The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Author: Stephen King
A master of horror, crazy, and supernatural, Stephen King brings another collection of short stories. A few you may know. Others come at you with a realistic and horrifying twist that will make you shiver. From a people-eating car to a little green god of agony possessing an elderly, rich and entitled asshole to a Kindle linked to the Dark Tower.
In this latest collection, the King still stirs that pot, mixing the dark and morbid side of reality with that of the fantasy side.
Personally, Nightmares & Dreamscapes is my favorite collection of the King’s stories: the hardcover, purple with the gravestone. Just beautiful. This one wasn’t as great, but their were a few stories that really perked my interest. Just something about the way they caught me by surprise.
The Bad Kid
The Little Green God of Agony
The ominous shadow that hangs over all of these stories really enticed me. It kept me curious.
I found the title of the book to be intriguing. A bazaar-a market that sells goods-was a unique choice for it, emphasizing that you can peruse these short stories instead of reading them in order. And, bad dreams? Yeah, the King isn’t kidding. Some of these stories are what nightmares are made of. And the cover, looking at a person and only seeing death, is beautiful and chilling.
Short stories are an art form. I agree with this. Very hard to conquer. Sometimes. With this book, I feel that. This was one that I had 50/50 feelings about. It was good, yet not really. The imagery was powerful with each one. Some of the stories I enjoyed immensely and others not so much. There were points where I just couldn’t get invested into the story. I felt like I was getting dragged.
However, each detailed intro to each story was poignant and beautiful. It’s getting a backstage pass to what I believe to be one of the funniest yet outspoken minds of fiction. He truly writes some beautiful words in a cloud of morbidity. I dig it.
Now, my favorite stories (above) are favorites because of one BIG element. Shouldn’t be that hard to guess if you’ve been keeping up with me this far in the blog. There’s that special supernatural touch. Though, if I had a specific favorite it would be Obits. The story centers on a journalist’s dark comedy obituary and his sudden ability to kill people with it. So much power and so dangerous!! This was the greatest page turner, and maybe that makes me a bit morbid, but I’ve read stories similar to this—where you could write someone’s death and then it actually happens. Its creepy and unnerving. Imagine having that kind of power. It’s mind-blowing!
And I swear, when reading this, I can hear the King’s voice ring so clearly, and it sounds very close to a professor’s I had: cocky and condescendingly intelligent with a thrive for life. It made me smile. I liked that professor, because while he did sound like that, he was a cool guy. Made everyone feel included and nobody felt stupid. There was learning to be had and he did a great job of helping with that.
This book left me tied up on how I feel about it. There were some great stories. They really pulled me in. But…I wasn’t moved to love the entire book. That’s what’s interesting about short stories. Because you don’t like one, doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the entire book.
Beautiful words, chilling stories, intense characters, but a one-time read for me.
“If you saw a guy lying by the side of the road, it didn’t matter if he was a Samaritan or a Martian. You stopped to help.” (Mile 81, p. 23)
“Arr, reality’s a dirty place with no religion in it.
So buy me a drink, goddam you!
We’ll toast elephants that never were.” (The Bone Church, p. 162)
“I think the world is mostly populated by shitheads. You take it from there.” (UR, p. 210)
More to comes soon…
P.S. Song today? Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson
Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.