Trying to remember the name of a SK novella/short story

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Connie J

New Member
Mar 26, 2020
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I had a book with a collection of 3 (I think) short works by Stephen King, and the one I am trying to remember had to do with some old men who met together on a regular basis for conversation. One night the question was "What is the worse thing you have ever done?". If I remember correctly, they may have been involved with killing a young woman a long time ago. Or am I confusing that with Peter Straub's Ghost Story? I recall it was a very good story and would like to read it again but can't remember the name.
 

grin willard

"Keep the change, you filthy animal!"
Feb 21, 2017
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Hi Connie! I think the old webslinger spideyman mentioned that yes, the quote "What is the worse thing you have ever done?" came from Straub's Ghost Story. A fantastic read. Perhaps the best modern horror novel after Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House". If I remember right, after Ricky Hawthorn asked the question, Sears James said, "I won't tell you that. But I will tell you the worst thing that ever happened to me. The most horrible thing." If not right, it's close. Scary!

But there was a story in SK's 'Different Seasons' (The Water Breathing Method) that I find mildly similar. So you may be thinking partially of that. In the story, a gentleman's club in NY hosts members & visitors with frightening or fantastic tales to tell. I googled the quote yesterday that the ageless, possibly supernatural doorman/butler said (I think it was), "It is not the teller, it is the tale." Or pretty close. If you haven't encountered it yet, that's another good read. Stay home read & stay safe everybody. Enjoy your living rooms!!!
 

Connie J

New Member
Mar 26, 2020
3
21
69
Hi Connie! I think the old webslinger spideyman mentioned that yes, the quote "What is the worse thing you have ever done?" came from Straub's Ghost Story. A fantastic read. Perhaps the best modern horror novel after Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House". If I remember right, after Ricky Hawthorn asked the question, Sears James said, "I won't tell you that. But I will tell you the worst thing that ever happened to me. The most horrible thing." If not right, it's close. Scary!

But there was a story in SK's 'Different Seasons' (The Water Breathing Method) that I find mildly similar. So you may be thinking partially of that. In the story, a gentleman's club in NY hosts members & visitors with frightening or fantastic tales to tell. I googled the quote yesterday that the ageless, possibly supernatural doorman/butler said (I think it was), "It is not the teller, it is the tale." Or pretty close. If you haven't encountered it yet, that's another good read. Stay home read & stay safe everybody. Enjoy your living rooms!!!
Thank you for your reply. Yes, I am almost positive that is the story I am thinking of! It did take place in a gentlemen's club, (and again I first thought I might have confused it with another Peter Straub book, "The Hellfire Club"), and it seems there was a fireplace where before they started the story telling something was thrown into the fire that made a colorful smoke. Or not. Anyway, I am going to see if I can find a copy of "Different Seasons". Good health to you and thanks again for your reply.
 

grin willard

"Keep the change, you filthy animal!"
Feb 21, 2017
1,144
6,024
47
Thank you for your reply. Yes, I am almost positive that is the story I am thinking of! It did take place in a gentlemen's club, (and again I first thought I might have confused it with another Peter Straub book, "The Hellfire Club"), and it seems there was a fireplace where before they started the story telling something was thrown into the fire that made a colorful smoke.

Yes, that's in there! :) The smoke. I'd love to find it on audio.

I'm a Straub fan but haven't gotten around to "Hellfire Club". What did you think? I'd recommend Straub's "Mrs. God" if you, or others, have not read it. It is however strange as hell. And I can't stress this enough! I read it on a long train trip a couple of years back and sort of just went with it. Read it twice -- flawed book, but was apparently just what I was in the mood for. I'd love to see SK expand "The Breathing Method" gentleman's club thing. But I won't hold my breath. Yes, I went there!