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Just After Sunset    by Stephen King order for
Just After Sunset
by Stephen King
Order:  USA  Can
Scribner, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Alex Telander

Stephen King's latest short story collection, Just After Sunset, is a case of hit and miss, with a little something for everyone. In his introduction to Constant Reader, King talks about his editing the Best American Short Stories collection for 2007 and how he rediscovered his love for writing short stories while reading many of them for the collection. With less stories than in his usual collections, Just After Sunset features a few of the best short stories he's ever written, as well as a blend of action-packed, artistic, and outright disturbing stories in the classic, morbid King style.

Just After Sunset begins with the best of the collection, Willa, an unusual tale about a group of people at a train station. David has found that his wife to be, Willa, has left the station and gone into town. He must bring her back before the train arrives. He finds her at a bar where there is music, drinking and merriment. And it is here he discovers something that changes the very world around him. In The Gingerbread Girl, Emily Owensby has had enough of her life and runs away to her father's vacation house in the Florida Keys. She must find out what she wants to do with her future, but as she pays a visit to a neighbor, she finds herself in a situation that threatens her very life.

Mute is a story about an acquaintance between a supposed deaf-mute person and Monette and what happens when he reveals his true feelings. N. is a dark tale about a man's destroyed psyche as he supposedly fights to maintain the fabric of reality and prevent the monsters on the other side from breaking through. In the final story, A Very Tight Place, King explores the idea of what would happen if one were in a Port-A-Potty that got tipped over on the door side, trapping the person within.

Just After Sunset is not one of Stephen King's best short story collections, for some of the stories just try too hard, or aren't that good, and yet there are others, like Willa, N., and Mute, that fire the imagination and leave the reader wanting more.

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