By now, it’s a bit cliché to call Stephen King a master storyteller, but that’s just what the author is. Whether writing a novel or a short story, King manages to deliver impactful, amusing, and sometimes gruesome tales to his readers, and in his short story collection, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, he once again doesn’t disappoint.
King is in his element here, experimenting with a wide range of story concepts that vary in tone, style, and gore. The collection includes 21 fiction stories, and once you get started, it’s hard to put the book down as the reading momentum builds from story to story. You can tell King is having fun with each twist and turn, and that only makes for a more enjoyable time for us, whom he refers to as Constant Reader.
Along with the fictional tales, the final piece is a non-fiction story King wrote about his son Owen’s 1989 Little League team, Bangor West. It’s an excellent story and is, of course, beautifully told by King.
A poem at the end of the collection shares the same baseball theme as the non-fiction piece.
King happily introduces us to the collection at the beginning, explaining a little about the works and his general inspiration for many. He then concludes with more specific notes that talk about where he got the ideas for many of the short stories or how some went from a box in his attic to being published.
Nightmares & Dreamscapes is an entertaining read. If you like to read off and on without the commitment of a full novel, this is a definite recommendation. If you love Stephen King, this is an absolute recommend. And if you just enjoy fun but twisted short stories, I can’t recommend this one enough.