejuvenated mojo, he pushed through the remaining tales in this volume, which was be King’s most satisfying short story set since Skeleton Crew.
Initially titled Pocket Rockets, then Unnatural Acts of Human Intercourse, King stated his publisher had a “shit match” and required that the title be changed. Just After Sunset Audiobook. The tales in this audio book were mostly written following “Willa” which was first published in December, 2006. With 13 stories from the group, and carrying out “The Cat From Hell” that is an older story he republished, in addition to the four composed pre-2006, which leaves us with eight stories written post-“Willa”. Written between 2006 and March, 2008, that has eight tales in about two years, which is just one every three weeks, while he was writing his novels. It seems that his short story mojo was back and it was starving.
“Willa” December, 2006, Playboy
An train station where the passengers from a canceled train are all awaiting. A nation bar that feels like something out of Carnival of Souls. A man looking for his girlfriend, who appears to have some definite opinions on where they’re. Stephen King – Just After Sunset Audiobook Online. To say more would ruin it, but after wading through Everything’s Eventual and Lisey’s Story, this is a cup of cool water. Like Shaker furniture, it is well-balanced, it retains its cards tight to its torso, and it is beautiful in its plain craftsmanship.
There is no fever swamp of made-up phrases, a la Lisey. Only a story that keeps showing more and more of itself as it evolves. About love and death, it could have fit perfectly in at the New Yorker.
“Gingerbread Girl” July, 2007, Esquire Every day, she works her out psychological issues by conducting on the shore and throughout the streets round the always-empty holiday homes, until one day she sees a vehicle in the driveway of a single house with a corpse hanging out of its trunk. King has a lot of distinct flavors of short narrative, and I love to call these his Hitchcocks. Place in the real world, displaying their subtexts in neon colors for everyone to view, they are simple studies in suspense, such as a good episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Other Hitchcocks include “The Ledge” and “Quitters Inc.” from Night Shift, as well as “Survivor Type” from Skeleton Crew, and “A Very Tight Place” also from that group. I adore these stories, and this is equally as great as the rest. Stephen King Just After Sunset Audiobook Download.
King had his main character in Gerald’s Game refer to himself as “the wonderful Gingerbread Girl” and another of his obsessive phrases echoes through “Harvey’s Dream” with its own mention of the Wallace Stevens poem “The Emperor of Ice Cream”, something he has been giving shout-outs to ever because ‘Salem’s Lot. In a great deal of horror novels, characters possess a “strange feeling” or even a “feeling of evil” that is often only lazy shorthand the writer deploys to avoid needing to construct their fear out of concrete specifics.
In a strange way, this whole dreamlike story is about that “strange feeling” and within a few short pages it illuminates an ominous, oppressive, nearly inhuman mood. Just After Sunset Audiobook. It’s not surprising that the entire narrative came to King in a dream and he woke up and wrote it, or instead transcribed it, in one sitting.
“Rest Stop” December, 2003, Esquire
King is fascinated by Donald E. Westlake who composed his Parker books under the Richard Stark name, and the Ed McBain/Evan Hunter split. He committed The Dark Half to investigating the relationship between a writer and his pseudonym, and he returns to that territory here. Set in Florida, John Dykstra writes a series of hardass crime novels under the Rick Hardin name.
When he stops at a rest stop on the way back from a signing and hears that a guy abusing his spouse in one of the bathrooms, Dykstra wants to run off, but if he pretends that he’s Hardin he is equipped to exact vengeance. King always wanted a different literary identity he could use to write tough guy fiction, but his Richard Bachman pencil title was taken from him by his own celebrity. And it is too bad. Just After Sunset by Stephen King Audiobook Free. Bachman had a real personality, so imagine how much better King’s Mr. Mercedes audio books could have been if they’d been written by Bachman instead of King.
“Stationary Bike” 2003, Borderlands
Back in 1983, King wrote “Word Processor of the Gods” about an author whose magic computer made whatever he typed become actual. Ever since then, he’s explored the concept of imaginary creations coming into life from The Dark Half and The Regulators, amongst others. In this story, a commercial artist trying to receive his cholesterol down starts riding a stationary bike in his cellar, then paints a picture on the wall of the imaginary countryside he is riding, imagining workers maintaining his arteries.
Obviously, these things turn genuine, with outcomes. It’s a bit on the lengthy side, and King’s been here earlier, but it is still written in the simple, uncomplicated design that typifies the tales in this group, and it is all the greater for that. Also of note is the fact that it’s yet another story, such as Duma Key and “The Gingerbread Girl”, of somebody exercising themselves back to health and sanity, much in precisely the exact same way King did himself following his 1999 accident which wasn’t even ten years ago at this point.
