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1993 Stephen King – Nightmares & Dreamscapes Audiobook 24 short stories
Stephen King is a world, and I don’t only mean he contains multitudes or his bibliography is really big. He is a world in the sense that he works under his own physical laws. A couple of the underlying forces which underpin his existence are described in his introduction into Nightmares and Dreamscapes, his third collection of short tales.
One force is his urge to sprawl, his tendency towards what he calls. “The leap of faith essential to make the short stories happen,” he writes, “is becoming particularly tough in the last few decades; these days it appears that everything wants to be a publication, and every novel wants to be roughly four million pages long.” Stephen King – Nightmares & Dreamscapes Audiobook. The opposing force is his desire to please the reader by introducing his very best material when it would be quite so easy to shore or to replicate himself. “What I have tried hardest to perform would be to steer clear of the older chestnuts, the back stories, as well as the bottom-of-the-drawer material,” he writes two pages afterwards. These two forces pull him in opposite directions, and the outcome is, as he explains it, “an uneven Aladdin’s cave of a book.” With the emphasis on “jagged”
After over 20 years, it requires three books to round up all of the Stephen King short fiction he feels is fit to print. But unlike his first set, Night Shift (1978), that leaned towards stories of individuals going mad or getting transformations (“Grey Matter”, “I Am the Doorway”, “Strawberry Spring”, “The Boogeyman”, “The Man Who Loved Flowers”), or Skeleton Crew which leaned towards stories about monsters (“The Mist”, “The Monkey”, “The Raft”, “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut”, “Gramma”), Nightmares and Dreamscapes seems to have no unifying principle aside from clearing out King’s documents. The stories tend toward crime (“Dolan’s Cadillac”, “My Pretty Pony”, “The Fifth Quarter”, “The Doctor’s Case”) however they range from Lovecraftian pastiche, to hardboiled homage, to non-fiction about baseball, to Romero zombie fiction. A better unifying theme could be “Stephen King trying to sound like other writers.” Stephen King – Nightmares & Dreamscapes Audiobook.
Things kick off with a really long, quite EC Comics narrative that pays tribute to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” (right down to some quoted line of dialogue). A meek school instructor becomes obsessed with revenge following his wife testifies against a big-time mobster and gets whacked for her trouble. His revenge plan unfolds more than seven decades and there is a persuasive “dirt-under-you-fingernails” veracity to the technical details. King loathed this story after it had been completed and filed it for years until he dragged it out when Lord John Press desired an unpublished short story to launch as a limited edition publication. King likes to start his own story collections with more stories, but this isn’t any “The Mist.”
Stephen King Nightmares and Dreamscapes”The End of the Whole Mess” 1986, Omni
Composed for Omni, the science fiction and science fact magazine endorsed by Penthouse publisher, Bob Guccione, this science fiction narrative is one of the three highlights of the collections. Nightmares & Dreamscapes Audiobook Free. It winks at Flowers for Algernon but largely showcases a author firing on all cylinders technically, working with a novelist’s scope, and using a nice science twist at its heart. The only science fiction story in Skeleton Crew has been “The Jaunt” which felt just like Rod Serling on an off day, all exposition and using a sting which felt more formulaic than new. “The End of the Whole Mess” harkens back to King’s more successful “Night Surf”–his impressionistic sci-fi narrative from Night Shift.
“The End” tells the tale of two brothers, one of whom’s so exceptionally intelligent that there is something alien about him and he winds wiping out life on the planet through the very best of intentions. From the notes to Nightmares and Dreamscapes, King describes his brother, Dave King, as being just this sort of person. Troubled within a specialized detail in “Dolan’s Cadillac” he reached out to Dave (whom he describes as “a real polymath”) for help and obtained a videotape describing not just how to pull off the revival in “Dolan’s Cadillac,” but also what equipment would be required, and how to hotwire Highway Department vehicles. Nightmares and Dreamscapes Audiobook Download. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle King talked about how Dave was the foundation for the brother in “The End,” and that personal connection makes this story sing.
“Suffer the Little Children” 1972, Cavalier
An early story from King’s days hacking it out for the men’s magazines, this could have fit more smoothly in Night Shift, but his publisher probably did not wish their suddenly successful writer going out having a story in which a teacher murders a bunch of third graders.
Richard Dees, the tabloid reporter from The Dead Zone, reveals up to star in this story about a vampire airplane pilot. You can almost feel that the areas of the narrative about Dees struggling to get bigger, yearning to grow to novella size at least, before the anxious writer chops it off with a bloody, hurried ending.
