Blood and Smoke by Stephen King is a collection of three short stories; Lunch at the Gotham Cafe, 1408, and In the Death Room. This was a wild ride because, with each of the stories, I wasn’t totally sure I had a solid idea of what was actually going on.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Blood and Smoke by Stephen King
While staying in the Omni Parker House for a work trip, I learned that my coworkers weren’t just pulling my leg about one of the rooms being the inspiration for a Stephen King short story. Whether it was about to be a brilliant idea, or a really, really terrible one, I immediately bought this audiobook so I could jump right to 1408.
Here are my thoughts on each story.
Lunch at the Gotham Cafe –
Finding a note from his wife announcing she is leaving, this man goes into a spiral. With plans to meet with her and her lawyer for lunch one day, the man’s lawyer was also supposed to be there, but had a family emergency. His lawyer did as much as he could to prepare this man to stay calm and handle the situation well… of course, he did not handle it well.
Being inside this man’s head and seeing everything play out was so eerie. This was also a wild ride! At times I wasn’t sure what was happening.
Determine to stay in a very specific room while at a hotel, this writer has a bit of difficulty getting the staff to agree. Then he takes his time at the bar before entering the room. Immediately after entering, he begins to see things…
I read this one back in 2017 in the Everything’s Eventual collection, but I couldn’t remember much. The cigarette behind the ear sparked a memory, but the rest felt new!
In the Death Room –
What a violent and wild tale! I’m unfortunately not so sure I had a good grasp on what was going on in this one. I couldn’t even try to summarize.
My Favorite Passage from Blood and Smoke
I don’t know why someone laughing out of control should be more frightening than someone sobbing, but it is.
My Final Thoughts on Blood and Smoke
Overall this was a fun listen. I loved that the author himself was the narrator!
Unfortunately, I had a really hard time listening as the other audio that was layered in was way too loud for me. The saxophone specifically had me fast-forwarding. I would be interested in giving this one another go with the physical text, but unfortunately, it’s audio-only.
Devin Andres says
I’m loving it so far, but that’s what I expect from any Stephen King novel!!
Mark W Atkinson says
You can find those three short stories in Stephen King’s book “Everything’s Eventual”, if you want to peruse text-only.
Easily one of his best short story collections.
Erica Robyn says
Oh dang! I didn’t know all three were in there. I definitely need to re-read it! I read that ages ago, but clearly can’t remember much! Thank you 🙂