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A collection of short stories by Stephen King, published in 1985. It was King's second short story collection. I think this is my favorite of King's collections -- the stories are generally pretty good, there are a lot of them, and while there are plenty of great horror stories, there are also more examples of King pushing the boundaries and trying tales outside of his usual arena. 

The stories here include: 

A few of these stories don't really measure up. "Cain Rose Up" is dull, "Word Processor of the Gods" is derivative, "The Wedding Gig" is unpleasant, and "Big Wheels" is meandering. 

The rest of these, luckily, range from good to brilliant. The best of the bunch include "The Mist," which is justifiably acclaimed as a one of King's shorter masterworks; "The Raft," with its tense, claustrophobic setting; the surreal "Morning Deliveries"; the utterly terrifying "Gramma"; "The Reach," which is a beautiful and empathetic story about accepting death; the glorious "The Jaunt," with most of its mind-twisting horrors happening offscreen except for that one final, brutal shocker at the end; and "Survivor Type," a story even King believed went too far -- but it's still gruesome and audacious and fun to read. 

What's particularly surprising about this collection is how few of them were adapted for film, especially compared to his earlier collection, "Night Shift." It's quite possible that people got burned out hard on Stephen King movies -- he had a long stretch of low-quality stinkers for a number of years, so maybe Hollywood just gave up on him. But the lack of adaptations means a lot of these stories aren't remembered very well, if at all. 

Still, if you want to read a bunch of excellent Stephen King horror stories -- including a few that are among the very best he's ever written, you should be out there looking for this one. 

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