Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review - The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (from 2015)

Stephen King's latest is a collection of short fiction that may represent some of the author's best writing.  Stirring and insightful, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is a rich offering that arrives complete with a profound assortment of chills, thrills, and chuckles.  Having said that, calling this collection a bit morbid is surely an understatement, and the supernatural elements at play are slight in comparison to many of King's most entertaining tales.  I really liked The Bazaar of Bad Dreams and I can't say that I disliked any of the short stories contained therein, though the 2 poems inserted in the mix provide little in the way of conflict with the author's assertion that he isn't much of a poet.  My favorite story was probably "The Little Green God of Agony" and "Morality" was surely my least favorite, but every piece of short fiction contained in the book had something to offer.  The prose was top notch and the strong characterizations and the depth that define King's incredible talent were on full display throughout.  With that in mind, I can't really complain about The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, though it must be noted that it isn't nearly as fun or as robust as either of his earliest collections, Night Shift and Skeleton Crew, a pair of treasure chests overflowing with dreadful horrors and fiendish delights.  In closing, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is a fine collection that mostly favors contemplation over excitement and provides far more in the way of subdued reflection than stark raving terror.

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