Night Shift

Night Shift

Never trust your heart to the New York Times bestselling master of suspense, Stephen King. Especially with an anthology that features the classic stories "Children of the Corn," "The Lawnmower Man," "Graveyard Shift," "The Mangler," and "Sometimes They Come Back"-which were all made into hit horror films."Unbearable suspense." (Dallas Morning News)From the depths of darkne...

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Title:Night Shift
Author:Stephen King
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Edition Language:English

Night Shift Reviews

  • R.

    What I learned from

    :

    It ain't easy to quit smoking.

    That I know what you need.

    That I am the doorway.

    That he walks behind the rows.

    That sometimes they come back.

    It ain't over in 'Salem's Lot.

    Don't drink bad beer.

    Get off your ass and mow your own lawn, goddammit.

  • Edward Lorn

    First read this collection when I was... twenty, I think. Not sure. Does it matter? Probably not. Three things to mention before hitting you with my one sentence reviews: I forgot how much of King's early work tied into these stories, and how much I enjoyed his non-horror outings. Truth be told, I probably didn't like the more literary stories that I read once upon a when because I was a tried and true idiot in those days (I'm still an idiot, but my wife turned me into a functioning idiot, and I

    First read this collection when I was... twenty, I think. Not sure. Does it matter? Probably not. Three things to mention before hitting you with my one sentence reviews: I forgot how much of King's early work tied into these stories, and how much I enjoyed his non-horror outings. Truth be told, I probably didn't like the more literary stories that I read once upon a when because I was a tried and true idiot in those days (I'm still an idiot, but my wife turned me into a functioning idiot, and I say thankee sai). Finally, this is probably the most fun anyone will ever have with a King collection. There are stories in here that are simply fucking cool. The concepts are fun, even if they are a tad bit violent, but there's a heaping helping of humor to go along with the sadness and the terror. I don't think any other collection, novella, or novel of his can match the sheer entertainment factor of this, his first published collection. You might disagree; and if you do, give some examples in the comment section. Once again, I know there's scarier and more moving stories of his out there, but do you think any of them are thing much fun?

    On with the single-sentence reviews:

    "Jerusalem's Lot" - King's first attempt at Lovecraft fan fiction is a three-star outing for me because of the epistolary style, which I don't like.

    "Graveyard Shift" - Four stars worth of nasty fun that shows King's not opposed to the time-tested rule of get in, get dirty, and get out.

    "Night Surf" - A four-star jaunt back into a Captain Trips-ravaged world that I dug quite a bit.

    "I am the Doorway" - A tasty tidbit of sci fi horror that gets under your skin and explains that the cover you see above is quite literal in this four-star outing.

    "The Mangler" - Five demon-possessed pieces of industrial laundry equipment out of five for being the goriest thing I've read all year.

    "Grey Matter" - I'm going deeper into this one. I believe this story was the catalyst to great many things in the King-verse. The "Grays" from Tommyknockers and Dreamcatcher make an appearance, as well as a little story about a man going into a Bangor sewer to find a giant spider. The man comes out with his hair white as snow, and dies two years later, crazy as a shithouse rat. Of course these are only my theories, but I'm giving this story five stars based on possible coolness factor alone.

    "Battleground" - Ten pages and four star's worth of big fun that any kid who's ever played with little green army men will enjoy.

    "Trucks" - Three stars for the story that inspired the movie Maximum Overdrive, that B-movie masterpiece penned by King himself.

    "Sometimes They Come Back" - Two stars for this predictable little ditty that never has struck the right chord with me.

    "Strawberry Spring" - This five-star number is probably up there in my top ten Stephen King shorts; short stories, not the man's knickers.

    "The Ledge" - A different kind of three-star thriller that makes me wonder why King has written two tales (the novel Cujo, and this seventeen-page story) about a woman who has an affair with her tennis instructor.

    "The Lawnmower Man" - This two-star pile of offal was turned into a movie so horrible, King himself requested his name be stricken from the credits, but the story was just as bad as the movie, even though neither one had shit to do with the other.

    "Quitters, Inc" - I honestly cannot believe that the same man who wrote "The Lawnmower Man" wrote "Quitters, Inc.", because this five-star tale of willpower and familial love is altogether a horse of a different color.

    "I Know What You Need" - This three-star read first appeared in Cosmopolitan, and that's all I have to say about that.

    "Children of the Corn" - My favorite story in this collection easily gets all the stars, because kids and corn are scary, yo!

    "The Last Rung on the Ladder" - Well that one was a mule kick to the feels, so I guess it gets all the stars too.

    "The Man Who Loves Flowers" - Gets four stars based on nostalgia factor alone, as I believe it's the first short story of King's that I ever sampled.

