Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

Genres: Adult, Horror, Anthology, Thriller
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: November 3rd 2015

5 OUT OF 5 STARS

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“But there’s something to be said for a shorter, more intense experience. It can be invigorating, sometimes even shocking, like a waltz with a stranger you will never see again, or a kiss in the dark, or a beautiful curio for sale laid out on a cheap blanket at a street bazaar.”

Published 35 years after his last anthology Nightshift this book is long overdue. A collection of short stories by King, previously published and entirely new. Each is introduced with a short anecdote or explanation as to how the story came to be. A wonderful collected of 20 covering a variety of different genres, but all with King’s trademark sprinkles of horror.

I think that an essential part of horror is the strange and unfamiliar. Of course this doesn’t mean a proper novel can’t be good, I just find short stories more effective. Stephen King isn’t well-known for no reason. Each of the stories have well-fleshed out characters and a compelling premise.

These stories, like most of King’s work, are not clean-cut horror. They brush along several other genres. They look into human nature and are hilarious, tragic and sometimes even a touch romantic. Even the intros to each story are brilliant, and perhaps the best part of the book.

Ur was the standout story for me. That’s not to say that they other stories weren’t fantastic (they were), but Ur’s plot was absolutely brilliant. While it was definitely meant to be a short story I could have read an entire series of novels on the brilliant premise King presents.

Some King fans might be disappointed as the new content is definitely outweighed by older stories, but it works well as a collection. Many reviewers go through and rate each story individually but I believe part of an anthology is how the stories work together. In this book’s case it worked incredibly well. The themes of human nature, morality and mortality echo in every story. From the end of the world to the end of one life it is a collection that will make you think.

Well it may not be an absolute hit for every reader there’s at least one story in this book for everyone.

BUY THE BOOK

Read this if you’re a fan of: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

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