My reviewing (and reading) has really taken a nose-dive this year due to work, life, and time management changes. And, with the disruption caused by Hurricane Florence, there’s been a commensurate dip in time spent working on the Cannonball Read database. But – thanks to the indomitable support of MsWas – I’ve been able to make massive strides in this latter project, at least.
So this review is cheating, a bit. All of these stories were in Stephen King’s Everything’s Eventual collection of stories, but I didn’t set out to read the book, itself. I only picked a few stories that appealed to me. Anyway, I hope you’ll forgive my vain effort to hit 52 reviews this year. No, it doesn’t really matter, but it’ll make me feel like I’ve accomplished something.
“Autopsy Room Four” (3 stars)
Howard Cottrell wakes up in an autopsy room, paralyzed, and incapable of making any sound. If that’s not bad enough, he’s about to be operated on.
This is a fresh spin on the ole buried alive horror trope. It’s a pretty good yarn, for what it is, but not much to write home about.
“The Man in the Black Suit” (4 stars)
This is the story that, to this day, has netted Stephen King his most prestigious award: the O. Henry Award. He said in his note attached to the story that this came as a shock to him.
It’s the story of a boy, Gary, who encounters the devil.
I thought it was an excellent story. The characters had that typical Kingian relate-ability, and the devil was delightfully intimidating. The story was short, and parochial. It was a solid offering, and I can see why it won the O. Henry. At the end of day, he deserves to win awards. Why not for this one?
“1408” (4 stars)
I don’t know how I never read this. I saw the movie.
Mike Enslin writes books about haunted rooms. Room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel in New York City is his latest subject. When he arrives at the Dolphin, the hotel manager tries to talk him out of staying in the room, but Mike is having none of it.
The manager should’ve told him this is a Stephen King story. So things aren’t going to end well for our boy Mike.
It was a good story. I don’t much remember the movie – but I think it stayed pretty true to the story. They kept the Hawaiian shirt, for whatever that’s worth.
And….ummmm….I’m really struggling to reach the 500 word minimum. So, bonus short story!
“We Three” by Dean Koontz (1 star)
What utter shit.
So, I really liked Dean Koontz when I was a teenager. He was one of the first authors I got into. In the seventh grade, I probably read 30 of his books. I also haven’t read him in, probably, 15 years. So it was with great eagerness that I picked up his Strange Highways short story collection last night and opened to a random story. “We Three“? Sure, I’ll read that.
I’m going to go ahead and spoil the whole pointless story.
So there are three kids; triplets. They kill their parents. And then they kill everyone else on earth. Because they have superpowers, and are the first members of a new human species. Woot. Oh, and these siblings (two boys, one girl) have sex with each other. The girl is insatiable. And she gets pregnant. Yay!
Did I mention they’re like, twelves years old? Oh, I didn’t?
Yeah, these twelve year old siblings kill their parents and then engage in group sex for months on end. Continuously? Who gives a shit, why am I still reading this?
The girl gets pregnant. Turns out the triplets aren’t a new species of human, they’re the intermediary stage between the extinct species and the new one, represented by their unborn child who is more powerful than they are.
Fuck this stupid story. The end.