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Paperback Skeleton Crew: Stories Book

ISBN: 1501143506

ISBN13: 9781501143502

Skeleton Crew: Stories

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Book Overview

Includes the stories "Uncle Otto's Truck" and "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut"--set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine Features "The Mist" now a TV series event on Spike The #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the 1986 Locus Award for Best Collection, Skeleton Crew is "Stephen King at his best" ( The Denver Post )--a terrifying, mesmerizing collection of stories from the outer limits of one of the greatest imaginations of our time. "Wildly imaginative,...

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

Very poor presentation No dust cover and warped spine

Sender owes me a better “good” book

The King of Horror is at his best when writing short stories!

I am a huge fan of Stephen King, mainly because I love reading horror stories. And, while I have my share of favorite Stephen King novels, with The Shining, Pet Sematary, Carrie, Cujo, Misery, and Christine being at the top of the list, I have always enjoyed his short story collections the most! I’ve only read three of them so far(Different Seasons, Four Past Midnight, Full Dark, No Stars, and If It Bleeds are NOT short story collections; they are collections of novellas), but the first two are big favorites! Those books are Night Shift and Skeleton Crew. I love Skeleton Crew because it’s almost as good as Night Shift, which I have always considered as one of the scariest collections I’ve ever read! Some of the wicked nightmares Stephen King unleashes in Skeleton Crew include: The Monkey, Cain Rose Up, Gramma, Survivor Type, and The Reach. One warning: After you read this book, there’s a good chance that you WILL lose sleep!

Not Just Horror Stories

SKELETON CREW is mostly a collection of Stephen King short stories (there are a couple of poems). The collection was published around 1986. King had been a world-wide publishing phenomenon for just over a decade at that point. The stories are mostly hits, including a few bona fide classics, including "The Mist", "The Monkey", and "The Raft" with just a few lackluster tales. Most of the stories are works that were published previously in various print sources. The stories are prefixed with an introduction by King explaining why he still writes short stories. The works in the book are as follows. "The Mist"--recently published as a stand alone novella and adapted by Frank Darabont into a motion picture. "The Mist" is probably the strongest story in the collection and one of the better known and well-liked stories from SKELETON CREW. "The Mist" tells the story of a group of people that find themselves stranded at a local shopping center when a mysterious mist covers the town and surroundings and brings with it creatures from a prehistoric age. If you've seen Darabont's film, you really should read the story. The story has an ambiguous ending, but literally ends in "hope". "Here There Be Tygers"--a little boy has to go to the bathroom but is scared because he believes that there is a tiger inside the stalls. Not everything is in one's imagination and children don't cry wolf as often as many adults think they do. "The Monkey"--this is probably the best known tale from SKELETON CREW, after "The Mist". "The Monkey" is a story about a man who believes that a mechanical, cymbal-crashing monkey is cursed. He believes that every time the monkey crashes its symbols someone close to the man dies. The man tried to get rid of the monkey before, but it keeps coming back. "Cain Rose Up"--this story reminded me quite a bit like King's novel RAGE and the novella APT PUPIL. A young, seemingly together college student goes on a shooting spree after taking his finals. "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut"--a homespun yarn told by an elderly man about the wife of one of the "summer people" who used to go driving and was able to find all kinds of shortcuts through Maine, the United States, and even beyond. King is known for writing scary and horror stories, but he really shines as a writer in stories like this. "The Jaunt"--a sci-fi story about the dangers of traveling through time in order to travel through space. "The Wedding Gig"--a Prohibition-era story about a group of musicians who go to play at the wedding of the sister of a local gang boss. The festivities turn violent, but the narrator witnesses the turning point in the life of a female gang boss. "Paranoid: A Chant"--a poem about paranoia. "The Raft"--four college students, two males and two females, set out for a swim and a little excitement out on a raft in a private pond on the last warm day of autumn. They think they are alone, but there is something in the water that is hungry and just won't let t

King as his mesmerizing best!

Stephen King has written some powerful, scary, touching novels. But his best fiction remains, arguably, his short fiction. His love for the short story is obvious--he has thrown together several collections, each one about as thick as one of his novels. The stories in "Skeleton Crew" are horrifying and touching. There's "The Mist," a tale of a strange fog that beseiges a small town...and the deadly creatures it shrouds. In "The Wedding Gig," a jazz band plays for the Mafia...and makes some unusual acquaintances. "Survivor Type" details how far a man is willing to go in order to survive, while the poem "Paranoia: A Chant" is both amusing and disturbing. "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet" dives into a writer's psyche, and ponders just where all those stories come from. The power of God is imprisoned in a typewriter in "Word Processor of the Gods" and a toy monkey in "The Monkey." "The Jaunt" is a horrifying tale of science fiction, while a woman finds the ultimate shortcut--through Hell--in "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut." Some of the stories in here are fun and entertaining, such as "The Mist" and "The Wedding Gig." Others, such as "Cain Rose Up" and "Gramma", are downright disturbing. Stephen King shows his skills here, in "Skeleton Crew"--a collection of stories spanning decades, all from the same master of modern fiction.

It's Good t'be Da King

...In his second and comparatively subdued anthology of short stories, King's distinctive prose comes off as more haunting than all-out horrifying; a deliberately paced walk through a haunted mansion rather than an amusement-park simulation thereof. The stories are no more or less effective for the wear, but Skeleton Crew doesn't so much grab you by the lapels and order you to be frightened as shrewdly offer you the option to be...and, should you accept it, you are methodically jangled from gut to psyche, and left to reverberate once the last word glides across the page. This is something an evolutionary jump for the Stephen King anthologies, somehow darker and far more intimate than its predecessor. Self-image, paranoia, and survival are recurring themes (The open-ended question "Do you love?" is sprinkled throughout the book like an ancient yet timeless chant of infinite power and potential)...whereas Night Shift focused primarily on society's external structure and surreality overlapping the real world. In these writings, you'll find only what you choose to take with you.THE BALLAD OF THE FLEXIBLE BULLET: A poignant and complex tale with massage both universal and deeply personal.BEACHWORLD: Science fiction as interpreted by King; somewhat superficial in contrast to other stories, but can easily get under your skin. The futuristic pidgin lingo is a tough go, but I gotta admire the man for having the patience and skill to create a universal dialect in the first place.BIG WHEELS: A TALE OF THE LAUNDRY GAME (MILKMAN #2): Something of a day-in-the-life that abruptly crescendos into a revenge drama. Not the best this collection has to offer, but solid entertainment.CAIN ROSE UP: An unnerving tale of cynicism, disenchantment and impulse, eerily foreshadowing the acts of school violence prevalent from the late twentieth century to now. FOR OWEN: A breezy and touching poem dedicated to his youngest son, showcasing King's elusive sentimental side.GRAMMA: A harrowing tale focusing on youth and the unknown, raw and evocative.HERE THERE BE TYGERS: A strange, juvenile but effective mini-study on the parallels between a child's everyday concerns versus the perils that could potentially befall us out of the clear blue nowhere.THE JAUNT: Another slice of sci-fi a la King, every bit as twisted as Beachworld, but far more purposeful/cautionary overall. Tinges of Cronenberg's The Fly. This one scared the [daylights] out of me--I thought about it for literal DAYS afterward. THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT SHAKE HANDS: A brief meditation on paranoia; it seems alost satirical to me.THE MIST: An apocalyptic novella that takes the classic final-showdown-of-mankind scenario and transports it into a most unusual locale. Hints of Jurassic Park, Dawn of the Dead and John Carpenter's The Fog.THE MONKEY: A classic horror story, and as close to vintage King as you'll find in this anthology. The angel of death manifests itself in the form of a mechanical monkey-doll.MORNING DELIVE

The Skeleton Crew delivers you to a world of evil

Stephen King makes a wonderful effort in this, his second collection of short stories. All of the stories in this novel had been published in various magazines before they were collected together in this marvellous adventure into the unknown depths of King's imagination.The first story to appear in the book, "The Mist", definetly is the cherry on the top. Where else could you see a supermarket being the site for one of the last battles for humankind? The Jaunt is another amazing story, with parallels to "The Fly". The Jaunt invovles transportation technology, and the length of time a human mind experiences having to pass through it while being conscious. The Raft and The Reach are also most noteworthy creations from King's mind. The Raft was actually a re-written version of a story King had written earlier called The Float, but the idea was similar. King's The Reach show's that he can write all kinds of genres, not just the horror. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Stephen King, and anyone who wants to be. An excellent place to start if you are new to the world of Stpehen King, or a great book if you have read King before, and are looking for more.

Get a Stephen King "Quick Fix"

Most book critics are less than enthusiastic over Stephen King's short story collections; but if you're a fan, you probably don't much care. If you haven't read any of King's books, then this collection is the perfect medium for an introduction not only to the Master of Horror, but also to fiction writing at its finest. Whether you're looking for entertainment, or for a crash-course in superior writing technique, Skeleton Crew is well worth a look. The stories range from the eerie to the unsettling to the downright terrifying. What makes them so effective is their believability; the mundane "family-next-door" quality that so many of King's characters possess. These are not the brilliant lawyers, hard-boiled private eyes or blushing debutantes that form the character base of so much of today's popular fiction. King's characters are regular folks conducting their day-to-day lives in the same way we all do, and it is this quality which reaches into your imagination and takes hold of your personal fears with a grip hard to shake loose. "The Mist" is the signature piece of this collection. More of a novella, it is so poignantly authentic in its creation that you cannot help seeing your own family, summer cottage and small town as the cast and character of the tale. The pace of the story is akin to the snowball rolling downhill; slow and benign at first, speeding up to a pitch that is maniacal and devastating, testing the limits of your sanity. Whether you're looking for your next Stephen King fix, or just a shot of pure adrenaline riding the crest of crisp prose, this book is for you!
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