Everything's Eventual, by Stephen King

Collection of fourteen short stories, which I don't think have any common theme, except perhaps that they're all a bit poor.

I remember from reading "Night Shift", "Skeleton Crew" and "Different Seasons" that King can come up with good ideas, and so had hoped there might be some stuff in here on a par with "Quitters, Inc.", "The Ledge", "The Raft", or even "The Body". But with two possible exceptions, none of the stories in here was worth reading.

The main problem was that there were no good ideas. Or at least, no ideas good enough to sustain a whole story. And this meant that each story was stretched out much too long. It was as if King had been told "write about xxx, and make it as long as you can. Go on, indulge yourself". So, among others there were:

Each of the stories is at least an hour long. I skipped one of them, The Little Sisters of Eluria because it was a Dark Tower one.

There were two stories that had something going for them. That Feeling, You can Only Say What it is in French was about deja-vu, and, apart from having the merit of being fairly short, was written in a Groundhog-Day style series of repetitions that made you feel the same sense of deja-vu as the narrator.

All That You Love Will Be Carried Away was about a travelling salesman who's kept a notebook containing all the grafitti he's seen in all the restrooms he's visited. In the story he's trying to make up his mind whether or not to kill himself, but wondering what people will make of the notebook. I thought this idea was interesting but it wasn't that good a story. Needless to say it ends without you knowing what he decides to do.

At least two of the stories are written in the first person and begin with something like "I swore I'd never tell this story to anyone, I don't know if it'll be believed, or whether I believe it myself".

What the audiobook lacked was the author's notes that King often uses to give some sort of context for the stories. I think that this may have helped make them more interesting, but maybe not.

Anyway, one to be avoided; a real disappointment.

Completed : 11-May-2007 (audiobook)

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