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Everythingís Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King


Recommendation: ēēē


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Bedtime Bonanza

Some writers have mastered the short story genre. Words are economized. Action moves quickly. Imagery supports the narrative efficiently. Anything thatís unnecessary is discarded. Many writers lack the discipline to create good short stories. To the delight of many readers, Stephen King usually does a fine job in crafting a short story. While some of his fans read everything he writes, Iíve found that some of his longest books are among his worst. His latest collection of stories, Everythingís Eventual, will please both King fans and short story lovers. Over two weeks, it was a pleasure to read a story a night at bedtime. No nightmares, just satisfaction in reading a well-told tale.

Hereís an excerpt from the title story:

ďIíve got a house, okay? My very own house. Thatís fringe benefit number one. I call Ma sometimes, ask how her bad leg is, shoot the shit, but Iíve never invited her over here, although Harkerville is only seventy or so miles away and I know sheís practically busting a gut with curiosity. I donít even have to go see her unless I want to. Mostly I donít want to. If you knew my mother, you wouldnít want to, either. Sit there in that living room with her while she talks about all her relatives and whines about her puffy leg. Also I never noticed how much the house smelled of catshit until I got out of it. Iím never going to have a pet. Pets bite the big one.
Mostly I just stay here. Itís only got one bedroom, but itís still an excellent house. Eventual, as Pug used to say. He was the one guy at Supr Savr I liked. When he wanted to say something was really good, Pugíd never say it was awesome, like most people do; heíd say it was eventual. How funny is that? The old Pugmeister. I wonder how heís doing. Okay, I suppose. But I canít call him and make sure. I can call my Ma, and I have an emergency number is anything goes wrong or if I think somebodyís getting nosy about whatís not their business, but I canít buzz any of my old friends (as if any of them besides Pug gave Shit One about Dinky Earnshaw). Mr. Sharptonís rules.
But never mind that. Letís go back to my house here in Clumbia City. How many nineteen-year-old high-school dropouts do you know who have their own houses? Plus a new car? Only a Honda, true, but the first three numbers on the odometer are still zeroes, and thatís the important part. It has a CD/tape player, and I donít slide in behind the wheel wondering if the goddam thingíll start, like I always did with the Ford, which Skipper used to make fun of. The Assholemobile, he called it. Why are there so many Skippers in the world? Thatís what I really wonder about.Ē

Most of these stories have appeared elsewhere. I had listened to the audio version of two of them, but still enjoyed reading them. If youíre ready for some strange and macabre stories, pick up Stephen Kingís new collection, Everythingís Eventual.

Steve Hopkins, April 10, 2002


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The recommendation rating for this book appeared in the May 2002 issue of Executive Times


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