Friday, October 28, 2011

Mile 81

By Stephen King

Available at Amazon and Barnes and Nobles (e-book only I'm afraid)

With the heart of Stand By Me and the genius horror of Christine, Mile 81 is Stephen King unleashing his imagination as he drives past one of those road signs...

At Mile 81 on the Maine Turnpike is a boarded up rest stop on a highway in Maine. It's a place where high school kids drink and get into the kind of trouble high school kids have always gotten into. It's the place where Pete Simmons goes when his older brother, who's supposed to be looking out for him, heads off to the gravel pit to play "paratroopers over the side." Pete, armed only with the magnifying glass he got for his tenth birthday, finds a discarded bottle of vodka in the boarded up burger shack and drinks enough to pass out.

Not much later, a mud-covered station wagon (which is strange because there hadn't been any rain in New England for over a week) veers into the Mile 81 rest area, ignoring the sign that says "closed, no services." The driver's door opens but nobody gets out.

Doug Clayton, an insurance man from Bangor, is driving his Prius to a conference in Portland. On the backseat are his briefcase and suitcase and in the passenger bucket is a King James Bible, what Doug calls "the ultimate insurance manual," but it isn't going to save Doug when he decides to be the Good Samaritan and help the guy in the broken down wagon. He pulls up behind it, puts on his four-ways, and then notices that the wagon has no plates.

Ten minutes later, Julianne Vernon, pulling a horse trailer, spots the Prius and the wagon, and pulls over. Julianne finds Doug Clayton's cracked cell phone near the wagon door — and gets too close herself. By the time Pete Simmons wakes up from his vodka nap, there are a half a dozen cars at the Mile 81 rest stop. Two kids — Rachel and Blake Lussier — and one horse named Deedee are the only living left. Unless you maybe count the wagon.

Classic King. Boys doing boy things you don't even want to think about (especially now that I'm a mother of 2 boys), man-eating cars, and only the kids smart enough to stay back from said car.

I was leary buying this - I'm not special enough to get review copies of King books yet (lol), but I am a die hard fan. This is only available as an e-book so I decided to give it a chance. Hell, Christine scared the snot out of me when I was 16, and the description felt like it was sort of in that spirit. The last e-book short story he did, I think it was UR was awful. Like I quit reading it because it was just boring and not going anywhere...that's why I was arguing with myself. Well the Christine side won and I pushed the button to purchase.

Yup, straight up classic King. Very scary, kind of gooey and really, really stupid people. I love how he dives into people's heads as they are dying. The fact that they think things that are so absurd and down to earth makes you feel like you'd probably think the same things. I really don't want to give too much away, but the one thought that stuck with me was "Oh, that's what she meant by sticky."

If you like scary stories then go ahead, it's only $2.99 and I read it in about an hour. Plus there's a preview of his newest book 11/22/63: A Novel.


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  2. I love Stephen King's work too. And after I read O Writing I have gone back to reread some of his work and oh my, if I was terrified at first, now I can't even describe the terror. What a man. Um, I meant writer ;-)


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