Author: Stephen King
Pages: 488 (paperback)
Published: January 10th 2008 (first published 1978)
Published by: Hodder
From the depths of darkness, where hideous rats defend their empire, to dizzying heights where a beautiful girl hangs by a hair above a hellish fate, this chilling collection of twenty short stories will plunge readers into the subterranean labyrinth of the most spine-tingling, eerie imagination of our time.
Stephen King: the master of making the everyday slightly terrifying.
This collection of 21 short stories range from the scary, through the creepy and unsettling to stories that are just enjoyable. While not all of them are amazing, none of the stories are bad. There are even a couple of stories which serve as precursors to other King books - 'Salem's Lot and The Stand are both given prequels, and 'Salem's Lot gets a little follow-up too. Which in all honesty was a little annoying as I haven't actually read 'Salem's Lot yet and it gives quite a lot away, so maybe avoid One For the Road if you find yourself in the same position as me.
As I said, most of these stories were very enjoyable, but there were a few of particular note in my mind.
I Am The Doorway is a rather creepy little tale, and one which you don't fully understand until the later pages. A mystery involving a man's hands and him finding himself in unexpected places at unexpected times, this is a short for sweet story.
The Mangler is a great example of something completely mundane - a machine for drying and folding sheets - being made scary. A series of horrific accidents leads a police inspector to suspect something quite horrible about this machine. The main questions is whether his solution will help the situation, or make things even worse...
Battleground isn't particularly creepy or anything, but more that it's rather entertaining and for the time probably something of a unique idea.
The Lawnmower Man is probably the story that has stuck with me most. It was creepy to read, but now I think about it every time someone mentions a lawnmower...which happens more than you might think.
The Children of the Corn is the story behind the horror film, and reading this has made me want to watch the film.
A truly enjoyable read made up of a whole range of story types.