Review: Night Shift by Stephen King

Night Shift

Source: Library
Publisher: Anchor 
Series: –
 Paperback, 505 Pages
 Horror Short Stories
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Night Shift—Stephen King’s first collection of stories—is an early showcase of the depths that King’s wicked imagination could plumb.  In these 20 tales, we see mutated rats gone bad (“Graveyard Shift”); a cataclysmic virus that threatens humanity (“Night Surf,” the basis for The Stand); a smoker who will try anything to stop (“Quitters, Inc.”); a reclusive alcoholic who begins a gruesome transformation (“Gray Matter”); and many more.  This is Stephen King at his horrifying best.

This is my fourth book by Stephen King and his fifth published, and so far it’s my least favorite of the lot.

I find myself somewhat unimpressed with King’s first batch of short stories, and while I seem to be in the minority with this opinion, I think that very few of these encapsulate exactly why his writing is so enjoyable. More than a few of the ideas are off the wall weird, and very few had any effect whatsoever on my mood.

My favorites of the bunch are Jerusalem’s Lot, One for the Road, and Quitters Inc. Two of which are connected to Salem’s Lot, so the idea has been fleshed out already and they didn’t suffer from the lack of pages like some of the others did. Quitters, Inc. wasn’t scary perse as it was wickedly enjoyable to see a twisted version of those programs designed to help you quit bad habits.

I think the main problem with the stories is that most of them are very forgettable. The writing is merely okay in the vast majority and a few just didn’t feel like they belonged with the others. The fact that a lot of Stephen King’s protagonists in this are men who spend most of their time in the bottle, cigarette hanging from lips, and casually contemplating hitting their significant others isn’t lost on me either. I don’t necessarily need to like the protagonist to enjoy the story, but it doesn’t hurt to make a character that I might actually miss if something horrible happens to them.

I still plan to continue reading his books, but I don’t think I understand the love for his short story writing as of yet.

2 stars

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Tell Me Tuesday #79


Hosted by La La in the Library

I am reading ALL THE BOOKS! I’ve managed to find myself 21 books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads challenge, and I’m doing pretty well on my readathons and challenges right now. I’m also getting a lot of reviews typed up, which will come in handy if I do go through yet another reading slump at some point.



  • His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik – This turned to be absolutely delightful! This is set during the Napoleonic wars, but it has a dragon air-force involved! I adored Temeraire, the dragon, and the close bond he has with Laurence his handler. Definitely a new favorite of mine.
  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells – This wasn’t as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be, but it was still really good. I love the idea of an AI with social anxiety and who is capable of destroying people but chooses to binge watch tv instead.
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – This is an adult fantasy centered around the kids who are typically the main characters in portal fantasy and what happens when they come back to our world. It’s a wonderful mix of fantasy and grimdark elements, and I really loved it!


The Stand

  • The Stand by Stephen King – This book is entirely too long. It doesn’t help that I have people constantly telling me how fantastic it is. I am finally over 50% of the way done, I think I have about 300 pages left and the bare minimum has happened. I am all character development, but this is entirely too much. It’s making want to never read another King book, to be honest, but I’ll probably go to the next read (The Long Walk) and decide if I need to bow out of this venture.




  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – This is my book club’s pick for Aug/Sept. I need to get to this soon so I can get the discussion questions ready to go ahead of time.
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – I have put this one on hold until I can get The Stand finished. One big book at a time.
  • The Sky Woman by J.D. Moyter – I was just approved for this one and it has a somewhat close release day so this one is a priority. It sounds pretty good and deals with anthropology as well which is fun!
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