Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!
I remember reading this collection when I was a teenager. So happy to re-read again and refresh my memory. We get classic King here. I read this for the "American Horror Story" square due to all of these stories taking place in America. One started in space, but ended in Florida, so that one still counts too.
"Jerusalem's Lot" (5 stars)-taking place in the late 1800s in Maine. We get to read about the ancestors who came to stay at what will become a house of horror and terror for those in King's book, Salem's Lot. The tension in this story told via letters and excerpts grows until the ending which leads us to the events of the present day at Salem's Lot.
"Graveyard Shift" (4 stars)-this one had a lot of do with rats. So enjoy twitching while you read. A college educated man working at a factory gets fixated on the mean foreman. I thought the ending was a bit of a letdown. And I honestly didn't cheer for the main protagonist since I thought he was insane.
"Night Surf" (3 stars)-the only saving grace is that this can be considered a side story in "The Stand". We read about a group of teens who come together after Captain Trips hits America and everyone starts dying. I just didn't care for any of the characters.
"I am The Doorway" (5 stars)-just realized this story would fit the "Aliens" square. I thought it was very well don't and full or horror when you realize what is happening to a retired astronaut.
"The Mangler" (5 stars)-a haunted machine that gets a taste for blood. I remember watching this movie as a kid and I liked the crazy ending that got tacked on. The original story is just as good too.
"The Boogeyman" (5 stars)-this book still scared me via my re-read and is directly the reason for my inability to sleep with the closet door open. So kudos to King for that. I do wonder if the awful man who treats his wife with contempt and his children with benign neglect is the reason why the so called Boogeyman was focused on this man and his family.
"Gray Matter" (4 stars)-a man and his beer will not be parted. The ending leaves things up in the air so you don't know whether there will be a happy ending or not.
"Battleground" (3 stars)-weirdest story in this collection. I was fascinated by a tale of Army men come to life, but it ultimately didn't work for me.
"Trucks" (4 stars)-I consider this King's earlier version of "The Happening" with trucks. I still found it to be a bit hard to swallow though. How does a truck know Morse code?
"Sometimes They Come Back" (5 stars)-really great story of a man haunted by the death of his brother. I recall watching the original movie and sequels to this and enjoyed them.
"Strawberry Spring" (5 stars)- a man explains how during his college days, when a Strawberry Spring came, so did a serial killer. I thought when I read this for the first time how smart and surprising the ending for the story was that King wrote. Though I knew the ending, I still enjoyed this.
"The Ledge" (5 stars)-a man forced to bargain for his lover and his life by being forced to walk a ledge from several stories up. I have a far of heights so this story always freaks me out.
"The Lawnmower Man" (2 stars)-my least favorite in this collection. It was just weird, not scary.
"Quitters Inc." (4 stars)-what would you be willing to give up in order to quit smoking? The whole premise of this book seems far-fetched though I liked it.
"I Know What You Need" (5 stars)-the fact that King in the 70s gets that your inability to give consent is rape floors me since many people still argue about this. What would you do if you found someone could give you everything that you never knew you wanted?
"Children of the Corn" (5 stars)-the whole thing could have been avoided if the husband listened to his wife. Heck, I would have left him in this small town where no adults seem to exist. The description of this town and the smell of corn felt very real to me yesterday when I was reading.
"The Last Rung on the Ladder" (5 stars)-such a sad tale of what happens when an older brother is not there for his younger sister as they grow into adulthood.
"The Man Who Loved Flowers" (3 stars)-not that engrossing as "Strawberry Spring."
"One for the Road" (5 stars)- Salem's Lot, I think two years after the events in that book.
"The Woman in the Room" (3 stars)-i thought this was a weak story to end the book on. Would have been better to end the book with a Lot story since one opened up the collection.
Lost my review twice now so I'm ready to spit nails.
I was happy to read the comments from those that did this buddy read. Other than that, if this is an example of Classic Noir, I don't think I'm going to be a fan. I didn't like anyone. The writing at times was hard to understand since it was written in another time and place. A couple of things I had to go and look up and realized it would have been better for me to just watch an old black and white movie instead.
