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The Sun Dog

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The source of terror is a simple Polaroid camera owned by a 15-year-old boy in the small town of Castle Rock, Maine. No matter where Kevin Delevan aims the camera, it produces a photograph of an enormous, ugly, vicious looking dog. In each successive picture, the menacing creature draws nearer to the flat surface of the Polaroid film as if it intends to break through.

151 pages

First published September 24, 1990

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About the author

Stephen King

2,528 books828k followers
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men's magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale ("The Glass Floor") to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men's magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 498 reviews
Profile Image for Dennis.
658 reviews276 followers
November 7, 2021
The King of the rambling narration.

The premise of this story is intriguing. Kevin is gifted a Polaroid camera for his birthday. Every picture he's taking shows a menacing dog, though, no matter where he points the camera. All the photos appear to be the same. But not quite. The dog is coming nearer.

Only Stephen King can take what should be a twenty page story, make it almost 200 pages long, that felt more like 400 to me if I'm being completely honest, and still somehow does not end up with a terrible story. But, by God, I hated reading it.

Pop goes to the drugstore to buy a film for the Polaroid? Somehow this results in a 10 page chapter. What other authors would write as, "For a couple of days Pop tried to sell the camera to several of his customers, but to no avail" turns into a 40 page chapter in which nothing happens, except that Pop tried to sell the camera to several people, but couldn't. Of course this is not quite true. In this chapter we learn about four people that Pop is doing business with. However, they are completely irrelevant for the rest of the story.

King simply has a problem with bloat. And he knows it. All those endless digressions, that annoyed the crap out of me, are not badly written, though. Far from it. I almost felt like maybe I had to give this 3 stars. But then again, I didn't like it.

As the story was nearing its end I was just looking forward to read something else. It was really the only thing pulling me along at this point. But King being King managed to go on another detour of several pages during the showdown even. Like he was just trying to troll me. Lol.

The good news: Up next in my quest to read all the stories in the Castle Rock Cycle is the totally awesome Needful Things. I can never be mad at the man for long.
Profile Image for Jaksen.
1,375 reviews65 followers
February 7, 2022

New review, just on Sun Dog:

Well, it's not summer but I just re-read Sun Dog cuz it keeps calling me back. I used to read this every summer in the collection but then I saw I could buy just THIS novella, so I did. In paperback, nice quality, too. And here, in the dead of winter, during a blizzard, while staying at my daughter's house as she has a gas stove (and I do not) I read it AGAIN.

This story just trips me out every time. A boy gets a Poloraid camera for his birthday; it continues to take the same weird, ghastly, horrible picture over and over, with only slight differences each time: of a dog walking along a picket fence.

Place yourself back in the late 1980's, and even if you're too young to do so, watch a sit-com from that time and you'll be satisfactorily immersed. (The lingo, the environment, the cameras, hehe.) Then read it in a chair in a corner with a single light over your shoulder. If you're a horror- and suspense-loving reader, you'll love it.

Just don't get hooked like I did and read it every year!

Five stars for Sun Dog

Old review:
I wrote a lengthy review for this and lost it, hit save and all gone!

But I used to read this every summer on my creepy front porch in the dark - until I lent it to my son-in-law who was looking for a good scary read.

It is. Trust me.

Five stars.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,156 followers
January 7, 2019
Creepy, but NOT scary and a bit tedious.

But - I love Castle Rock stories and Yay!....there's a birthday party. Kevin is 15 and got just what he wanted....a brand spanking new Sun 660 Polaroid instant camera. Remember them?

But - Kevin's has a problem. After anxiously popping in the film and taking the first photo of his family....and birthday cake, the picture that shoots out is not of his family, but of something evil looking and he's scared of it....and of what the camera is doing.

But - As the story progresses with more photos....and same result, Kevin's curiosity gets the better of him so decides to seek help; unfortunately, from a nasty, greedy old man who sees an opportunity to defraud the young lad, but ends up getting a lot more than he bargained for.

Fun read, and Excellent epilogue, hehehe.

(NOTE: CUJO spoilers in this short read, darn it!)

