Everything's Eventual is a collection of Stephen King stories that seems very likely to be his last. It collects stories from various places that seemed as though they would be only available there and makes them available to us, his Constant Readers. The stories available within the book are as follows:
Autopsy Room Four
Autopsy Room Four is a somewhat "terror" story that seems to be slightly common. It is the story about a man who is trapped "alive" within a body which for all intents and purposes seems quite dead. The man slowly regains his senses and awareness to find that he is thought to be a dead man on the morgue table. He believes he's still alive and even manages to make a sound although the morticians have decided at that point to turn on some music. The only thing that ends up saving him is the female mortician finding a mark and exploring it more closely just before they cut open his chest. The scar happens to be right around his genitals and when she grabs them to reposition, she ends up getting quite the response from this "dead stiff guy" that she shouldn't have gotten. This story was a very good execution of the horrors of being "buried alive" or cut open alive, with vivid images of the feelings one is likely to have when all senses are go but they're in a comatose or practically dead state.
The Man in the Black Suit
The Man in the Black Suit is about an old man, nearing the end of his life remembering a time long ago when he was a child still when he was chased by a man in a black suit. The old man describes how even as he loses details about the rest of his life to old age, this one full-day memory slowly grows stronger. He remembers going out fishing sometime after his brother has been killed by a bee sting and falling asleep on the side of a stream. He awakens to find himself in the company of this man that turns out to be none-other than the devil. The devil frightens the young boy with visions of his mother's death and then starts to go after the boy to eat him. The boy runs away and runs into his father on the way home. After explaining his fears about the mother being dead, they return home to find her quite well, and boy and father return to the location of the boy's fishing gear. The surroundings are enough to convince the father that the boy is quite right to be scared and they make their retreat together. This story was an entertaining read about both, how one's memory gets more selective about specific events in one's past as they get older as well as the scary chase.
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away is an interesting story about a traveling salesman who has become fixated on small sayings that are litered throughout the restrooms of America. Alfie has been writing them down and is quite an expert on them, having noticed similarities throughout the midwest area stops that he frequents. One of his most recent submissions is the title of the story and it seems quite fitting, as Alfie is planning to off himself in the motel while the blizzard outside buries his car. I think that this story is a fun read, picking up on variations of the restroom sayings that I've seen myself in the Kansas area. It's also interesting to see how this little notebook of odd sayings affects Alfie's mind as he's preparing to kill himself and doesn't quite seem to be able to convince himself to go ahead and pull the trigger.
The Death of Jack Hamilton
This story is a story about three gangsters in the depression era. Jack Hamilton was a part of the Dillinger gang, and this story is a "myth" about how he ends up dying in the presense of John Dillinger and Homer Van Meter. It follows them from a getaway chase to Chicago, then Aurora while Jack is slowly dying. Jack doesn't give up very easily so it is quite a length of story, but fairly interesting all the same -- told from the viewpoint of Homer.
In the Deathroom
In the Deathroom is best described as a torturee's escape from a very nasty situation. I think King describes it best himself, as "want[ing] to write one [interrogate story] with a happier ending, however unreal that might be." The story was alright, though, to be honest in most interrogation scenes that the general public is familiar with it seems that it's the "good guys" in a movie being interrogated and that they escape anyways. So, I write this one down as quite predictable.
The Little Sisters of Eluria
The Little Sisters of Eluria is a small novel that was first published as part of a Small Novel collection titled Legends edited by Robert Silverberg. It's also a short bit of Roland of Gilead's story along his quest for the Dark Tower. It is a tale that takes place as Roland is chasing after Walter and really doesn't require knowledge of the Dark Tower series (as King himself says). The sisters are a group of vampires who help to heal wounded people that they run across and then feed on before moving along to a new area. By a struck of luck, Roland found himself in the possession of a "God" amulet and is saved from being ate by them right away. This story is quite good and gives an introduction to the sisters, who also make an appearance in "The Black House" although it is not nearly as crucial to that story.
