In the Afterword, King admits that these 4 short stories are harsh and hard to read. Telling us that up front probably would discourage readers from even trying this book. Short stories are where King shines. This book is no exception.
What's noticeable in this book is the lack of the supernatural. No ghosts, aliens, scary creatures that you can only imagine. What we have here is the pure evilness of the human person. And, frankly, that's even scarier than anything supernatural. King delves deep into the black hearts of people, showing how they live normally among us but do deeds we can't imagine.
We have 4 mostly longish shortish stories. We start off with 1922, a story about a farmer, his child and his wife. The wife inherits land from her father and wants to sell it off while the husband wants to try and farm it. What ends up happening is on par with Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart.
Next we have Big Driver which was just a horrifying read. An author goes to a book reading and signing at a non-descript library and ends up on a shortcut that was just... horrific. That's the only adjective I can come up with for this story.
Along comes Fair Extension which did have a little help from the devil, but really, the human in this story didn't need the help. He just needed a reason.
Lastly, A Good Marriage shows us that decades of living with, loving and being friends with someone doesn't mean you know the person or the gruesome hobbies they indulge in.
Eek. I think the vampires, werewolves and bogeymen are less scary than people now.