Pin It
Favorite

Book Review - Everything's Eventual 

by Marty Demarest


We really shouldn't expect surprises from Stephen King. After all, he's the man who's shocked readers with his early works of modern horror, like The Shining and Carrie, and overwhelmed them with more subtle psychological terrors in The Stand and It. However, it's going to catch some people unaware that King -- the seller of countless airplane paperbacks and pop-culture monarch of the macabre -- is a very good writer. More than just effective and well beyond simply entertaining, King's writing has become something crafted, even artistic.


As he mentions in the introduction to this collection of 14 short stories, he's someone who, despite the immense success of his novels, can't help but work regularly on stories. And perhaps it's because the form is short enough to allow for regular experimentation that King has found a style he can be confident with. It's not innovative writing like Donald Barthelme's and David Foster Wallace's, and it lacks the toneful resonance of writers like Alice Munro and David Leavitt. But King certainly has earned a place in their company.


Fortunately for literary snobs, his regular publication in the tony New Yorker, and the bestowal of an O.Henry Award have made it okay to admit that King has talent and to start enjoying his writing. Also to start being scared -- because that's what King does consistently, to us, even when he's aiming for seemingly loftier goals.


Everything's Eventual will please both the die-hard King fans looking for a quick thrill and the crowd of want-to-seem-with-it aesthetes who can no longer ignore him. Even as his characters fragment into madness and drench their worlds in blood, King presents us with a master's control of pace and a virtuoso's agility with characterization. Even when the subjects become more of a game than a natural tale -- such as the story of a man paralyzed and witnessing his own autopsy -- King fascinates us with his storytelling as much the scenario itself.


Of course there are a few misses here -- the comedic tone of "L.T.'s Theory of Pets" never seems to emerge naturally, and a story from his Dark Tower series seems more executed than written. But some of the pieces in Everything's Eventual, like the tainted-innocence tale "The Man in the Black Suit" and the acidic "Lunch at the Gotham Caf & eacute;," can happily take their place next to any author in any section of the bookstore.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Recall and Response
  • Recall and Response

    The attempt to remove Spokane Mayor David Condon from office may be a long shot, but he isn't taking any chances
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Shades of Black Lives
  • Shades of Black Lives

    A Spokane County detective's Facebook post about Black Lives Matter sparks debate among local law enforcement
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Fires Hit Home
  • Fires Hit Home

    Tens of thousands of acres burn around Spokane on Sunday and Monday; plus, DOJ weighs in on concerns over bail system
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion

Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'Unreasonable Threat to Life and Property'

    Spokane's rental housing has problems, but landlord and tenant groups are split on a solution
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • 'End of Story'

    Condon administration aims to close the controversial Frank Straub chapter — but last week's scathing report has irrevocably changed the narrative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


election 2016


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Our Republic
  • Our Republic

    Not just another small town heroin tragedy
    • Jun 23, 2016
  • Buzzkill
  • Buzzkill

    Elected officials in Idaho won't mellow the state's pot laws. Can an initiative change that?
    • Apr 22, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation