Stephen King * Just after sunset

“The mind gets up to funny tricks, doesn’t it? Shadows grow faces.”

I loved some of the stories in this book, others were a bit “meh” 🙂

Just After Sunset is the fifth collection of short stories published by Stephen King, containing 13 stories in total. A lot of these stories seem to focus on the aftermath of tragedy, and how people react. Whether this is pertaining to the loss of a child or the events of 9/11, it’s a strong theme throughout this collection of short stories.

“Any parting could be forever, and we don’t know.”

They all deal with identity and the loss thereof – Willa is about being yourself after death and everlasting love, Gingerbread Girl is about finding who you are after loosing someone important (a baby). “N” and “Stationary Bike” deal with a slow descent into madness.

Harvey’s dream was about an impending death and “The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates” is a call from the afterlife from a Grand Station place that feels like the waiting platform from “Willa”.

Stories include:
Willa
The Gingerbread Girl
-Harvey’s Dream
-Rest Stop
Stationary Bike
The Things They Left Behind
-Graduation Afternoon
N.
The Cat from Hell
-The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates
-Mute
-Ayana
-A Very Tight Place

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“I don’t want to hear the scary part. But at the same time she does want to hear the scary part, everyone wants to hear the scary part, we’re all mad here, and her mother really did say that if you told your dreams they wouldn’t come true, which meant you were supposed to tell the nightmares and save the good ones for yourself, hide them like a tooth under the pillow.” 

Graduation Afternoon: A young woman knows she’s attending one of her boyfriend’s family’s gatherings for the last time. It turns out being the last in more ways than one.

Mute: After finding out his wife has been having an affair, a man picks up a deaf-mute hitchhiker and bares his soul. But was the man really deaf?

This confessional tale was pretty good. King likes his shorts Twilight Zone-ish, doesn’t he?

Ayana: This was a tale about miracles. It was a little Hallmark-y for my taste.

A Very Tight Place: A guy gets trapped inside a Johnny-On-The-Spot by his vindictive neighbor.

This was a revenge story that wasn’t shitty despite the setting.

Closing Thoughts: Not a bad short story collection. N and the Cat from Hell were my favorites. I wouldn’t say any of the stories were duds but this wasn’t my favorite King collection. Three out of five stars.

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