Mile 81 by Stephen King
(Kindle Single)


7 Critic Reviews

Really? I wish I'd been able to stay away from this Stephen King horror. Not that the story was in the horror genre, but that it was a horror having to read it.


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.

About Stephen King

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Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. Joe Hill is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Heart-Shaped Box and Horns and writes an ongoing comic book series, Locke & Key. He makes lots of noise on Twitter under the handle @joe_hill.
Published September 1, 2011 by Scribner. 80 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Sep 25 2011
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Mile 81
All: 7 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 5


Below average
Reviewed by Terra King on Mar 27 2012

This story reads like it was the start of a book, instead of a short story. King couldn't get the story to go anywhere, so he slaps an amazingly stupid ending and calls it an e-book.

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Below average
Reviewed by David Finniss on Sep 01 2011

The story involves a killer car...King already gave us the definitive killer car with Christine...He managed to avoid a rehash just enough with For a Buick 8, but you'd think that using that premise a third time would be pushing his luck.

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Below average
Reviewed by Richard Jones on Nov 01 2011

Really? I wish I'd been able to stay away from this Stephen King horror. Not that the story was in the horror genre, but that it was a horror having to read it.

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Fear Net

Above average
Reviewed by Kevin Quigley on Aug 30 2011

"Mile 81" tries to be nothing more or less than a good, scary story, told well.

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Horror Happy Hour

Below average
Reviewed by Dave G. on Jan 01 2011’s not a King classic for sure. Die hard fans will probably want to check it out, everyone else may want to take a pass.

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Gather Books

Reviewed by Winona on Mar 24 2012

King never...fails to deliver a good dale. And "haunted" cars are among many of his more popular works.

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Bending the Bookshelf

Below average
Reviewed by Sally Bibrary on Sep 13 2011

... it doesn't have the personality of Christine, or dangerous allure of a certain Buick 8...

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