Monday, January 2, 2012

Just After Sunset

I don't think this is one of King's most celebrated collections, but I really enjoyed it. I have a pretty long to-do list that seems to be growing bigger and longer by the minute so I'm not going to give you a play-by-play for each individual story, although I liked all of them just fine. They all seemed calmer, a lot more reflective, and (do I dare say) mature? Older characters, wiser but not always, who have a lot of responsibilities, many who have lost loved ones. The Cat From Hell and A Very Tight Place were definitely my two favorites (shudder, for both):

"He caught one last glimpse of that black-and-white face below the flattened ears, its eyes enormous and filled with lunatic hate. It had gotten rid of three old people and now it was going to get rid of John Halston."

"Maybe, probably, but Curtis wasn't sure that made things any better. There was still a lot of stuff down there---a lot of crap down there, floating in whatever remained of the disinfected water. Dim as the light was, there was enough to be sure of that. Then there was the matter of getting back out again. He could probably do it---if he could go one way he could almost certainly go the other----but it was all too easy to imagine how he'd look, a stinking creature being born from the ooze, not a mud-man but a shit-man."

One more thing----I have come to love the notes at the ends of King's short story collections almost more than the stories themselves, you know, the section (that he usually gives everyone permission to skip) where he provides background and inspiration about how he wrote each one. Fascinating. Now if only Damon/Carlton would release these details, life would be perfect.