Monday, September 27, 2010

Everything's Eventual

Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
Simon & Schuster, 2002
Hardcover, 464 pages
ISBN-13: 9780743235150
highly recommended

From the stunningly fertile imagination of perhaps the greatest storyteller of our time, here are fourteen intense, eerie, and compelling stories, including one O. Henry Prize winner, stories from The New Yorker, and "Riding the Bullet" which, when published as an eBook, attracted over half a million online readers.
My Thoughts:

Having never read any of Stephen King's short story collections, I decided that it was about time. While some of the fourteen short stories in this collection do follow well traveled scenarios, others are unique or presented with a different spin. Several of them are more character studies than horror, which is okay with me. This collection includes the 1996 O. Henry Award winner "The Man in the Black Suit." King also has a story by story annotation, in which he shares what inspired him to write the story. My favorites were probably: Everything's Eventual, The Man in the Black Suit, All That You Love Will Be Carried Away, and L.T.'s Theory of Pets.

The collection includes:
Introduction: Practicing the (Almost) Lost Art
Autopsy Room Four
The Man in the Black Suit
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away
The Death of Jack Hamilton
In the Deathroom
The Little Sisters of Eluria
Everything's Eventual
L.T.'s Theory of Pets
The Road Virus Heads North
Lunch at the Gotham Cafe
That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French
Riding the Bullet
Luckey Quarter
Highly recommended, especially for King fans.


I am now a very old man and this is something which happened to me when I was very young - only nine years old. It was 1914, the summer after my brother Dan died in the west field and three years before America got into World War I. (The Man in the Black Suit, pg. 45)

It was a Motel 6 on I-80 just west of Lincoln, Nebraska. The snow that began at midafternoon had faded he sign's virulent yellow to a kinder pastel shade as the light ran out of the January dusk. (All That You Love Will Be Carried Away, pg. 71)

On a day in Full Earth so hot that it seemed to suck the breath from his chest before his body could use it, Roland of Gilead came to the gates of a village in the Desatoya Mountains. (The Little Sisters of Eluria, pg. 146)

I suppose you're wondering about the salary of this famous job. Well, I got to tell you, there's not much money in it. Might as well get that right up front. But a job isn't just about the money, or getting ahead. That's what Mr. Sharpton told me. Mr. Sharpton said that a real job is about the fringe benefits. He said that's where the power is. (Everything's Eventual, pg. 212)

My friend L.T. hardly ever talks about how his wife disappeared, or how she's probably dead, just another victim of the Axe Man, but he likes to tell the story of how she walked out on him. (L.T.'s Theory of Pets, pg. 266)

Richard Kinnell wasn't frightened when he first saw the picture at the yard sale in Rosewood. (The Road Virus Heads North, pg. 287)

I came to understand that here are things underneath, you see -underneath- and no book can explain what they are. I think that sometimes it's best to just forget those things are there. If you can, that is. (Riding the Bullet, pg. 408)


raidergirl3 said...

You're so lucky to have all King's other collections of short stories to dip into.
I love his short stories, well, all his stuff, except The Gunslinger. I never could get into The Gunslinger.

Mary Jo said...

Great review - you don't see many short story collections reviewed, so thank you! I'm listening to CARRIE via audio book now...though it about time since I'd seen the movie more than once. P.S. Thanks for posting on Writers Inspired

Lori L said...

I know, Raidergirl! I finished Just After Sunset and now need to look for King's earlier collections, although he does have a new collection, Full Dark, No Stars, being released on Nov. 9, 2010.

Lori L said...

Thank you for visiting, Mary Jo!