Graduation Afternoon



„Graduation Afternoon“ takes place on an estate which allows a great view of New York City. Janice is playing tennis and thinks about her relationship with her boyfriend Buddy. He is swimming in his pool. With her exotic last name Gradolewiski it is hard for her to be accepted in the high society. Buddy’s Grandma sneers at her constantly. In three weeks Buddy will go hiking, which seems to be his mother’s diabolic plan to separate them painlessly.

She walks slowly back to the big house, while thinking of the graduation party in the evening. In the distance in the city, she sees an enormous spark of light. It spreads quickly and the whole southern sky is a glooming red. A crimson mushroom slowly forms. Buddy’s relatives come out of the house wondering what kind of light this is. It becomes very hot and the sound of the nuclear bomb reaches them. Janice, almost blinded, looks at the place, where Ney York City had been 90 seconds ago. A hot breeze rises and she thinks of Buddy, his grandma und the evening.

My impression

The beginning of the story is unimpressive and characterized by Janice`s internal monologue. The second part is completely different. A nuclear bomb detonates in New York and changes her life as well as many other lives. Stephen King makes the nightmare of many people come true in his story: a nuclear bomb in a big city such as New York. The events after the detonation are described very vividly. The reader almost feels the radiant heat and hears the incredible noise. The author of a book review in The New York Times wrote: “….showcases King’s almost unholy talent of making the natural world seem like something not of this world…. Unsettling and clever.”
A very exciting story I recommend to everyone, who does not want to read a 500 pages-book, but who doesn’t want to miss a little bit of the Stephen King feeling.


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