You Like It Darker: Stories

Stephen King

Book cover for You Like It Darker: Stories
Book cover for You Like It Darker: Stories

You Like It Darker: Stories

You Like It Darker: Stories

Stephen King

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From legendary storyteller and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary new collection of twelve short stories, many never-before-published, and some of his best EVER.

"You like it darker? Fine, so do I," writes Stephen King in the afterword to this magnificent new collection of twelve stories that delve into the darker part of life--both metaphorical and literal. King has, for half a century, been a master of the form, and these stories, about fate, mortality, luck, and the folds in reality where anything can happen, are as rich and riveting as his novels, both weighty in theme and a huge pleasure to read. King writes to feel "the exhilaration of leaving ordinary day-to-day life behind," and in You Like It Darker, readers will feel that exhilaration too, again and again.

"Two Talented Bastids" explores the long-hidden secret of how the eponymous gentlemen got their skills. In "Danny Coughlin's Bad Dream," a brief and unprecedented psychic flash upends dozens of lives, Danny's most catastrophically. In "Rattlesnakes," a sequel to Cujo, a grieving widower travels to Florida for respite and instead receives an unexpected inheritance--with major strings attached. In "The Dreamers," a taciturn Vietnam vet answers a job ad and learns that there are some corners of the universe best left unexplored. "The Answer Man" asks if prescience is good luck or bad and reminds us that a life marked by unbearable tragedy can still be meaningful.

King's ability to surprise, amaze, and bring us both terror and solace remains unsurpassed. Each of these stories holds its own thrills, joys, and mysteries; each feels iconic. You like it darker? You got it.

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes the short story collection You Like It Darker, Holly, Fairy Tale, Billy Summers, If It Bleeds, The Institute, Elevation, The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and a television series streaming on Peacock). His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower, It, Pet Sematary, Doctor Sleep, and Firestarter are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Critical Reviews

Praise for You Like It Darker

"A master class in tension and is full of King's dark humor. He knows what we like, and he delivers. This collection proves King is still king." --The New York Times Book Review

"Stephen King knows You Like It Darker and obliges with sensational new tales... thoughtful... intriguing... surprisingly emotional... the author has a long history of exceptional short fiction... He proves once more that his smaller-sized tales pack as powerful a wallop as the big boys." --USA Today

"What's obvious is that King's skills as a storyteller remain undimmed, and following him into the dark, the light or anywhere in between is never a bad bet. As if anyone could resist." --Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"The best of these stories, as is true with the best of King's work, feature horror tempered with heart." --Associated Press

"Stephen King is still writing with the giddy abandon of scribes half his age, and more than anything else, You Like It Darker is evidence of that joy." --Paste

"Stephen King keeps it fresh... very entertaining... sometimes, good things come in small packages." --Bangor Daily News

"Classic King, stories full of heart, horror, and humanity, each riffing on that eternal question: what if?" --Vulture

"The titular darkness promised is as riveting and all-consuming as ever." --New York Magazine

"King is writing some of the best work of his long career." --Seattle Times

"King does it again in this collection of stories... there's no doubt that King is still a master." --AARP

"King proves he's still a master of short fiction in his sterling seventh collection... This remarkably assured collection will thrill the author's fans." --Publishers Weekly

"King's first book, Carrie, was published 50 years ago. You Like It Darker proves that he is still at the height of his powers. A triumph." --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"Readers will be thrilled by these tales. They all have that King touch." --Library Journal, STARRED review

"A dozen tales from the master will draw you in--page by page, horror by horror--and hold you fast." --Kirkus, STARRED review

Publishing Information

Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Pub date: 2024-05-21
Length: 512 pages
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