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The Last Rung on the Ladder

Discussion in 'Night Shift' started by Two Flutes, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Two Flutes

    Two Flutes Member

    I recently picked up Night Shift for the first time in years. I remembered most of the stories but it seemed I hadnt read The Last Rung on the Ladder. What a great little story this is ! It builds suspense and is also sentimental and touching. One of his best
  2. fushingfeef

    fushingfeef Uber-in-waiting

    Like many of SK's non-supernatural stories, this one read better with age, at least for me.
  3. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Dirty Pirate Hooker Moderator

    Welcome to the board!
  4. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    That's one of my very favorites, and has been since I was 13 or so :). It was sobering to read it then, the realization that memories of good times as a kid could eventually come back to shank you as an adult. I think I grew up a little right then. Reading it now, it's with such understanding... It was just such a pitch perfect story, for all ages.
  5. Neesy

    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side

    I do not recall reading this story but, Two Flutes - Welcome to the SKMB anyway! Hope you like it here!

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ..."sentimental and touching"?....interesting take....and welcome bye the bye...I've never thought suicide as sentimental, but my life has been touched by multiple suicides, hence my bittersweet at best-feelings about the story...well-crafted and with his deft touch, but makes me immeasurably sad....
  7. king family fan

    king family fan Prolific member

    Welcome. glad you are joining us.
  8. Two Flutes

    Two Flutes Member

    Yes and thanks. I guess I meant the story of the kids was the sentimental and touching as they were the mans predominant memories of his sister.
    Obviously there is nothing touching about suicide
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2013
  9. Autumn Gust

    Autumn Gust Well-Known Member

    It's a really sad story. What got me most is that he moved around a lot and never bothered to send his sister his new address. Her letter kept getting forwarded from address to address to address. Visualizing that old, marked-up envelope just made my heart hurt.
  10. doowopgirl

    doowopgirl very avid fan

    I only picked up Night Shift after a looong absence and found some forgotten gems and that one falls into that category.
  11. Evil Queen

    Evil Queen Well-Known Member

    I think this is a sad story. The first time I read it it was very shocking and made me cry.

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ...I wasn't being harsh, and please don't think so...it's just a nerve ending that's always raw...you stated your feelings well...
  13. mustangclaire

    mustangclaire There's petrol runnin' through my veins.

    Cracking tale this one. Definitely deserves a re-read. Welcome.
  14. MadamMack

    MadamMack M e m b e r

    I found it to be very touching.
  15. No1FanUK

    No1FanUK Well-Known Member

    wasnt my fave story from the book but i liked the way they were very close brother and sister when young, then how they arent as grow older and what happens is a darn shame!!
    GNTLGNT, blunthead, krwhiting and 4 others like this.
  16. bryras

    bryras Well-Known Member

    This has to be one of my favorite short stories. I too have had to deal with
    multiple times in my life, but to me this story just makes me want to be sure that I keep in contact with the people that I care for the most. Time goes by and you get busy (you don't realize you haven't spoken to someone in quite some time). Make Time!

    I also read this story to a dear friend over the phone and that makes it all the more special to me.
  17. Lisey Landon

    Lisey Landon Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board!
    GNTLGNT, blunthead and Neesy like this.
  18. krwhiting

    krwhiting Well-Known Member

    I think it was exceptionally well-done. It's difficult to get much emotional investment from a reader in a short bit of writing. And I say that as a huge fan of the short story form. This one really grabbed me that way. A bit Hemingway-esque in its spare form and wording. And in the punch of its "reveal." And I agree with "bryras" above that it makes me want to contact people I was friends with as a kid. Like "The Body" does to me.

    GNTLGNT, I'm sad to hear that. My family has also been through that terrible thing. Suicide. And so has the family of my best friend. Even in the circumstances where outside observers understand why it happened, and can even commiserate (the pain of a terrible illness for example), some forget the enormous pain and guilt that remaining family members feel and struggle with. It has really affected the emotional stability of my friends family. And it blew up the relationships in my Cousin's nuclear family when it happened there. Sometimes it's not possible for a person in a very dark place to remember that there are many people that love him and will be devastated if he takes that final step.

  19. AchtungBaby

    AchtungBaby Well-Known Member

    This is my favorite King short story, along with "Strawberry Spring"
    krwhiting, GNTLGNT, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  20. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    I know what you mean, Giant. My brother was in a terrible accident when he was 15--he nearly died, and ended up struggling with drug addiction (probably traceable to the accident) for the rest of his life. In one of the worst times, he said that he wished he'd just died then. Flashback to this story was inevitable. It's lovely and terrible to me.
    krwhiting, GNTLGNT, Neesy and 2 others like this.

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