I’ve finished 1408, it was both written and narrated by Stephen King. It’s one of his short stories and I came away from it quite confused. However to preface: my sister and I watched this movie years back so I thought I might have some vague sense of what would happen. I wont lie, I don’t remember the movie but what I do remember doesn’t quite jive with what I listened to. There is breaking news for you, a movie not precisely following the source material.
I started listening to this book (one that I knew would be suspenseful in the least if not flat out scary) on a night I was walking to a campfire. It was part of a local festival to have a campfire (the Storytelling festival talked about in the Once Upon a Time…. post) and it didn’t start until 9 or so. As a result it was fully night and I was walking alone to the park listening to this story. Going to the campfire wasn’t so bad. Coming back it was worse. It was even later, the story was more developed and I have an over active imagination. A great combination for a restful slumber.
Anyway, my poor life choices aside, I enjoyed the story. Like I said it wasn’t how I remembered. The first 40-ish percent of the book was between the main character, Mike Enslin, and the Hotel Dolphin’s manager, Mr. Olin. The manager was trying to convince Enslin, a writer whose specialty is to write nonfiction stories about his experiences in ‘haunted’ location, not to stay in the room. Well not so much convince, he’d given up that hope. No, he was just pressing on the writer the facts associated with the room (12 suicides and 18 natural deaths). He also made it clear that since the writer didn’t believe in anything (no angles or god, spirits or demons) he was at a higher risk to the room.
Olin successfully freaked out Enslin before then he made his way up to the room. So much so that Enslin almost turns back, but then the elevator door closes and he’s back on track to enter the room. While in the room he starts to lose it and I start to become unable to follow the story completely. Mainly because there would be random sentences thrown in as reflection. By that I mean there was a line about how ‘Mike put the recorder down for a moment. Everything from that moment on would be indistinguishable when he re-listened to the tape.’ So for moments they would jump ahead to when Enslin was out of the room and thinking back on his time in the room.
I’m still not clear on what was wrong with the room. I think that’s rather the point and on par for Stephen King. To be fair though, I haven’t read him before, just things I’ve heard along the way. With such a build up of the creepiness surrounding the room the rest of the story was rather tame. If you can call self-immolation tame. However after reading this book, and the unsettled-ness it left me with I would like to read more Stephen King. That is in conjunction of my love for the show Haven, which was based off of a short story, The Colorado Kid. Also a fun fact, the show incorporates lots of Stephen King references from his other books too. So once reading him more I might get the extra joke, fun times. In the Colorado Kid too, you never really find out what happened and are left wondering always. Just like in 1408.