I have always loved Stephen King's short stories and novellas. His novels are often bloated (with some terrific notable exceptions, like the early books in the Dark Tower series), but he has a true gift for shorter works. One of my favorite books of all time is one of his other early SS collections, [b:Night Shift|10628|Night Shift|Stephen King|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1342215309s/10628.jpg|2454497]. He swiftly brings his SS settings and characters to real, palpable life and sends you spiraling down into whatever enjoyably bizarre plot he's conjured up without even the slightest pause. That said, I've been wanting to read Skeleton Crew for years, so when I saw it in my library's ebook collection, I was thrilled. Now, having read it, I'm feeling a little crestfallen. There are some good stories in it, don't get me wrong - The Mist, The Monkey, and Mrs. Todd's Shortcut were my particular favorites - but it wasn't the kind of overwhelming collection I expected. Skeleton Crew didn't give me that feeling of having jumped onto an alternate worldline where the things that go bump in the night were lying in wait and the fantastic was suddenly entirely possible, as other SS collections like Night Shift, [b:Four Past Midnight|133266|Four Past Midnight |Stephen King|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1321023197s/133266.jpg|1733095], and [b:Nightmares And Dreamscapes|10588|Nightmares And Dreamscapes|Stephen King|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1331695778s/10588.jpg|150039], and Kelly Link's [b:Magic for Beginners|66657|Magic for Beginners|Kelly Link|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328874961s/66657.jpg|649937] and [b:Stranger Things Happen|66659|Stranger Things Happen|Kelly Link|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1354903613s/66659.jpg|64640] did. It was clearly a compilation of some of King's earliest professional work, before he had full command over his gift. There's plenty of promise and many entertaining stories, but it just isn't quite there yet, if you get what I mean. That probably sounds strange, considering Night Shift was published some years prior, but that's the impression I received. So while I'm giving this an honest four stars, if someone asked me for my top recommendations of modern short story collections, Skeleton Crew wouldn't make the list. That's just my opinion, and as King himself would note, your mileage may vary.