Review: Nightmares & Dreamscapes is a collection of short stories. There are a handful or more of the stories in here that certainly don’t fit the horror genre, and most that I’d say fit it, aren’t that particularly scary. A few of the more horror-ish ones are “The Night Flier”, “Sneakers”, “You Know They’ve Got a Hell of a Band”, and “Rainy Season”. “Head Down” is a work of non-fiction that shows you can write true stories with a flair that makes them interesting.
Here are a few excerpts I used for Teaser Tuesday posts:
“On the mound, Matt Francke, who was twice within inches of winning his game, lowers his head, not wanting to look. And as Ryan rounds second and starts back toward home, he seems to finally understand what he has done, and at that point he begins to weep.” – from ‘Head Down’
““Oh, I write like a boid,” Dees said, and offered a smile he hoped looked good-humored and warm. This was an expression he had practiced almost constantly and continued to practice with fair regularity in the bedroom mirror of the New York apartment he called his home, and in the mirrors of the hotels and motels that were really his home. It seemed to work–Selida McCammon answered it readily enough–but the truth was that Dees had never felt good-humored and warm in his life.” – from ‘The Night Flier’
“It wasn’t much, but Brad Pearson had learned that killing bats had at least one thing in common with cutting down on your cigarette intake: you had to start somewhere.” – from ‘The Ten O’ Clock People’
“He loved to hear Grandpa talk. The things Grandpa said continually amazed him because they almost always made sense.” – from ‘My Pretty Pony’
“At first his course of action had seemed clear-cut and simple: avoid that particular men’s room, and avoid all thoughts and questions about the sneakers. Simply turn that subject off.” – from ‘Sneakers’
This wasn’t my favorite Stephen King book, or even my favorite collection of short stories that he’s released. Not that the writing in the stories is sub-par, of course, but most of the stories just didn’t grab me. A couple that did, though, have stuck with me for years, like “The Ten O’Clock People” and “The Night Flier”. I would recommend this to real fans of Stephen King, but not for folks who’ve read one or two of his scarier books and are looking for more of the same. For those who’ve not read Mr. King’s works and would like a good intro to his writing style without too much “spooky”, this would fit the bill.