Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!
So I think I have read all of these novellas (except one) separately and reviewed them. I also have the hardcover of this book and read this when it first came out. All of the horror of these stories, especially "Big Driver" came back to me though. I think King did an excellent job of portraying horror and showing that terrible things can happen to good people. And sometimes good people can do terrible things. Per usual, here is my rating for each story.
"1922"-(5 stars)-So this was a dark story. I also watched this on Netflix last year and yikes again. We follow Wilfred Leland James confession that he writes years after the events of 1922 which he says damned him forever more. Wilfred has no idea about what was coming down the pike, but readers do, so we definitely understood things for Wilfred and others in this story may not have gotten a happy ending anyway. Wilfred is a farmer in Nebraska that refuses his wife's Arlette's constant nagging to sell his acres and the acres she inherited from her father. Arlette is tired of living on the farm and wants the whole family (her, Wilfred, and their son Henry) to move to Omaha.
Another man awakens in Wilfred when he starts contemplating what to do with his troublesome wife. This story hits a lot of highs and shows King's fascination with rats. I swear rats make appearances in a lot of his short stories. I thought that this was definitely be afraid of what you wish for.
"Big Driver"-(5 stars)-So this hit every fight or flight nerve in my body. We follow a woman named Tess who is a cozy mystery writer. FYI, I love cozy mystery books. Tess is asked to step in for an author in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The event organizer, a woman named Ramona tells her of a short-cut that should get her home to Connecticut faster. Another FYI, I am traveling to Massachusetts and Connecticut next week.
Tess gets in an accident on the way home and quickly realizes that a man who at first glance is there to help, has darker intentions. Look Tess was my freaking hero in this one. The story at times made me feel a bit sick inside. I don't know what I would have done in this same situation. I think this one and possibly "A Good Marriage" are the only kind of happy horror stories in the bunch.
"Fair Extension" (3 stars)-Honestly this one felt like it just got shoe-horned in. This story follows Dave Streeter a man that has been told has only a few weeks to live. Dave lives in Derry, Maine (DUN DUN DUN) and comes across a man by the side of the road offering extensions. It seems like the mysterious man is a twinner of Leland Gaunt, but with even more disgust with human beings. The big catch with Streeter is he has to put his sorrows/bad luck on someone else. The person he chooses is a surprise. I honestly hated this whole story cause it's awful and the main character still in the end wants the person he chose to have even worse things happen to them.
"A Good Marriage" (5 stars)-From my review in 2017 I wrote:
"A Good Marriage" does a great what if. What if you find out the person you married, had children with, made love to, told your troubles to, was not who they seemed to be. What if they were a monster? What would you do? King does a great job of showing a marriage of comfort that gets upended when something sinister is revealed. No spoilers, just don't know if I could have been as strong. One reason why I love King, and always will, is that he shows you how monsters and those who do evil just look like those around us.