The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

  • by Stephen King
  • Narrated by Stephen King, Dylan Baker, Brooke Bloom, Hope Davis, Kathleen Chalfant, Santino Fontana, Peter Friedman
  • 20 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Named to the American Library Association’s Reference & User Services (RUSA) Listen List!
Other narrators include: Cotter Smith, Will Patton, Edward Herrmann, Holter Graham, Frederick Weller, Mare Winningham, Craig Wasson, Thomas Sadoski, and Tim Sample.
A master storyteller at his best - the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.
Since his first collection, Nightshift, published 35 years ago, Stephen King has dazzled listeners with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.
There are thrilling connections between stories, including themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, and what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. "Afterlife" is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers he has supernatural powers: the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in "Obits"; the old judge in "The Dune", who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw written in the sand the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In "Morality", King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil's pact they can win.
Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King's finest gifts to his constant fan. "I made them especially for you," says King. "Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth."

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What the Critics Say

"Each narrator is a perfect fit for the stories he or she reads - it's rare to find such a collection with no misses, but it's not unusual for King. Narrating the stories' introductions himself, King makes the listener feel like his confidant every time. Cotter Smith steals the show, masterfully performing several pieces, including the poem 'The Bone Church,' the best performance of the collection." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

HE'S A CUP OF COFFEE

COULD YOU GET ARRESTED FOR DRUNK BIKING?
If you have read any of my reviews on any of King's work, than you have heard me say this before, but it is so true in these stories. King writes stories about characters, about people. Lots of his books, have very little horror in them. They seem terrifying, because of the investment you have in the characters. Another writer might come up with more terrifying situations, but if you don't care about the people in the story, it is not as scary. I am constantly amazed in King's ability to look into the human mind and tear out, those items which are uncomfortable. For instance in one story, a guy's wife dies in a local convenience store. He is sad and he did love his wife, but at the same time, he is wondering what females will give him sympathy sex.

The stories
I read lot of anthologies and story collections. I actually prefer them. It is amazing what a good writer can fit into a small story and the wow factor is usually bigger than in a novel. If a story is bad, than I don't have that much time invested until I get to another story. Most collections have two or three really good stories, some good stories and several bad stories. This collection has an unusual amount of really good stories. Only two stories did I not care for and one of them was a poem. Mile 81, is typical King. No one does 8 to 12 year old boys better than King. Add to that a car that eats people. Premium Harmony, may dwell too much into reality to be comfortable for most. The Dune, has one of those surprise endings, you can only get in a short story. A Death, is a heart rending Western. Morality, makes you wonder, could that be me, in that situation? Herman Wouk Is Still Alive, is a good look at how the other half lives. It always amazes me that King, who has been rich and famous for so long, still can write about the down and out so well. Under The Weather, will stay in my mind for years. The horror in this story is, I know people who can lie to themselves that convincingly. I am not a big baseball fan, much more a football fan, but I loved Blockade Billy. I love a period piece with the language of the time and profession. It was very entertaining. Batman and Robin,hit my heart hard as, my mother died of Alzheimer's in October. Obits, really made me think. As a pet lover with an elderly dog, I teared up during Summer Thunder. All book lovers and anyone with favorite authors should love Ur. But that's not all.

Narrators
These are some of the best in the field. I am a huge fan of Will Patton and he reads two stories. Who ever did Blockade Billy made that story ten times better to listen to than read. The very first story Mile 81 is read in a slow monotone and needed to be put on 2x, but the rest were true professionals and made listening better than reading.

Genre
I agree with another reviewer, these are not very scary. They are more human interest stories. They are great writings on subjects that are hard to categorize. Be warned these stories include lots of sex, violence, bad language and some gore. I will think about some of these for a long time, but I will not have any nightmares over them.
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- Jim "The Impatient"

A Little Supernatural, Horror, and Insight

Stephen King likens himself to a midnight street vendor peddling his tales, and if nightmares are what you seek than his short story collection “Bazaar of Bad Dreams,” delivers. This is an eclectic collection of some old favorites and new consisting of some real-life horrors, amazing supernatural fantasy, and even poetry Stephen King style. What makes these stories even more interesting, especially the Audio version, is each story is preceded by a few words of insight and inspiration from the author himself.
The ensemble cast of narrators does a great job bringing each story to life; which may or may not be a good thing since they are from Stephen King..
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- D

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-03-2015
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio