The Nitty Gritty: A Remotely Intellectual Review of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Stephen King has been a favorite of mine since I was 12. I was spellbound then, as I am now, by his masterful storytelling (I mean, c’mon, The Shining is second to none). I fell in love with his horror stories, but I’ve come to realize that he can write anything. And that’s real talent.  

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams offers a collection of Stephen King’s short(ish) stories. The bizarrely imaginative plots range from a monster car (which is very different than a monster truck, trust me) to an ill-fated fireworks display. My favorites, though, were about an otherworldly Kindle and a sanity threatening Cookie Jar. Really.  

Each story has a brief intro, where King explains his inspiration for the story (literary or otherwise). I love that these intros acknowledge that other writers have influenced King’s craft over time… and none more so than the ones he really immerses himself in. Which is likely why so much of the creative work I’ve done recently is heavily Stephen Kingesque. He’s the kind of storyteller whose style and way of envisioning the world colors your own reality. Or at least it colors mine.  

I get drawn back to King for the power of his stories but I stay because he’s a magician with words. I didn’t love every story in this collection. But the ones I did love return to my consciousness over and over again. They have staying power. And they are something to aspire to. 

Published by Kendra Lee

I am smitten with Atlanta. I believe Black Lives Matter. I care deeply about housing justice, education, and transportation. I am a huge MARTA fan. I've got the most adorable second grader, an incorrigible Boxer named Delilah, and a pretty amazing husband named Simon. I've been sober for 9+ years. I heart coffee. On any given day I may write about all--or none--of those things.

5 thoughts on “The Nitty Gritty: A Remotely Intellectual Review of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

  1. This is Ray Bradbury for me. Some of his short stories live in my soul. Also, short stories are my most favorite literary medium. I read a collection last year called Til September Petronella. There are five or six connected stories that follow this woman through different parts of her life as she grows up and the last one is SO HAUNTING. I think of it with such awe. I always get super excited when people share the short stories they like 🙂 Also, I think I’ve read that Cookie Jar one, but I don’t remember it, sadly.

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    1. I’m a little embarrassed to tell you I haven’t read much Ray Bradbury. Which one should I read first? And YES! Short stories are a brilliant medium.

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      1. There Will Come Soft Rains
        And The Rock Cried Out
        any of The Martian Chronicles
        The Veldt is CHILLING!

        if you want like hometown nostalgia any of the stories in dandelion wine are good for that.

        the illustrated man might be my favorite collection though because it’s so cool how he strings all the stories together. the premise is there’s a tattooed man from a carnival covered in tattoos and each one is a short story.

        also he’s got a spooky set that i like to visit in october. can’t remember the name right now. :/

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