Monday, June 04, 2012

Everything's Eventual

I've never really been a fan of short stories or collections of stories for some reason. Oddly enough "Everything's Eventual" (459 pages) by Stephen King is the second collection I've read this year. From Goodreads:

"The first collection of stories Stephen King has published since 'Nightmares & Dreamscapes' nine years ago, 'Everything's Eventual' 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, which attracted over half a million online 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 Cafe,' a sparring couple's contentious lunch turns very, very bloody when the maitre d' gets out of sorts. '1408,' the audio story in print for the first time, is about a successful writer whose specialty is 'Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Graveyards' or 'Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Houses,' 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 deja vu at 16,000 feet. Whether writing about encounters with the dead, the near dead, or about the mundane dreads of life, from quitting smoking to yard sales, Stephen King is at the top of his form in the fourteen dark tales assembled in Everything's Eventual. Intense, eerie, and instantly compelling, they announce the stunningly fertile imagination of perhaps the greatest storyteller of our time."

I guess what bugs me the most about short stories is getting invested in a story between 20 to 50 pages that often times abruptly ends seemingly before needed. This is the case with a couple of King's stories here but out of the 14 total, I enjoyed most of the reading. He definitely has an imagination and can spin a good yarn from time to time, especially when delving into the darkness of every day events or human nature.

I was most surprised about the short story included called "The Little Sisters of Eluria," which is a prequel of sorts to King's Dark Tower series, a series I've been meaning to get back to for quite some time. Apparently the story either takes place before "The Gunslinger" or during it.

As I said above collections of stories usually aren't my thing but I really enjoyed what King has to offer here. Recommended for fans of King or horror and easy to put down and pick back up if necessary.

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