Tag Archives: Richard Chizmar

Revisiting Night Shift by Richard Chizmar

THAT WAS THEN…

Night Shift by Stephen KingI can’t even begin to guess at how many times I have read this collection, nor can I remember the first time I picked it up. I know I was in college at the time, and I know it was summer break and I devoured many of the stories sitting in the shade of the weeping willow tree in my side yard, but that’s all that comes back to me.

Except for the stories, of course.

Always the stories.

It feels like they have always been a part of me. In fact, along with “The Monkey” (which was collected in SKELETON CREW), the 20 short stories that comprise NIGHT SHIFT are as responsible for my becoming a writer as anything else from my past.

I read em, I loved em, and I immediately wanted to write stories just like em; stories that would make other readers feel the same way I did.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that that was easier hoped for than done. And that’s part of the beauty of these 20 stories. They are deceptively simple tales. Nothing fancy. Nothing pretentious.

They don’t pretend to be anything other than what they are: just good (or, in some cases, great) character-driven stories that are crisp and well written and, mostly, very scary.

I’ll do my best here to recount my initial feelings about each of the 20 tales (beware of spoilers): » Read more

Revisiting Rage by Richard Chizmar

THAT WAS THEN…

Rage by Richard BachmanMy road to reading RAGE has been a long and twisting one.

Stephen King started writing RAGE (originally titled GETTING IT ON) in 1966, when he was a senior in high school. At some point, he stuffed the unfinished novel in a box, and it wasn’t until 1971 that he took the manuscript out and finished it. It was eventually published six years later, in 1977, under the now-famous pseudonym of Richard Bachman.

But by 1985, the entire world — including a college sophomore by the name of Rich Chizmar — knew that Richard Bachman was actually Stephen King (writing in a bad mood).

But, even armed with this new knowledge, I didn’t read RAGE until four or five years ago for the first time. If anyone is counting, that’s a full 25 years after I first discovered that RAGE was a King book.

So, why the long delay? I had read everything else King had written (with the exception of two novels, which hundreds of you have now guessed at; all incorrectly! Yes, this tickles me), but I had never bothered with RAGE.

To be honest, I had picked it up a couple times and started reading it; but it just didn’t click for me, and both times, I ended up putting the book down with intentions to revisit it later.

And then later somehow turned into 25 years. » Read more

Richard Chizmar’s Stephen King Top Ten (Share Your List, Too!)

Yessss, I’m finished reading RAGE.  As a matter of fact, I’m almost finished with NIGHT SHIFT, too.  I’m just a bit behind in posting my thoughts because: a) the holidays; b) I’ve been busy writing the title novella for my next collection, A LONG DECEMBER; and c) I love the holidays and everything that comes with them, so I have been lazy.

Stephen King Revival Author PhotoIt won’t happen again, I promise.

Okay, I lied.  It will probably happen again.

Maybe even sooner than later.

Apologies in advance.

And because Brian Freeman suggested it, and because Brian Freeman is the technical brains behind this project and I have to listen to him, I am offering up my Top Ten Stephen King novels listed below (novels only, no collections, and in no particular order):

1)  IT

2)  ‘SALEM’S LOT

3)  THE STAND

4)  THE DEAD ZONE

5)  THE SHINING

6)  CHRISTINE

7)  PET SEMATARY

8)  BAG OF BONES

9)  HEARTS IN ATLANTIS

10) FROM A BUICK 8

11)  LISEY’S STORY

12)  11/22/63

13)  THE GREEN MILE

(See?  I lied already.  That’s 13 picks, not 10.  And you can’t stop me!)

I’d love to hear your own Top Ten SK novels, so please post them when you get a free minute or two. I will be posting my thoughts on RAGE and NIGHT SHIFT in the next week or so. In the meantime, remember to follow me on Twitter if you do the Twitter thing.

» Read more

Stephen King Revisited: General Discussion & Questions

Stephen King We Never Sleep We’re posting this as a general discussion and question zone where you can give us feedback on this website and ask any questions you might have for Richard, Bev, or myself.

What have you liked about the essays? Do you have any suggestions for future posts?

You can also use the comments section here to share any other thoughts you have about the books we’ve discussed so far: Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, and The Shining.

One of the comments that inspired this thread was Dawn’s comment about how she had noticed the phrase “the air is rare” appearing in several different Stephen King books, so if you have any general Stephen King thoughts, comments, or questions you’d like to toss out there for discussion, this is the place to be!

» Read more

Rage Update and A Secret

Rage

Almost finished reading RAGE (for only the second time). Look for my essay sometime this weekend or early next week.

A couple weeks ago, I admitted to a reader via Twitter that there are TWO Stephen King books I have never read…and ever since, folks have been busy trying to guess those two titles. No one has gotten the correct answers as of yet. If you all would like to make your own guesses in the COMMENTS section below, please feel free.

I will even hand out some prizes if anyone correctly guesses both titles (but not until I post my essay for the first of the two books; I want it to remain a surprise until that time).

Thanks and please follow me on Twitter if you’re inclined: @RichardChizmar

» Read more

“Weeds” by Stephen King in DARK SCREAMS: Volume One

Hi Folks!