Profile Image for Gianfranco Mancini.
2,209 reviews790 followers
October 20, 2018
Un racconto breve a metà tra I segugi di Tindalos (The hounds of Tindalos) di Frank Belknap Long ed un episodio de Ai confini della realtà (The Twilight Zone), ma anche dei Piccoli Brividi (Goosebumps) di R. L. Stine.
Notevole la sensazione di fine incombente che aumenta sempre di più andando avanti nella lettura e carina la citazione lovecraftiana di Arkham e Dunwich e quella Kinghiana di Cujo, che come già in passato mi ha spoilerato il finale di quel libro, molto differente dall'omonimo film ad esso ispirato, ma diciamo che il Re ha scritto di molto meglio.
Profile Image for Karla.
1,074 reviews243 followers
May 13, 2021
Story 3.75**
Audio 4 stars**
Narrator Tim Sample
Profile Image for Paul Nelson.
641 reviews142 followers
May 10, 2015
The Sun Dog is of course one of the novellas contained in Four Past Midnight and I read just this one as a bit of a prelude to my next King read, Needful Things. And this I have to say was awesome, it is the physically the size of a great deal of horror fiction these days but in the realms of the man himself, it's a tiddler at a shade over 200 pages. And the second in the Castle Rock trilogy.

The Sun Dog is a story about cameras and photographs, chilling in its entirety of impending doom, that's supernatural Polaroid cameras for you.

Kevin Delevan, for his fifteenth birthday receives a Sun 660, a Polaroid camera and his first picture is one of the family. Catastrophe follows as the picture doesn't show its intended target and the camera gets knocked off the table to be smothered by a rather large cake. Not a good start, both for his birthday and for the camera. The camera it seems has a mind of its own, no matter where you point the bloody thing it takes a picture of a dog and a white picket fence. The funny thing, time lapses in the picture, almost like a flick book the dog moves slowly along the fence until it notices the person with the camera.

Kevin takes the camera to one Reginald ‘Pop’ Merrill who runs the Emporium Galorium, the Uncle of Ace Merril from The Body and a character definitely worth reading about. Pop takes advantage of those in desperate need, high interest loans and always on the lookout to make a buck. Pop is intrigued by the camera, he wants it, sees a profit in it and he's going to get it.

'Pop’s lips skinned back from his teeth – crooked, eroded, pipe-yellow, but his own, by the bald-headed Christ – and if Kevin had seen him in that moment he would have done more than wonder if maybe Pop Merrill was something other than the Castle Rock version of the Kindly Old Sage of the Crackerbarrel: he would have known.'

I did enjoy The Sun Dog, the effect the camera has on both Kevin and Pop is enthralling, nightmares, infatuation and finally control. Pop is deployed almost like a drone and the people he runs into, in his strange robotic trance all have a little story of their own. The mind can play tricks and what he thinks he's doing and what he's actually doing are miles apart, cleverly done.

And finally the dog from hell, as it's demeanour changes, it looks ferocious and about to pounce, terrifying.

'That roar, full of frustration and purpose and frantic hunger, ripped through his brain again and again, threatening to split it and let in madness.'

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...
Profile Image for Benji's Books.
123 reviews
September 13, 2023
Not bad, but there's a lot of unnecessary events and talking that take you away from the interior mystery that is the Sun Dog. The climax was also full of unnecessary ramblings in the character's head, when all we, the reader, wanted to read was what would happen in those last few pictures taken.

It would essentially be a character on the run from Freddy Krueger and right as Freddy raises his claws to hit you, you just start going on and on about your favorite show and then proceeded to give a ranking of every episode in grave detail, instead of focusing on the claws about to strike you.

But like I said, it wasn't a terrible read, rather good actually, just with a major rambling problem in the character's heads.
Profile Image for Ilana.
613 reviews164 followers
October 11, 2019
This Story was a great finale to “Four Past Midnight”, which includes three other stand alone novellas that had horror and a thread of madness as the only common themes I could discern, but then I am NOT and never was good at drawing those kinds of comparisons. This story is about a Polaroid camera which is apparently inhabited by the spirit of a dog-like creature from another dimension so that when Kevin gets the Sun model he’s been wanting and waiting for he’s thrilled with his fifteenth birthday present, until he takes his first trial shot and aims it at his parents and sister. He is completely perplexed about the result and shoots a whole pack of film to find out the camera only takes pictures of a very ugly and dangerous looking dog as it is slowly moving. Things go from being perplexing to terrifying during the following days as the polaroids shots emerge while Kevin tries to figure out what is going on and they all witness the shots showing the aggressive dog approaching the camera with a menacing snarl. This is when Kevin recognizes the dog is wearing an ugly string tie his great aunt has just gifted him and he becomes convinced the dog is out to kill him. There’s an old character who is less than honest who takes advantage of the whole situation and brings along a cast of wonderful characters. There is a spectacular and satisfying gore fest scene towards the end. And they lived happily ever after. Ha! I wonder if he wrote the sequel?The more I read Stephen King, the more I read Stephen King.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Asghar Abbas.
Author 4 books192 followers
March 15, 2017

It's funny how these things happen. Quite recently I have been trying to rearrange my bookshelf. Well, if you can call alternating between being lethargic and simply not doing it, trying. I was going through all my books and I came across this anthology collection by the king, containing four well not really short stories, but rather novellas. Four of them.

