Friday 11 July 2014

Just After Sunset

I had mixed feelings while reading this collection of stories as some really good ones were combined with a few rather mediocre stories. 
The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates was probably my favorite. It explored an interesting idea of the dead communicating with living. In this one, a deceased husband calls his wife and starts a conversation.What makes it quite powerful is the fact that he's not emotional and doesn't seem to understand what happened to him and where he is. I think it's a pretty neat way of presenting what is commonly referred to as limbo. Willa, another story in this collection, also deals with the subject of afterlife. Here the main focus is on he protagonists understanding that they're dead and the implications of their status. I really liked how King shows their attempts to communicate the fact that they're no longer alive to other ghosts and are ignored and rejected.
A Very Tight Place shows a man's desperate battle for survival in extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable circumstances. As usual, King depicts all the emotions accompanying extreme situations very well. However, other than these descriptions, the story is completely unremarkable.
The Things They Left Behind is a story in which King seems to be coming to terms with the tragedy of 9/11. It explores the idea of survivor's guilt and deals with the subject in a rather elegant, unobtrusive way.
Stationary Bike shows a man's gradual immersion in insanity as his obsession with losing weight seems to take over his entire life. He has trouble distinguishing figments of his imagination from reality and even begins openly questioning them, trying to convince them (or himself?) that they don't actually exist.
The other stories weren't really memorable. N. is another of King's attempts to create a Lovecraft-like metaphor of madness, Ayana and Mute are stories that are both very short and do not have interesting plots and show and The Cat From Hell is just too grotesque to be treated seriously.
Now I need to catch up with notes on other books that I've read in recent weeks (as well as some Warzone miniatures that I've painted...).

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