The End of the Whole Mess is a first-person tale (I guess you could call it dystopian sci-fi) in which Harold is the only character the reader sees, although most of the story is dedicated to him talking about his brother Bobby, and what he did to bring about the end of the world.
If you enjoy listening to King ramble on in great detail and at great length (and I usually do) then you’ll get something out of this story, but most other people need not apply.
The End of the Whole Mess is far from the best short story King has penned, but it’s a worthwhile (albeit self-indulgent) read, if only to get to the final couple of pages which sees Harold ranting incoherent gibberish as he falls further towards his inevitable demise.
Dolan’s Cadillac is a simple story of revenge, but while the motivation of the protagonist is easy to understand – and is explained in the opening couple of pages – the execution of his plan to accomplish this is complex and detailed.
The beauty of the story is in the meticulous planning of the revenge plot, so much so that it almost feels unnecessary to find out if he is even successful… but we do eventually get to see how that plays out too. In less capable hands this story could have been a chore, but King does here what he does best, and this opening salvo is fun all the way through.
Dolan’s Cadillac is a lengthy but very good start to King’s third collection of short stories, and a high mark for the others to reach.
In an effort to write good short stories I’m going to look towards one of the masters, Stephen King – a guy who has written a fair number of them.
Over the coming months I will be reading and offering my opinion about every short story King has had published in the six collections that are out there: Night Shift (1978), Skeleton Crew (1985), Nightmares & Dreamscapes (1993), Everything’s Eventual (2002), Just After Sunset (2008), and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (2015).
That’s over 100 stories – some of which I have either forgotten since I came across them many years ago, or not read in the first place. I know not all of them will be good, but I’m sure every one will give me something to say.
… and hopefully I can get it done before he comes out with another anthology.