Everything's Eventual

Everything's Eventual

4.1 278
by Stephen King

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The first collection of stories Stephen King has published since Nightmares & Dreamscapes nine years ago, Everything's Eventual includes one O. Henry Prize winner, two other award winners, four stories published by The New Yorker, and "Riding the Bullet," King's original e-book, which attracted over half a million online readers and became the…  See more details below


The first collection of stories Stephen King has published since Nightmares & Dreamscapes nine years ago, Everything's Eventual includes one O. Henry Prize winner, two other award winners, four stories published by The New Yorker, and "Riding the Bullet," King's original e-book, which attracted over half a million online readers and became the most famous short story of the decade. "Riding the Bullet," published here on paper for the first time, is the story of Alan Parker, who's hitchhiking to see his dying mother but takes the wrong ride, farther than he ever intended. In "Lunch at the Gotham Cafe," a sparring couple's contentious lunch turns very, very bloody when the maitre d' gets out of sorts. "1408," the audio story in print for the first time, is about a successful writer whose specialty is "Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Graveyards" or "Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Houses," and though Room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel doesn't kill him, he won't be writing about ghosts anymore. And in "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French," terror is deja vu at 16,000 feet. Whether writing about encounters with the dead, the near dead, or about the mundane dreads of life, from quitting smoking to yard sales, Stephen King is at the top of his form in the fourteen dark tales assembled in Everything's Eventual. Intense, eerie, and instantly compelling, they announce the stunningly fertile imagination of perhaps the greatest storyteller of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
USA Today Compelling....brilliantly creepy.

The Washington Post Well-crafted, nuanced stories.

Publishers Weekly
Eyebrows arched in literary circles when, in 1995, the New Yorker published Stephen King's "The Man in the Black Suit," a scorchingly atmospheric tale of a boy's encounter with the Devil in backwoods Maine. The story went on to win the 1996 O. Henry Award for Best Short Story, confirming what King fans have known for years that the author is not only immensely popular but immensely talented, a modern-day counterpart to Twain, Hawthorne, Dickens. "The Man in the Black Suit" appears in this hefty collection, King's first since Nightmares and Dreamscapes (1993), along with three other extraordinary New Yorker tales: "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away," an intensely moving story of a suicidal traveling salesman who collects graffiti; "The Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French," about a woman caught in a fatal loop of d j vu; and "The Death of Jack Hamilton," a gritty, witty tale of Dillinger's gang on the lam. Together, they make up what King, in one of many author asides, calls his "literary stories," which he contrasts to the "all-out screamers" though most of the stories here seem a mix of the two, with the distinction as real as a line on a map. "Autopsy Room Four," a black-humor horror about a man who wakes up paralyzed in a morgue and about to be autopsied, displays a mastery of craft, and "1408," a haunted hotel-room story that first surfaced on the audio book Blood and Smoke, engenders a sense of profound unease, of dread, as surely as do the elegant work of Blackwood or Machen or, if one prefers, Baudelaire or Sartre. King's talent doesn't always burn at peak, of course, and there are lesser tales here, too, but none that most writers wouldn't be proud to claim, like the slight but affecting "Luckey," about a poor cleaning woman given a "luckey" coin as a tip, or "L.T.'s Theory of Pets," which King cites as his favorite of the collection, but whose shift from humor to horror comes off as arbitrary, at least on the page (the story first appeared in audiobook form). Then there's "Riding the Bullet," the novella that put King on the cover of Time and rattled the publishing community not for its content a suspenseful encounter with the dead but for its mode of delivery, as an e-book, and "The Little Sisters of Eleuria," another resonant entry in King's self-proclaimed "magnus opus" about Roland the Gunslinger (Roland will return, King lets on, in a now-finished 900-page Dark Tower novel, Wolves of the Calla). Fourteen stories, most of them gems, featuring an array of literary approaches, plus an opinionated intro from King about the "(Almost) Lost Art" of the short story: this will be the biggest selling story collection of the year, and why not? No one does it better. (On sale Mar. 19) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
USA Today

"Compelling.... Brilliantly creepy."

The New York Times

"Unpredictable.... Full of surprises."

The Washington Post

"Well-crafted, nuanced stories."

