Just After Sunset is a collection of 13 short stories and the main reason that I purchased it was because of the recommended story ‘The Gingerbread Girl’ which was included in my review of the best running books (read my review here).
I remember reading many years ago, Night Shift and Skeleton Crew, two of Stephen King’s earlier collections of short stories, and loving the mix, from the macabre to the gory, the funny to the sad, but always interesting. Just After Sunset only has 13 stories, far fewer than in earlier collections. Sometimes this can be a good thing, more meat to the story, however sometimes it feels like a story drags a bit. One of my criticisms of Mr King is that many of his later books became over long, almost as if because of his success he can dictate to an editor how a book should be. I always assume that there has to be a good relationship between an author and their editor, so that the best results are published. But, if you’ve sold as many books as Stephen King has, maybe he does know what he’s doing. If he published his shopping list it would probably still top the best seller lists.
Anyway, back to the book in question, and there is a good mix of stories contained within it’s pages, new and old, scary and one that it particularly foul. Another good thing about a collection of short stories is that if one isn’t up your street, the next one might be the best ever, much like listening to John Peel.
There isn’t too much to say about the book really. You will all know who Stephen King is, and if you’re a fan then you’ll like this collection. If you’ve never read any of his books then this one probably isn’t the best place to start.
However, that is a really good question. Which Stephen King book would you recommend for someone who has never read his work, to begin with. My pick would be The Dead Zone.