I held this hardcover for a little bit in my hand, trying to curb the sudden bout of nostalgia, before putting it aside. I distinctively remember reading this volume. I do believe I read the first two stories in 2003. Langoliers was scary as hell, it'll give you some serious chills, especially if this is your first time doing anything with King. Secret Window, Secret Garden is my favorite one from this bunch. It's simply a well done story, plus really thrilling. Though I really didn't like the ending. Good thing 2004 movie adaptation changed that. Good job Depp! I feel The Library Policeman was kinda like a double entendre. There were personal and very real demons involved, it was quite frightening, to tell you the truth. And the Sun Dog was the perfect little story to cap this off, and fitting too. That's the story I wanted to talk about here and not the others. But the other are too well written not to be mentioned. I think I read the last two novellas in 2007 and 2008 respectively. I don't know why I had spaced them out like that. Maybe I just wanted to savor them. Yeah, Lauren Aquilina I am one of your Fools.

Anyway, the Sun Dog was really a fascinating novella, a true Kingly tale. It did frighten me so very much, because it was easy to imagine the dragons. Initially, I had thought the title meant sundogs Our sun creates sometime. But no, it was the Sun 660 Polaroid camera, then the latest model, I suppose.

I don't know, something about all the novellas in this book, the sublime writing, is so pacifying to read. His work is so good when he is not rambling. I don't think he published a single bad book in the 1980s, no jumbled mess that would later become some of his hallmark. He had more firm control over his truly vivid imagination and could reign in words better.

But the Real Reason I am Reviewing this is the introductory note, which I loved, and all the little side notes that preceded each story. They were so much fun that I enjoyed them more so than the actual stories. King makes the mundane entertaining, that was his gift, hence why he could scare us so easily and with such aplomb too. Both when I first read this collection and now skimming through it again, I was charmed by those notes.

I was pleasantly surprised when King mentioned some of his fellow contemporary horror writers, due to some criticism he faced for making the horror genre popular again. People whine a lot. As is evident throughout the ages, whether it is the eighties or now. Same kind of criticism Spielberg and Lucas faced when they had revived something themselves. Some of the names he pointed out, I would go on to read in the future like Clive Barker. I enjoy his work immensely. Wait, no. He mentioned Kurt Vonnegut, not Barker. He had talked about Clive some other time. I didn't know Vonnegut wrote horror. One thing that made me smile, when King said in creating mythos around his fictitious Castle Rock town, he was like Tolkien and some other fantasy writer that I can't remember off hand. Tipping his hat to them, he said he was no where near their caliber. It's funny because after the success of LORT, Tolkien would go to extend his world so much so that he got truly lost trying to create an elaborate mythology. In doing so, he forgot to write further books based on that very mythology. He spent rest of his life making extensive folklore, languages, and history and he didn't write another fantasy novel. His son would go on to try and compile his scattered work into some coherence framework. He tried.

What's really interesting to me and this amazed me, King had gotten grief over if not inventing then downright personifying the horror genre. Remember this was the 1980s, he was a rock star then, that was truly his time, his era. I guess, you can't get too popular. He was pelted with thinly veiled insults like when will he write more serious books. To which he pointed out he is not fixing to win any Nobel Awards or Pulitzer Prizes for fiction. Whether that's true or not is debatable, for some. I feel he deserve those rewards, he is a man of letters and an epitome of a writer. Whether you enjoy his writings or not. For me personally, I feel his writing is unique though some of his books are just exhausting. To borrow words from the grand maester Puzo; I don't know if I ever liked him as a man but I sure loved him as a writer. That's from Fools Die. Subtle, I don't do. Save us, Sabrina Pasterski. No more Bombs.

Here I can't help but think what he had said about the hesitation we all feel when writing. King is right; fear is at the root of most bad writing. Also, I like that he is as big a reader as he is a writer. Like he said, you learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.

