on 21 March 2002
This collection is about 2 years late by my count (and Stephen King's, according to the introduction of it's predecessor "Nightmares and Dreamscapes") but well worth waiting for.
King has broken from his tradition of starting with a longer story, which in previous collections has acted as a barrier to the rest of the book. The brilliant "Autopsy Room Four" kicks off this collection, and is short enough (compared to "Jerusalem's Lot," "The Mist," and "Dolan's Cadillac" from previous collections) that by the time you reach the longer stories, you are so engrossed that you don't even realise you're still turning pages.
Not only are the stories shorter, there are significantly less of them than there are in the previous collections. But with three prize-winners tucked away inside the covers, there is still something for everyone.
One of the traditions he has maintained, is that of adding notes about each story - telling the reader where and how inspiration struck. This adds a more personal feel to the book, as if King were writing just for you! Many Kingoholics live for these notes, and the introductions to the short story collections, to glimpse an insight into their Hero's mind, and how it works. The more "user friendly" approach of adding the notes before or after each story, instead of at the back of the book, also removes the annoying "backwards and forwards" element (if you're anything like me, you HAVE to read the notes for each story WHEN you read the story, not altogether at the end!) making for a much more enjoyable reading experience.
The one thing that always delights me about King's short stories, is the "literary quality" of them. Although I started reading King for the shocks and horror, I LOVE the way her writes short stories - all the gritty realism we have come to expect from him, but written in a more scholarly, eloquent fashion. You can see this for yourself in most of the stories in this book, particularly "The Man in the Black Suit."
Nightmares & Dreamscapes will always be my favourite, but this latest collection is another worthy addition to the volumes of King's short stories, and will keep everyone happy for another seven (or so) years!
Buy it now, steal it if you must, but make sure you get a copy.
on 4 March 2009
Although I've only read a handful of Stephen King's books to date, this is probably my favourite. It's the first book of its kind that I have read in adulthood and I enjoyed the diversity of the stories. 'The Little Sisters of Eluria' is worth the price alone. I also really enjoyed 'The Man in the Black suit', 'In the Deathroom', 'Everything's Eventual', '1408', 'Riding the Bullet' and 'Luckey Quarter.'
The best way to describe this book is enchanting. If you enjoy Stephen King's work, then I doubt you will be disappointed by this collection.
on 17 April 2002
There is no denying that Mr King is a superb story writer. His novels are in depth and you get the feeling of terror and inspiration with his characters as you deep further into his books.
As these are short stories (14 in all), you never get to feel that you know the characters well as the end is all to near. But then again, that is what short stories are.
These are not horror stories, but more phsycological. Autopsy Room 4, the starting story, opens this book well but as you get really into it, its the end. Some of the stories are very good, others you forget 10 minutes after reading them, but they are all good.... not outstanding. Some of these stories are old, but that is stated in the book. This is the first time they have been collated and printed together.
IF you like Steven King, then this book is worth getting to complete your set. If you are looking for a horror or a scary read, then either get another book or wait for the next new release.
on 3 February 2011
I'm not sure how he does it, but what would otherwise be the most bland and mundane text and dialogue takes on a life of it's own under Stephen King's masterful pen. Somehow the words jump from the page and you are hooked.
Maybe it's the dead pan and often black humour that's so skilfully interwoven in the text of most of his stories; often cropping up when you least expect it and to which the reader can instantly relate. For instance in The Death Room: "the woman.....black hair with striking white streaks. Flying up from her forehead as if blown by a gale force wind ....Bride of Frankenstein....," and the often hilarious maitre d's dialogue in "Lunch at Gotham Cafe"
And then, we wait with bated breath for the punchline, the climax and Stephen King rarely pulls any punches. The only author I know who can simultaneously scare the living daylights out of me and have me in fits of giggles.
And so, in this collection of 14 short stories, he delivers a rib tickling ride as well as a thrilling and scary one.
My favourites were - in no particular order:
Riding the Bullet: a tense, poignant and often scary ride for the reader.
In the Deathroom. Probably the one to give the reader nightmares as it seems it is not too far removed from reality.
