Title: Everything's Eventual 14 Dark Tales
Authors: Stephen King
What's it about?
This might be the simplest answer I've ever written in the section of a review! That's because this book isn't about one thing. It's a collection of short stories told only as the King himself could tell them! From supernatural forces, to depressed men to messy divorces, nothing is off limits!
Favorite Story: I think my favorite was "the Man in the Black Suit". To tell you the truth, I can't tell you why this was my favorite exactly, I just really enjoyed it. As the second story in the book, it was what really hooked me and the motivation throughout the rest of the book to keep going even when I didn't think I wanted to read that particular story. There was an odd innocents to it and, while I usually don't like open ended stories (I just have to know what happened! Are my suspicions and imaginings right or am I way off track?) I didn't mind that not everything in the story ended up tied in a pretty little bow at the end.
Lest Favorite Story: My least favorite story was "The Death Room" and I'm not sure my reasons will leave you feeling very enlightened, either. The reason is pretty simple...I just don't think I'm the right audience for it. I can see how this story could be someone's favorite but it just wasn't my thing; my jam if you will. It was a little too "mafia gangster" for me. It was the one story that felt like it would never end and never really made me very interested or thankful I completed. I cheered internally when this story was over and felt a slight fear that there would be many more like this throughout the rest of this book. Thankfully, non left me feeling quit so disheartened upon completion.
Most surprising Story: The story that surprised me most was "The Little Sisters of Eluria". When I first read this story I didn't have high hopes. I knew that it was a prequel to Mr. King's series "The Dark Tower". Years ago, I had started to read this series and didn't find it nearly as good as others had told me it was and I never finished the first book, sadly, I wasn't drawn in as I began to read the story of a cowboy and his travels in Everything's Eventual, either but I pushed through. Then, it happened. I think it was about half way through the story, I was hooked. I was excited to read more. I was invested! It was pretty much the opposite of how I started it, and I was shocked. How had that happened? How had I hated it, so sure it was going to be another story like the one that proceeded it (The Death room") and then liked it soo much by the end? What a pleasant surprise!
Scariest Story: Okay, I couldn't possibly write a review about a Stephen King book and not even talk about something that scared me, or, at the very least, keep sleep at bay for a little longer that night. In this book, that piece would have to be the first story, "Autopsy Room Four". It was disturbing, yes, but the part that really got to me, I can't even tell you (I don't want to spoil anything). What I will say, however, is that the reason it got to me so bad was because I have certain fears (or phobia maybe a better word) and this story managed to infringe on said phobia. I may have even had to check in, around and under my bed that night before I jumped in it.
- "And please remember what was told to me and what I now tell you: A broken spoon ma be a fork in disguise". (Pg. 269) I know. It sounds weird, slapped onto this screen, but when I read it in context, I loved it! It was a reminder that there's beauty in everything and even that which we think is broken, can still hold value, use, and worth if we only choose to see it for what it is, not what it is not. And, if things can be that way, people can, too, right?
- "In any case, it gave my mind something concrete to pitch upon in the days after Diane left: it gave my misery a vocabulary it would not otherwise have had." (pg. 317) There's a beauty in these words that struck me. The idea that misery often comes mute, with nothing but actions and unexplainable emotion/thoughts/feelings is something we don't often think about. We just look at those who are miserable and pity them, sometimes looking away quickly as to not have to see the misery they carry with them. We don't often stop to think that misery (and so many other emotions) are mute because we don't have the vernacular to lend to them. We shove ourselves in the corner, hiding away, drowning in the muteness of the world we've entered and trying not to spread the illness in the process. But, when those emotions are given a voice, it seems like so much changes. We begin to feel human again, maybe even a little less broken.
-"None of us can predict the final outcomes of our actions, and few of us even try; most of us just do what we do to prolong the moments pleasure or to stop the pain. And even when we act for the noblest reasons, the last link of the chain all too often drops with someone's blood." (Pg. 317) There are those of us who don't think before we act, and those of us who think too much before we act. Which is right? Maybe both. Which is wrong? Defiantly both! At the end of the day, many of us don't think about the consequences of our actions. We jump in head first and vow to deal with tomorrow tomorrow. That rarely leads to a stable, secure life and often produces messes. HOWEVER, those of us who think too much, well we stress and worry and yet none of that allows us to see the future. We debate about answers, but we can only get the answers by acting. Thinking too much doesn't ensure the outcome we want. The best answer is probably something in the middle...if only we could find it.
- "I tried everything in my power. IF anyone was negligent that night, Mr. Farrell, it was your client. He believed too much in nothing. Very unwise behavior. Very unsafe behavior..." (pg. 401) I'm not sure there are words to express what this means to me. The best answer I can give is that we need to believe in something, but not so much so that we are incapable of believing in anything else. Again, to believe too much in something often leads to unwanted results, but not believing often does, too.
I found this book to be a mixed bag. Some stories I loved and didn't want to step away from, others we just "eh" and a few I just did not like. I guess that's to be expected, though, right? However, I also found the flow a little choppy. I don't think it could have been prevented, though. Stephen King is a brilliant writer, filled with dark stories that leave you wondering what in the world happened to one person to make him capable of producing such haunting, emotional stories that will stick with you, sometimes for longer then you ever wanted them to (the movie IT gave me nightmares for years. The funny part was, I wasn't scared of the clown, I was scared of drains suddenly regurgitating red blood at me followed by something sinister popping out of the red stained drain. I may never forgive him for that) but he doesn't start a story off fast paced. The starts off slow, luring you into a false sense of security and then slowly weaves together the stories of your nightmares, amping things up as he goes. And that's what he did in these 14 dark tales, too. The result left me concerned I may end up with whiplash from the jerky ride. Sometimes the journey was smoother then others, but often times I felt the impact of the brakes being pressed very hard in order to prevent one story from colliding with the other and it was a bit of a struggle.
I did, however appreciate the title. When I opened the book, I was sure that the title meant one thing, or something close to it. You may have your own ideas about what you think it means, too. But when I read the story Everything's Eventual and learned what the title was really about, I kind of loved it! It was not what I expected at all, but it worked. It felt like a secret I was not a part of, a pass ward into a club or having possession of a codeword.
Over all, this book was not what I was expecting. It wasn't riddled with pet cemeteries, killer clowns or twin girls waiting for you at the end of a hall. It didn't seep inside your brain to leave you dreaming horrific events with supernatural beings hiding in plain sight, but it did make me think a little more. It did entertain me. It did draw me in and even think about reading things I never thought I would (Dark Towers, I'm looking at you!). I don't think it's one I'll read again and again, but it's one I'm very glad I read and one I would recommend to others if the opportunity came up.
What do I rate it?
I give this book a
5 fishing poles
But what do I know? This is just one person's opinion! What's yours? Did you read this book and love it? What was your favorite story? What was your least?