Agreed. From this collection what I take the most, what is so relatable, how just a simple thing like a camera can impel an idea, can provoke you into telling a story. As a writer, I cherish that but that's a double edged sword at best. Because it's a gross reminder you live a double life, whether you want to or not. It's not in your hands, even if that double edged sword is.

For my part, by and large I have outgrown Stephen King. I certainly feel no desire to get his latest books. I might reread the old ones or read the ones I haven't read before. But I really appreciate having read his work during my formative years. Many thanks. Maybe I'll pick up one of his sons' books. But in all probability, I will not. Would be kinda hard to separate them from who had begotten them. No matter how good (or not) they are. I would think it'll be hard to get out from under King's bloated shadow. Not really their fault. I mean, who wouldn't want to be commercially published, but I do not envy them. Some men cast very large shadows. Just ask Peter Drinkage.

four stars for Sun Dog.

Five stars for Four Past Midnight.
Profile Image for George K..
2,433 reviews318 followers
October 12, 2018
Τεσσαρακοστό πέμπτο βιβλίο του Στίβεν Κινγκ που διαβάζω, μόλις το δεύτερο φέτος. Σίγουρα δεν είναι και από τις πιο δυνατές στιγμές του Βασιλιά, αλλά, μεταξύ μας τώρα, ακόμα και τα πιο αδύναμα βιβλία του νομίζω ότι τα βάζουν άνετα με τα καλύτερα άλλων συγγραφέων. Τέλος πάντων, πρόκειται φυσικά για ένα πολύ καλογραμμένο και εθιστικό μυθιστόρημα (ή μεγάλη νουβέλα), με πλοκή που κρατάει τον αναγνώστη από την αρχή μέχρι το δυνατό φινάλε, αλλά και με σούπερ ατμόσφαιρα. Ο άτιμος ο θείος Στίβεν κατάφερε μέσα σε λίγες σελίδες να με κάνει να ενδιαφερθώ για τους χαρακτήρες και τα βάσανά τους, ενώ επίσης με περισσή ευκολία με βύθισε στον αρκετά ανατριχιαστικό κόσμο τους. Εντάξει, με τόσα βιβλία του συγγραφέα που έχω διαβάσει όλα αυτά τα χρόνια, δεν θα έπρεπε να με εκπλήσσει το συγκεκριμένο γεγονός, αλλά τα καλά πάντα πρέπει να λέγονται. Όπως και να'χει, είναι μια ωραία και αρκετά ανατριχιαστική ιστορία, με ιντριγκαδόρικη κεντρική ιδέα και κάμποσα άλλα καλούδια, απλά μην περιμένετε ποιοτικά να είναι στο ίδιο επίπεδο με τα αριστουργήματά του συγγραφέα.
Profile Image for Jim Thompson.
333 reviews1 follower
March 26, 2020
I loved this. It was what I needed.

I'd been reading a big, serious book called "Supreme Inequality," which is also good. But it's a bit depressing, a bit infuriating, and it occurred to me while reading that, well, there's a freaking pandemic on. In the midst of a pandemic, worrying about my kids, trying to work from home while also being a teacher from home, with all this uncertainty and stress in the air, it maybe wouldn't kill me to put the serious book down and read something fun instead.

This was that. Fun.

King's plots sometimes get big and long and twisted and convoluted and he fills 1000 pages with tons of characters and back stories and I really like that stuff. But I also like it when he does what he did here-- a tiny handful of characters, a simple plot, no twists and turns, just a creepy premise, wrapped up in just under 200 pages.

Kevin gets a Polaroid. No matter what picture he tries to take, what it actually produces is a picture of a vicious dog, getting closer and closer with each shot.

Simple. And done very well.
Profile Image for Waz.
69 reviews12 followers
April 17, 2015
What a disappointing read. In some parts, borderline awful.

The idea of this story is creepy, indeed – but this would've been better suited for a book written for R.L. Stine's kind of audience. The story just went ooooon and onnn I had to consciously restrain myself from screaming in public, "When will you fucking end?!" To me, it felt a little like The King was rambling in this novella. It didn't have the amazing storyline of 'The Langoliers', or even the coherent prospect of 'Secret Window'; it did have the ludicrous attempt at "creepiness" as 'The Library Policeman'.

