The Devil’s Voice is Sweet to Hear: My October Stephen King Short Story Project

nightshiftEvery year when Halloween looms on the horizon, I find myself in the mood for scary stuff. In past Octobers, I’ve made a point of watching horror movies, playing horror-themed boardgames, or reading spooky books.

This year, I find myself in a nostalgic mood, so I’m going to spend some of my October reading and reflecting on short stories by Stephen King. I spent a lot of time in college reading King, and although I loved many of his novels, I have always felt that his short stories represent his most interesting and entertaining work. I would go so far as to say that King’s short stories are some of the most memorable tales I read in all of my youth. I’ll be putting those fond memories to the test as I make my way through some of his stories, chosen semi-randomly and in no particular order (but with a bias toward his 1990s-and-earlier stories).

I’m no Stephen King expert, and I claim no special insight or exhaustive knowledge of his writings. I’m just a guy reading some stories and talking about them.

I’ll try to give you some advance notice of the story I’m reading next just in case you want to read it with me. If there are tattered copies of Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, or other King short story collections gathering dust on your bookshelf, dig ’em out and let’s pay them a visit!

First up (tomorrow) is “You Know They Got a Hell of a Band,” from the 1993 short story collection Nightmares and Dreamscapes. Read it with me!

Update: Here’s a list of what I’ve covered so far:

  1. You Know They Got a Hell of a Band
  2. Jerusalem’s Lot
  3. Fair Extension
  4. Word Processor of the Gods
  5. The Moving Finger
  6. The Raft
  7. Trucks
  8. The Road Virus Heads North
  9. The Doctor’s Case
  10. The Man in the Black Suit
  11. Strawberry Spring
  12. Sorry, Right Number
  13. The Monkey
  14. The Lawnmower Man
  15. That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French
  16. Beachworld
  17. The End of the Whole Mess
  18. Sometimes They Come Back
  19. Survivor Type
  20. Popsy
  21. Rainy Season
  22. In the Deathroom
  23. Children of the Corn
  24. Crouch End
  25. Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut
  26. Graveyard Shift
  27. I Am the Doorway
  28. The Fifth Quarter

[Image from this nice blog post about King’s short story collection Night Shift.]

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3 Comments

  1. jonathan says:

    Great first choice! Once you’re done with this project, you should check out some stuff from Everything’s Eventual and Just After Sunset. I also highly recommend the novella collection Full Dark, No Stars.

  2. Andy says:

    Thanks, Jonathan! I actually just read “Full Dark” and I own, but have not read, “Just After Sunset.” While I’m most interested in King’s older stories, I will try to include a couple newer ones as well. If you have specific suggestions, let me know!

  3. jonathan says:

    OK – got home from book club and I just got done reading YKTGAHOAB. Great as ever. Looking forward to your write-up!

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