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DESCRIPTION
Blood and Smoke
is an audio book where Stephen King reads three of his own short stories. At the time, he said that the two short stories which hadn't been published wouldn't be - however, all three were published in the Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales collection.

All the three stories in Blood and Smoke are about smoking in one way of the other. The tape or the CD come in a box that is designed to look like a cigarette box, including the flip top.
  • Lunch At The Gotham Cafe:
    An unusual tale of a man who's wife leaves him. He is contacted by her therapist and they agree to meet for lunch at the Gotham Cafe. During the lunch, they find, rather gruesomely, that the head waiter needs a therapist a lot more than anyone else in the room!
  • 1408:
    Mike Enslin, a writer who once studied with James Smiley, dreamed of being a Yale Younger Poet, and "starved on the payroll of The Village Voice," is reduced to hacking out stuff like "10 Nights in 10 Haunted Houses." For a follow-up, he visits room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel in the hope of gaining more information for his new book - 10 Nights in 10 haunted Hotel rooms"..

    Five women and one man have jumped from that room's window onto 61st street below, one hung himself, another slit his wrists, and 4 overdosed with pills. A total of twelve suicides in 68 years, along with at least 30 "Natural" deaths holds this apart from any ordinary hotel room. The last time it was occupied was in 1978, and since then it has been the motel's only unoccupied and un-upgraded room.

    There is a presence in there, not exactly a ghost, but a strangeness. Even digital watches, mobile phones and pagers dont work properly. Even the human mind does not work properly in Room 1408.

    Lucky for Mike, he has remembered his lucky Hawaiian shirt - it's the one with the ghost repellent, and an unlit cigarette is tucked behind his ear.
  • In the Deathroom:
    In a bloodstained basement of the Ministry of Information Fletcher, a reporter with the New York Times is questioned by Escobar and his assistants - Ramon and the Bride of Frankenstein. He asks them for a last cigarette and understands that he might be dead before it burned down to the filter.

    There is a chance that he could get out of this nasty mess, but the guard behind him, with a loaded gun, makes it difficult, especially without a weapon. But he DOES have a weapon, a cigarette... A Cigarette with a hot tip, and an inviting eye close enough to reach.

    Fletcher manages to shot all of his captors except Heinz. Heinz gets connected to the electric shock machine used in his torture. Fletcher escapes and returns to New York.


REVIEW
Stephen King had such fun recording the epic, unabridged audio version of his haunting novel Bag of Bones, he decided to publish the three-story collection Blood and Smoke exclusively on audio. They're horror stories, good and dark, loosely linked by the theme of cigarettes and a macabre humor. The flip-top cigarette-box package is amusingly cool, too.

In the first tale, "Lunch at the Gotham Café," Steve Davis quits smoking two days after his wife dumps him. King cleverly compares the two kinds of withdrawal: obsession blends with emotional flatness, and you're left "with a feeling the world has taken on a decidedly dreamy cast." Driven, Steve meets with his wife and her lawyer at a midtown Manhattan restaurant, where the nightmare begins. "I was pretty sure something was wrong with the maitre d' almost as soon as I saw him," says Steve, and gothic café events soon prove him right.

But the gory denouement actually worked better on the page, in the 1995 book Dark Love. King's two new stories, written directly for audio, outdo the first. In "1408," Mike Enslin, a writer who once studied with Jane Smiley, dreamed of being a Yale Younger Poet, and "starved on the payroll of The Village Voice," is reduced to hacking out stuff like "10 Nights in 10 Haunted Houses." For a follow-up, he visits room 1408 of the film noir-ish Dolphin Hotel. "Five women and one man have jumped from that room's single window, Mr. Enslin," notes the proprietor. "Twelve suicides in 68 years." Ah, but Mike is wearing his "lucky Hawaiian shirt--it's the one with the ghost repellent," and an unlit cigarette is tucked behind his ear.

"In the Deathroom" evokes another scary small space: a bloodstained basement Ministry of Information in which Fletcher, a reporter who quit smoking long ago, asks Escobar and his torturer's assistants--Ramon and a woman who reminds Fletcher of the Bride of Frankenstein--for a last cigarette. Fletcher recognizes the "we don't need no steenkeeng badges" cliché he's trapped in, and is "amazed to discover that one's sense of humor ... could function this far into a state of terror." But when Fletcher takes a drag, "knowing he might be dead before it burned down to the filter," you'll be tense. King's nasal, sarcastic delivery puts you right in there with his horrified protagonists. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.


EDITIONS
FIRST EDITION

Simon & Schuster Audioworks 1999.

Audio book read by Stephen King.

MY EDITION

Simon & Schuster Audioworks 1999.

Audio book read by Stephen King.
Running time: approx. 3.5 hours on 4 CDs.

ISBN 0 671 04617 9.
Price: $27.50

Copyright © Stephen King, 2000.


AUDIO BOOK BREAKDOWN


Lunch At The Gotham Cafe
[CD 1]

1408
[CD 2+3]

In the Deathroom
[CD 4]

BACKCOVER

Stephen King has forced us to confront our greatest fears. He has guided us through the depths of our imigination to places we never would have ventured alone. Now, in BLOOD AND SMOKE, he takes us inside a world of yearning and paranoia, isolation and addiction. It is the world of the smoker.

In this audio-only collection, the now politically incorrect habit plays a key role in the fates of three different men in three unabridged stories of unfiltered suspense.

In Lunch at the Gotham Cafe, Steve Davis is suffering through intense withdrawal - from both nicotine and his wife. His desperation for a cigarette and for his ex are almost too much to bear, but that's nothing compared to the horrors that await him at a trendy Manhattan restaurant.

In 1408, Mike Enslin, bestselling author of "true" ghost stories, decides to spend the night in New York City's most haunted hotel room. But he must live to write about it without the help of his ex best-friends, his trusty smokes.

And in In the Deathroom, a man named Fletcher is held captive in a South American stronghold. His captors will use any tortuous means necessary to extract the information they want from him. His only hope lies with his last request - one last cigarette, please.

A cartonfull of chills and thrills, BLOOD AND SMOKE is classic Stephen King. The most mesmerizing storyteller of our time is at his inventive and compelling best.

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