cover image Nightmares and Dreamscapes

Nightmares and Dreamscapes

Stephen King, Butterworth. Viking, $27.5 (832pp) ISBN 978-0-670-85108-9

This is a wonderful cornucopia of 23 Stephen King moments (including a teleplay featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, a poem about Ebbet's Field and a brilliant New Yorker piece on Little League baseball) that even the author, in his introduction, acknowledges make up ``an uneven Aladdin's cave of a book.'' There are no stories fans will want to skip, and some are superb, particularly ``You Know They Got a Hell of a Band,'' in which a husband and wife drive through a town that may literally be rock-and-roll heaven; ``The Ten O'Clock People,'' about unredeemable smokers; and ``The Moving Finger,'' which chronicles a digit's appearance in a drain. Together with Night Shift and Skeleton Crew , this volume accounts for all the stories King has written that he wishes to preserve. The introduction and illuminating notes about the derivation of each piece are invaluable autobiographical essays on his craft and his place in the literary landscape. An illusionist extraordinaire, King peoples all his fiction, long and short, with believable characters. The power of this collection lies in the amazing richness of his fevered imagination--he just can't be stopped from coming up with haunting plots. 1,500,000 first printing; BOMC main selection. (Sept.)