“Nightmares & Dreamscapes” by Stephen King
Synopsis: A wrong turn on a lonely road lands a lost couple in Rock and Roll Heaven, Oregon, where there’s no escaping the free nightly concert…An ex-con pieces together a map to unearth a stolen million dollars–but at what price?…A desperate writer changes places with his fictional character, and becomes trapped in the past…And a third-grade teacher digs deep to exact revenge for his murdered wife.
These are some of the dark and haunting scenarios in Stephen King’s Nightmares & Dreamscapes.
5 out of 5
Horror is my favorite genre by far, and in my mind, Stephen King will always be one of the grand masters of horror. He has not written the scariest things I have read (that honor goes to Jack Kilbourne/ J. A. Konrath who terrifies me and Nick Cutter whose books I can’t even pick up anymore, much less finish). What King does though is create worlds and characters I believe in, and that I believe can exist and sympathize with. His bad guys are bad indeed and he is always able to hook me within just a few sentences – my main criteria for judging whether or not I like a writer.
My second favorite genre is short stories, so this book with always be a favorite for me. I’ve read it countless times over the years and remember buying it new at Waldenbooks (aging myself here). It’s just a fantastic book. All of the stories are so different and so well done but I do have a few favorites that I want to review.
The book opens with “Dolan’s Cadillac” and is in, my opinion, the best story in the book. It’s the story of revenge, an elaborately planned revenge when a nondescript teacher loses his wife after she witnesses something she should not have. The story also addresses one of my greatest personal fears – being buried alive. I wake up some nights clawing at the air thinking that I am being buried. This is an amazing story with just the perfect amount of scariness.
“The Moving Finger”. Totally creepy. As a child, I knew there was always a monster in the bathroom, specifically in the toilet, that was going to get me. I never thought about it, I just knew it was there so I had better finish my business quick and get out of the bathroom. This story is that fear brought to life.
“Suffer the Little Children” – kids are creepy. There, I said it. I’m sure you have been around a small child that looked at you with too-wise eyes and spooked you. Or perhaps they said something so alien and adult that they had no business knowing. Great story.
“Chattery Teeth”. I loved this story! Who doesn’t want a guardian angel, even if that angel is a set of wind up teeth!
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It’s a great addition to any Stephen King or horror fan’s shelf.
The cover is amazing – we are looking right at Dolan’s Cadillac!