This story about a guy who abducts the wrong little boy from a shopping mall is a clear sequel to “The Night Flier.” Nightmares & Dreamscapes by Stephen King – Audiobook. It gives readers a half-horror/half-crime short story that, like “The Night Flier,” comes to a sudden, bloody end. Contrary to “The Night Flier” it feels like normal ending, and the story is a wonderful way to pass the time, save for the fact that the pedophile customer who is receiving the abducted child is a “big greasy Turk” who speaks with a cartoonishly strong accent. Stephen King may capture the fears of mainstream America, but occasionally those anxieties are darker than he realizes.
Originally written for one of the University of Maine’s literary mags, King extensively reworked this one before adding it. Yet another story set in Castle Rock, it is a Cthulhu mythos story that’s very well executed, but never actually seems to really go anywhere, mostly because the whole story consists of memories and reminiscences.
“Chattery Teeth” 1992, Cemetery Dance
One of the weirdest stories of the bunch, a traveling salesman (who appears to be working the exact same route as Dolan, in fact you expect him to maneuver Dolan’s Cadillac) gets bailed out of a tight place by a pair of wind-up novelty teeth. Tight and taut and a little silly, it’s a fun time passer.
Stephen King Nightmares and Dreamscapes”Dedication” 1988, Night Visions 5
Another of the three highlights of this collection, “Dedication” is not a simple story to enjoy, but it comes from such a real place it conveys discussion. Stephen King – Nightmares & Dreamscapes Audiobook. As King points out in his notes, this story has teeth. Martha Rosewell is a black housekeeper in a New York hotel who comes to work walking on air because her son has just released his first book and devoted it to her. She has a few drinks with a friend, as well as spirits as the lubricant she spills the odd story about how her son was born. It is a narrative that involves Martha, under a brujeria spell, gobbling up the cold semen from the sheets of a white, racist writer who stayed in the resort. The hardworking girl whose kid becomes a successful writer through the downright mad sacrifices she creates is a personality who crops up in King’s work several times, most notably here and in Dolores Claiborne.
It is a very clear tribute to his mom who put King and his brothers through college while working a variety of jobs, including at stint at an industrial laundry, and King writes these characters with a great deal of love and invests them with a lot of nobility and intellect, but what is most striking is the amount of self-effacement involved. Nightmares & Dreamscapes Audio Book Download. While King frequently praises the sacrifices made by his mom and his wife, he seldom gives himself any credit in any respect. The authors in King’s books are selfish, weak, addictive characters (The Shining, “Secret Window, Secret Garden,” The Dark Half) and that he never extends to them, and by extension, that the generosity or comprehension he does to his mother.
Another thing that increases this story over the package is that Martha Rosewell is among his first fully rounded African-American characters, so carefully written that while she’s working class she just lapses to dialect when she is ingesting or imitating the address of another character. While the semen eating (and there is a good deal of it) is kind of gross, this is what King does. He follows the story wherever it belongs, no matter how ranking things get.
A bizarre little doodle about a conflict between a man and a very long finger that comes out of the drain. Much like “Chattery Teeth” it’s a good way to pass the time, but not much more.
Critics of Stephen King will discover everything they hate about him wrapped up in a single dubious package here: a disgusting phantom using a pencil through its eye, taking a blossom, in a building filled with rock and roll producers. Stephen King – Nightmares and Dreamscapes Audiobook. So let us see: defecation, disgusting imagery, rock n’roll fannishness, and a minority turned to the evil other. Yep, it’s all there.
Stephen King’s love of rock n’roll can get a bit cloying occasionally, particularly in a book like Christine which is larded with licensed song lyrics. King’s obsession with all the pop culture of his childhood can feel just like listening to the Stand By Me soundtrack for the five millionth time, but what starts out just like “Children of the Corn” meets a stoner discussion about who gets to visit rock and roll heaven, turns right into a ferociously anti-nostalgia narrative that succeeds despite itself. This one could be dismissible as a time passer in case it didn’t have such a powerful, poisonous sting in its tail which sees King interrogate his own tendencies towards nostalgia.
Stephen King Nightmares and Dreamscapes”Home Delivery” 1989, Book of the Dead
The next highlight from this group, this narrative was written “to arrange” for an anthology place in the world of George Romero zombies. It is the sort of story that shows what is so good about a Stephen King story. A pregnant woman living on a small island off the coast of Maine has to deal with Romero’s zombie apocalypse in a narrative that contains every possible element of Stephen King’s fiction: hard-working Maine lobstermen, a reference to his other works (in this instance Little Tall Island out of Dolores Claiborne), an abusive husband, a smart old timer that spits a lot. Nightmares & Dreamscapes Audiobook Free. The death of a main character, science fiction elements, picture descriptions of corrosion and violence presented in intense close-up, and a sentimental view of small children, and lots of nausea. And still, the story works so well that it shakes the dust off King’s clichés and turns them into something vital and alive. Even people who aren’t fans of Romero’s original living dead trilogy are going to find a story here that, no pun intended, actually delivers.
