Night Shift (book)

Night Shift (book)
Night Shift  
First edition cover
Author(s) Stephen King
Country US
Language English
Genre(s) Horror
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date February 1978
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 336
ISBN 978-0385129916
Followed by Different Seasons

Night Shift is the first collection of short stories by Stephen King, first published in 1978. Many of King's most famous short stories were included in this collection.


Stories collected

Title Originally published in
Jerusalem's Lot Previously unpublished
Graveyard Shift October 1970 issue of Cavalier
Night Surf August 1974 issue of Cavalier
I Am the Doorway March 1971 issue of Cavalier
The Mangler December 1972 issue of Cavalier
The Boogeyman March 1973 issue of Cavalier
Grey Matter October 1973 issue of Cavalier
Battleground September 1972 issue of Cavalier
Trucks June 1973 issue of Cavalier
Sometimes They Come Back March 1974 issue of Cavalier
Strawberry Spring November 1975 issue of Cavalier
The Ledge July 1976 issue of Penthouse
The Lawnmower Man May 1975 issue of Cavalier
Quitters, Inc. Previously unpublished
I Know What You Need September 1976 issue of Cosmopolitan
Children of the Corn March 1977 issue of Penthouse
The Last Rung on the Ladder Previously unpublished
The Man Who Loved Flowers August 1977 issue of Gallery
One for the Road March/April 1977 issue of Maine
The Woman in the Room Previously unpublished


The book was published on the heels of The Shining (1977 Doubleday) and was King's fifth published book (including Rage, which was published under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman). A vast majority of the stories had appeared in various issues of Cavalier Magazine from 1970–1975; others were originally published in Penthouse, Cosmopolitan, Gallery, Ubris, and Maine Magazine. The stories "Jerusalem's Lot", "Quitters Inc.", "The Last Rung on the Ladder", and "The Woman in the Room" appeared for the first time in this collection.

Foreword and introduction

Night Shift is the first book for which King wrote a foreword. The foreword, in which the writer humbly introduces himself, sets up his characteristic "fire-side storyteller" tone. He begins the foreword directly addressing the reader; "Let's talk, you and I. Let's talk about fear." This friendly, conversational tone, became a hallmark of Stephen King's writing style - especially his non-fiction writing. He closes the foreword on a note that would become familiar to his 'Constant Readers' (a term of endearment that King reserves for his fans).

The introduction was written by one of King's favorite authors, John D. MacDonald.

Film, television or theatrical adaptations

With the publication of Night Shift and the rise in King's popularity as a best-selling author, also with the success of Brian De Palma's motion picture adaptation of Carrie (1976), student film and theatre makers began to submit requests to King to make adaptations of the stories that appeared in the collection. King formed a policy he deemed the Dollar Deal, which allowed the students the permission to make an adaptation for the consideration of just $1.

In the 1980s, entrepreneurial film producer Milton Subotsky purchased the rights to six of the stories in this collection with the intention to produce feature films and a television anthology based on multiple stories. Although Subotsky was involved with several King adaptations (Cat's Eye, Maximum Overdrive, Sometimes They Come Back, The Lawnmower Man) the television series never came to fruition due to problems with the network's Standards and Practices.[1]

The following is a list of film, television or theatre adaptations made from the stories collected in Night Shift:

Feature film adaptations

Television adaptations

  • Sometimes They Come Back (1991) Vidmark Entertainment directed by Tom McLoughlin, originally attempted to be adapted into Cat's Eye.
  • Trucks (1997) USA Pictures directed by Chris Thomson
  • Battleground (2006) Turner Network Television mini-series Nightmares & Dreamscapes
  • Children Of The Corn (2009) an HBO production

Dollar baby adaptations (shorts)

  • The Boogyman (1982) directed by Jeff Schiro
  • Disciples of the Crow (based on "Children of the Corn") (1983) directed by John Woodward
  • The Woman in the Room (1983) directed by Frank Darabont
  • The Last Rung on the Ladder (1987) directed by James Cole and Daniel Thron
  • The Lawnmower Man (1987) directed by Jim Gonis
  • Night Surf (2001) directed by Peter Sullivan
  • Strawberry Spring (2001) directed by Doveed Linder
  • I Know What You Need (2004) directed by Shawn S. Lealos
  • La Femme Dans la Chambre (The Woman in the Room) (2005) directed by Damien Maric
  • The Boogeyman (Play) (2005) by Graham Rees (60 minutes)

See also


  1. ^ Perakos, Peter S. "Stephen King on Carrie, The Shining, etc." published in Cinefantastique Magazine Vol 1 No 8 Winter 1978. Reprinted in "Feast of Fear" Underwood & Miller, Carroll and Graf 1989 pp. 70

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