You Like it Darker, a New Short Story Collection by Stephen King

The Bottom Line: Experience Stephen King’s latest collection of short stories now, before the inevitable adaptations start popping up on your favorite streaming service.  

Some of the best-known Stephen King adaptations for film and TV are based on his short stories and novellas: Children of the Corn, Stand by Me, The Night Flier, Mercy and many others. Throughout his career, King has routinely published story collections in between novel-length works. 

You Like it Darker, King’s excellent new story collection, is sure to spawn many adaptations (See how You Like it Darker ranks among the best Stephen King books of the 21st century).

In an interview with NPR, King confessed that one of the stories, “The Answer Man,” has been a work in progress of sorts since he was 30 years old. The story, which will rank among King’s greats, was apparently lost for decades until King’s nephew suggested he finish it. 

“Two Talented Bastids” is the story of two creatives: an author, and a painter, and the dark secret about how both acquired their talent. Readers who have ever fretted about having car trouble in a remote area may confront their own fears in “On Slide Inn Road,” the tale of a family that meets the worst kind of roadside assistance. 

Many of King’s collections feature a mix of short stories and at least one novella-length work that serves as the main course. One of the best examples from recent years is “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” from his If it Bleeds collection, which was also turned into Netflix movie. In You Like it Darker, the novella perhaps most deserving of screen adaptation is “Danny Coughlin’s Bad Dream,” a story about a man’s strange dream and an obsessed detective. Fans of King’s forays into crime fiction, such as Mr. Mercedes, have a lot to look forward to. 

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