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Pikathulhu

Pikathulhu

Joined July 2022

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.“ - Stephen King
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Skeleton Crew by Stephen King
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Pikathulhu
Skeleton Crew | Stephen King
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The Raft - This might be my favorite King short of all time. Character issues aside, this is the work that has, without equivocation, scared me so badly I never wanted to swim again. Anytime I visit a lake and, in general, most other bodies of water, I think of this story - and keep one eye open for a floating patch of black amidst the waves. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
The Talisman: A Novel | Stephen King, Peter Straub
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I decided to play along with #readingbracket2023 - at least, so long as I continue to remember to do so! My bracket is, naturally, going to be absolutely full of Stephen King this year. It'll be interesting to see how it pans out!

dariazeoli One of my favorite King books! 6d
Pikathulhu @dariazeoli I somehow missed this one when I was tearing through everything of his I could find when I was younger, so this was an extremely welcome surprise in my King read-through! 6d
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Pikathulhu
Skeleton Crew | Stephen King
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The Jaunt - I loved this one. A delightful blend of sci-fi and horror. The story of the invention of The Jaunt that intercuts the ongoing narrative is delightful, and the grim conclusion ties it all together with a neat bow. This entry reminded me very much of some of the best of Bradbury or Dick. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Skeleton Crew | Stephen King
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Mrs. Todd's Shortcut - This was an amazing story. An incredible, intriguing concept with an engaging storyteller, this is a story that held me spellbound from start to finish. Like any good short story, this is one that left me longing for more. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Skeleton Crew | Stephen King
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The Monkey - King takes an already terrifying child's toy, and finds a way to make it significantly more terrifying. When this creepy little simian jangs its cymbals together, people have a funny tendency to die. I absolutely loved this story, and have a feeling that it - much like its titular furry music maker - will be making unanticipated returns for a long time to come. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Skeleton Crew | Stephen King
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The Mist - This is probably one of King's best-known short stories, and for good reason. It distills the essence of our fear of the unknown, and manages to personify that fear without engaging in that classic blunder of the horror genre - showing us its face. Though we see glimpses of the unspeakable terrors that lurk in the titular mist, we're ultimately left to the devices of our own imaginations. Truly terrifying. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Thinner | Richard Bachman
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Mehso-so

It's difficult for me to parse my feelings on this one. Thoroughly unpleasant characters abound, coupled with copious amounts of racism and stereotypical depictions of the Romani people. At its core, the story is interesting enough, especially with the debt it owes to 1956's The Incredible Shrinking Man, for which King has expressed his love. Despite that seed of potential interest, I left this read with feelings of lingering distaste. 2/5

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Pikathulhu
The Eyes of the Dragon | Stephen King
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Pickpick

Wow. I had read and loved this when I was much, much younger, and didn't know how kind time would be. The answer, as it turns out, is extremely. This is one of King's best - pure fantasy with the most personable narrator he's written (which is truly saying something with King), an engaging story with desperate stakes, and likeable characters with (for the most part) human failings. I would be remiss to wait as long before I pick it up again. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
The Talisman: A Novel | Stephen King, Peter Straub
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Pickpick

I cannot believe I hadn't read this before. When I was tearing through any and all King I could get my hands on at a too-young age, this book would have blown my little mind wide open. A sweeping mini-epic recounting a boy's quest to cross America - and its dimensional mirror - to save his mother's life, this was an utterly engrossing read I found immensely difficult to put down. It stands firmly among King's best works of the '80s. 5/5

TrishB Loved this one too 👍🏻 2w
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Pikathulhu
The Talisman: A Novel | Stephen King, Peter Straub
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I love Stephen King, but sometimes he generates some real clunkers in his attempts to culturally connect with his audience. I feel like this line can only have been more ridiculous when this book was released in 1984.

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Pikathulhu
Cycle of the Werewolf | Stephen King
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Pickpick

A tragically quick read. The town of Tarker's Mill is this book's foremost character, and one I hope we'll see return at some point. The monthly format was fun, and I could see it being utilized to great effect if this book were to quadruple in size the way it probably should. This book left me hungry for more, and made me realize what a great werewolf novel King could write if he ever gets a "wild hair" to do so. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Pet Sematary | Stephen King
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Pickpick

What remains to be said about a property as well-known as Pet Sematary? From my perspective, this is one of King's more gruesome submissions, wrapped as it is in a saccharine rendition of a loving family. We're made to fall in love with the Creeds ourselves over the course of the book, a love that makes the horrors lurking toward the end that much more horrifying. A special shout-out to Jud, who remains one of King's best side characters. 5/5

BeckyWithTheGoodBooks His scariest in my opinion! 3w
Pikathulhu @BeckyWithTheGoodBooks In many ways, I absolutely agree!! 3w
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Pikathulhu
Christine | Stephen King
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Pickpick

As someone who has very little affinity for cars, I was surprised with how much Christine pulled me in. On its surface, it is indeed a spooky story about a ghostly murder car, but its beating heart is an examination of the dissolution of friendships, and the myriad ways in which that dissolution can hurt and leave lasting scars. Dennis and Leigh make for extremely compelling main characters, and King filled me with creeping unease throughout. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Different Seasons | Stephen King
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Pickpick

I can't stress enough how great this collection was. When the likes of "Apt Pupil" are the weakest in the assemblage, you're dealing with a particularly potent passel of prose. "The Body", with its superb narrative framing and delightfully realistic portrayal of child protagonists might be my favorite of these four, but "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" and "The Breathing Method" aren't far behind. This is a compilation with no fluff. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Different Seasons | Stephen King
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The Breathing Method: The framing device utilized in The Breathing Method really steals the show. While the titular story itself is both enthralling and shocking, it is wrapped in the premise of a decidedly exclusive New York club - think mahogany, brandy snifters, and leather-bound books - in which "it is the tale, not he who tells it". I found myself longing to visit this weekly gathering, to hear new tales, and perhaps tell one of my own. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Different Seasons | Stephen King
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The Body: King has always understood children well - the different way they perceive the world, the way that perception influences thought, and the monstrous impact of imagination. Because of that, he writes from the perspective of children endearingly and convincingly. The Body is no exception. All four members of the group feel genuine, and the framing device serves up an engaging and thoughtful narration throughout. A very strong 5/5.

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Pikathulhu
Different Seasons | Stephen King
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Apt Pupil: This story, mired as it is in an unflinching recounting of some of the most monstrous things that we as people have done to one another, can be difficult to read at times. Beyond its disconcerting portrayal of its titular "apt pupil", this story serves as a staunch reminder, especially toward the end, of how little distance lies between the people we are and the people we are in danger of becoming, which is quite salient in 2023. 4/5

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Pikathulhu
Different Seasons | Stephen King
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Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: There aren't many who don't at least know of this story, even if they haven't read it. As good as the movie is, the novella is even better. Red is a compelling narrator, and the picture he paints of Andy Dufresne's indomitable will and unbreakable pride is one most readers will not soon forget. I'll try to continue reviewing each of the four novellas in this work as I go; the first is a clear-cut 5/5.

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Pikathulhu
Creepshow | Stephen King
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Pickpick

A ghoulishly fun graphic novel adaptation of the Stephen King-penned Creepshow, this little number is bursting with prosaic and artistic style pulled straight from the pages of the '50s-era horror comics that inspired it. While these are not the most clever stories King has written, there are some standouts, including "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill", "Something to Tide You Over", and "They're Creeping Up On You". 4/5

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Pikathulhu
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Pickpick

Honestly, reviewing a book that I've read this many times is difficult. This series is a core component of my literary heart. That said, The Gunslinger is an excellent introduction to Roland's world, especially in its revised and expanded form. Readers are introduced to the primary focus of the series, and hit with frequent flashes of foreshadowing regarding the long and circuitous journey that lies ahead. 19/19, may it do ya fine.

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Pikathulhu
The Running Man | Stephen King, Richard Bachman
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Pickpick

Despite approaches to race and sexuality that are well past their expiration date, The Running Man remains a dishearteningly believable look at class dynamics in the not-so-distant future, and remains a still poignant reminder that it will always be in the best interests of those in wealth and power to play the "lesser" classes off of one another. After all, if they're too busy preying on one another, they won't come after the real predator. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
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Merry Christmas, Litsy fam! Hope you're having a monstrously good holiday surrounded by loved ones and good books!

Eggs Merry Christmas ❤️ 1mo
7 likes1 comment
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Pikathulhu
Cujo | Stephen King
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Pickpick

This is a difficult book to read, especially if you are a parent. I've always looked at Cujo as Stephen King's way of working through some of his worst fears as a parent (much like The Shining), and it's difficult to see him create such a wonderful, vulnerable character as Tad, then put that character in mortal danger. That said, Vic and Donna are written in likable and realistic fashion, and King manages to maintain tension throughout. 4/5.

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Pikathulhu
Cujo | Stephen King
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Pikathulhu
Danse Macabre | Stephen King
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Mehso-so

The biggest thing hurting this book is its dated references. It's always a pleasure to read King's personable ramblings, but when he's discussing esoterica from an era that has largely been surpassed and supplanted, the ability of his charming rhetoric to engage attention eventually runs out of steam. Fortunately, the meatiest portion of this book, a discussion of ten horror novels significant to the genre, is a delight to read. 3/5

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Pikathulhu
Danse Macabre | Stephen King
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Pikathulhu
Danse Macabre | Stephen King
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Pikathulhu
Danse Macabre | Stephen King
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Pikathulhu
Roadwork | Stephen King
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Mehso-so

Definitely not my favorite early work by King. The front half is extremely anxiety-inducing as Dawes allows his self-destructive impulses free rein, and the destruction of his personal and professional life reaches its logical conclusion. The second half builds to a predictable finale that leaves an empty sadness in its wake. Ultimately, this is a book that examines the twin marches of time and progress in terms of what they strip away. 3/5

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Pikathulhu
Firestarter | Stephen King
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Pickpick

Though the plotting can feel jagged at times, this is still a very well-written work. We're given plenty of reasons to be invested in the fates of Charlie and her father, the tension never truly leaves the reader, and the insight into the inner workings of The Shop is fascinating. It serves as a sobering reminder of what our own government is capable of, what they have done in the past, and what they may yet do in the dark and distant future. 4/5

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Pikathulhu
The Dead Zone | Stephen King
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Pickpick

The first book in my read-through I hadn't yet read, I found The Dead Zone supremely enthralling. While part of it may certainly have been my lack of awareness of where the plot would take me, a much bigger part was certainly my affinity for Johnny. He's one of the more engaging and likeable characters King has written, and it's a dreadful joy observing the man live the best he can while waiting for the Sword of Damocles to inevitably fall. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
The Long Walk | Stephen King
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Pickpick

I'm biased with this one. I discovered it at a young age, and it's always been a favorite of mine. While the concept itself is a good deal older than this book, I love King's take. The characters are memorable, the conversations are interesting, and the examination of our innate death wish is provoking. Despite a few "speed bumps" along the way, The Long Walk is one I consider worth taking time and again. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
The Stand | Stephen King
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Pickpick

There's a reason many readers of King list The Stand as their favorite - it's an incredible book. The way King weaves so many disparate threads into an apocalyptic tapestry is masterful, and his ability to make you care for a plethora of characters is put to excellent use here. From the first inkling that something in the machinations of man has gone awry to the final sobering ruminations on our ultimate nature, this is a truly riveting read. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Night Shift | Stephen King
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Pickpick

It's so hard to review a Stephen King collection in so few words. There's so much I could say about so many stories. The "short" of it is, anytime you get into a short story collection from The Master of Horror, you're in for a varied rollercoaster ride that you'll still find yourself thinking about for days to come. Standouts: I Am the Doorway, The Mangler, Battleground, The Ledge, Quitters, Inc., and Children of the Corn. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Rage | Stephen King, Richard Bachman
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Panpan

