TITLE: EVERYTHING’S EVENTUAL
AUTHOR: STEPHEN KING
PUBLISHER: HODDER & STOUGHTON
GENRE: SHORT FICTION
COVER TYPE: HARD BACK
BLURB FROM THE BACK COVER
The first collection of stores Stephen King has published since ‘Nightmares & Dreamscapes’ nine years ago includes one O. Henry Prize-winner, two other award-winners, four stories published by ‘The New Yorker’ and ‘Riding the Bullet’, King’s original e-book that attracted over half a million on-line readers and became the most famous short story of the decade.
‘Riding the Bullet’, published here on paper for the first time, is the story of Alan Parker, who’s hitchhiking to see his dying mother but takes the wrong ride, farther than he ever intended. In ‘Lunch at the Gotham Café’, a sparring couple’s contentious lunch turns very, very bloody when the maître d’ gets out of sorts. ‘1408, the audio story in print for the first time, is about a successful writer who speciality is ‘Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Houses’ or ‘Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Graveyards’ and though Room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel doesn’t kill him, he won’t be writing about ghosts anymore.
And in ‘That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French’, terror is déjà vu at 16,000 feet…
Autopsy Room Four, L.T.’s Theory of Pets, Lunch at the Gotham Café, Luckey Quarter and The Man in the Black Suit were first published in a limited edition collection called Six Stories in 1997 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Stories). The Man in the Black Suit won the World Fantasy Award and the O. Henry Award for ‘Best Short Fiction’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_in_the_Black_Suit).
Autopsy Room Four was filmed as part of the TV mini-series Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King as was The Road Virus Heads North (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightmares_and_Dreamscapes:_From_the_Stories_of_Stephen_King).
In the Deathroom, Lunch at the Gotham Café and 1408 were included in the audio book Blood & Smoke in 1999. 1408 was adapted into a movie starring John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1408_(film).
The Little Sisters of Eluria is a Dark Tower novella, a sort of prequel that takes place before the events of The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger. Everything’s Eventual features the character Dinky Earnshaw who’s a powerful breaker in The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower.
HIGHLIGHTS: Everything’s Eventual is a very strong collection. There are a lot of great stories in it. In the Deathroom is about a man taken in for ‘questioning’ about his association with a radical in a foreign country and realises he might never get out of the room alive. King does a great job of building tension. The Little Sisters of Eluria features Mid-World’s version of vampires. I loved this novella. It serves as a sort of prequel to The Dark Tower novels. The title story is one of the most surprising and unsettling stories I’ve ever read. The Road Virus Heads North is also one of my favourites. What’s not to love about a creepy picture that comes to life? I love the title of this story as well. 1408 is another favourite. I first read this as a four page ‘story’ called Hotel Story in King’s memoir/non-fiction book On Writing where he used it to show how a writer can move from a 1st to 2nd draft. I loved hearing the full version on Blood & Smoke and reading it was even better. The other stories with the exception of That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French and Luckey Quarter were very good.
LOWLIGHTS: Every story collection has a couple of turds and Everything’s Eventual is no exception. I thought That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French was a very weak story. It just didn’t do it for me. I also thought Luckey Quarter was piss poor. In a couple of stories such as 1408 and Lunch at the Gotham Café, King does the thing writers so a lot that really gets on my wick by including little snippets of what the outcome of the story is going to be. In Lunch at the Gotham Cafe the narrator mentions that his wife’s lawyer is killed before the meeting takes place which takes away a bit of the shock factor when the maître d’ goes batshit.
THE OPENING LINE
It’s so dark that for a while – just how long I don’t know – I think I’m still unconscious…
AUTOPSY ROOM FOUR
Everything’s Eventual is a strong collection of Stephen King’s short fiction. I’ve owned the audiobook Blood & Smoke for many years so three of the stories were familiar to me. It was great to see them in print. Since I first read Everything’s Eventual, I’ve seen the TV/film versions of Autopsy Room Four, The Road Virus Heads North and 1408 and think they’re great. I think Everything’s Eventual is the Stephen King collection that’s seen the most mileage out of the stories.