People differ on which collection is better, this one or Night Shift. While I agree that the Night Shift cover with the bandaged seeing-eye hand slightly beats out the “Monkey Shines” Skeleton Crew, I still to most recommend Skeleton Crew, if you really had to pick just one for this holiday season.
The biggest reasons are the two most memorable stories in the collection. First, “The Mist“, which exemplifies all of King's tropes at their best: blue collar dudes mixed up in sudden and terrifying supernatural occurrences, in this case, you guessed it, a mist. The other is “The Raft” a thrilling tale of impending doom. Ever re-readable, I plan on buying this collection again (our copy's been read to tattered bits till it disappeared) and reading it to get chills and thrills.