Forgoing a discussion of the obvious - King let this go out of print for a reason, and I'm glad he did - I'm not sure I loved this. When you solely consider the dynamics of Charlie's interactions with his peers, this comes off as a ham-fisted attempt to lionize the tortured, misunderstood academic, and position them as superior to society's trappings and representatives. I'm all for this when it's done right, but this book failed to deliver. 1/5

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Pikathulhu
Shining | Stephen King
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Pickpick

I love The Shining, despite my reservations about Jack Torrance as a character. This book breathes with unexpected life, much like The Overlook within, delighting me again and again with the bright personality and heartbreaking innocence of young Danny Torrance. Providing readers with such a vulnerable and winning protagonist truly amplifies the terror felt as Danny tries to avoid being claimed by the malevolent spirit of The Overlook. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
Shining | Stephen King
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The first time I read this, I was in middle school, and Jack seemed like a tortured academic who had made some "bad choices".

The second time, I liked him a lot less, but couldn't quite put my finger on why.

This time around, I've cracked it - Jack Torrance is a classic abuser, and demonstrates wildly toxic patterns of behavior (including gaslighting and coercive control!) before he even gets to The Overlook. No wonder he made me feel ooky!

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Pikathulhu
'Salem's Lot | Stephen King
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Pickpick

An incredible read. This remains one of my favorite stories about vampires. The pacing is economical, the "stakes" feel real, and the characters are largely compelling - especially in the case of Mark Petrie. There's a reason I keep coming back to Salem's Lot. 5/5. #ReadKing

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Pikathulhu
Carrie | Stephen King
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Pickpick

As problematic as Carrie is by today's standards, it's still an amazing read, and representative of the best in Stephen King foreshadowing, which he employs to great effect throughout. The first time I read this, I was in middle school and had no knowledge of what would happen. On that read, the foreshadowing served to heighten my anticipation. This time around, knowing how it would all end, the foreshadowing only evoked a sense of sadness. 5/5

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Pikathulhu
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Pickpick

I've noticed reviews of this book usually hinge on one's feelings regarding the likeability of the characters and their relationships. While I understand why many readers found them off-putting, I found the characters and their interactions to be remarkably reflective of real people, and of the missed opportunities and regrets inherent in real-life relationships. Ultimately, this book struck a chord with me with its stark verisimilitude. 4/5

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Pikathulhu

"Sadie liked the phrase 'an abundance of caution.' It reminded her of a murder of crows, a flock of seagulls, a pack of wolves. She imagined that 'caution' was a creature of some kind - maybe, a cross between a Saint Bernard and an elephant."

I thought I was the only one whose brain did this with like phrases! Yet another reading experience that demonstrates how much we all share, and confirms our own idiosyncracies as valid.

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Pikathulhu
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This is fantastic advice, and is a lesson I've had to learn more than once.

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Pikathulhu
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This book was on my to-read list for the near future, but I've been seeing so many positive posts about it that I couldn't help but jump it up the queue. Looking forward to this one!

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Pikathulhu
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This is an excellent joke, and I will be adding it to my repertoire immediately.

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Pikathulhu
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After a slight diversion, it's time to get back to The Wheel of Time with Book Six! I've been enjoying this series immensely, and am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this myriad of characters I've come to love.

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Pikathulhu
Complete Sherlock Holmes | Arthur Conan Doyle
Pickpick

Overall, an excellent collection of stories. The descriptive characterization of Watson and Holmes is delightful throughout and, while the series as a whole ends with a less-than-stellar collection of stories, I wouldn't skip a single one.

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Pikathulhu
Daisy Chains | Blue Coutell
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Got a new Kindle recently, and had to make sure everything important was readily available!

bookishlitty ilysm 6mo
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Pikathulhu
Complete Sherlock Holmes | Arthur Conan Doyle
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"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

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