DS contains 4 stories with which you may or may not be familiar:
The first is titled "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" this later became a movie called "The Shawshank Redemption".
The second is "Apt Pupil" which was also made into a movie with the same name.
The third is "The Body" which was made into a movie that goes by the title of "Stand By Me".
The fourth and final story is called "The Breathing Method".
When I started this book, I was familiar with "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Stand By Me" which are the movies and not the stories. Being a fan of Michael Crichton's books and movies, I have learned that when books are made into movies, a lot is left out of the story (Jurassic Park is a prime example of this). So, I went into these stories, despite their familiarity, with the mindset that the written story would be different from the movie.
I'm not going to go into each story, but I will tell you about the book as a whole. From what I understood, these four stories were supposed to be about Castle Rock in different seasons as well as different years. For instance, Andy Dufresne is mentioned in "Apt Pupil" but is the main character in "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption". Each of the stories is about a different "season" in this town... except for "The Breathing Method". The first three stories were all connected in one way or another. It was like a game for me. I had to find the connection. I just failed to see it in "The Breathing Method". I enjoyed the story. I liked the framing of it, a story within a story, but it just failed to connect.
Here's a brief about each of the stories:
1 - Enjoyed and would recommend
2 - WTF? Not my favorite story ever. Wow... just wow.
3 - Enjoyed, I love a good bildungsroman.
4 - Kinda slow getting into it... a lot of "let me tell you a story, but this isn't the actual story I want to tell you... but I'll get to it." Once it got going I really enjoyed it.
This wasn't my favorite of his books or short story collections, but I really enjoyed it. I liked how vastly different each of the stories was. I would recommend it, but maybe not as an introduction to Stephen King.