    "One for the Road" - The second to last story in this collection gets four stars simply for being a companion to 'Salem's Lot.

    "The Woman in the Room" - Is an emotionally driven four-star effort that hits a little too close to home for me.

    Notable names:

    This time around, King references his other books in multiple ways, but mostly by the towns that would come to host some of his most famous works. Below you will find a list of these towns, and any names that struck a chord with me.

    Hemingford Home

    Derry

    Jerusalem's Lot

    Gates Falls

    Haven

    Patrick Hockstetter (this name pops up all throughout the King-verse, but I don't think it's the same person every time, mainly because, when he's just a teen, Hockstetter dies at the hands of Pennywise, yet he goes on to write a book that's referenced in Carrie then becomes a scientist in Firestarter.)

    In summation: Probably the most fun you will have with Stephen King. From animated army men to great beasts that tromp behind the rows, this collection is sure to please. Highly ecommended.

    (Author's note: I said I wouldn't be doing his collections during my massive reread of King's catalog, but I'm well ahead of schedule, so here you go. I plan on doing a decade of Kingly works every three months. I started in October, and have read everything he published between 1974 and 1984. Aside from Different Seasons, I'm all caught up with that time period. I think I'll do the audio books of those next...)

  • Fabian

    These are short stories (though not novellas) which actually serve as delectable intros to popular King mythologies (for a staggering example see [or better yet, don't {with the exception of "Trucks" a.k.a. "Maximum Overdrive" for B-level entertainment and "Children of the Corn" with its quaint moments of childlike chills}] all the movies made from like eight of these tales.) Here, King is at his most bizarre, most morbid. Most of his part-time heroes & (just a few) heroines, end up dead or

    These are short stories (though not novellas) which actually serve as delectable intros to popular King mythologies (for a staggering example see [or better yet, don't {with the exception of "Trucks" a.k.a. "Maximum Overdrive" for B-level entertainment and "Children of the Corn" with its quaint moments of childlike chills}] all the movies made from like eight of these tales.) Here, King is at his most bizarre, most morbid. Most of his part-time heroes & (just a few) heroines, end up dead or suffering the loss of a child, wife, mother. Sometimes one story seems to bleed onto another one by motif (corn... rats... snow... death machines... death [duh]). The editing I must admit is masterful. The most avant-garde stories bookend it nicely; it even makes reference to 'Salem's Lot, one book I must admit I still have to read, and there are comical undertones & some misogynist parts (!!!!). I love how un-Stephen King this is, for someone who's used to being satisfied with around 76% of his work.

  • Will M.

    Also posted at my blog:

    I find it really difficult to review short stories, especially anthologies. Night Shift is a collection of King's short stories, and if I'm not mistaken, this is a collection of the first short stories he wrote in his early years of writing. The most shocking thing you have to know is that the writing is not outdated. That's the thing about King, I've read his first book

    and the writing of it still felt like he wrote it mon

    Also posted at my blog:

    I find it really difficult to review short stories, especially anthologies. Night Shift is a collection of King's short stories, and if I'm not mistaken, this is a collection of the first short stories he wrote in his early years of writing. The most shocking thing you have to know is that the writing is not outdated. That's the thing about King, I've read his first book

    and the writing of it still felt like he wrote it months ago. Amazing author indeed.

    I'm unsure of what to write here. It would make this review damn long if I were to review each short story, so I'll just list down my favorites, and not so favorites, then give a brief explanation why I liked/disliked it. The ones not mentioned were either likable or boring.

    The likes:

    Something about mutated rats really caught my interest. I'm not normally afraid of rats, but if ever I see one as big as the ones described in this short story, then I would probably be scared as hell.

    The basis for The Stand, which is one of my favorites novels of all time. It was short but quite satisfying. I liked how King introduced the disease that would cause so much havoc in The Stand.

    Honestly it would be a sin not to like this. No spoilers along your way though, so all I can say is choose your decisions wisely. It has been proven how addictive smoking is. I've never smoked in my life, and after reading this, I don't think I ever will. The plot presented here is not unlikely to happen in real life, and that's the reason why this was so scary and entertaining at the same time.

    Originality might not be the most prominent factor of this short story, but it was executed quite nicely. I liked the main character and it was a satisfying short read.

    Please don't let them come back. The main character here was really likable, and the supernatural element was creepy as fuck. Good thing I was reading this one in the afternoon. A bit scarier than Pet Sematary if one were to look at the bigger picture.

    Who doesn't like to read about gambling/bets? I sure do. The deceiver becomes the deceived.

