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Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams Book is Worth the Money

Photo Credit: Juli Wright
A small pile of Stephen King books with the newest, Bazaar of Bad Dreams on top.

Stephen King grew up in Portland, Maine with his mother and siblings, his father left his family. He married young at the age of twenty four in 1971 to Tabitha Spruce who is also an author. As a teen and into his early twenties he would send short stories to magazines. He was not successful. He began to teach and would only write on the side when he had free time. Eventually, after taking in much rejection, in 1973 he published his first book, Jerusalems Lot, then soon after published Carrie, the very popular story of the outcast girl who has telekinesis and gets pigs blood dumped on her at the prom. After publishing over fifty books, he published the second book in his trilogy, Finder’s Keepers in 2014. Soon after, King announced that he will be publishing a collection of short stories in the fall of 2015. It would be titled, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams and is filled with twenty short tales. Out of each of his short story collections, I feel that this book is second to only his first collection of short stories, Night Shift. Being a huge Stephen King fan, I bought the first edition copy on November third, the day it came out. The original price of the 495 page book is $30.00. Not bad for twenty stories and awesome cover artwork. However, even though it was just released, Barnes & Noble gave everyone who bought it thirty percent off that price. Now that it’s been out for a little, it is only $19.98 if you order it from Barnes & Noble online.

As soon as I picked up the book, I read the Author’s note, and just that was intriguing. He talks about why he values short stories so much as well as his long novels. When I got to the first short story, Mile 81 I was so into it I couldn’t stop reading. That story is about an abandoned rest stop on exit 81. The hero of the story is a little boy that goes by the name of Pete who tries to defeat a “monster car” that eats people.

I read five stories in just the first night. Although completely horrifying, and sometimes sad, I was so into King’s writing. Premium Harmony, the second story is a very quick read, but brought me to tears with the bizarre deaths that occur and how precise the detail is. A man stops at a convenience store so that his wife, Mary could buy their niece a purple ball for her birthday. The ending is unexpected and tragic. In Herman Wouk Is Still Alive, friends Brenda and Jasmine take a ride to their hometown with Jasmine’s young children. At the same time, two older poets, who are also former lovers, are both driving separately to give a paid lecture at the University of Maine. Their lives come back together in an unpredictable way for a plot twist of an ending. Or read about a parallel universe in the short story UR.

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The only story in the book that did not grab my attention was Blockade Billy, but mostly just because I am not really into baseball in any way. He adds statistics and jargon that may be confusing to some readers. It was a suspenseful read, but definitely could have been better. It does show how versatile he is with his writing. He can go from horror, to crime, tragedy, all the way to a baseball suspense story, with no issues. Although I did not care for Blockade Billy due to my lack of interest in sports, I do appreciate how he could write about anything and make it sound incredible, because it was still well written.

However, overall it was a great read. Every story had a solid plot that made you want to know so much more than what you already read about. And in this case, you can judge a book by its cover because the artwork on the book sleeve is sick and twisted. It fits the stories that are inside, perfectly. It is beautifully disturbing in the best way possible. All in all, for the twenty stories in the $20.00 book, I’d say it is completely worth the buy. Keep yourself entertained, while stimulating your brain.

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About the Contributor
Juli Wright
Juli Wright, Fall reporter
Juli Wright originated here in Colonia for the past seventeen years. She has moved once to a different house within the same town when she was four years old. Juli’s educational journey began at Pennsylvania Avenue School, subsequently attending Colonia Middle School, and is continuing currently at Colonia High School. She intends to be a writer, more specifically an author of horror novels and short stories. Her idol is Stephen King, which is not shocking being that he is the master of the horror genre. Beginning when she was five years old, she has played multiple sports. A few include basketball, softball, soccer, swimming, and volleyball. However, in college she only plans to pursue softball at a division three level. Juli believes strongly that the creative mindset she has, the education she has received, and the places she has been, made her who she is today.

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Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams Book is Worth the Money