Just After Sunset by Stephen King

I cracked the spine of Stephen King's short story anthology Just After Sunset a few days (maybe a week) ago. After the first story, Willa, I decided to write a review of each story in the book. I did so with Willa (not King's best short story), but then decided (unconsciously) that doing a review of every short story in the book would impede my reading. In other words, the stories got better after Willa and I just did not want to put the book down long enough to write these reviews. So, here is a review of Just After Sunset by Stephen King as a whole.

In general, I prefer Stephen King novels to short stories. That is not at all because Stephen King is not a maestro with short stories. He has written a few doozies in his day. My reason for liking his novels more is most likely the depth to the story. It is hard to cram epic Stephen King stories into a few pages. At least, I am sure Mr. King would say it is hard. Stories like the Dark Tower series and The Stand would never do as short stories. That being said, King is able to take a few pages and turn them into something creepy, mysterious and/or wonderful. Just After Sunset is nearly filled with these kinds of stories.

Of all the stories in Just After Sunset, three are my favorites. They are also among the longest in the book, proving my weakness for longer King stories. The first is the story of a woman who is in pain and uses that pain to make herself stronger. Her newfound strength comes in handy when she is attacked by a lunatic. Another is the story of a psychiatrist who is haunted by an OCD patient's problems so much that he begins displaying them himself. The question is, were they both nuts or was there something to their strange manifestation of OCD? Lastly, there was the story of a man whose neighbor tries to kill him in a very disgusting way. Stephen King taps into a common fear with that one.

These three stories alone make Just After Sunset worth reading. Couple them with all of the other stories in King's anthology and you have what makes me keep coming back for more Stephen King - a book you do not want to put down.

Shelly Barclay

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