Columns > Published on April 10th, 2017

Every Stephen King Short Story Summarized in 140 Characters or Less (Part 2)

Last month I tackled every King story published in a 20th century collection. This month, we’re moving on to the 21st century collections. These articles are inspired from reading every Stephen King story in one month, which I discussed in this article. I already summarized his novels in this inexplicably popular article. I also started hosting a Stephen King podcast with Lori Michelle called Castle Rock Radio, which you can listen to here.

And now, the conclusion to my summaries of every Stephen King short story published in one of his collections.


“Autopsy Room Four”
Once again, boners save the day.

“The Man in the Black Suit”
If you go fishing, you will meet the devil.

“All That You Love Will Be Carried Away”
The only reasonable thing to do in a Motel 6 is commit suicide.

“The Death of Jack Hamilton”
Surprisingly, getting shot kinda sucks.

“In the Deathroom”
Snitches get stitches, unless the snitch fakes a seizure.

“The Little Sisters of Eluria”
Never trust a nun.

“Everything’s Eventual”
Emails! How do they work?

“L.T.’s Theory of Pets”
If you give somebody a pet as a present, you’re probably an asshole and deserve to get axed to death.

“The Road Virus Heads North”
All paintings found at yard sales are haunted and will kill you.

“Lunch at the Gotham Cafe”
If a maniac tries to murder your wife, you should probably just let him do it.

“That Feeling, You Can Only Say What it is in French”
I feel like I’ve read this story before.

A hotel night auditor tries to kill one of his guests with ghost assassins.

“Riding the Bullet”
Hitchhiking is fun and cool.

“Luckey Quarter”
Convince your children to become gambling addicts while they’re still young.

[amazon 978-0743457354 inline]


It’s very difficult to convince large groups of people they’re dead. You should give it a shot and see what happens.

“The Gingerbread Girl”
You are least likely to die if you stay at home on the couch instead of exercising outside.

“Harvey’s Dream”
Old people are magical.

“Rest Stop”
If you have to pee, hold it in.

“Stationary Bike”
Fat people will save the world.

“The Things They Left Behind”
Make sure nobody will be home before jerking off into your sister’s panties, you perv.

“Graduation Afternoon”
Even rich people can die. Weird!

OCD OCD OCD is is is a a a real real real pain pain pain in in in the the the ass ass ass.

“The Cat from Hell”
Yo, a man swallows a fucking cat in this story.

“The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates”
When you die, it’s in your rights to make one phone call.

All deaf people are phonies.

If you kiss a blind kid, you might cure cancer.

“A Very Tight Place”
Nothing good has ever happened inside of a portable toilet.

[amazon 978-1416586654 inline]


Don’t plan on killing your wife unless you first stock up on rat traps.

“Big Driver”
Librarians give terrible directions.

“Fair Extension”
Hate always comes in handy.

“A Good Marriage”

[amazon 978-1439192603 inline]


“Mile 81”
In a shocking turn of events, Stephen King writes about an evil car.

“Premium Harmony”
Sometimes, everything works out for the best.

“Batman and Robin Have an Altercation”
THIS IS A VERY MISLEADING TITLE. And also, old people are adorable psychopaths, I guess?

“The Dune”
It’s not wise to procrastinate writing your will.

“Bad Little Kid”
Children are assholes.

“A Death”
Keep track of your goddamn hat or else you’re likely to get yourself executed.

Is it immoral to punch a small child in the face as hard as you can? Well, that depends on how much you’re getting paid.

An afterlife you can only describe in French.


“Herman Wouk Is Still Alive”
Even old people can write poetry.

“Under the Weather”
This story gets super gross once you start wondering when this married couple last had sex.

“Blockade Billy”
If Stephen King just straight-up murdered an umpire one day, would we be okay with that? I think we would. I think we'd be just fine.

“Mister Yummy”
A dying gay man is stalked by a boogeyman creature named...MISTER YUMMY.

“The Little Green God of Agony”
Maybe euthanasia isn’t such a bad thing after all.

“That Bus is Another World”
No throat is safe on a bus.

“Obits” is short for “obituaries,” which you would know if you were in the biz. “Biz” is short for “business.”

“Drunken Fireworks”
Spoiler alert: fireworks do not drink alcohol in this story.

“Summer Thunder”
The apocalypse is kind of a bummer.

[amazon 978-1501127878 inline]

And that’s it! Of course, there are several stories King’s never reprinted in a collection that I did not cover here. Maybe I’ll discuss them in a future article, but probably not! Feel free to tell me how you feel about this in the comments.

See you in another hundred years.

About the author

Max Booth III is the CEO of Ghoulish Books, the host of the GHOULISH and Dog Ears podcasts, the co-founder of the Ghoulish Book Festival, and the author of several spooky books, including Abnormal Statistics, Maggots Screaming!, Touch the Night, and others. He wrote both the novella and film versions of We Need to Do Something, which was released by IFC Midnight in 2021 and can currently be streamed on Hulu. He was raised in Northwest Indiana and now lives in San Antonio.

Similar Columns

Explore other columns from across the blog.

Book Brawl: Geek Love vs. Water for Elephants

In Book Brawl, two books that are somehow related will get in the ring and fight it out for the coveted honor of being declared literary champion. Two books enter. One book leaves. This month,...

The 10 Best Sci-Fi Books That Should Be Box Office Blockbusters

It seems as if Hollywood is entirely bereft of fresh material. Next year, three different live-action Snow White films will be released in the States. Disney is still terrorizing audiences with t...

Books Without Borders: Life after Liquidation

Though many true book enthusiasts, particularly in the Northwest where locally owned retailers are more common than paperback novels with Fabio on the cover, would never have set foot in a mega-c...

From Silk Purses to Sows’ Ears

Photo via Moviegoers whose taste in cinema consists entirely of keeping up with the Joneses, or if they’re confident in their ignorance, being the Joneses - the middlebrow, the ...

Cliche, the Literary Default

Original Photo by Gerhard Lipold As writers, we’re constantly told to avoid the cliché. MFA programs in particular indoctrinate an almost Pavlovian shock response against it; workshops in...

A Recap Of... The Wicked Universe

Out of Oz marks Gregory Maguire’s fourth and final book in the series beginning with his brilliant, beloved Wicked. Maguire’s Wicked universe is richly complex, politically contentious, and fille...

Learning | Free Lesson — LitReactor | 2024-05

Try Reedsy's novel writing masterclass — 100% free

Sign up for a free video lesson and learn how to make readers care about your main character.

Reedsy Marketplace UI

1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy. Come meet them.

Enter your email or get started with a social account: