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The Bazaar of Bad Dreams


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I think Stephen King stopped being classed as horror a long time ago but still this is where people would expect to find of his reviews. This is his most recent collection of short stories - I will say straight off the bat that it's not as good as his last two collections but it is still full of dark treats. What sets this collection apart, is that King gives a little intro at the start of each story telling his constant readers where the inspiration came from for the coming tale. Given that On Writing is so good, these little intros are a delicious bonus.


The stories within are each fantastic little reads but stand out stories are Obits and Drunken Fireworks. Obits is about a journo who writes the obituaries for a little publication. As a joke, he writes the obit of his boss in a pique of frustration but when she dies the next day, he finds he has a terrible power. Dangerous but becomes more so when it gets exploited. Drunken Fireworks is a rather amusing tale of one-up-manship on July the 4th. Living on a river, is a relatively poor family who bought their shack when property was cheap. Across the river, on the other side, is a mobster who owns a massive mansion. Each year they try to outdo each other with fireworks. it becomes a famous battle in the neighbourhood and so begins a worldwide search for the ultimate firework.


I love Stephen King, I love his stories so I am pretty easy to impress. When he's good, he's great - this collection isn't that but it's still head and shoulders above most who try to emulate the Master.

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I agree with you Hazel that this collection didn't always hit the mark but like you I liked the introductions to each story and the fact that he had tried in each of the stories to emulate a specific writer. It showed his gift for storytelling and once more (as you say) proved that he is far more than a horror story writer. 

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