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3/5: Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Stephen King

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams - Stephen King

A short story collection from Stephen King.

There was nothing technically wrong with the stories contained inside this collection. What was wrong was my expectations of the kind of stories I’d be reading. A lot of them were character driven, and the stories felt flat to me. Herman Wouk is still Alive was the weakest entry for me.

I don’t expect King’s stories to simply end without a kicker or a punch, and a lot of these stories simply petered out. They felt like drafts rather than finished products.

King’s thread running through a lot of these is closure. Many protagonists are facing the end of their lives, or the end of another dear to them. King at sixty-nine is clearly feeling the weight of his age and the loss of his lifelong friends. Nothing wrong with writing about it; just not what I like to read in a King short story.

There were some crackers as well though. Mile 81 is a wonderful little King snapshot of horror. Under the Weather is a subtle delight. For me, the best two were Morality and Drunken Fireworks which was a hoot.