Night Shift, Stephen King – A Review. [LOTS OF SPOILERS].

What Em's Reading (4)

Hey everyone and welcome to my blog! Over the past 4 or 5 days, I’ve been treating myself to the delights of some of Stephen King’s short stories, from his Night Shift collection. I skipped a few that I just wasn’t interested in reading and then rated the rest individually.

Buckle up cos we’re in it for the long haul now!!!

I have a hardback copy of this book, and inside the cover, it says… “In the stories that follow you will encounter all manner of night creatures… None of them are real. The thing under my bed… isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle” which instantly drew me to reading this collection.

The order these stories are reviewed is the order I read them, and without any more of me rambling, let’s get into the reviews…

  • Graveyard Shift – 4 out of 5 stars. I literally hate rats, so this story was beyond creepy for me, the thought of mutant rodents? NO THANK YOU.
  • Night Surf – 4 out of 5 stars. I was intrigued by this one more than scared, the opening line really caught my attention and I do wish it was longer so we could delve further into this virus that they appear to have.
  • I Am the Doorway – 5 out of 5 stars. Wowzers, I did not see this one coming, it was the perfect weave of curiosity and eeriness that kept you hanging on a cliff edge…
  • The Mangler – 5 out of 5 stars. I had a rough idea of this story already before I read it, but nothing could prepare me for the thought of a demon possessed mangler. I think because it was a household item that made it feel all the scarier, plus the descriptions of how it was mangling people, grim.
  • The Bogeyman – 5 out of 5 stars. “All I did was kill my kids” and I’m not going to lie, I was waaaay off with this one, I thought he made up the Bogeyman because he was beating his wife/kids, NOPE, the shock of my life at the end! I kind of closed the book and just sat there for a few seconds digesting what I had read lmao.
  • Gray Matter – 5 out of 5 stars. For the sheer disgustingness (is that a word??? I guess so Grammarly didn’t pick it up) of the blob described, and whilst the ending left us on a cliffhanger it also seemed like THE perfect way to round off the story.
  • Sometimes They Come Back – 5 out of 5 stars. This was sheer terror for me, this is what I want from a short story, I want to be scared! And I was, I had a nightmare after reading this story…
  • The Ledge – 3.5 out of 5 stars. This one was kind of a let down for me after the high quality of the others, it just didn’t feel so scary. Maybe I’ve read too many other things similar but I just didn’t enjoy it that much compared to the others.
  • The Lawnmower Man – 4 out of 5 stars. I was eating my lunch while I read this story and let me tell you it nearly came back up again 😦 I honestly felt sick reading this, not out of fear but sheer disgust at the guy eating the grass? NAH.
  • Quitters Inc – 5 out of 5 stars. WOW, I mean it’s a pretty simple premise about aversion therapy, but the line where he shakes the hand of McCann’s wife, it got me…
  • I know what you need – 3 out of 5 stars. This one seemed a bit flat compared to the others, to me it just didn’t make that much sense at the end? And I felt quite disappointed after I finished reading it, almost like I would have ended it differently.
  • The Man Who Loved Flowers – 4 out of 5 stars. I genuinely did not see this coming, at all. But when it hit me (pardon the pun – if you’ve read it you’ll understand) I was shook. And then it clicked in my head a line earlier in the book, about a man attacking with a hammer, who hadn’t yet been found and the seed had been planted on the very first page but it was never obvious it was him!
  • The Last Rung on the Ladder – 5 out of 5 stars. For me, this was by far the most poignant story in the book. After an accident when they were younger involving a ladder and a broken ankle it just goes to show how we get so caught up in our own lives (not intentionally) and then we miss catching up with family or friends who need us. It really made me think.
  • The Woman in the Room – 2 out of 5 stars. I’m really sad that I read this last as I thought it was shit, I’m not sure if I was spoilt with the other stories or it just wasn’t as good but it never really got going, which was disappointing.

There are a few that I skipped, including Children of the Corn (I did try and read it but I was so damn tired I fell asleep halfway through soooo). 

On the whole, I really enjoyed the short stories in Night Shift, some of them were downright creepy and others were just excellent pieces of storytelling. My overall rating… 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Have you read any of the short stories in Night Shift? Let me know, I’d be keen to hear what you thought. Em xx