Library Journal
King's fourth collection of short stories (following Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, and Nightmares and Dreamscapes) offers readers 14 tales that include the much-touted Internet-download phenomenon, "Riding the Bullet"; "The Little Sisters of Eluria," a Dark Tower prequel; the novella-length title story; and "L.T's Theory of Pets," King's personal favorite within the group, which was previously available only in audio. Not only do the action-based plots and engaging narratives hold up well within the realm of King's work, but tales like the 1996 O. Henry Award-winning Nathaniel Hawthorne homage, "The Man in the Black Suit," show us King at his literary best. An added bonus for fans is King's story-by-story annotation, in which he chronicles the event, thought, or image that served as his creative impetus. This is a milestone in compilations of King's shorter works. Recommended for all popular fiction collections. Nancy McNicol, Whitneyville Branch Lib., Hamden, CT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
These days, grumbles King (Hearts in Atlantis), "When you get done, you get done . . . I don't want to finish up like Harold Robbins." (Robbins wrote into his 80s despite aphasia from a stroke and kept publishing despite being dead.) Here, King gathers previously uncollected tales from sources that show his desire to stay fresh by diving into new waters: three pieces have never seen paper—having been electronic, part of a game, or for audio—and four are more polished pieces that ran first in The New Yorker. The title story is from a game called F13 (don't ask us) and tells of social outcast Dink Earnshaw, who uses symbols and personal words to lead others to suicide. A Mr. Sharpton from Transcorp gets Dink to join his company and write letters that deservedly kill evil people, although Dink must consequently live a constricted life bound by odd rules. (One day, he figures that he's killed over 200 people, and, hey, not all of them evil.) "Riding the Bullet," which made publishing history as an e-book and audio book, tells about Alan Parker hitchhiking from the University of Maine to see his hospitalized mother and getting a ride with George Staub, two years dead, whose grave Alan has seen (facing death—this is a "bullet" we all must ride). In "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away," Alfie Zimmer, a Gourmet Foods salesman, decides against suicide (for now) and thus saves his large collection of graffiti notes gathered while on the road. In the Poe-esque "In the Deathroom," an imprisoned New York Times reporter being tortured in some nameless South American version of hell faces death as certain as that faced under the Inquisitors of Toledo in the "The Pit and the Pendulum." Exceptthat. . . . Less stylish than The Green Mile (or than Poe), though King remains strong in the short form.

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Product Details

Pocket Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 4.24(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened...although he called this man a friend, as a grown man must do when he finds the man who should have been his father relatively late in life. He met this man on the evening he and his wife and his two children moved into the big white frame house in Ludlow. Winston Churchill moved in with them. Church was his daughter Eileen's cat.

The search committee at the university had moved slowly, the hunt for a house within commuting distance of the university had been hair-raising, and by the time they neared the place where he believed the house to be — all the landmarks are right...like the astrological signs the night before Caesar was assassinated, Louis thought morbidly — they were all tired and tense and on edge. Gage was cutting teeth and fussed almost ceaselessly. He would not sleep, no matter how much Rachel sang to him. She offered him the breast even though it was off his schedule. Gage knew his dining schedule as well as she — better, maybe — and he promptly bit her with his new teeth. Rachel, still not entirely sure about this move to Maine from Chicago, where she had lived her whole life, burst into tears. Eileen promptly joined her. In the back of the station wagon, Church continued to pace restlessly as he had done for the last three days it had taken them to drive here from Chicago. His yowling from the cat kennel had been bad, but his restless pacing after they finally gave up and set him free in the car had been almost as unnerving.

Louis himself felt a little like crying. A wild but not unattractive idea suddenly came to him: He would suggest that they go back to Bangor for something to eat while they waited for the moving van, and when his three hostages to fortune got out, he would floor the accelerator and drive away without so much as a look back, foot to the mat, the wagon's huge four-barrel carburetor gobbling expensive gasoline. He would drive south, all the way to Orlando, Florida, where he would get a job at Disney World as a medic, under a new name. But before he hit the turnpike — big old 95 southbound — he would stop by the side of the road and put the fucking cat out too.

Then they rounded a final curve, and there was the house that only he had seen up until now. He had flown out and looked at each of the seven possibles they had picked from photos once the position at the University of Maine was solidly his, and this was the one he had chosen: a big old New England colonial (but newly sided and insulated; the heating costs, while horrible enough, were not out of line in terms of consumption), three big rooms downstairs, four more up, a long shed that might be converted to more rooms later on — all of it surrounded by a luxuriant sprawl of lawn, lushly green even in this August heat.

Beyond the house was a large field for the children to play in, and beyond the field were woods that went on damn near forever. The property abutted state lands, the realtor had explained, and there would be no development in the foreseeable future. The remains of the Micmac Indian tribe had laid claim to nearly eight thousand acres in Ludlow and in the towns east of Ludlow, and the complicated litigation, involving the federal government as well as that of the state, might stretch into the next century.

Rachel stopped crying abruptly. She sat up. "Is that — "

"That's it," Louis said. He felt apprehensive — no, he felt scared. In fact he felt terrified. He had mortgaged twelve years of their lives for this; it wouldn't be paid off until Eileen was seventeen.

He swallowed.

"What do you think?"

"I think it's beautiful," Rachel said, and that was a huge weight off his chest — and off his mind. She wasn't kidding, he saw; it was in the way she was looking at it as they turned in the asphalted driveway that curved around to the shed in back, her eyes sweeping the blank windows, her mind already ticking away at such matters as curtains and oilcloth for the cupboards, and God knew what else.

