“Just After Sunset” by Stephen King

“Just After Sunset” by Stephen King
2008, Scribner
ISBN: 978-1-4165-8408-7

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a short story, but, here I am and I’m having a ball. This collection is by Stephen King and right now, I just finished the first one. It’s called “Willa”. You need to read this. I’m a psychic and I’m saying you need to read this.

As I started it I wondered at the actual construction of a short story. Of course it’s going to be shorter than a novel. With a novel you settle into a chair, curl your legs up, draw a blanket over you and get comfortable. It’s going to be awhile. But, with “Willa”, Stephen King just dropped me into the middle of a situation. It was very much like walking into a crowded room. Generally, I’m a wall flower and tend to cautiously, very cautiously move out into a party area. I felt the same with this story.

Stuff was going on. Stuff I wasn’t aware of, but everybody else seemed to already know. And yet, they knew nothing. I knew nothing and yet this story was moving forward. Suddenly I got a creepy feeling. I thought, “What if?” Then, as the story moved forward I thought, “No, that couldn’t be right.” But, it was right. And, it was crafted so wonderfully, as only Stephen King can, that it slowly dawned on me what was going on.

This was such a surprising story. It was such a delight and as a psychic I absolutely loved it. Now, on to the next story. Not sure if I will write of every one or just a few. There are 16 in this book. I’m certainly going to enjoy each and every one of them. Stephen King has got to be my all time favorite writer.


Okay, so now I’m almost half way through the book. I’ve read several of the stories. Some were short. Some were of the slasher type where I had to force myself to keep reading only because I knew in my heart the end would be good; and I was not disappointed. However, I was not inclined to comment on them. But, this story is different and I’d like to talk about: “Stationary Bike”.

I think people are always interested in hearing stories they can relate to. I could relate to “Stationary Bike”, because it was about getting fit and healthy. I have to force myself to do this and it just is not ever any fun. According to a friend of mine who is a psychotherapist I need to get to the psychology behind it all in order to make it work. I can go on any diet in the world, but somehow, somewhere along the line I sabotage it. That’s where this story got to me. It was interesting to see somebody ending up the way I end up every single dang time. However, it’s got that special Stephen King twist and Richard Sifkitz dips deeply into his artist’s imagination to create a place where he actually likes to exercise, where the motivation is there and the only motivation is because it feels good. I give this one a big ole thumbs up. Especially because at the end of it you’re thinking, “You know, this isn’t so far fetched. I bet it really could happen.” That’s what makes the stories Stephen King writes so scary.

Reading…reading…and, now I’m finished. Not a minute too soon either. The book was due back at the library 2 days ago and I think the fines on the 7 day hot picks (I got to renew it once) are 25¢ a day…maybe more. I will return it this afternoon and fork over whatever I owe. Totally worth it. No way was I going to read this one through half way.

Anyway, I absolutely loved every one of the stories in this book. I’ve been wondering for the last 2 days if much, much more of what I do isn’t obsessive compulsive behavior rather than just habit or rut. Stephen King has always pushed my buttons. I absolutely love it. The reviewer says, “Read this book.”


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