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Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2003
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His first collection of short stories since the release of Nightmares & Dreamscapes in 1993, Everything's Eventual represents King at his most undiluted. The short story format showcases King's ability to spook readers using the most mundane settings (a yard sale) and comfortable memories (a boyhood fishing excursion). The dark tales collected here are some of King's finest, including an O. Henry Prize winner and "Riding the Bullet," published originally as an e-book and at one time expected by some to be the death knell of the physical publishing world. True to form, each of these stories draws the reader into King's slightly off-center world from the first page, developing characters and atmosphere more fully in the span of 50 pages than many authors can in a full novel.
For most rabid King fans, chief among the tales in this volume will be "The Little Sisters of Eluria," a novella that first appeared in the fantasy collection Legends, set in King's ever-expanding Dark Tower universe. In this story, set prior to the first Dark Tower volume, the reader finds Gunslinger Roland of Gilead wounded and under the care of nurses with very dubious intentions. Also included in this collection are "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French," the story of a woman's personal hell; "1408," in which a writer of haunted tour guides finally encounters the real thing; "Everything's Eventual," the title story, about a boy with a dream job that turns out to be more of a nightmare; and "L.T.'s Theory of Pets," a story of divorce with a bloody surprise ending.
King also includes an introductory essay on the lost art of short fiction and brief explanatory notes that give the reader background on his intentions and inspirations for each story. As with any occasion when King directly addresses his dear Constant Readers, his tone is that of a camp counselor who's almost apologetic for the scare his fireside tales are about to throw into his charges, yet unwilling to soften the blow. And any campers gathered around this author's fire would be wise to heed his warnings, for when King goes bump in the night, it's never just a branch on the window. --Benjamin Reese --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Like the horror writer in "The Road Virus Heads North," who stops off at a yard sale on his way home. Or the divorcing couple who get the true measure of one another in a bloody encounter with a maitre d' in "Lunch at the Gotham Café." Or the woman in the acidulous marriage whose sense of déjà vu keeps getting sickeningly stronger on her second honeymoon in "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French."
An O.Henry prize winner (and one of King's least favorite stories), first published in "The New Yorker," reveals the roots of an old man's fear in a boyhood encounter with the devil on an idyllic stretch of trout stream in rural Maine. Another "New Yorker" story, "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away," is a poignant, haunting tale of a lonely traveling salesman whose graffiti collection engenders a life or death dilemma.
The story King says is his favorite, because of its unexpected shift from humor to horror, "L.T.'s Theory of Pets," turns on a gruesome twist at the end, which didn't stick with me half so much as the chilling aftermath of a choice forced on a college kid during his hitchhiking encounter with Death in "Riding the Bullet," first made famous as an e-book.Read more ›
The stories have been previously published (I had read the four that first appeared in "The New Yorker"), but I was delighted to have them in book form and reread them with great pleasure. For all you Dark Tower fans, there is an excellent addition, "The Little Sisters of Eluria."
Not one of the fourteen stories disappointed me; they were varied: humorous, reflective, and scary. If you think the Old Master might have lost his touch at scaring you sideways, try "The Road Virus Heads North." Some particular favorites: the title piece "Everything's Eventual" told by an oh-so-believable teenaged boy made this sinister tale poignant as well as inevitable. King saw a handsome couple arguing in a fancy New York restaurant and somehow came up with "Lunch at the Gotham Café" (see cover of book for illustration. Be sure to check the back cover as well!). I'll let SK tell you about the whys of "In the Deathroom."
"This is a slightly Kafkaesque story about an interrogation room in the South American version of Hell. In such stories, the fellow being interrogated usually ends up spilling everything and then being killed (or losing his mind). I wanted to write one with a happier ending, however unreal that might be. And here it is."
But we know in our hearts that it isn't going to be that "happy," don't we?
"Everything's Eventual" is an unqualified blue ribbon group of short stories. I predict new King fans on the horizon
The title of this collection comes from what may well be the finest story of the lot. It's a quirky tale of a young man with the ability to affect other people using symbols and writing. He narrates the story himself, sounds like the village idiot, and has just about the strangest job imaginable.
L.T.'s Theory of Pets is a second standout. It's a story of marital difficulties, pet incompatibility, and the art of storytelling. It's quite good and much better than any description of the plot could ever do justice to. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll enjoy it.
Autopsy in Room 4 may be the most suspenseful story. It features a paralyzed man on an autopsy table and you don't have to be the most imaginative person in the world to see how frightening that prospect would be.
Reviewing a collection of short stories can be tricky because there are so many stories in the book and each one is its own experience. Three or four are truly outstanding, and most of the rest are still quite good and well worth reading. There were two or three that didn't grab me but the beauty of a short story is that you don't invest that much time so the weaker stories don't take much out of your enjoyment of the book. I'd recommend thins book to all fans of King or the short story format.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great collection of Stephen King's work. If you are new to his work, this would be a great treat.Published 16 days ago by MsPattyD
Stephen King never fails to pull you into the story and that he did with this one. King keeps you guessing what will happen next and his books are full of twist and turns. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Angelena
Great short stories by the master. Always loved his short stories. "1408" was great.Published 28 days ago by Charles Mowery
Some of the stories are found in other King books. They are still fun with nice twists. I enjoyed it.Published 29 days ago by Home Seller
I LOVE this movie...it is so true to Stephen King novels the actors that were selected were a perfect selection!!!Published 1 month ago by Tiffany G