Thoughts on Night Shift

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The Walkin' Dude

Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2016
47
267
27
Charlotte, NC
I remember starting this book back in early high school and giving up on it because it just never gripped me. I really prefer King's full length novels as opposed to short stories; I like to be able to really sink my teeth into a story and characters and watch the rise and fall of the action through an extended period of time. Short stories are over too quickly for me to be able to really to get totally immersed in them. That said, I picked this one back up since it's essential for my collection and reading, and I had a much better experience this time around.

I was definitely not expecting a prequel(?) and sequel to 'Salem's Lot in this! Very surprised and I loved both of the stories. Was also not expecting Night Surf to be a little precursor of sorts to The Stand. Loved that one as well. I like to think of it as just a short little moment that occurs within that same universe. Gray Matter, Sometimes They Come Back, and Children of the Corn were terrifying. I went into Trucks fully expecting to hate it (I'm not really a fan of King's vehicle centered stories; I'm someone who doesn't care about cars in the least bit) but finished it pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Quitters, Inc. is a standout as well. Ones I didn't particularly care too much for were I Am the Doorway, The Mangler, The Boogeyman, and Strawberry Spring. Not that these are bad stories, they just didn't interest me much.

I think the final five stories here really show off. All of them are tremendous and really show King as his best and most versatile, especially The Last Rung on the Ladder and The Woman in the Room. I was blown away by those two, they have a completely different feeling and mood from all the others in the collection.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
58
Cambridge, Ohio
....I like all of the approaches he's used...and I'm not fan-boying when I type that...be it short stories, a serial novel, novellas or complete novels-King works out in those forms. what ever notions captured his fancy at that slice in time....and he didn't feel it necessary to lengthen or shorten beyond the current format-at least not very often...I've always viewed his short reads as an enjoyable literary palate cleanse between longer works....there have been instances where I think some of the shorter works could have been taken further and novels that could have ben trimmed, but not my call or choice....
 

mjs9153

Peripherally known member..
Nov 21, 2014
3,494
22,165
So glad you gave it another shot and liked it so much..funny, I seem to like his short stories,and his exceptionally long novels,about the same,more so than the medium length books..the thing about his short stories is you can go through,getting an okay one,a good one,one you don't care for,but every now and then BAM! he nails you with a great one..am partial to his short stories..
 

Checkman

Getting older and balder
May 9, 2007
902
1,989
Idaho
This was my introduction to Stephen King and to this day is one of my favorite SK books. A few years ago I re-read this book after approximately twenty-five years. I like to do that now and again. I'm always curious to see how a cherished book has aged. Well I'm happy to say Night Shift has aged very well.

The stories were written in his salad days when he was a struggling writer and he had to count every penny and dime. As a result there is something of a rawness to some of the stories. Not as polished as his later works. I like that.

Some will say that the stories are dated and are old school horror. Well I don't know what that means. If the story gets you on the edge of the seat what does it matter if it was written in 1973 or 2013? This is a good anthology book.

Of course I'm dated and I'm old school.
 

Blake

Deleted User
Feb 18, 2013
4,191
17,479
This was my introduction to Stephen King and to this day is one of my favorite SK books. A few years ago I re-read this book after approximately twenty-five years. I like to do that now and again. I'm always curious to see how a cherished book has aged. Well I'm happy to say Night Shift has aged very well.

The stories were written in his salad days when he was a struggling writer and he had to count every penny and dime. As a result there is something of a rawness to some of the stories. Not as polished as his later works. I like that.

Some will say that the stories are dated and are old school horror. Well I don't know what that means. If the story gets you on the edge of the seat what does it matter if it was written in 1973 or 2013? This is a good anthology book.

Of course I'm dated and I'm old school.
Some of my favorite short stories of all time are in that book. It doesn't matter when a book or short story is written, good writing is good writing.
 

Nuther_Wun

Member
Jan 12, 2017
22
93
68
"Night Shift" is the benchmark short story collection by SK. Only Clive Barker's "Books of Blood" short stories compare, and in a very different style (well, why not, lol). It sucks that Clive "outgrew" his horror streak. But we're quite happy campers that SK did not. SK is to horror fiction what Nolan Ryan is to strikeouts and no-hitters in baseball: neither are likely to be equaled again :rofl::rofl:
 

Blake

Deleted User
Feb 18, 2013
4,191
17,479
I just finished reading all the stories in Night Shift again, and I believe and still do, that the best of them is definetinelty 'Children of the Corn'. Second is Graveyard Shift', next is 'The Mangler'; next is 'I Am the Doorway'.