Thursday, October 6, 2011
CR Review #32: Mile 81 by Stephen King
I am way behind in my reviews, so I thought I'd do a quick one for this "Kindle Single" short story by Stephen King.
I'm a huge King fan, and I downloaded this story two weeks ago, just as I was on my way to see him speak over at George Mason University, where he received an award. As I assumed, he has a terrific public presence -- he is a gifted and easy speaker, very much full of humor and humanity. He spoke for about an hour, and even did a quick reading from his in-the-works novel "Dr. Sleep", a sort-of sequel to The Shining, with Danny Torrence as the main character. The bit that he read was about soul-sucking vampires who drive around the country in big RVs, going from town to town on the highways. You can see part of that reading here.
While I was waiting for King to come out on stage, I started reading Mile 81 (and almost finished it, as it was only about a 30 minute read). Mile 81 is the story of a mysterious car that stops over in a deserted, closed rest area on a busy Maine highway. And the mysterious car starts doing horrible, other-wordly things (readers of books like From a Buick 8, Hearts in Atlantis, or the Dark Tower books will see a tie between this story and the "low men" described in those books). And in true King fashion, only the children are clever enough to figure out what to do, as the adults around the die grisly deaths.
Totally worth the $2.99 paid to Kindle for reading this -- always a good sign when King's stories make you wish they were longer (instead of the huge, long books that sometimes --ahem, Under the Dome -- go on too long).