“Rainy Season” 1989, Midnight Graffiti
Another time passer that’s no worse or better compared to others in this book. Like “The Moving Finger” you get the impression King was captured by a particularly horrifying, surreal image and then constructed the story around it. The narrative is most noteworthy for the fact that it finished the bout of severe writer’s block King suffered after completing The Tommyknockers.
The story behind this story is more interesting than the story itself. “A bad bit of work born in a miserable time of my life…” is how King explains it from the notes. Richard Bachman, King’s pseudonym, also had a pseudonym, George Stark, and at the early 80s he was working on a book by Bachman called Machine Way and a publication by Stark known as My Pretty Pony simultaneously. The projects fell apart, but Machine Approach was repurposed almost a decade after into The Dark Half while the six remaining chapters of My Pretty Pony were buried within a file. King afterwards unearthed it found that one flashback felt like its own short story, and published it at a “overpriced and overdesigned” limited edition via the Whitney Museum. Nightmares & Dreamscapes Audiobook. Oddly enough, the narrative is a through-the-looking-glass version of “The Wedding” originally printed in 1980 (and gathered in Skeleton Crew), where a gangland assassination occurs at a marriage. As for the story itself, it is a worked explanation of the titular metaphor that is almost unbearably in love with itself.
“Sorry, Right Number” 1987, Tales from the Darkside
Written to your Tales from the Darkside TV series and printed as a screenplay, it is a wonderful time passer about time departure.
A cross between this volume’s “Suffer the Little Children” and Night Shift’s “Quitters, Inc,” this narrative about a conspiracy of aliens to wash out the human race is an enjoyable monster yarn which would have felt at home at Skeleton Crew. Written in three times, it zings together and it’s among the most gratifying time passers within this group besides “You Know They’ve Got a Hell of a Band.”
King is generally at his weakest when he’s imitating H.P. Lovecraft, and this narrative feels like Stephen King imitating Ramsey Campbell imitating H.P. Lovecraft, which makes it a copy of a copy.
With shades of Ray Bradbury, this story of yet another teacher/author who abuses his children is a nice, satisfying dose of King, and it feels like a young adult story featuring an engaging cast of preteen siblings attempting to navigate their way through a tough situation.
It is unclear why King republished this one, because it’s an imitation of one of Donald Westlake’s Parker books, right down to the selection of language and the storyline particulars. Stephen King Nightmares & Dreamscapes Audiobook.
“The Physician’s Case” 1987, The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
This can be Sherlock Holmes fan fiction which manages to be a passable Sherlock Holmes story with a strange, amoral twist. King does a nice job of copying Doyle’s voice, but it is not very clear why he chose.
Following two copies of additional mystery writers, this narrative comes as a surprise. What begins as knock-off of hardboiled writers like Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald suddenly veers into Philip K. Dick territory and becomes a bizarrely original Stephen King story that truly pays off.
A very long non-fiction account of Owen King’s (Stephen’s son) small league season playing for Bangnor West as they visit the championships that are senile. Depending on your taste for baseball it’s an exercise in boredom or a straight-forward account of several small league baseball games. It’s also terrible non-fiction. King drops the generally chatty, romantic voice he uses in most of his non-fiction and attempts to produce a New Yorker piece with all the colour drained from it. Never one to neglect when he puts his mind to it, he successfully drains all the colour from it. Nightmares and Dreamscapes Audiobook Stephen King.
A brief baseball poem. King says it’s been extensively anthologized and that is not surprising. How many baseball poems with a bestselling writer must there be out there?
“The Beggar and the Diamond” previously unpublished
A little little parable that is almost sunk by an adverb in the end. Overuse of adverbs is something King warns against in his On Writing and has said several times as something he fights. You can see why.
Stephen King Nightmares and DreamscapesNightmares and Dreamscapes hit the stands in September 1993, also heralded the start of a five year interval through which King would only produce one book that fans consider one of his finest (The Green Mile). For many authors, a five year dry patch wouldn’t matter much, but for someone with such prolonged fertile periods before, it stands out. Stephen King – Nightmares & Dreamscapes Audiobook. I could publish my laundry list and sell a million copies or so.” Or, in this case, he could wash his drawers and sell almost four thousand copies. That’s not to say this collection is without merit, but it’s the weakest of the three short story anthologies.