Four Past Midnight

  • by Stephen King
  • Narrated by James Woods, Ken Howard, Tim Sample, Willem Dafoe
  • 29 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At midnight comes the point of balance. Of danger. The instant of utter stillness when, between two beats of the heart, an alternative reality can slip through, like a blade between the ribs, and switch you into a new and terrifying world.
Four Past Midnight: four heart-stopping accounts of that moment when the familiar world fractures beyond sense, the fragments spinning away from the desperate, clutching reach of sanity....


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Customer Reviews

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It crawls through the back of your neck

Four long novellas for the price of one book, what more could you ask for. Most writers would have padded the stories a little bit and sold them separately, but not Stephen King, his output is amazing and the stories are solid King territory, America at its best and worst, drunks and monsters, children and the terror of growing up with dark secrets and abuse ( a recurring theme in all of his books) these themes get put aside for in favor of emphasising the gore when discussing his work.

I have been re-reading his books and doing so I find patterns and repetitions that point to a man that is concerned with children's suffering and what changes them, alcohol is a big character in most stories a presence that changes lives a hiding place were horror gathers all its toys.

The Library policeman is the best story for my taste and the most disturbing. Sun Dog is surrealistic and the best father-son he has written. Langoliers is a very different time travel story. Secret Window Secret Garden, is a breakup story like no other. Take your pick, I take them all.
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- Wras

Stephen King goes to the twilight zone.

Would you consider the audio edition of Four Past Midnight to be better than the print version?

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As a fan of the original Twilight Zone and as a Constant Reader I loved what in my mind was four episodes of the one created by the other.

One Past Midnight, "The Langoliers" The characters awake on a airplane to find that everyone else has disappeared. This soft science fiction novella focuses mostly on characters rather than science fact. This story has the least amount of tension due to the crowdedness of the characters. It does have its moments though. The characters are all interesting, I did care about them and I thought they complemented the concept to make a good listen. Willem Defoe's narration was excellent. He does a descent English accent (as an Englishman I appreciate that) and I liked the background sounds as well.

Two past midnight, "Secret Window, Secret garden" centres around a theme of confrontation. John Shooter thinks Mort Rainey owes him a story, Mort disagrees, physiological warfare ensues. From the off its clear which direction this novella is heading, King doesn't disappoint. This was the story I wanted The Dark Half to be plus James Woods narration was fantastic, again I liked the back ground sound editing. As an audiobook fanatic its nice to hear creativity outside of the narrator. Seriously though, James Woods sounded like he enjoyed reading it.

Three past midnight "The Library Policeman". My mind's eye converted this story to black and white, it had nearly all of the Twilight Zones tropes but was also a lot darker. Sam needs to spice up his public speech. He goes to the local library to get some extra material, but he gets far more than he bargains for. The secondary characters in this one have lots of hidden depths. This was a nice listen, Ken Howard delivered a smooth story as well as moments of tension. A word of warning on this one though, I did find one scene really disturbing, I don't want to ruin the story but be warned if the reading is going to a place you don't like skip it a couple of minutes or so. Still a stellar listen though.

Four Past Midnight 'The Sun Dog'. A broken camera takes the same haunted picture over and over again, or does it? This story follows father and son, son and scoundrel. Plenty of twists and turns. Tim Sample's narration was first class. He made multiple voices, each of which elevated the characters.

I was disappointed that the introductions were missing. In
the hardback book Stephen King gives an overall introduction and individual introductions to each story. Also in a perfect world I would have loved to have Rod Sterling narrate one of these stories but still really enjoyed this collection.

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- Dallas Winston 9

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-08-2016
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton