Ah well, might as well post mr. skelly-belly to complete the set ...
Stephen King - Skeleton Crew (Futura, 1986)
The Mist Here There Be Tygers The Monkey Cain Rose Up Mrs. Todd's Shortcut The Jaunt The Wedding Gig Paranoid: A Chant The Raft Word Processor Of The Gods The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands Beachworld The Reaper's Image Nona For Owen Survivor Type Uncle Otto's Truck Morning Deliveries (Milkman #1) Big Wheels: A Tale Of The Laundry Game (Milkman #2) Gramma The Ballad Of The Flexible Bullet The Reach
Grab onto my arm now. Hold tight. We are going into a number of dark-places, but I think I know the way.
Unrivalled monarch of the macabre Stephen King again takes the unsuspecting reader on a fantastic journey through the dark, shadowy areas of our innermost fears.
In a bumper collection of tales guaranteed to chill the spine and freeze the blood, we meet GRAMMA — who only wanted to hug little George, even after she was dead; THE RAFT— primeval sea creature with an insatiable appetite; THE MONKEY— an innocent-looking toy with sinister powers; the unspeakable horror of THE MIST. And there is a gruesome host of other stories, each with the distinctive blend of unimaginable terror and realism that typifies King's writing.
Liable to leave the reader in a state of shock SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
The Raft: Pretty much King with his Crypt-Keeper head on - thank God: Randy, Deke, LaVerne and Rachel; four horny teens stranded on a raft in the middle of Cascade Lake versus our old friend, the flesh-eating blob of slime. In this case, it looks very much like an oil-slick and expands with every human it (slowly) devours. "My foot, oh my foot, my FOOOOOOOOOOOT!"
Plenty of pop culture references including name-checks for Roger Corman, The Beach Boys, Thin Lizzy's The Boys Are Back In Town and the Ramones' Sheena Is A Punk Rocker.
Survivor Type: Richard Pine, surgeon and drug-dealer, is marooned on an island and the only way he can fend off starvation is by resorting to auto-cannibalism, amputating and cooking up a tasty limb at a time .... According to King, he had difficulty finding a publisher to take it until Charles L. Grant manfully obliged (Terrors, 1982)
The Reaper's Image: An enchanted antique mirror that has claimed several lives , the victims simply vanishing once they've seen a black smudge on the glass which, on close inspection, is revealed to be the image of death. Spangler has to try it out for himself ...
Take it away, boys and girls!
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
Morning Deliveries (Milkman #1) Milkman Spike Milligan goes about his deadly morning rounds in the first of two rather bizarre pieces.
Big Wheels: A Tale Of The Laundry Game (Milkman #2) Two drunks are driving around town when they spy Spike, who has been seeing the wife of one of them. He decides to get even, but of course this doesn't happen...
I know these are two of the lesser stories here, but there is something strange about them that I really, really like.
Wonderful book of tales and along with Night Shift probably his best. Of Course The Mist is the pick of the bunch. Perhaps his greatest short novella. Made into a good film....As was The Raft which turned up as the 2nd tale in the Creepshow 2 film.
Gramma and The Monkey are wonderfully creepy and are superb for a dark night read.
There are a few clunkers like The Wedding Gig and Mrs Todds Shortcut that offer little or nothing. But purely because of The Mist this book is a mustbuy.