Saturday, March 12, 2016

Obits, by Stephen King

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(Horror) Mike writes snarky, disrespectful celebrity obituaries for a sleazy webzine. Then one day he gets the idea to write an obit about a living person. (8,600 words; Time: 28m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆, Average

"," by , appeared in The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: We get just enough of Mike's background to make us interested in him before we find out about his obituary power. Likewise, the more we learn about Katie, the better we like her--up until she asks Mike to murder for her.

Con: The story simply fizzles out at the end. Mike learns his power is less focused and therefore more dangerous than he'd realized, so he moves away and quits doing it.

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6 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I think I saw this in a Twilight Zone episode, only it was camera

  2. Not having read any Stephen King before, I liked it enough to rate it a 4, recommended. I get your critique, but I found the ending reasonable given the way Mike changes in the story. I've read other wish fulfillment stories that tend to end in the character's destruction, but this one took a different path. If this isn't considered among Stephen King's better stories, then I should make time to read his best works. :-)

  3. Stephen King always has trouble ending his stories, although he usually does better at shorter length. Almost none of his novels have satisfying endings.

  4. I agree with the rating, but it is at the better end of a 3.

    The ending is good-enough, just not amazing, but the fact that it did take a different path is good in itself.

  5. To give it a four, I would have either wanted to see a sophisticated plot or else something to make the story memorable (e.g. a powerful emotional event) but it didn't have either one. Like all of King's work, the writing is very, very strong, so I'd agree that it's about as good as a three can be without being a four.

    1. For me, the difference between a good story and a great story is "a powerful emotional event" combined with an ending that I get.

      I certainly get this ending.

      Or laughter / humour (in the case of Cat Pictures Please) and also an ending that I get.