This novella almost made me laugh at times, except for the truly scary parts where King describes the progression of the Polaroids. But anyway, boohoo, what a bad read.
Profile Image for Kylie.
743 reviews13 followers
March 19, 2022
I loved this one!
My kids were being very loud while I was trying to read this so I stuck some headphones in and had a thunderstorm sound track playing which I swear added to the suspense of this story 😂
Profile Image for Mandy Eve-Barnett.
Author 14 books91 followers
January 5, 2020
Once again Mr. King grips your imagination and tests your inner most fears. An intense story of a young boy realizing life has bitter and twisted elements to it. Can Kevin overcome the paranormal?
Profile Image for Shaun Stanley.
912 reviews
April 29, 2023
The Sun Dog is a novella written by Stephen King. It was originally released in the short story collection ‘Four Past Midnight’ in 1990.

Set in Castle Rock, Maine, all Kevin wants for his fifteenth birthday is a Polaroid camera. When he gets it, he can’t wait to start taking pictures. Kevin’s Polaroid Sun 660 only takes photos of a large black dog no matter where the lens is pointed. And the dog is slowly getting closer with every photo he takes…

This could have easily been a twenty to thirty page story but in typical King fashion, he is able to greatly lengthen the tale with character and setting backstory and exposition. I love a story set in a rural town and King’s Castle Rock is one of the, if not THE, best small towns in all of fiction. I especially like the character of Pop Merrill, a slick antiques store owner and repairman who also doubles as the town’s loan shark. His sleaziness juxtaposed against Kevin’s innocence makes for an interesting character relationship. The book doesn’t have a lot of scares, but excellently builds the tension throughout until an exciting climax.
Profile Image for Melissa Pannone.
449 reviews6 followers
September 30, 2020
A lot of King’s work can be classified as “slow burn” in my opinion and this is a great example of that done well. Is it my favorite King short story/novella? Not by a long shot. But in my opinion the end is worth the longer dragging chapters in the beginning and it’s a nice story to visit when piecing together all the goings on in Castle Rock.
Profile Image for Dylan.
439 reviews94 followers
February 1, 2021
Retreat was the answer . . . for now, at least. But he wasn’t done yet. Every dog had its day, and you could take that to the bank.

1.5 rounded up.

Coming in at 208 pages according to GR, this is approximately 180 pages too long. It's a neat premise but there was no reason for this to be a novella rather than a short story. There's no character development, the conclusion is abundantly clear just from reading the synopsis and nothing really meaningful happens for a large portion of this novella. The whole thing was just so dull.
Profile Image for Jason Pierce.
742 reviews87 followers
March 6, 2021
Read in Four Past Midnight.

3.5 stars rounded up to four.

This is a really good short story trying to be a novella. What I mean to say is if you shave about 75 pages off of this, or approximately half the length, then it could probably be a four star dealio, but a couple of other things would have to change to get it to five. The interactions between the members of the Delevan family at the beginning... I wasn't buying it. I felt like I was in an episode of The Donna Reed Show a couple of times. Of course Stephen King doesn't give us anything that squeaky clean, but it still felt stilted.

I really liked some other parts of this, though. Pop Merrill was fun to read about, and I'm glad to finally catch up on his shenanigans since he plays a minor, posthumous role in Needful Things, and I didn't know anything about him. I can't remember if the final fate of the Delevan family is mentioned in that book, but I don't think so. Apparently this novella is the second part of Stephen King's intended final Castle Rock trilogy with The Dark Half kicking it off and Needful Things bringing up the caboose. Of course, we know he visits Castle Rock again later, and we all say thankya, but shutting it down was the plan when he wrote this.

I also enjoyed the ending. Not the climax, but the very last lines... even if they also didn't make sense given the set-up, but I still liked it.

Parts of this have the potential to be quite clunky, but it's Mr. King, and he covers his ass with those parts. And even though I think it's a way overdressed short story, it still wasn't a bad read. You could probably enjoy it too if you don't have your hopes set too high.
Profile Image for Kelly (BookWtch).
53 reviews4 followers
October 13, 2020
"The dog is loose again.
It is not sleeping.
It is not lazy.
It's very hungry.
And it's VERY angry."

Originally published in a collection of novellas, and the connective tissue in the "Castle Rock Trilogy", The Sun Dog focuses (pun intended) around local resident Kevin Delevan who for his fifteenth birthday receives a Polaroid Sun 600. However, he quickly realizes it's no ordinary camera as each picture produced is of a large, black, dog that with each photo taken progressively looms closer and closer; as if it's trying to escape it's black and white prison.