    Creepy as fuck if ever I meet a woman of the same kind as the weird man in this one. For me this tackled psychological factors with a pinch of supernatural element/s along the way. Typical King. Amazing.

    and last, my favorite of them all,

    I read The Boogeyman at one in the morning. That was the worst decision I've ever made in my reading life, so far (maybe alongside Pet Sematary). This one was fucking scary I had to turn on the lights right after. As none of you know, I'm a bit of a nocturnal person. I'm most productive at night, and being a Stephen King fan doesn't really bode well with the nocturnal life. Really likable characters that were fully developed despite this being a short story. The Boogeyman was fucking scary and the ending scared me the most. The best of the whole collection.

    There are the ones that I disliked. I don't think I should do an "in-depth" review of them anymore because the ones that I did like managed to make this review long already. Let me just comment on how much I hated

    but really liked

    . Both are related to 'Salem's Lot, a novel that I really didn't like. I was expecting to like JL so that I could have a better reread of 'Salem's Lot in the future, but nope, I hated it just as much. Another noteworthy disappointment would be

    . I'm sure it was showcased at the back of the book for a reason, but I'm quite unsure of what that reason would be.

    4.5/5 stars. Not a perfect collection but some will never be forgotten. This collection was executed beautifully considering this was written in King's early writing years. There's a reason why King is my favorite author, and most of his works prove my point. This is one of those works. Read this if you want to be scared, and I'd recommend reading this at night.

  • Councillor

    Many readers consider this book to be one of Stephen King's most popular short story collections, and I can't disagree with that opinion ... mostly because it's only the second anthology by King I have read so far. Many original horror stories are included in this collection, with most of them having been adapted into classic horror movies like "Children of the Corn", "Graveyard Shift" or "The Mangler". In its entirety, however, I consider "Night Shift" to be a rather weak collection of short st

    Many readers consider this book to be one of Stephen King's most popular short story collections, and I can't disagree with that opinion ... mostly because it's only the second anthology by King I have read so far. Many original horror stories are included in this collection, with most of them having been adapted into classic horror movies like "Children of the Corn", "Graveyard Shift" or "The Mangler". In its entirety, however, I consider "Night Shift" to be a rather weak collection of short stories, and critics will certainly find affirmation that King is also able to write true crap. But on the other hand, some of the best short stories which might be discovered in King's writing universe are included here.

    In the following, I will list a short overview on the particular stories with my opinions on them. Because well, it's impossible for me to review this collection without taking a look at each of the stories itself, with so many crappy and so many fantastic short stories combined in one book.

    (2,5/5 stars)

    The first short story in Stephen King's first anthology deals with the origins of the fictional town Jerusalem's Lot which the reader already knows from

    . However, the story hasn't a lot in common with the novel counterpart, and whoever expects to find the roots of Kurt Barlow and the vampires will end up being disappointed. In epistolary form, Stephen King allows us to take a look at the story of a man called Charles Boone, who inherits the estate Chapelwaite and soon realizes that something with his new residence is not quite the way it should be.

    Nothing felt particularly outstanding in this story except for the epistolary structure, and as an introduction to the anthology it was a little bit deterring to me.

    (3/5 stars)

    Imagine working in a mill. No light except for electric torches. A bullying foreman who wants you to keep working, no matter what happens. And big, fat rats straying through the mill ...

    I'll give a piece of advice to you: Don't read this story if you have a rat phobia. Don't read this story if you like your protagonists realistic and without weird changes in behaviour. And definitely don't read this story if you intend to enter a cave or a mill anytime soon. It might not be your wisest idea in those cases.

    "Graveyard Shift" was a good story with creepy moments, but certainly with too much build-up in the beginning and too much speed in the ending.

    (1/5 stars)

    I'll borrow that quote from King's own story and apply it here to describe it. 'Hunk of junk' is actually pretty appropriate. I can't even explain what this story is about because it frustrated and bored me so much.

    (4/5 stars)

    A crossover between the genres Horror and Sci-Fi, this story fantastically explores the effects of a confrontation of one human being with alien powers. I was hooked from the beginning and suffered vicariously my way through to the ending along with a hardly remarkable protagonist who turned into an interesting character because of his fate - as, after being exposed to a certain mutagen, tiny eyeballs break out on his fingertips ...

    (1/5 stars)

    Ridiculous attempt to write about a haunted laundry. Let's better forget this story even exists.

    (3/5 stars)

    A father who has lost all three of his children to 'the boogeyman' visits a psychiatrist to tell about the terrifying deeds which have been committed against his family.

    One of the more frightening stories, but certainly also belonging to the more forgettable ones in this collection.

    (1/5 stars)

    This one just didn't catch my attention or attract my interest. I forgot what it was about ten minutes after reading it.

    (1/5 stars)

    I didn't get what this was supposed to be. A man attacked by tiny soldiers one inch and a half big?

