Guest Post: Feeling Nostalgic: Stephen King’s Night Shift to the Rescue

June 10, 2014


Although there are many great authors today, and the technology of the Internet allows more and more to publish works every day, sometimes I feel nostalgic for books I haven’t read in more than a decade. Such is the case with Stephen King’s Night Shift. I remember reading this novel when I was much younger as my father had a copy from 1979. Currently, its worn pages and creased spine and cover demonstrate the passage of time.

Acquiring the Book –During a recent yard sale, my father was trying to sell his collection of Stephen King books. When I saw that a piece of my childhood was on the table, I snatched the book immediately. Since he knew how important it was to me, he let me have the aged novel. As soon as I had a moment to myself that night, I opened the book and began to relive moments of my childhood through reading its pages.

Timeless Content –Many of the stories within Night Shift had been published in a variety of magazines in the 1970s. Although the stories were more than 20 years old by the time I first laid eyes on them, the style seemed timeless. For instance: one of the stories published in 1970, “Graveyard Shift,” I was able to imagine the scenery of the 1990s as I read. Most of the material within the book was developed the same way. There wasn’t a timeline that you mentally had to follow as the stories seemed to work for any generation of reader.

Many Videos of the Stories –After reading the book a couple of times, I was shocked to learn how many of the stories within the novel were ported to television and movie. In fact, the movie “Cat’s Eye” was nearly represented in its entirety within Night Shift. Other short stories developed into series and movies such as “Children of the Corn.” Some stories complimented other books that were converted into movies such as “Night Surf” in correlation to the novel, “The Stand.”

Character Development –Stephen King’s ability to develop characters was part of what won me over both in my youth and today. While the plots of his material have been questionable at times, and more like remnants of a dream from a bad LSD trip, the characters always seemed to have a life of their own. All too often, authors create two-dimensional characters that you just can’t get behind when reading a story. For me, all of his characters seemed more vivid – even the ones that wound up dying shortly after the novel started.

Inducing Memories –When recently reading the novel, I remembered how I felt and could faintly hear those memories of my childhood when reading certain sections. Much like how smells can inspire memories long forgotten, Night Shift was the catalyst for remembering certain aspects of my life that I wasn’t really conscious of at the time. If you have a preferred book from your childhood, I would suggest reading it again as you’re an adult. You may be drawn into the same feelings as I had been once I opened the novel and smelt the aroma of aged paper.

While I enjoy reading new books today by various authors, sometimes it’s a nice change to go back and read something from several years ago and not feel like the material is dated. Many of Stephen King’s stories in Night Shift could be considered “evergreen content” in today’s society as it is material that doesn’t rely on specifics of time. I wonder what else I can find in my dad’s collection…

Rachael Cherry is a wife, mother, and writer who is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers. She has taken that passion and put it to work through NannyPro, a respected online nanny referral service. Learn more by visiting @NannyPro on Twitter.

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