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The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories

by Stephen King

Library Journal This collection begins with an introduction by King on why he writes short stories. To the reader's delight, he also provides a backstory for each tale, enticing the reader with a memory or scenario that prompted that particular selection's birth. Some of the pieces have been previously published. Some have been polished and revised-"Ur" was originally written as a "Kindle Single" for Amazon. Veering from the short story format, King published "Tommy" as a poem in Playboy in 2010. For baseball fans, watch out for the unexpected ending in "Blockade Billy." With "The Little Green God of Agony," King hints at how his life experience shapes his works. VERDICT The stories collected here are riveting and sometimes haunting, as is the author's style. Surprise endings abound. King is in a class all by himself. Be prepared to read voraciously. [See Prepub Alert, 6/1/15.]-Susan Carr, -Edwardsville P.L., IL Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list For thousands of readers, few things are more comfortable than hunkering down with a Stephen King short story an odd fact, considering how uncomfortable some of those stories make us. With this, his more-or-less tenth collection, King offers an arsenic sugaring to his poison pies: brief intros describing the hows, wheres, and whys behind each tale, from working out personal demons to instants of dumbstruck inspiration. The faithful might have already read or heard a few Ur, Blockade Billy but King's batting average is just as strong with the unfamiliar tales as with the familiar ones. The van strike that almost killed the author in 1999 haunts the book; vehicular accidents crop up everywhere, perhaps most disturbingly in Herman Wouk Is Still Alive, a nihilistic shocker about a dual suicide by car, and, most entertainingly, with The Little Green God of Agony, which King confesses is directly inspired by his rehabilitation. Here, an exorcist of sorts extracts pain from a sufferer in the shape of a globular green beastie. Though the stories swing from sad to wistful to grim, it's this cackling sense of play that makes Uncle Stevie so much fun to have around. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Why not order a few copies? This King kid, he might be going places.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Renowned author King's impressive latest collection (after 2010's Full Dark, No Stars) wraps 20 stories and poems in fascinating commentary. Each work's preface explains what inspired it and gives readers insight into King's writing methods, with occasional tidbits of his daily life. The stories themselves are meditations on mortality, destiny, and regret, all of which showcase King's talent for exploring the human condition. Realistic and supernatural elements sit side by side. The tragic "Herman Wouk Is Still Alive" contrasts the charmed lives of two world-famous poets enjoying a roadside picnic with the grim existence of two single mothers who are taking one last road trip. "Under the Weather" tells of a man's fierce love for his wife and the terrifying power of denial. "Summer Thunder," a story about a man and his dog at the end of the world, is a heart-wrenching study of inevitability and the enduring power of love. Other standouts include "Ur," about a Kindle that links to other worlds, and "Bad Little Kid," about a terrifying murderous child (complete with propeller hat). This introspective collection, like many of King's most powerful works, draws on the deepest emotions: love, grief, fear, and hope. Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff and Verrill. (Nov.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved