Friday, June 25, 2010

Mr. Maybe They Will vs. Mr. Even If I Do

I'm slowly making my way through Everything's Eventual.  I've been traveling for work so my normal reading schedule has been thrown, but I'm back now so hopefully things will move a bit quicker.  I also think the fact that this is a book of short stories makes the process longer.  I feel like I can't jump right from one story into the next; I need some time to take in what I just read, some time to reflect.  Especially with a story I liked.  If a story really draws you in you become invested in the characters.  It's hard to finish reading their journey and then just move right into a whole new world.  Do you find yourself needing some reflection time after finishing a story, be it a short story or a grand epic?

So far I've read through the stories "Autopsy Room Four", "The Man in the Black Suit", "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away", "The Death of Jack Hamilton", "In the Deathroom" and "The Little Sisters of Eluria".  My favorite story is near the end of the book, but right now I'll focus on the story "In the Deathroom".

I wouldn't say this is one of my favorites of the book, but other than the one I've already written about it's the one I like the best out of the one's I listed above.  Especially as I just finished "The Little Sisters of Eluria" this afternoon, "the Deathroom" is a realistic horror tale.  At least as real as my extremely skewed-by-pop-culture view of South American dictatorship allows.  Maybe because I've heard/read/watched awful stories about unspeakable crimes happening in dictatorships all over that just the general premise of the story scares me.  Even the more ridiculous parts get this extra oomph of realism, simply because in my mind I could imagine this actually happening.  I even found myself playing along with the main character Fletcher as he considered his options Maybe They Will, such as "maybe they really will let [him] go" (144) and Even If I Do, such as even if he gets away where will he go.  During the "conversation" as Escobar puts it, I found myself thinking what would I do?  Would I lie?  Play dumb?  Try to play it strong?  Break down and tell everything I knew?  I mean, realistically I know what I would do.  I'd get killed.  It's pretty much that simple.  I found myself going the play dumb route and then getting myself killed.  It would be an even shorter story if I was the main character is the bottom line.  The game is certainly difficult to play after I already knew the outcome of the story, but I know the first time I was reading it I disagreed with everything he did but then realized he was right, or at least mostly right, and I was wrong.

King, Stephen.  “In the Deathroom”.  Everything’s Eventual: 14 Dark Tales.  Pocket Books: New York, 2002.


  1. Yes it is difficult to finish short stories. 'The overcoat' is my favorite S.S. Read it when you are free

  2. I haven't heard of "The Overcoat" before. What's it about?


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