Having been a Constant Reader of Mr. King’s for a very long time, I’ve been highly anticipating this collection of short stories. And I wasn’t in the slightest disappointed with this presentation. Although there were a few stories that weren’t new to me, Mr. King’s work is worth a second read, and there were many more new ones than those previously read. He has always been a connoisseur of character development and he’s at the height of his profession with these masterful characterizations.
“Batman and Robin Have an Altercation” is a heartfelt story of a man visiting his father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and the unexpected turn that a road rage incident takes. “Morality” is an insightful study of the lure that sin can sometimes have on mankind. “Herman Wouk is Still Alive” was a truly depressing but fascinating tale made more so as it was based on a true incident. Although “Under the Weather” didn’t have a surprise ending as you could see it coming almost from the start, it was such a sad, moving tale. “The Little Green God of Agony” was a truly scary story with a perfect ending. In my opinion, “Summer Thunder” was one of the most touching apocalypse stories I’ve ever read.
I also very much enjoyed that each story was preceded by a short commentary written by the author as to his inspiration for the story. While these comments were geared toward other authors, they gave a lot of insight into the author’s work.
Mr. King packs a lot of punch into each tightly drawn short story and I enjoyed each and every one of them. As usual with his work, the book went by much too quickly. Fortunately, he’s a prolific author and his next book is due in less than a year. Highly recommended to those who enjoy O’Henry-type books with a bite.