Just a little side note about a Stephen King story that we won’t be reading as part of Stephen King Revisited because King has never collected it in one of his short story collections.

Dark Screams Volume OneRichard Chizmar and Brian James Freeman have joined forces with the cutting edge team at Hydra, a division of Random House, to launch a series of horror eBook anthologies called Dark Screams that will feature the best horror authors working in the business today. Volume One is now available for download immediately!

About the Book:
Stephen King, Kelley Armstrong, Bill Pronzini, Simon Clark, and Ramsey Campbell are the first contributors to a mind-bending new series of short story collections that push the boundaries of horror and dark suspense to the bleeding edge. From Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar of the acclaimed Cemetery Dance Publications, Dark Screams: Volume One reaches across genres to take readers beyond the precipice of mortal toil and into the glimmering void of irreality and beyond.

Purchase the eBook:
Amazon.com • Amazon.ca • Amazon.co.uk • Barnes & Noble • iBookstore • Kobo

WEEDS by Stephen King
When a meteorite lands on his property, Jordy Verrill envisions an easy payday. Unfortunately for Jordy, this is no ordinary rock—and the uncompromising force inside has found its first target.

THE PRICE YOU PAY by Kelley Armstrong
Never pay more than you owe. Sounds like easy advice to follow. But for Kara and her childhood friend Ingrid, some debts can never be repaid . . . especially those tendered in blood.

MAGIC EYES by Bill Pronzini
Edward James Toliver has found a weary sort of asylum among the insane. He knows he’s not one of them—but how can he tell anyone about the invaders without sounding that way?

MURDER IN CHAINS by Simon Clark
Imagine awaking to find yourself in an underground vault, chained by the neck to a murderous lunatic, a grunting goliath who seems more animal than man. What would you do to save yourself?

THE WATCHED by Ramsey Campbell
Little Jimmy gets a glimpse of the cold truth when he finds out that it’s not always what you see that can get you into trouble; it’s who knows what you see.

Purchase the eBook:
Amazon.com • Amazon.ca • Amazon.co.uk • Barnes & Noble • iBookstore • Kobo

Dark Screams Volume One

Richard Chizmar Is Reading Rage Right Now

RageJust a quick update to let you know that Richard is reading Rage right now.

Remember, you can follow Richard on Facebook and Twitter for his personal updates and other posts of interest to readers and collectors and Stephen King fans.

The complete list of the books we’ll be reading can be found on the Stephen King Books In Chronological Order For Stephen King Revisited Reading Lists page.

We also have great guest essays for ‘Salem’s Lot and The Shining to post soon.

Stay tuned for more news and updates on Stephen King Revisited!

» Read more

Revisiting The Shining by Richard Chizmar

THAT WAS THEN…

The ShiningTHE SHINING was the second Stephen King novel I ever read, and when I look back at that experience there is one crystal clear memory that surfaces above all the others: this book is almost too scary.

Let me explain. I was sixteen at the time. The son of a strict, but loving father and a doting mother. Baby brother to four older siblings. A mostly normal teenager who just happened to see and hear and feel things a little deeper (okay, a lot deeper) than most of my friends. I already knew I wanted to be a writer one day, and somewhere deep in my subconscious, I think I also knew that writing would one day be my salvation. The same way that books were my escape from the real world, I somehow knew that writing would be my way to understand and cope with that real world. » Read more

Stephen King Revisited Contest and Mr. Mercedes Still Discounted To $3.75!

Two quick updates today:

1) We’ve selected the first group of winners in our Stephen King Revisited contest and they’ve been emailed to confirm their addresses. Once we hear back, we’ll post their names here on the site. MORE WINNERS WILL SELECTED NEXT WEEK, so read all of the details to make sure you’re entered because this is a FREE contest.

2) For those of you who like to plan ahead or who haven’t read this one yet, Norman Prentiss over at eHorrorBargains.com spotted that the eBook edition of Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King is only $3.75 today on Amazon for some reason, which is a terrific deal for such a new release from a major author:

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King

» Read more

Richard Chizmar Reading The Shining, Contest Update, Found Photos, and Following Richard

Four quick updates today:

1) Our Stephen King Revisited contest is up and running and we’ll start picking winners THIS WEEK. Read all of the details to make sure you’re entered because this is a FREE contest and the prizes are pretty awesome.

2) Remember, you can follow Richard on Facebook and Twitter for his personal updates and other posts of interest to readers and collectors and Stephen King fans.

3) Richard Chizmar was caught reading on the job yet again today. For the record, he hit Chapter 17, The Doctor’s Office:

Richard Chizmar Reading The Shining

4) In the category of “you never know what you’ll find in an old book,” here are two photos Richard found in The Shining paperback. He has no idea where they came from:

photo in 'Salem's Lot 01photo in 'Salem's Lot 02

Finally, this would be a great time for you to join in and read along with Richard. You can order an eBook and start right now. Here are the eBook store links if you want to download a copy:

Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iTunes/iBookstore

To be notified of new posts and updates via email, please sign-up using the box on the right side or the bottom of this site.

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