...Mr. King has gone short-winded with Full Dark, No Stars, a set of four spooky moral tales. Two of our most dependably prolific and popular authors have both switched gears ...has a lot of straight-up horror. The sheer size of its rodent population is enough to stamp it with the horror label. But it will serve as a page turner even for the reader who is aghast at some of the whisker-twitching particulars, especially in '1922,' the opening story ... What’s most interesting about this story is not the terrible secret that the wife will uncover. It’s that Mr. King, who seems able to write compact tales or gargantuan ones with equal ease, can invest a bland, coin-collecting accountant with any kind of frisson at all.
His new book, Full Dark, No Stars, is the latest instance. As its title suggests, the work is bleak, with an Old Testament-like sense of affliction and retribution, an assurance that every sin must be repaid ... This theme of intimacy gone wrong runs throughout the collection ... For all King's interest in the supernatural, he is at his most acute when he deals with human evil, the depravity of which we are capable and the lengths to which we will go to convince ourselves that we are good ... Such a double vision marks many of King's novels, from The Shining to Desperation to Bag of Bones.
Nor will there be any complaints from those quarters about his new collection, Full Dark, No Stars, which consists of one short story and three novellas. They’re all accomplished pieces of genre thriller writing ... Each of the novellas deals to some degree with characters who are seeming Dr. Jekylls on the surface, but deep within hides Hyde, a monster who would as soon take a carving knife to you as shake your hand ...only problem is that this might be one of the more artful pieces of deflection by someone who has been substituting unbelievable human behavior for the way people really act for much of his career, which is what has made him more entertainer than artist ... It’s all good genre stuff, but it doesn’t find that middle ground between literary writing, which King eschews, and shining light on the world.