Everything's Eventual (from the book title): A thought provoking essay.
Lunch at Gotham Cafe: Horrific yes, but with a delightful comedy dialogue that gives a delicious sense of balance to the grisly, culinary goings on.
The Little Sisters of Aluria: A dark and fascinating love story, quite different from the others in the collection. And although you can more or less guess the ending it's still a bitter sweet joy.
1408: Stay in this hotel room at your peril...it's not so much haunted as alive...
Autopsy Room Four: Another nightmare inducing ride this time to the autopsy
The Man in the Black Suit: Eerie and compelling
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away: And here the humour is 'toilet humour,' but it's still pretty good and carries the story giving it credibility .
LTs Theory of Pets: A good Yarn.....maybe with an underlying mystery.
The Road Virus Heads North: Downright scary.
I didn't care too much for The Death of Jack Hamilton; a bit overlong. Also Luckey Quarter: Quirky and a little too short? Could have been expanded a little? Having said that, they were still excellently crafted.
The Feeling you can only say it in French: I have to say had me a little baffled but intrigued.
So all in all a great collection of stories by the master of the macabre. Recommended.
on 17 March 2013
I started to read his books 7 years ago. I've read 28 books and this was my 29th. Every short story (some are not very short but then I'm talking about a man who wrote The Stand, It, Black House...) made me gasp... they're so good. Scary but the strongest feeling is the uneasyness you feel after you finish each story. The stories will make you think about stuff we all try to avoid thinking. That's why I always come back to Stephen King. Sure, he is very entertaining, funny, clever, but he's also serious, intense and he can scare the s*** out of me.
on 20 March 2002
No self-respecting fan of Stephen King can afford to miss this one. But that's hardly positive press, now is it? I'll say the words, then: each and every story contained herein is worth a read. Some more so that others, it must be admitted - both In the Deathroom and All That You Love Will Be Carried Away seem little more than adventures in futility - but, for the most part, Everything's Eventual contains an outstanding selection of efforts. King could, with the short story, be perceived as "in his element," as it were - and this latest edition does much to prove such a theory. The claustrophobic terror of Autopsy Room Four, for example, reads so convincingly that the reader must wonder whether or not King spent some of his hospital time haunting such places. With it, he demonstrates an uncomfortable depth of knowledge on autopsy procedures and such things; and as such the tale is an effective and provocative one, just as frightening as The Man In the Black Suit is poignant, and as downright funny or outrageous or shocking or terrifying as most any other given short fiction. And the disturbing psychology of 1408, a thriller in every possibly sense of the word, simply must be read - by anyone, fan or otherwise.
Hell with all his critics: I like Stephen King. There are some tales contained within Everything's Eventual - of calibre great enough to warrant such deserved acclaim as the O. Henry award for Best Short Story, back in '96 - and it stands alone, independent of its author and his assured readership, as a triumph in both scope and execution. King writes with a deft and professional touch, and reads in smooth, easy-to-swallow chunks. His tales are rich and varied, and punctuated with honest interludes by way of introduction or afterword that make me lust after another On Writing. These personal touches are as down-to-earth and everyday as one might wish for, and I can't help but admit that not only am I an admirer of King's fiction, but also the author himself; he seems a frank and wise gentleman, and just the sort that I'd be honoured to call a friend.
With regards to the collection itself: it has my blessing, and my recommendation. If you aren't a King fan, for whatever reason, then you aren't a King fan - that much is given - but for all those of you with open enough minds to accept good, entertaining fiction for what it is: you'd be missing out on something quite special without a copy of Everything's Eventual. Of course it has its lowlights, if I may coin such a phrase - but their number pales in comparison to that of the countless wonders this edition presents. The author is a rare and comforting presence in the literary world of today, and Everything's Eventual offers yet another opportunity for the public to "discover" Stephen King all over again.
And believe me when I tell you he's worth discovering.
on 31 March 2002
Nine years on from his last short story collection, this new King compendium illustrates perfectly just how his writing has developed.
