Thursday, January 5, 2012

Constant Reading Project: NIGHT SHIFT

Night Shift
Released: February 1978
Pages: Original hardback version had 336 pages. The 2011 Anchor Books paperback I'll be reading has 505 pages.

Screen adaptations: It's a short story collection, so here goes:
"Children of the Corn" 1984 and again in 2009 (for the SyFy network).
"Cat's Eye," 1985, an anthology film that included adaptations of "Quitters, Inc." and "The Ledge."
"Maximum Overdrive," 1985, based on "Trucks" (also adapted in 1997 for the USA Network) and directed by King.
"Graveyard Shift," 1990.
"The Lawmower Man," 1992. King sued and won to have his name removed from this because the only thing the film had in common with the short story is that some grass gets cut.
"The Mangler," 1995, directed by Tobe Hooper.
"Sometimes They Come Back," 1991. Not bad but avoid name-only sequels. Just like with the handful of awful "Children of the Corn" sequels.

The story "Battleground" was adapted as part of TNT's "Nightmares & Dreamscapes" series. For more on that adaptation, check this out.

Connections:  "Jerusalem's Lot" and "One for the Road" are about that small town in Maine that gets taken over by vampires.  "The Last Rung on the Ladder" features a much younger version of a saintly old woman from The Stand.  Speaking of that upcoming behemoth,  "Night Surf" is its precursor.

Our fourth book in the Constant Reading Project is Night Shift, and it's the first collection of King's short stories, many of which were published in men's magazines in the early 1970s. These are the grisly tales of ne'er-do-wells that would have been right at home in the pulp mags of the 1920s and '30s, only much more graphic, such as "Battleground" and "Quitters, Inc." There are also more sentimental pieces such as "The Last Rung on the Ladder" and "The Woman in the Room."

King was young and desperate when these stories were written, so it's a great point of comparison to how his works matures over time but stays much the same.

With all that said, time's a-wasting, back to reading.

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