Kevin seeks the help of Reginald "Pop" Merrill, proprietor of the local junk shop the Emporium Galorium, in hopes that he can fix his camera. Pop's intentions though are far from honest as he devises a way to turn this abnormality into a profit.

However, sometimes it's best to just let sleeping dogs lie...

I personally really enjoyed this novella!

Only King can take something as unmenacing as a camera and turn it into some malevolent tool that has you questioning reality!
Profile Image for Vicki.
2,283 reviews88 followers
February 7, 2019
Another masterpiece novella by the Great King.

Keven Delevan is a fifteen year old who gets a "paranormal" camera for his birthday. His very first picture he takes is of his family, but something very strange occurs when he looks at the picture. In fact, it's bizarre. The one thing that really bothered me is that every time he took pictures, it took a picture of a growling dog. I am a dog lover, so it made me think of a possessed dog which I didn't want to envision. A demon-dog, if you will, is the result of the effect it has on Kevin and Pop, another major character.

The main reason, though, that I ended up giving it a 3 is that I just couldn't handle the ending when the reader discovers that Say what? I just couldn't swallow that one.

Profile Image for Nick Iuppa.
Author 30 books124 followers
July 26, 2020
One of King's best collections: troubled men trying to escape from the (possibly) supernatural forces growing out of their own weaknesses and past experiences. Each story is so very different and yet so much alike. I read them out of order but it didn't matter at all. In each case King sees the horrific potential in each situation and delivers full throttle realizations of the worst possible climax. Highly recommended, especially for people who like a really scary situation that only gets worse and worse.
Profile Image for Sarah Marie.
1,894 reviews232 followers
June 14, 2020
4.5 stars. I love the plot of this, but there was a lag for me in the middle and while I was interested I wasn't as invested. Review to come.
Profile Image for Cyr.
20 reviews
May 5, 2020
I adored Sun Dog. It's a novella, so I finished it in a day.

I'm a big fan of King, but especially older King, and The Sun Dog has a dusty, nostalgic feel to it underneath the face paced yet somehow still creeping terror. The book never dragged, but it also never felt rushed.

What really worked for me with this novella is how little is explained, because it doesn't need to be. King sells the horror without really needing any logical answers. Talk of "Polaroidville" and the Sun Dog make emotional sense, not logical sense. Sense in that dream like way where I understand but for the life of me I cannot explain it. That's a trait I've noticed in my favorite books by King, Rose Madder and Hearts in Atlantis.

The Sun Dog gets a solid 4/4.5 for me, I hesitate to give 5 stars. But I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this book, it's going in my main bookcase and permanent King collection. I am sure I'll be rereading it.
Profile Image for Brianna | briannas_books.
317 reviews21 followers
July 29, 2020
This story/book was a lot of fun to read. The mild suspense of not knowing what was going to happen with each click of the camera was perfect. That slightly weird paranormal aspect was the cherry on top. I really enjoyed this compared to some of Steven Kings other books I’ve read that have just been ok. If you’re looking for something fast paced with just enough spook, this should move to the top of your list.
3 reviews
May 29, 2023
Starts with the rather FLAT premise of a Polaroid camera that takes OTHERWORLDLY photos but reaches BREAKNECK speed in the last fifty pages or so.

“You wanted to bust it up because it was dangerous and I wanted to sell it because it was valuable.”

A neat tale about morbid curiosity and how the fearful and not-fearful-enough figures of the real world might interact with the supernatural. Never quite scary, but certainly enough shocks and sleaze to warrant some gasps.
Profile Image for Cathal Kenneally.
405 reviews9 followers
February 1, 2020
This may be a short book but a lot happens between the 192 pages. When a young lad gets a camera for his birthday and initially it doesn't work properly or rather it takes pictures of imaginary dogs; big scary dogs. He decides to smash it up but that's only the beginning of the story.
Profile Image for Sheila.
Author 79 books187 followers
September 19, 2019
A short novel or long novella, Stephen King’s The Sun Dog has that cool old-fashioned feel of days gone by, the wonder of (no longer modern) technology, and the small “what if” of a world gone just slightly wrong, getting wronger, getting scarier by the page. Add the sort of confident storytelling and youthful protagonist that, like in Stranger Things on TV, promises all will be well, and you have a thoroughly enjoyable read with just the right amount of scares and glimpses of horror.

Disclosure: it’s a nice change of pace from the author’s longer fiction, and a really good read while traveling.
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