A collection of four novellas with a more serious dramatic bent than most of his other horror novels. This collection contains Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil, The Body, and The Breathing Method - and is notable for having three of its four novellas turned into movies.
Andy Dufresne (first mentioned in "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," in the same book) is mentioned as having done accounting work for Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander in “Apt Pupil."
'A little General Motors, a little American Telephone and Telegraph, a hundred and fifty shares of Revion. All this banker's choices. Dufresne, his name was-I remember, because it sounds a little like mine. It seems he was not so smart at wife-killing as he was at picking growth stocks. The crime passionnel, boy. It only proves that all men are donkeys who can read.' He came back into the room, slippers whispering. He held two green plastic glasses that looked like the premiums they sometimes give out at gas station openings. When you filled your tank, you got a free glass. Dussander thrust a glass at Todd. 'I lived adequately on the stock portfolio this Dufresne had set up for me for the first five years. But then I sold my Diamond Match stock in order to buy this house and a small cottage not far from Big Sur. Then, inflation. Recession. I sold the cottage and one by one I sold the stocks, many of them at fantastic profits. I wish to God I had bought more. But I thought I was well-protected in other directions; the stocks were, as you Americans say, a "flier"' He made a toothless hissing sound and snapped his fingers.
"There will be water if God wills it" is a phrase used often by Roland throughout the Dark Tower series.
"But so many things could happen to you in between! Accidents, sickness, disease-" Dussander shrugged. "There will be water if God wills it, and we will find it if God wills it, and we will drink it if God wills it."
Some Shawshank escapees were recaptured in Lisbon Falls.
Two were recaptured in a Lisbon Falls pinball parlor. The third has not been found to this day.
"The Body" takes place in Castle Rock.
Chris mentions Salem's Lot as a stupid sounding town name to defend the one Gordie invents (Gretna).
'Lots of real towns sound stupid,' Chris said. 'I mean, what about Alfred, Maine? Or Saco, Maine? Or Jerusalem's Lot? Or Castle-fuckin'-Rock? There ain't no castle here. Most town names are stupid. You just don't think so because you're used to 'em. Right, Gordie?'
Evvie breaks up the fight between Ace and Gordon in "The Body."
Ace punched me twice in the face, long and looping haymaker blows. The first one closed my left eye; it would be four days before I was really able to see out of that eye again The second broke my nose with a crunch that sounded the way crispy cereal sounds inside your head when you chew. Then old Mrs Chalmers came out on her porch with her cane clutched in one arthritis-twisted hand and a Herbert Tareyton jutting from one corner of her mouth. She began to bellow at them: 'Hi! Hi there, you boys! You stop that! Let 'im alone! Let 'im up! Bullies! Bullies! Two on one! Police! Poleeeece!' 'Don't let me see you around, dipshit,' Ace said, smiling, and they let go of me and backed off. I sat up and then leaned over, cupping my wounded balls, sickly sure I was going to throw up and then die. I was still crying, too. But when Fuzzy started to walk around me, the sight of his pegged jeans-leg snugged down over the top of his motorcycle boot brought all the fury back. I grabbed him and bit his calf through his jeans. I bit him just as hard as I could. Fuzzy began to do a little screaming of his own. He also began hopping around on one leg, and, incredibly, he was calling me a dirty fighter. I was watching him hop around and that was when Ace stamped down on my left hand, breaking the first two fingers. I heard them break. They didn't sound like crispy cereal. They sounded like pretzels. Then Ace and Fuzzy were going back to Ace's '52, Ace sauntering with his hands in his back pockets, Fuzzy hopping on one leg and throwing curses back over his shoulder at me. I curled up on the sidewalk, crying. Aunt Evvie Chalmers came down her walk, thudding her cane angrily as she came. She asked me if I needed the doctor. I sat up and managed to stop most of the crying. I told her I didn't. 'Bullshit,' she bellowed-Aunt Evvie was deaf and bellowed everything. 'I saw where that bully got you. Boy, your sweetmeats are going to swell up to the size of Mason jars.' She took me into her house, gave me a wet rag for my nose-it had begun to resemble a summer squash by then-and gave me a big cup of medicinal-tasting coffee that was somehow calming. She kept bellowing at me that she should call the doctor and I kept telling her not to. Finally she gave up and I walked home. Very slowly, I walked home. My balls weren't the size of Mason jars yet, but they were on their way. My mom and dad got a look at me and wigged right out -I was sort of surprised that they noticed anything at all, to tell the truth. Who were the boys? Could I pick them out of a line-up? That from my father, who never missed Naked City and The Untouchables. I said I didn't think I could pick the boys out of a line-up. I said I was tired. Actually I think I was in shock-in shock and more than a little drunk from Aunt Evvie's coffee, which must have been at least sixty per cent VSOP brandy. I said I thought they were from some other town, or from 'up the city'- a phrase everyone understood to mean Lewiston-Auburn.
Chris mentions Derry when the boys are discussing how the body could have ended up where it did.
'Could a kid really have gotten all the way from Chamberlain to Harlow?' I asked Chris. That's twenty or thirty miles.' 'I think so. He probably happened on the train tracks and followed them the whole way. Maybe he thought they'd take him out, or maybe he thought he could flag down a train if he had to. But that's just a freight run now-GS&WM up to Derry and Brownsville-and not many of those anymore. He'd had to've walked all the way to Castle Rock to get out. After dark a train must have finally come along and el smacko.'
'Yeah, I can see that,' I said, although it could have been a.38 or a.357 for all I knew-in spite of all the John D MacDonalds and Ed McBains I'd read, the only pistol I'd ever seen up close was the one Constable Bannerman carried and although all the kids asked him to take it out of its holster, Banner never would. 'Man, your dad's gonna hide you when he finds out. You said he was on a mean streak anyway.'
References will be here!