Friday, November 13, 2015

Stephen King's BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS a Dark Ride

Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King is a short fiction collection that ranges across genres from Horror and Fantasy to dark mainstream fiction. Running through the stories are the two common themes of fatalism and fear of the dark things that are always waiting somewhere in human lives.

The best tale in the collection is the outright horror novella, "Mile 81," about a monster in the form of a derelict car that sits waiting for victims at a deserted highway rest stop. The story has echoes of the straight horror shudders that King produced early in his career. Other entertaining tales are "The Dune," "Obits," "Ur," and "The Little Green God of Agony."

Less successful are a few of the mainstream fiction pieces like "Morality," "Under the Weather," and "That Bus is Another World." These are dark meditations that feel like they're reaching too hard for something and are ultimately unsatisfying.

That said, Bazaar of Bad Dreams is on the whole Stephen King's best story collection since Everything's Eventual. The stories are all told in the author's trademark earthy, colloquial, "Big Mac and Fries" style. Faithful King fans should be pleased with this new volume of his work.

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