    ...

    Seriously? Was Mr. King on drugs while he wrote this?

    (1/5 stars)

    A small town is attacked by haunted trucks, that's the basic essence of this short story. It may be used as the exact definition of ridiculousness. No soul behind these words; no sense behind this plot; no characteristics behind these appearing persons. Just another stupid story to be forgotten.

    You may think that I was so frustrated after those first nine stories that I was tempted to give up on it? Well, yes, I certainly was. But I kept telling myself to continue, not to abandon this, to believe in the power of King's writing ...

    And he proved me right.

    (3,5/5 stars)

    In one of the longest stories of the collection, Stephen King explores the life of a teacher for English literature who has been marked by a traumatic event of his past. Now, one after another, new students enter his class. And they look exactly like the teenagers who have attacked and killed his brother - about fifteen years ago ...

    A very good story with a lot of action, insight and interesting twists and turns. I would have liked to read a full-length novel of this with a more fleshed-out protagonist; the potential was clearly visible.

    (4/5 stars)

    Do you know this feeling when you're reading a mystery and suddenly have an idea on the potential outcome, which is so unlikely you immediately pass it, but then you realize the author has actually chosen this outcome for his story? I experienced it here, and it made me love the story even more. One of King's less-known stories, but definitely a fine piece of writing. The ending can be spoiled so easily that I will not even attempt to give you an idea of what it is about.

    In "The Ledge", a rich man is cheated on by his wife with her tennis instructor. The two men are confronted with each other in the penthouse of a skyscraper. And the husband has to settle a score - he comes up with a plan you will not believe that a human being is able to create.

    So, so good. This story is one of my favorites from King's works - action, drama, suspense, unbearable tension, believable character motivations, a unique idea and a wonderfully interesting plot - "The Ledge" has everything a good short story is supposed to have.

    (0/5 stars)

    Forget it, forget it, forget it.

    One of the worst short stories ever written. I will introduce zero stars to Goodreads ratings extra for this story.

    (5/5 stars)

    A middle-aged man wants to quit smoking and visits someone who claims to be able to make him do so. The man doubts these claims - until he realizes whereupon he got himself into ...

    This short story is perfect; it's as simple as that. No supernatural elements, but instead chilling and suspenseful writing with an ending which made me swallow more than once. Easily one of my favorite short stories of all time.

    (3,5/5 stars)

    At university, a young woman meets another man who she falls in love with, not knowing how dangerous this connection may turn out to be.

    Another very good story. Stephen King knows what he is writing, that's for sure (well, if you ignore certain stories like some of those I've mentioned above). I really liked the complex plot and the hidden appearance of supernatural elements.

    (3/5 stars)

    A married couple enters a deserted village with only children inhabiting it - and they clearly have no idea of how to welcome strangers with politeness.

    Of all the twenty stories in this collection, the one I was most excited about didn't work at all for me. It was scary, yes, scary and thrilling with the religious fanatiscism included, very atmospheric and creepy. Maybe it should have been longer - the potential for a full-length novel was clearly present. Everything felt a little bit too underdeveloped for me.

    (3,5/5 stars)

    This story deals with the adventures of a young boy and his sister in their childhood. Too short to be really able to explore the characters, but with a surprising twist, a realistic story and suspenseful writing. It's interesting to see how King is able to delve deep into a character's mind within only seven pages. Definitely one of his better stories.

    (2,5/5 stars)

    It's impossible to say what this story is about without spoiling it. King came up with an interesting concept and an unexpected turn, but on only four pages it was nearly impossible to get into the story.

    (4/5 stars)

    A deserted town. A heavy snowstorm. Vampires lurking in the dark. Sounds like everyone would want to be right in the middle of this scenario, doesn't it?

    This story creeped me out. It is by far the scariest one in the entire collection. You should avoid reading it in the middle of the night, just like I should have done.

    (3/5 stars)

    A very serious and highly relevant issue portrayed with very weird writing. From a writing point, this story might be worst executed in comparison to all the other stories (if you ignore the Lawnmover Man). It profits from emotion and potential alike.

    In conclusion, "Night Shift" did not live up to my expectations, but it also didn't disappoint me. Even if you are not interested in Horror or King's writing in general, you should give either "The Ledge" or "Quitters, Inc" a try. Both stories don't include any paranormal activities, but they cover interesting subjects and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    It's a must-read for fans of Stephen King's writing and the Horror genre in general, but if you don't consider yourself to belong to one of those parties, then you might think about skipping these stories (apart from "The Ledge" and "Quitters, Inc", of course). But then, with readers raving about this collection everywhere, maybe I'm not the one to trust in this matter ...

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