I picked up “Everything’s Eventual” by Stephen King to read the story “1408“, as part of “Book to Movie challenge”. Then I realised that I have reviewed almost no story collections, and this is my second “King”. So, I put this down for “2nds Challenge“.
The collection starts with the story of a man who “wakes up” to find himself in an autopsy room, while the examiners are getting ready to perform autopsy on him. Then onwards, we meet a boy who talked to The Bad One, while in other story, a travelling salesman with an unusual hobby (collecting the graffiti in public restrooms on freeways) contemplates taking his life. We read about the last few days of Johnnie Dillinger’s life, and a reporter is being tortured for supporting a “revolutionary” in a South American dictator state. The fans of “Dark Tower” series will find the story of Gunslinger meeting the Little Sisters of Eluria interesting. The story, short novel actually takes place before the starting of Dark Tower series (that series is sitting on my TBR list for a long time now).
The title story is about a young man with unusual talents, and his unusual job. The young man is offered job with interesting perks (after all, any job is about perks, as his employer says), where all he has to do is practise his talents, while living in a house where everything he wants is provided. We all have experienced spooky pictures whose eyes follow us, but the picture in here may go a step beyond that. There’s a tale of a dream which may or may not come true, and a story of how staring death in the eyes brings out the worst in you. Heaven and hell may not be what you think it was, while you may want to sanity check the concierge of the cafe you visit next time. “1408” is the story of a writer who writes about his “experiences” in haunted places. He visits the haunted room in a New York hotel, despite the warnings of the manager. The room is a place where suicide rate is a bit more than statistical average, and where even the staff are afraid to go.
From what I have read (The Shining and Creep show), seen and heard, King’s horror has more supernatural sources than just spooky ones. This collection is also a combination of some “natural” stories combined with supernatural tales. I found “1408” true to the “haunted hotel” genre, while most of the others are quite interesting. I didn’t really get into the story of the horned-and-goat-footed one, but that was probably more of my fault than the story. I mean, try starting to read the story from same page, rather same line, ten times, and that does take away something from the thrill. Also, I didn’t really get the connection between the pets and murder in the story, which I am designating as “modern art” or “poetry” story (the people who have been reading the blog for some time will know what I mean by this).
As I said, this is my only the second “King” I have read so far, but from what I have heard, this would count as a classic King. And if the stories do not interest you, then the commentary about the stories, the writing process and the background which accompanies each story is definitely worth reading.
Quote of The Day:
You cannot condemn a man for what may only be a figment of your own imagination.
– Stephen King (1947 – )