Sunday, September 4, 2011

Full Dark, No Stars - Book Review - #1 -1922

What's not to trust about this face?
The first short story in Stephen King's latest collection, Full Dark, No Stars, is "1922". This review contains spoilers which I feel okay about since the book has been out for awhile.

This story is told in the form of a written confession from a farmer who has killed his wife 8 years early, in 1922. Now, that right there requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. Who writes a 130 page confession? Nobody, that's who, especially a stupid hick farmer. The farmer gets his son in on the plot only to be haunted by his wife's corpose.

The story is interesting enough but it drags on too long, especially since it telegraphs early on exactly where it is going. This probably would have made a stellar 20 page story. Instead, the reader is shown every detail as everything is taken from the farmer, Job-style. His son dies, he loses the farm, etc. etc. etc. Eventually he dies and/or kills himself. You're suppose to question whether or not he was actually haunted or if it was all in his head. Since the farmer is the narrator, you're never quite sure.

The worst part is the ending. As rats (real or imaginary) are attacking him, we're suppose to believe that the farmer is sitting at the keyboard typing, "OH MAKE THEM STOP BITING M..." Who types when they're being attacked and bitten by rats? Then the newspaper articles on the next page claims he bit his own wrists open an chewed his confession to bits. If that's the case, how are we reading the confession? How could he have bitten his own wrists and still been typing? It just doesn't make any sense at all.

1LR Review: 10 out of 20 - It's a miss!

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