27 April 2009

Writing on Reading: Just After Sunset Stories

Although Stephen King is better known for his novels, he is also a short-story writer. In the prologue to Just After Sunset, he explains that short story writing is a talent different than writing novels. In fact, although King started his writing career by making some extra $$ writing short stories for men's magazines, he says he lost some of those skills when he started writing novels. So, is Just After Sunset a sucessful revival of King's lost art?

For the most part, yes. I liked many of the stories in the collection, but not all. I must admit I've never read a single-author short story collection where I liked all the stories. (If you know of one, tell me in the blog comments). King has several stories where the tension is great, the characters strong, and the resolution is satisfying. The book is worth the read just for those.

I felt several of his stories could have been tighter. I'm not sure if it is because of his "bad" novelist habits or because he's Stephen King and he don't have to worry about not skinkin' word limits.


Betsy Dornbusch said...

I never met a Neil Gaiman short story I didn't like.

lesleylsmith said...

I agree, Neil Gaiman has at least 2 short story collections that are very good.
Connie Willis and Orson Scott Card have some excellent short story collections (of course I can't recall titles).

David E. Hughes said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I've read (and liked) a few of Gaimans stories. I have Card's big anthology or collected stories, or which I liked most but not all.