Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stephen King - From the Borderlands - Stationary Bike - (2006)


From the Borderlands - Stationary Bike

Stephen King - Everythings Eventual - Lunch At Gotham Cafe - (2002)

In this second story Steven Davis' wife Diane has left him abruptly with no warning and he finds himself in a messy divorce. He discovers how desperately he wants Diane back and then he discovers how much Diane hates his guts. On top of it all he gives up smoking, going cold turkey from between 20 and 40 cigarettes a day to zero, and is suffering from nicotine withdrawal both physically and psychologically, as well as insomnia. He's a complete mess.

A luncheon meeting is suggested by Diane's lawyer, and Steven Davis wants so badly to see Diane again that he goes to the meeting against the advice of his own lawyer. Lunch at the Gotham Café starts off badly with Steven and Diane tearing into each other emotionally. And then things go completely crazy, in a horrible and totally unexpected way.

Again, there is no supernatural involved, just plain old human insanity, including the kinds of insanity commonly known as love and hate. It could happen to you or me.

Both of these stories are very good. They both feature the standard Stephen King ingredients: very believable, fairly ordinary, people, suddenly confronted with a very horrible situation, a situation way beyond the horrors most of us will ever encounter. We empathize with these people and root for them, although we know that they may not survive the horror they've encountered.


Lunch at Gotham Cafe Part 1
Lunch at Gotham Cafe Part 2
Lunch at Gotham Cafe Part 3
Lunch at Gotham Cafe Part 4

Stephen King - Everythings Eventual - In The Deathroom - (2002)

5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King reads Stephen King, and he does a good job, September 9, 2006
By Rennie Petersen (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
Here are two short stories ("In the Deathroom" and "Lunch at the Gotham Café") written and read by Stephen King, and presented on audio CD.

"In the Deathroom"

This story takes place in a Central American dictatorship and pits Fletcher, a New York Times reporter, against the head of the local secret police, who intends to torture and then kill Fletcher. Fletcher's chances of survival are approximately zero, and the major question seems to concern the way in which he will die.

There is nothing supernatural involved in this story. All the horror comes from a man-made situation and features simple human evil. What kind of people can torture human beings and find enjoyment in it?

Incidentally, I'm fairly sure that the background for this story is Stephen King's outrage over the rape and murder of three American nuns in El Salvador in 1980. There is a certain anger in his writing that is understandable when taking that real-life occurrence into account.

In The Deathroom

Stephen King - Everythings Eventual - _Everythings Eventual - (short story) - (2002)

In his introduction to Everything's Eventual, horror author extraordinaire Stephen King describes how he used a deck of playing cards to select the order in which these 14 tales of the macabre would appear. Judging by the impact of these stories, from the first words of the darkly fascinating "Autopsy Room Four" to the haunting final pages of "Luckey Quarter," one can almost believe King truly is guided by forces from beyond.

His first collection of short stories since the release of Nightmares & Dreamscapes in 1993, Everything's Eventual represents King at his most undiluted. The short story format showcases King's ability to spook readers using the most mundane settings (a yard sale) and comfortable memories (a boyhood fishing excursion). The dark tales collected here are some of King's finest, including an O. Henry Prize winner and "Riding the Bullet," published originally as an e-book and at one time expected by some to be the death knell of the physical publishing world. True to form, each of these stories draws the reader into King's slightly off-center world from the first page, developing characters and atmosphere more fully in the span of 50 pages than many authors can in a full novel.

For most rabid King fans, chief among the tales in this volume will be "The Little Sisters of Eluria," a novella that first appeared in the fantasy collection Legends, set in King's ever-expanding Dark Tower universe. In this story, set prior to the first Dark Tower volume, the reader finds Gunslinger Roland of Gilead wounded and under the care of nurses with very dubious intentions. Also included in this collection are "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French," the story of a woman's personal hell; "1408," in which a writer of haunted tour guides finally encounters the real thing; "Everything's Eventual," the title story, about a boy with a dream job that turns out to be more of a nightmare; and "L.T.'s Theory of Pets," a story of divorce with a bloody surprise ending.

King also includes an introductory essay on the lost art of short fiction and brief explanatory notes that give the reader background on his intentions and inspirations for each story. As with any occasion when King directly addresses his dear Constant Readers, his tone is that of a camp counselor who's almost apologetic for the scare his fireside tales are about to throw into his charges, yet unwilling to soften the blow. And any campers gathered around this author's fire would be wise to heed his warnings, for when King goes bump in the night, it's never just a branch on the window. --Benjamin Reese


Everything's Eventual (Short Story)

Stephen King - Everythings Eventual (2002)


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Stephen King - Duma Key - (2008)

Recipient of the Grand Master distinction from the Mystery Writers of America, Stephen King deftly explores the frightening connection between creative and destructive impulses. When self-made millionaire Edgar Freemantle is mangled in an accident, his life falls into disarray. Prone to fits of rage, Edgar moves to Duma Key, a secluded area on the Florida coast where he can paint and that's when his nightmare begins.


Duma Key Part 1
Duma Key Part 2
Duma Key Part 3

Stephen King - Different Seasons - The Shawshank Redemption - (1982)

It will take all of King's monumental byline-insurance to drum up an audience for this bottom-of-the-trunk collection: four overpadded novellas, in non-horror genres - without the gripping situations needed to transcend King's notoriously clumsy writing. Best of the lot is Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption - in which banker Andy Dufresne, in a Maine prison for life for murdering his wife and her lover, plans his escape over a 20-year period, working his way through four feet of concrete to get to the sewer shaft beyond. The climax is feeble (especially after such a long build-up), the redemption theme is murky - but the close observation of prison life offers some engaging details. "Apt Pupil," on the other hand, is crude and utterly unconvincing: Todd, an All-American California boy, discovers that Mr. Denker down the block is really an aged Nazi war criminal - so he extorts long confessions from the old man, relishing all the atrocity details, becoming totally corrupted by the Nazi mystique; at last, however, the old Nazi (who gets his kicks by killing winos) takes revenge on the boy - and their evil symbiosis ends in a muddle of suicide, murder, and madness. The third piece is the most conventional: "The Body," a familiar fall-from-innocence tale about four not-very-bright Maine lads (one of whom, the reminiscing narrator, will become a novelist) who go into the woods to locate the body of a boy thrown from a trestle by a train. And "The Breathing Method" - told, a la Peter Straub's Ghost Story, as a gentleman's club anecdote - is the most explicitly horrific: an unwed mother is decapitated on Christmas Eve but gives birth in falling sleet anyway. . . because of the Lamaze Method. Thin gimmicks, weighed down with King's weak characters and weaker prose (unlike his crisp short stories) - but the fans may come around yet again, despite the clear evidence that King needs the supernatural to distract from his awesome limitations as a mainstream storyteller. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The Shawshank Redemption