Monday, January 21, 2013

1408, by Stephen King

I wasn't sure I was going to write about 1408 for this week's Short Story Monday.  I planned on writing about it when I wrote about the collection it is in, Everything's Eventual. (I'm almost done, just a couple more days.)  But then I thought, what if 1408 was published online somewhere? (I like my Short Story Monday posts to be available online so anyone interested can read them.  It isn't a necessity, just a preference.)  After all, I wrote about Herman Wouk Is Still Alive and it was published in The Atlantic.  Since 1408 is a popular story and was made into a movie, it seemed possible.  I came across this site which has the full text of 1408.  However, this is not a literary publication, as far as I can tell.  I also can't seem to access the main site, so it definitely seems questionable.  But I'm going to write about 1408 anyway (because it was awesome).

1408 is a fantastic story.  It is frightening and tense.  The imagery sticks inside your head. 1408 is yet another of King's stories that has been turned into a movie and I can see why.  I haven't seen the movie yet, but now I can't wait.  The fluidity of what is happening in that hotel room is appealingly scary.  Mike Enslin is so determined.  For what he writes about, he mind is closed when entering room 1408.  The time he spends in that room radically changes his mind.  Olin is a fantastic creepy innkeeper, though, he's really not creepy.  He seems genuinely concerned for Enslin.  Though I do question Olin's motives and past behaviour.  He sends maids into that room to give it a "light turn", even though he knows the dangers.  I understand in the beginning maybe doing that, but after seeing the repercussions, why would he continue to send people into that room?  Why not do the cleaning himself?  Why does he seem not to have any health issues?  I didn't really think about Olin in this light until much after I finished the story.

I'm considering re-reading 1408 around Halloween. I should have, perhaps, read this entire collection at Halloween.  It's a fantastic group of work and I will have more to say on that soon.

Short Story Monday is hosted by John at The Book Mine Set.


  1. I'm so glad you liked this story because I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I didn't think about Olin sending people into the room to give it a light-turn instead of doing it himself. I mean, I guess he figures it has to be done and the idea that someone other than a maid would do it never crossed my mind. Probably because he seems to do what he can to make sure that precautions are taken. Now I'm going to need to read this again with Olin's motives in mind...

    1. I had the same initial reaction to Olin - he's good because he's trying to stop people from staying in that room. I was thinking about Mike's later issues, then about other people's health issues (the ones that didn't die) including the maids. I wondered after the sisters retired, why he didn't handle that room himself? Was he just too scared?

      Also, I plan on watching the movie asap.