Skeleton Crew is a mixed bag of stories. There are some great stories like The Mist, Word Processor of the Gods, The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands and The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet. There are some not so great stories like The Jaunt, The Raft and Survivor Type. There are also two poems which should never have made it in here in the first place. Stephen King has fused images of fear as old as time with the iconography of contemporary. Some of them are described below.
THE MIST: A terrible storm unleashes a strange mist that plays host to an array of weird and wonderful monsters including prehistoric birds and giant spiders. The main focus of the story is a group of survivors holed up in a shopping centre.
The Mist is a great story. King does sci-fi and pulls off a strange, disturbing tale. I found bits of this story pretty scary especially near the end when David and the people he leaves the supermarket with see a monster hundreds of feet high
THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT SHAKE HANDS: A man has a voodoo curse placed on him in a foreign country after a young boy is accidentally killed while messing with his car. The curses states anyone who shakes his hand will die. He refuses to let anyone shake his hand when he returns to the states with tragic consequences.
I really like this story. King sets The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands in the same gentleman’s club as his novella The Breathing Method in Different Seasons. It’s well written and a bit mysterious.
WORDWORD PROCESSOR OF THE GODS: A man is given a gift his genius nephew made him before he died in a car accident – a word processor he made that can make things appear in the world and vanish from it.
I think Word Processor of the Gods is a great story. Who wouldn’t want that sort of power? I like how the man uses the power get the life he deserves. A great little story.
SURVIVOR TYPE: A man is marooned on a desert island. He starts to cannibalise himself when his food supplies start to dwindle, starting with his injured food. By the end of the story he is a torso, two arms and a head crawling about the sand.
THE RAFT: A group of college friends swim out to a wooden raft in the centre of a lake to celebrate the end of summer. They are menaced by a creature that looks like a slick of oil but has a taste for human flesh.
I like The Raft. It’s sort of gross but fun.