Wednesday, August 8, 2012

N., by Stephen King

There is something unearthly and mysterious deep in Ackerman’s Field in rural Maine. There is a Stonehenge-like arrangement of seven stones with a horrifying EYE in the center. And whatever dwells there in that strange, windswept setting may have brought about the suicide of one man...and harbor death for the OCD afflicted "N.", whose visits to the field have passed beyond compulsion into the realm of obsession. The chilling short story from the Stephen King collection, JUST AFTER SUNSET, will provide nightmares aplenty. Just keep counting the stones... keep counting... counting...


  1. Hopefully this will provide something a bit different this month both in the lack of feel-good content and in the variety of ways you can experience the story:

    * The original publication by Stephen King is a short story (55 pages) in his Just After Sunset collection, available in paperback just about anywhere.
    * The story was adapted into a graphic novel by Marvel Comics, adding an epilogue not in the original story. Amazon has this for about $10, which is a bit pricey for a single story, but...
    * The graphic novel was adapted into 25 short Webisodes available to view here:
    or on YouTube.

    This story was a return to form for Stephen King, whose success and later sobriety had made him a bit too verbose and predictable in the last few years. The main reason I selected it was that the real horror of the story has nothing to do with the supernatural goings-on at Ackerman's Field, but rather the goings-on inside the head of someone suffering from OCD. Perhaps we can all relate...

  2. I really enjoyed reading a short story this month. It had been awhile since I had read anything by Stephen King, so it was nice to go back to him. I basicaly read this in one setting, and liked how it was a mix of journaling, letters, emails, etc. I agree with Jason that the human mind is definitely the focus of horror in the story. OCD is an interesting topic- I find myself doing little "events", as N. put it, such as counting, etc.; however, it is strangely fascinating how this behavior can begin to rule a person's life and sometimes end it. Great choice in my opinion! I think we should do more short stories! Thanks Jason!

  3. First off, great selection by Jason. I thought it was a much needed change up. I thought the story was really fun and agree with nicole that the mix of journaling and letters were fun to ride. I have always been a fan of Stephen King and enjoy most of his work. The book did provide some insight into the mind of OCD that many of us have to a mild degree (I am always double check the locks). Overall, fun read and am looking forward to the next month's as well.

    ps. Had some extra time over the weekend and able to visit Ackerman's Field. It truly is just off route 117 as in the book. I have confirmed there are 8 stones, at least I think so, I might have to go back in check though.