Fans of Stephen King are in for a treat as the master of horror has announced his new collection of short stories, You Like It Darker, which will be published by Scribner on May 21, 2024. The book features 12 tales from the Carrie author, many never-before-published. One of the most anticipated stories is “Rattlesnakes,” a sequel to King’s 1981 novel Cujo, in which a grieving widower travels to Florida for respite and instead receives an unexpected inheritance — with major strings attached.
A Return to the Rabid Dog
Cujo was King’s seventh novel, and one of his most terrifying. It tells the story of a friendly Saint Bernard dog that contracts rabies and goes on a killing spree, trapping a mother and her son in their car. The novel was adapted into a film in 1983, starring Dee Wallace and Danny Pintauro. The book and the movie both have a bleak ending, with the son dying of dehydration and the mother barely surviving.
In “Rattlesnakes,” King revisits the aftermath of Cujo’s rampage, as the widower of the dog’s owner inherits the property where the events took place. He soon discovers that the land is haunted by the ghost of Cujo, who is still hungry for blood. The story is a chilling exploration of grief, guilt, and revenge, and a reminder that some horrors never die.
Other Stories in the Collection
You Like It Darker also features 11 other stories that showcase King’s range and imagination. Some of the stories include:
- “Two Talented Bastids,” which explores the long-hidden secret of how the eponymous gentlemen got their skills.
- “Danny Coughlin’s Bad Dream,” about a brief and unprecedented psychic flash that upends dozens of lives.
- “The Dreamers,” a taciturn Vietnam vet answers a job ad and learns that there are some corners of the universe best left unexplored.
- “The Answer Man,” which asks if prescience is good luck or bad and reminds us that a life marked by unbearable tragedy can still be meaningful.
The book also features an introduction by King, in which he shares his insights and inspirations for each story. He also reveals some of the challenges and joys of writing short fiction, and why he considers it a vital form of art.
A Must-Read for King Fans
You Like It Darker is a must-read for fans of Stephen King, as it offers a glimpse into his creative process and his diverse interests. The stories are full of suspense, humor, emotion, and of course, horror. Whether you are looking for a sequel to a classic, a new twist on a familiar theme, or a completely original tale, you will find something to satisfy your appetite in this collection. You can pre-order the book from Scribner, or read an excerpt from “Rattlesnakes” here.