"The Thin Man" follows Nick Charles, a former PI who is dragged into looking for a missing man he used to know, Clyde Wynant. Wynant goes missing after a former mistress/lover of his is found murdered. Clyde's terrible ass family shows up and asks him to find Clyde and or just act genuinely annoying. Someone else called them sociopaths in one of the updates and honestly I agree.
Nick Charles is the main character in "The Thin Man." I assume the movies make him and Nora (his wife) more partner like. But besides Nora calming down people, ordering Nick food, and making Nick a drink, there wasn't much for her to do. Oh yeah, she laughed about her husband being flirted with right in front of her.
The other characters are cringe worthy individuals.
Mimi Wynant is a terrible mother to her two kids, Dorothy and Gilbert. She's obsessed with finding her ex husband to see what money she can shake out of him. In a crazy scene she loses it and goes incoherent with rage. She also beats her daughter and everyone acts like that's cool.
Dorothy is a low rent Lolita wannabe.
Gilbert is obsessed with his sister (yeah not in a good way) gives her drugs and talks about taking cocaine to make himself sharper. As one does.
There's the guy having an affair, but that's okay cause his wife is awful. Shakes head.
Nick is thrown up against criminals and cops and finally announces who did it. I didn't follow the clues at all. So it was a surprise to me.
The writing was typical of the 1930s. I didn't care for it much though. The flow was awful. It was just people drinking and shouting at each other. There's also a random story about cannibalism I'm still confused about including.
The setting of New York during the Christmas holiday didn't feel realistic at all. Did any character mention cold or snow? New York during the last days of Prohibition should have been awesome as a setting.
The ending as I said was just a sad trombone sound come to life. Nick explains to Nora the who and the why. She argues with him, he ignores her, and they talk about New Year's Eve.
Really good collection of short stories.
Some I really loved, others were just okay.
I forgot there are two Lot stories so that was cool. We get a prequel and an aftermath one.
The Last Run on the Ladder would make a great short film.
Children of the Corn is still creepy.
I also realize on some of these stories we just have terrible men getting their just desserts: The Boogeyman, The Ledge, Night Shift, and Children of the Corn.
I'll have to try Hammet's other works cause Nick and Nora Charles did not impress me at all.
The dialogue wasn't snappy to me. I was expecting more banter.
Also how did anyone get anything done with the amount of booze they threw done their throats?
At least I won't be forced to read about Dorothy and her constant crying about what happened to her when she was a kid anymore.
All caught up now.
These people. Still awful.
“What did Mamma say—about me?”
“She said you’re in love with me.”
She sat up abruptly. “What did you say?”
“I said you just liked me from when you were a kid.”
Her lower lip twitched.
“Do—do you think that’s what it is?”
“What else could it be?”
“I don’t know.” She began to cry. “Everybody’s made so much fun about it—Mamma and Gilbert and Harrison—I—”
I put my arms around her.
“To hell with them.”
After a while she asked: “Is Mamma in love with you?”
“Good God, no! She hates men more than any woman I’ve ever known who wasn’t a Lesbian.”
I skipped back to this because I really want to read everybody's reviews and I need to know if everybody loathes Nick as much as I do.
Honestly I'm starting to have flashbacks to that series that Moonlight Reader and I read a couple years ago. I think it was the John Stanford series and the main character was Lucas Davenport and he was the world's most attractive man and women were throwing their panties at the guy and I found him gross. That's how I feel about Nick right now. I just find him offensive and just generally an ass.
And does anybody else get the feeling that he only married Nora because she has money?I'm not feeling a whole lot of affection from him to her though for some bizarre reason she seems to love his terrible terrible behind.
Got to 36 percent before I had to go run errands and visit some friends.
Scariest story so far....hmm dunno.
I am the Doorway
It is cool to read some stories that were precursors to books like The Stand though.
Also mention of demons so that fits a square too!
I am going to read this for the American Horror Story Square. It is way too early to read about how Nick is getting drunk. Since this is an anthology of short stories I'll just note which stories I'm reading for this square.
"Night Shift" is written by Stephen King. You could read King for a lot of squares like Modern Masters of Horror as well as the Genre: horror squares.