Saturday 17 September 2011

MILE 81 by Stephen King

At Mile 81 on the Maine Turnpike is a boarded up rest stop, 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 heads off to the gravel pit to play 'paratroopers over the side'.

Pete, armed with only 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. That's why he doesn't notice a freshly mud-spattered station wagon (which is strange because there hadn't been any rain in New England for over a week) which veers into the Mile 81 rest area, ignoring the sign that reads 'closed, no services'.

The driver's door opens but nobody gets out . . .

I picked this up a few weeks ago for my Kindle, and have been looking forward to checking it out ever since. Last night, I decided to start it... and almost read all of it in one sitting. But it was late and I decided to leave the rest for this morning.

This novella is told in a very unique way. A way that only King can pull off. Seriously. It's almost like six interconnected stories which all blend into one very impressive ending.

Pete is a ten-year-old boy who decides to go off to Mile 81 after his brother doesn't let him tag along with him and his friends. So Pete gets on his bike and decides to sneak into the abandoned area, which used to be a popular rest stop but is now empty. On his way in, he stumbles on a discarded bottle of vodka and decides to give it a try. Not long after, he gets a little drunk and passes out inside the boarded-up burger joint.

As Pete sleeps, a muddy station wagon arrives outside and waits with the driver's door open. What follows, will put off anyone who is keen to be a Good Samaritan. As a variety of people stop, willing to offer some assistance, they get themselves into frightening situations...

I really enjoyed this horror novella! I enjoyed the way it was told, written, and how--in usual King fashion--it hooked me in right away. I was holding my breath until the very end. Man, that station wagon was one super creepy car!

King, you've done it again.

PS. There's also an excerpt of his upcoming novel, but I didn't read it because I'll be buying it, regardless. :)
SKC Books Read: 3/6

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