Everything's Eventual is about a young man who has a special power. He can make people or animals do things by drawing special signs and symbols. A corporation finds him and others like him and set him up as an assassin for some unknown power. This is a repeat story for me. It's also a part of the F-13 Stephen King CD program along with some screen savers and other random "creepy-crawly" programs. It's a decent story though and worth the read if you haven't read it before. I'm trying to figure out if King is going to somehow wrap this corporation in with the Crimson King in the Dark Tower series and with what the Breakers do.
L.T.'s Theory of Pets
L.T.'s Theory of Pets is about a couple who exchange pets on successive anniversaries and how their marriage goes after the exchange. Essentially, it's a story about L.T., the husband, telling a story to co-workers and friends about how the exchange of pets between his wife and himself led to their separation. This story is very entertaining although, I prefered listening to Stephen King read it in an audio book version. I could actually hear him reading it aloud while I read the book for myself. This story (obviously) is also available as an audio book.
The Road Virus Heads North
The Road Virus Heads North is a story about a horror writer who picks up a painting that was created by a troubled young man who killed himself. The picture shows another young man driving in a T-Top Grand Am along the same highways that the writer is traveling along. The interesting thing about the picture is that it changes with time, giving the writer a good scare and finally giving the writer a chance to meet the driver face to face. This story was interesting, though it's got a bit of a hanging ending -- you don't really know what ends up happening to the writer in the end.
Lunch at the Gotham Cafe
Lunch at the Gotham Cafe is a short story about a couple that is starting their divorce procedure. They are to meet again for the first time since the wife left the apartment to start working out some financial details for their period while the divorce is occurring. They are not the only crazy people in the Cafe though, as they find out when the maitre d' starts coming after the husband after having killed the wife's lawyer. This story was pretty interesting and it is actually the story that is depicted in the cover of the book, with the drop of blood oozing down into the glass of water.
That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French
That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French is an interesting story about deja vu from the point of view of the wife of a couple that's been married for 25 years as they're going on a second honeymoon. The story is interesting in that it sort of repeats itself twice to the growing panic of the narrator. Finally things click together such that we know exactly what has happened. Stephen King's notes afterwards describe what he believes hell to be and I tend to agree with his conclusion.
1408 is a story about a writer who visits places that are believed to be haunted and writes collection books about these experiences. In 1408 he has persuaded a Hotel Manager to allow him to stay in room 1408 overnight. The Hotel Manager tries to really talk the writer out of the stay, insisting that the room isn't a normal haunting -- as it's not really human ghosts that control the room, but the writer will have none of it. Then the story turns into how the man's sanity slips as he stays in the room for a bit and how he barely escapes with his life. This story is alright, although the fact that it's another story about a writer being scared by coming face to face with true horror where they had believed there was none is kind of old.
Riding the Bullet
Riding the Bullet is about a young man that's attending college that gets a phone call that we all dread -- that his mother has had a stroke and is in the hospital. She's requested that he stay at school and come home over the weekend because "it's not too bad", but of course he does go back to be by his mother's side (his father died when he was very young -- so they've been on their own). To make matters more difficult, his car is dead with a bad transmission, so he ends up hitchhiking his way back home to the hospital that she's in. Along the way he runs into a couple of characters that give him a lift part way -- although one of these characters is not what he seems. To make a long story short, one of the characters gives him a choice -- one that he makes and regrets for the rest of his life. The story was an interesting tale with an odd twist -- it definitely doesn't go the way the story teller thought it would.
Luckey Quarter is about a chambermaid that works in a Casino Hotel that is raising 2 kids on her own. In one room, she got a tip of a simple quarter, and a dream or premonition of winnings to come if she were to use the quarter wisely. This has to be every gambler's dream come true story -- a story of starting with the minimum bet and coming away with thousands of dollars.