Book Review

Review: Mile 81 by Stephen King

Title: Mile 81

Author: Stephen KingImage

Pages: 80

Published: September 1, 2011

Publisher: Simon ad Schuster

Author’s Website: www.stephenking.com

Synopsis: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.

Synopsis: 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. (Amazon)

Review:

I have always found Stephen King to be one of those authors that I was afraid to read. I am not a huge fan of horror and it took me a while to fight my fear to pick up on of his novels. Mile 81 is a short novella, perfect for a reader that wants to experience King’s style of writing and get a slight idea what his books are all about. This book was less on the horror side and more about solving a mystery. It follows the lives of two children that watch their parents disappear into a station wagon. This story was very short and I felt that there were pieces of it that were not completely thought out. But, taking into consideration that this was a “novella”, I can’t complain to much. The storyline was very fun, and addicting as you watch a muddy station wagon, munch on characters left and right. I really enjoyed that their was a variety of people that you were introduced too, even for a short period of time. King, did a great job with developing characters and introducing them, in such a short time. Overall, whether you are trying Stephen King for the first time, or a longtime fan this novella will keep you pondering till the last page.

First Line:

“You can’t come,” his  older brother said.

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