There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.
Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”
Mile 81 has a killer station wagon RAWR
Premium Harmony: marriage on the rocks in cash-strapped Castle Rock. A sad tale.
Batman and Robin Have an Altercation: dementia is inconsistent and unpredictable.
Dune: Bradburyesque theme with no sand worms, just names on a beach and turkey vultures.
Bad Little Kid: no, not Bobby from Eastenders, rather a vile carrot head with green eyes and evil in his heart.
A Death: a recycled dollar
The Bone Church: hm, not so much
Morality: sheep’s lips, wolf’s teeth
Afterlife: over and over again
UR: A Kindle Single: I loathe both the product and its placement
Herman Wouk is Still Alive: the body weakens but the words never do
Under The Weather: the thing under the bed, the elephant in the room, don’t be in denial
Blockade Billy: ugh
Mister Yummy: AIDS and old age
The Little Green God of Agony: bucket time
That Bus in Another World:
Drunken Fireworks: oneupmanship
Summer Thunder: apocalypse
As with most collections, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is home to the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. The best of this bunch was ‘Obits’ and ‘Dune’ IMHO