A very on-the-nose 9/11 story, it’s likely no error that the name echoes Tim O’Brien’s poignant Vietnam novel, The Things They Carried. Stephen King – Just After Sunset Audiobook. 1 year after the World Trade Center goes down a guy who played hooky from work that afternoon starts to find his dead coworkers’ cubicle toys materializing in his flat. Full of a lot of tiny details that feel slightly off (what office utilized Zip discs in 2001? A personality remains in bed listening to the news reports of 9/11 “before the sun comes up” although original influence was 8:46am) to totally ring true, some of this might be since this is his first story in a long time in which King’s character functions in a workplace (the majority of his characters work freelance, like him). At the same time, it’s as well-written as any other story in this collection and winds up being fairly powerful, quibbling aside.
“Graduation Afternoon” March, 2007, Postscripts
King was prescribed Doxepin, an antidepressant and sleep aid, but felt like he had been coming to rely on it. In November, 2006, while boosting Lisey’s Story at London, he decided to go cold turkey and the end result was a week of incredibly vivid dreams. One of those things he saw was an enormous mushroom cloud rising over nyc, and he woke up in a perspiration, sat down, and wrote this brief, effective narrative. Just After Sunset Audiobook Online.
Like “Harvey’s Fantasy” it generates a marginally off-kilter, druggy mood that’s ominous and effective. Additionally, it deploys one of the threadbare tics, when King indicates the simple virtue of the main character in the wrong side of the tracks by telling us no one in her wealthy boyfriend’s home actually plays “the nation stuff Janice grew up with” For King, people who listen to country music are salt of the earth, and it provides the soundtrack for “Willa” and the Dixie Chicks have an admiring shout out in “The Things They Left Behind.” Certainly, in the event that you wished to get on King’s good side in 2008, blast a bit Waylon Jennings.
“N.” previously unpublished
Not since Night Shift’s Lovecraft pastiche “Jerusalem’s Lot” has King felt as though he’s imitating an earlier tradition of horror tale how he can with N. Still another epistolary story, that feels as though it owes a debt to Lovecraft’s stories of interdimensional evil intruding into our plane of existence, King says that it’s an homage to Arthur Machen’s “The Great God Pan” a narrative he’s cited as being influential many times before. Just After Sunset Stephen King Audiobook Free. When it’s Lovecraft or even Machen, there’s a sense that the main characters, that become self-destructively obsessed with a rock circle at a distant field, are playthings in the mercy of inhuman forces.
Since his injury, King himself was at the mercy of these exact same inhuman forces, known as addiction and pain, and he writes everything might have been empty homage with a great deal of conviction. Additionally, along with “A Very Tight Place” it deals with mental illness, in this instance Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A series of 25 graphic video shorts (running roughly 90 seconds each) were created based on N. to market this collection and they were later collected on a DVD. Marvel Comics also introduced a mini-series predicated on “N”.
A classic story published at the start of King’s career but not included in some of his anthologies, the little “Cat From Hell” is dusted off and eventually finds its way into an official King collection. Just After Sunset Audiobook Download. About a hitman hired to kill an evil housecat, it’s as meaty and fun as a classic EC Comics decoration, and it’s pretty lively for a narrative that takes place completely in 2 seats: an armchair in an old library, along with the driver’s seat of a car.
“The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates” Oct/Nov, 2008, Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Written immediately while he was adjusting to jet lag after arriving in Australia for a motorcycle trip and not able to sleep, this is another brief, colorful story but it’s saturated in afternoon sunlight and rationality rather than the moody, surreal, early morning obscurity of “Harvey’s Dream” or even the late afternoon twilight of “Graduation Afternoon.” A woman planning her husband’s funeral answers the telephone and finds that her deceased partner is on the opposite end of this telephone.
Better at the secret, romantic language of marriage than most of Lisey’s Story put together, it’s a gentle story that elicits real tears. Like “Willa” and “The Things They Left Behind” it’s another story about unexpected death, and you wonder exactly what was on King’s mind to elicit numerous stories written between 2006 and 2008 about unforeseen fatal mishaps. Just After Sunset Audiobook (streaming online).
Another one of King’s Hitchcocks, that one also includes some ponderings about union in a short, inconsequential tale of a guy who selects a deaf mute hitchhiker and decides his captive audience produces a perfect man he can vent to. Duh-DUM: the guy is not really deaf! And now, departure follows! There’s a sting in the tail of the story which feels like a Old Time Radio play from Inner Sanctum or Suspense. Absolutely well done, but one of the volume’s poorer stories.
King’s been obsessed with dying, and a number of his most beautiful short stories are around death coming gently (“The Woman in the Room”, “The Reach”) and this is just another one. It is slight, and slender, but still well done.
Another of King’s Hitchcocks, this one’s all gross-out. Instead, he crawls through the bathroom, swims through all the poop, and leaves it out the bottom. Stephen King – Just After Sunset Audiobook. It exerts a sort of disgusting fascination, and features another mentally ill protagonist, that one struggling with depression and bulimia.