Skeleton Crew: Stories
The #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the 1986 Locus Award for Best Collection, Skeleton Crew is “Stephen King at his best” (The Denver Post)—a terrifying, mesmerizing collection of stories from the outer limits of one of the greatest imaginations of our time.
“Wildly imaginative, delightfully diabolical…King once again proves to be the consummate storyteller” (The Associated Press).
A supermarket becomes the place where humanity makes its last stand against destruction. A trip to the attic becomes a journey to hell. A woman driving a Jaguar finds a scary shortcut to paradise. An idyllic lake harbors a bottomless evil. And a desert island is the scene of the most terrifying struggle for survival ever waged. This “wonderfully gruesome” collection (The New York Times Book Review) includes: “The Mist”; “Here There Be Tygers”; “The Monkey”; “Cain Rose Up”; “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut”; “The Jaunt”; “The Wedding Gig”; “Paranoid: A Chant”; “The Raft”; “Word Processor of the Gods”; “The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands”; “Beachworld”; “The Reaper’s Image”; “Nona”; “For Owen”; “Survivor Type”; “Uncle Otto’s Truck”; “Morning Deliveries (Milkman No. 1)”; “Big Wheels: a Tale of the Laundry Game (Milkman No. 2)”; “Gramma”; “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet”; and “The Reach.”
King is best known for his iconic, immersive long novels, but he is also a master of the short story, and this is a magnificent collection.
and Randy saw with some alarm that he was succeeding—was some part of Deke enjoying this? “You don’t have any idea at all what it might be?” Randy shook his head. Maybe it was an oil slick, after all ... or had been, until something had happened to it. Maybe cosmic rays had hit it in a certain way. Or maybe Arthur Godfrey had pissed atomic Bisquick all over it, who knew? Who could know? “Can we swim past it, do you think?” Deke persisted, shaking Randy’s shoulder. “No!” LaVerne shrieked.
courtroom tenor: “Let us pass, please! Let us pass!” The man at the loophole next to mine left his place to see what the shouting was about. I decided to stay where I was. Whatever the concatenation was, it was coming my way. “Please,” Mike Hatlen was saying. “Please, let’s talk this thing through.” “There is nothing to talk about,” Norton proclaimed. Now his face swam out of the gloom. It was determined and haggard and wholly wretched. He was holding one of the two flashlights allocated to
strange creations of vinyl and plastic you can buy for $1.89 to spring on your friends ... in fact, exactly the sort of thing Norton had accused me of planting in the storage area. It was maybe two feet long, segmented, the pinkish color of burned flesh that has healed over. Bulbous eyes peered in two different directions at once from the ends of short, limber stalks. It clung to the window on fat sucker-pads. From the opposite end there protruded something that was either a sexual organ or a
the pharmacy had joined us didn’t move her much. The business about Mrs. Carmody did. “He could be right,” she said. “Do you really believe that?” “I don’t know. There’s a poisonous feel to that woman. And if people are frightened badly enough for long enough, they’ll turn to anyone that promises a solution.” “But human sacrifice, Amanda?” “The Aztecs were into it,” she said evenly. “Listen, David. You come back. If anything happens ... anything ... you come back. Cut and run if you have to.
indeed come in with both feet. They wanted the Jaunt on a paying basis as soon as possible—like yesterday. Faced with economic chaos and the increasingly probable picture of anarchy and mass starvation in the 1990’s, only last-ditch pleading made them put off announcement of the Jaunt before an exhaustive spectrographic analysis of Jaunted articles could be completed. When the analyses were complete—and showed no changes in the makeup of Jaunted artifacts—the existence of the Jaunt was announced