Fatality: forget Google, DuckDuckGo and others

Fatality: forget Google, DuckDuckGo and others

When we read the preface to “Everything is fatal”, we understand that Stephen King wrote this collection, first and foremost to please himself, to reconnect with a genre that had fallen into disuse, according to him, and to give the opportunity to his fans to cogitate.


I shamelessly admit that I skipped the short stories that are part of the Dark Tower saga. I don’t stick with the story, which is rare with King. As for the other short stories, they all seem to have one thing in common: they don’t really have an end. It feels like King wanted to inspire his fans to write their own endings to each novella, to imagine what may happen next.

This is not the first time that King has seemed to leave the field open to his readers. Several other works end almost too abruptly. We don’t follow the characters after the events, we don’t know what becomes of them. Except when King decides to do a sequel like with Doctor Sleep.

Perhaps it is due to the writing, to the form, but it is not a collection which will please everyone. You have to love King, his darkness, his vision of the world, his nostalgia for a certain era to appreciate this rather special book. But, if you’ve read most of his books, don’t hesitate to give Tout est fatal a chance.

A click

Precisely, let’s concentrate on the short story which gives its title to the collection: “Everything is fatal”. We follow the daily life of a loser. He lives off odd jobs, with his mother, and doesn’t have great prospects. Until the day when a gentleman, “very proper”, contacts him and offers him a life he cannot refuse.

There is a counterpart, because our hero is not exactly like everyone else. In fact, if you have read the Institute, you will immediately understand what it is about. To do what is expected of him, he can use a computer, which seems to be connected to its own network and its own databases. Forget Google, DuckDuckGo and others: the “firm” is more advanced and allows you to target people.

With a few clicks, our hero can simply delete people, like we erase lines on our word processor. Does he know them? Does he know why he has to delete them? Does he even care? This is the whole point of this short story which speaks of choice and arbitrariness. Insidiously, we ask the question of what we are individually ready to accept for a little more comfort and tranquility.

Damn hotels

King had already shared his passion for hotels with The Shining, but in the short story that inspired the film “Room 1408”, we return to a haunted hotel. More specifically, in a haunted room. Mike is a writer who debunks ghost and supernatural stories. For him, it is about beliefs and superstitions, which do not exist elsewhere than in folklore.

It is therefore quite natural that he goes to the Dolphin to stay in room 1408, reputed to be highly haunted. The hotel manager tries to dissuade him from spending the night in this room. Nothing helps: Mike is convinced that this is nonsense. He will only stay in this room for about an hour.

If you’ve seen the film, know that the writers took liberties with the original story, it’s up to you to find out which ones. And if you’re not fed up with hotels, you always have the news “everything you love will be taken away”.


For some bizarre reason, the news about the Dolphin is reminiscent of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles. A haunted place, both by the living and by more disturbing or deranged spirits. It is true that this establishment has entered into Internet legend and populates American urban myths. It is almost natural to make the connection with this place of misfortune.

As always with King, we start his books telling ourselves that we won’t be afraid and we end up waking up from a nightmare that seems far too real. Each of the stories appeals to what is most buried in us, to our own terrors. Some are due to fantastic monsters, but others are much more real and have a particular echo when we are going through a period of crisis.

But, above all, when you close a King, you can’t wait to discover another one and continue to plunge into horror and terror. “Everything is fatal” is available in print and digital.

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