The stories featured in "Everything's Eventual" do not exclusively focus on the "gross out" (no killer zombies, sinister beer cans or deadly novelty chattery feet), but are far more reflective in tone and concentrate on human nature - think "Hearts In Atlantis" rather than "Christine".
This is not to say that King has adandoned sinister subject matter - just that this collection features a broad spread of his work. There are plenty of moments to make you shudder ("Autopsy Room Four" is the one that will haunt me for a while), but also an array of stories that are more reflective in tone and feature characters that stay with you long after reading - and for all those "Dark Tower" fans, there is even a prelude to "The Gunslinger" to keep you going until installment five is released !
In truth, most of King's "Constant Readers" will probably have already read many of the stories in this collection, as they have appeared elsewhere. I would still recommend this book, however, as the diversity of stories and subject matter are a joy to experience in one volume - and similarly, the new King reader may be pleasantly surprised.
If you are looking for out-and-out horror fiction, "Everythings Eventual" may disappoint (try a local jumble sale for used copies of "The Pan Book of Horror"). If, however, a collection of well written and often thought provoking short stories appeal to you, I would certainly recommend this book. "Everything's Eventual" is, however, not for the prudish or squeamish - this is still King after all....!
As King admits, the art of the short story is dying. It's a real shame, but at least we have someone as talented as Stephen King to keep up the art at this time.
I've always enjoyed King's short stories, more so than his novels, for some reason. 'Night Shift' being my all time fave. 'Nightmares and Dreamscapes' was an magnificient follow up. The short story, 'Crouch End', is one of the best things he's ever written.
So when I heard a new book of his short stories was coming out, you could guess my reaction! As I was reading this book I noticed Stephen had lost none of his spark and it lived up to my already lofty expectations of him!
There are some real chillers in here. 'The Man in the Black Suit' is a brilliant story. 'The Death of Jack Hamilton' is not really in the true King style of things, it's a story about the notorious gangster John Dillinger, but it's excellent nonetheless. That's the great thing about Stephen, whatever style he chooses to write, he does it so well.
A must buy for all you King fans out there, and don't let the short story die out, get this now.
on 19 December 2012
Only the second collection of stories by Stephen King I've looked at. Some are quite good, especially 'LT's Theory of Pets' as it was the funniest, and 'Lunch at the Gotham Cafe', which is also funny with gory scenes that are really well written. It's obvious though, even if you read just a little of King's work, that he writes a certain type of fiction. Whatever you want to call it, popular fiction, tales for everyman, there's a particular style that Stephen King goes for. I have really enjoyed some of his stories, but, at the same time, have often thought I'm reading stuff not dissimilar to Young Adult fiction. His tales, sometimes, feel too simplified and lacking in scope. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as a lot of more complex fiction, by more 'serious' writers, let's face it, can be utterly boring...
I can appreciate this easygoing and unpretentious way of writing stories, but also like stuff that is a bit more layered and challenging to read. Some critics, it seems, have been particularly mean about Stephen King, calling him a dime novelist amongst other things and his work non-literature, but clearly this is more out of academic snobbery than actual dislike for his books.
Back to this collection, some stories are better than others; when he's writing funny dialogue King is very entertaining, and his gory descriptions of blood gushing all over the place are very good.
I haven't finished any of his novels yet, but would definitely seek out more of his short stories...
on 10 February 2014
I am a long time fan of Stephen King.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a frothing at the mouth fanboy, and sometimes he can be a bit hit and miss.
That said, this is my favourite collection of short stories (I don't count Four Past Midnight as short stories - that is my favourite collection of novellas), with the title tale being perhaps the most eery and inspiring scribbling I have read in many years.
And yet there are others. "Autopsy Room 4" is a quirky variant on the "locked in a tomb" favoured by victorian authors, with an added sexual twist.
"1408" will be known to most King fans as the Cussack-Jackson movie, and this story lack none of the weird punch of that film.
There are some that are not as strong as others. I found "Lunch at the Gotham Cafe" a bit middling, whilst "The Death of Jack Hamilton" never really got going for me, and was perhaps a little too close to Lovecraft. Don't get me wrong, I like Lovecraft but if I want to read him, I will.
On the whole, an excellent collection.