"Daddy?" Ellie said from the back seat. She had stopped crying as well. Even Gage had stopped fussing. Louis savored the silence.

"What, love?"

Her eyes, brown under the darkish blond hair in the rearview mirror, also surveyed the house, the lawn, the roof of another house off to the left in the distance, and the big field stretching up to the woods.

"Is this home?"

"It's going to be, honey," he said.

"Hooray!" she shouted, almost taking his ear off. And Louis, who could sometimes become very irritated with Ellie, decided he didn't care if he ever clapped an eye on Disney World in Orlando.

He parked in front of the shed and turned off the wagon's motor.

The engine ticked. In the silence, which seemed very big after Chicago and the bustle of State Street and the Loop, a bird sang sweetly in the late afternoon.

"Home," Rachel said softly, still looking at the house.

"Home," Gage said complacently on her lap.

Louis and Rachel stared at each other. In the rearview mirror, Eileen's eyes widened.

"Did you — "

"Did he — "

"Was that — "

They all spoke together, then all laughed together. Gage took no notice; he only continued to suck his thumb. He had been saying "Ma" for almost a month now and had taken a stab or two at something that might have been "Daaa" or only wishful thinking on Louis's part.

But this, either by accident or imitation, had been a real word. Home.

Louis plucked Gage from his wife's lap and hugged him.

That was how they came to Ludlow.

Copyright © 1983 by Stephen King

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Everything's Eventual 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 270 reviews.
SavageBS More than 1 year ago
A great collection of short stories! Unlike alot of reviewers, I haven't read alot of Stephen King, I've never read one of his novels and other then a few of his short stories in magazines over the years, this was my 1st King book. I'm a big fan of the movies, "Stand By Me", "The Shawshank Redemption", "Hearts in Atlantis" and "1408". I figured if King wrote all these great movies as (short stories) first, maybe I should be reading his other work. "Everything's Eventual" has 14 (dark) tales as you can cleary see from the cover of the book. My favorites where: The Man in the Black Suit - a little boy out fishing has a run in with the devil himself In the Deathroom - an American in a foreign country is about to be tortured and killed Everything's Eventual - Dinky Earnshaw has a special power, now he's using it for good, or not? The Road Virus Heads North - a man buys a painting at a garage sale that seems to change everytime he looks at it Riding the Bullet - everyone has to ride the bullet, but its a question of now or later 1408 - not one of my favorites in this book, just really basic when compared to the movie, probably much better if you haven't seen the movie already Before every story in the book Stephen King talks about how he found / came up with the idea for the each one. It's simple, but I reallly enjoyed reading those. Looking forward to reading more of King's short stories~
Surfacer More than 1 year ago
The first short story collection from King in the 21 century is fairly enjoyable, though there are a few duds. Most of the stories here are passable, but only a few are really engaging, like "LUNCH AT THE GOTHAM CAFE", "THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA", "THE MAN IN THE BLACK SUIT". I would not recommend this collection if you've never read King before, try his earlier works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My expectations may have been too high. I was excited when I got this book. When I mentally go through all of Stephen Kings best work, I believe he is truly brilliant. Incredible and moving storytelling, creative ideas, interesting and well fleshed out, dynamic characters. He has a way of getting the reader to connect to even a character like Jack Torrance. But as he has admitted, he has the liberty and may often throw out works that are totally lazy, hurriedly written manuscripts, that are of course bestsellers because of his reputation and devoted fanbase. I truly feel cheated when he does that. I know what he is capable of and I think he willingly puts out material that his heart did not fully go into. I am surprised that the ratings on this collection of stories are so high. My experience was difference. Besides "The Man in the Black Suit", none of the stories or characters stuck with me and after reading each one I felt a sense of disappointment. Honestly, I don't think he can put out anything that is dreck; but I found myself really bored here. I just think he was sleeping on this one. Clearly, your mileage may vary.
JCreekmur More than 1 year ago
I love reading Stephen King's short stories. I loved the forward he put with every story because it made the stories feel more personally written. Some of the stories left me wondering...but others really grabbed my attention and were great! Classic Stephen King.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can barley keep my eyes open. Expected a lot more from King.
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Prepare to stay entertained! Every story is very different than the next and each one immediately pulls you in fom the start!
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Good set of short stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gives me goosebumps but I always come back for more.
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I bought this book on a whim after seeing the movie version of 1408 and recommendation from a friend. Thoroughly enjoyed every story and loved the overall creepiness. Its very subtle and not over the top. Couldn't put it down. If your a King fan, you should pick up this book definitely.
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I do not generally read short stories because i enjoy long reads but each of these was fantastic. It really is a remarkable collection.
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